Tag: kids’ toys

Props in a Box: The gift box that turns dress-up time into an exercise in filmmaking.

Even though Halloween is long over, my kids are still running around in costumes most days, as they’ll continue to do. It’s fun to see the stories they come up with when they dig through our dress-up box — like when Cruella deVille and an astronaut went to a French bakery to have croissants. It happens, you guys. This is why I think so many families with creative, imaginative kids will appreciate the old-school fun meets high-tech fun of Props in a Box. I will say right off the bat that these are definitely splurgey gifts for kids, bu tthey are incredibly thoughtful and really innovative....

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Tegu blocks, now customizable. And adorable. And possibly covered in pink dinosaurs.

Since their launch, we’ve been huge fans of Tegu, makers of the smart, high quality, sustainable wood and magnetic block sets that have just blown up over the years. While their collection of choices has gotten bigger, now Tegu has a wonderful new offering that’s going in the other direction. The adorably creative  Tegu MyBLOCKHEAD wooden block sets are little customizable block sets that let you add a whole lot of personality to an existing set of their blocks, or just create a fun little toy for a kid all on its own. Whether your child is a soccer star, likes everything to be pink, pink, pink, really digs Nyan...

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Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.

Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...

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YOXO: Affordable gifts that build imagination. Oh, and maybe a pegasus.

With holidays coming up, we’re seeing a lot more interest in building toys and maker toys, a trend we’ve loved since, well, before it was a trend. And earlier this year at Toy Fair, when I saw the new 5-in-1 pegasus kit from YOXO I thought whoa, that’s going to be one awesome gift for the holidays. Now that it’s finally available, I’m so excited to share it because it’s one heck of a building kit. First off, everything is US-made from recycled wood pulp. This gives the Y, X and O (get it, YOXO?) pieces kind of a cardboard feel, but...

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You never forget your first unicorn.

As we’re browsing the web for our huge annual holiday gift guide (it’s coming readers, sit tight!) I just had to stop to share this amazing find: A plush unicorn rocking horse. Or, I guess, a rocking unicorn would be more apt. While we’ve shared lots of amazing modern rocking horses over the years, I’d say this is up there among my favorites and if my kids were toddlers again, this would totally be a fixture in their rooms. Related: 7 cool playroom ideas for kids that help you reclaim your living room Of course since actual unicorns are hard to come...

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Unicorn horn headbands for Halloween or everyday. Because being a magical, mythological creature never goes out of style.

When these adorable unicorn horn headbands landed in my inbox over the weekend, I immediately forwarded it to Liz and said “Cool, right?!” which is why you’re seeing them right now. If you’ve got an indecisive little one in your house, or hey, want a little quick and easy Halloween something for yourself, hurry up and order one of these. The handmade unicorn horns from BrooklynOwl.com are actually something my kids would wear all year long because really, winter, spring, summer, or fall, they’re all-season creatures. Ha.   Related: 9 really creative, last-minute Halloween costumes for kids you can DIY They...

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Toyboarders: Little green army men like, totally transformed, dude.

I know a lot of parents have a fondness for those little green army men toys of their youth (and the Toy Story franchise) but not everyone wants their kids playing around with guns. So I have to give props to Toyboarders which transformed the idea into a kinder, gentler, and more rad toy option. The sets of 24 little 2″ tall men — and women and kids  — can include skaters, snowboarders, or surfers. And these guys clearly know their stuff, considering actual skaters and boarders will recognize the 8 different poses. but whether your kid knows a tube ride...

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How to scare up the hot new LEGO Monster Minifigures in time for Halloween

You know what’s scary? When LEGO comes out with a new series of 16 LEGO Monster Minifigures that would be perfect for Halloween, but when you go to their website to snag a few to surprise the kids, you see that they are all sold out. {cue scream audio} OK, so maybe this isn’t really a tragedy on any level, but have you gotten a look at these fabulously horrific creatures? We’re looking around at our affiliate Amazon and wow! There’s the disheveled Zombie Businessman minifig holding a tiny newspaper whose headline only says BRAAAINS. There’s the bright green Plant Monster minifig, the creepy Spider...

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cuddle + kind: The new handknit dolls good at snuggling, playing, and feeding kids in need

We love companies that help us do a little extra good when we purchase their products, like TOMS shoes and Bears for Humanity and Mitscoots Socks which each have “buy one, give one” business models. And now we’ve discovered a line of adorable new handknit dolls called cuddle + kind that not only will make our kids squeal from the cuteness, but also help combat child hunger in the US and around the world by providing meals to children in need. Based on the incredible amount of support they’ve received just a week into their Indiegogo campaign, clearly we’re not the only ones who...

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Remember trouble dolls? Now Worry Eaters dolls are helping kids manage anxieties.

Emotions seem to be a big topic with kids at the moment, from help from the Pixar’s Inside Out and the ubiquitous emoji. I like that these are giving us the opportunity to pay more attention to our kids’ feelings and figure out the best way to support them. So I was happy to discover the new Worry Eaters dolls, whose purpose is to help kids address and handle stress and other concerns with friendly support. In my day we had trouble dolls. For my nieces there was “monster spray” for under the bed. And now our kids have Worry Eaters, a new line of plush friends that eats up children’s worries and carry their burdens so that they don’t have...

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10 of the cutest pirate gifts for kids because, argggg it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Avast, me hearties, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. And since this esteemed annual holiday falls on a Saturday this year, our kids can plunder the living room and giggle about the “poop deck” all day long without getting in trouble in the classroom. To get you and your little buccaneers in the mood, we’ve rounded up ten great pirate gifts for kids that we love.   Flatout Frankie’s Stack Up Pirates come together to make a fun plaything or bit of room decor for your pirate lover. Made of 100% recyclable cardboard, these two pirates are also a bit of a...

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6 innovative products for babies with multiple uses, so you can use them for years past the infant stage.

Having a new baby is exciting and fun and…crazy expensive. We’ve all been there, it can be hard figuring out whether you splurge on the crib, or get a cheaper crib and spend more on all those cute clothes and room decor accessories and infant toys. It’s even harder before you even know what you or your baby will like. And it’s especially hard when you kind of want to buy everything that’s the very best you can afford because, after all, this is your baby. But as always, we’ve got your back! Our biggest tip is that if you are...

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10 ways to make driveway bike riding more fun for kids

It’s hard to feel like King of the Road when really, you’re King of Don’t  Go Beyond the End of the Driveway! With three kids and one long paved driveway, I’ve been there!  So, whether you live on a house on a high-traffic street, or you just need to keep your kids a little closer to home for whatever reason, I’ve got 10 fun ideas to make driveway bike riding more fun for those kids who love their wheels but could use a little more excitement. And don’t forget the helmets! Even if it is “just” in the driveway....

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My Big Art Show: the fun family card game that might turn your kids into art history whizzes.

Two of my kids have now outgrown some of my own favorite childhood board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders — classic versions only, please. (And yes, I admit I do like Candy Land. Don’t ask why.) My kids are now into the kind of strategy board games that take 30 minutes to explain the rules and another 30 minutes to set up the board. They can be a lot of fun, but I don’t always have the time or inclination. So I like to have a few games on hand that we can all play quickly and easily. This week we’ve been binging on My Big Art Show by Susie Hodge....

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Web Coolness: How not to screw up your kids, way cool kids toys, and the craziest pancakes ever.

Here’s what we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you do too.   Love this roundup of 10 of the coolest modern rocking chairs. 16 of the best organizational apps for parents. How not to screw up your kids. Good advice? Congrats to FashionABLE and their relaunch which now helps women in the US and abroad. Guess which countries offer the longest maternity leave. Surprising. What if your child doesn’t have a BFF? Tons of fun sleepover ideas. (If you haven’t gone there yet, trust us. You’ll need them.) Is Kristen’s daughter the next big Etsy artist? 15...

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Target removes boy and girl toy signs, Internet implodes.

Geez, Target! Change a few signs in your store and you blow up the whole entire Internet! In the past, we’ve discussed our issues with labeling girls toys vs. boys toys,  as opposed to just calling them, oh…you know. BLOCKS. And DOLLS. Well, apparently Target has been listening to our podcast (ha) because when they revealed their plans to remove gender-based signs from Target stores, the bigger surprise was some of the negative response. Aw, Internet Outrage. You’re so entertaining. Catch our thoughts on the oddly controversial news, plus more fun chat on this week’s SPAWNED with Kristen and Liz. You’ll feel like you’re hanging out right here around...

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6 ways to entertain kids in restaurants without (gasp) pulling out a screen.

The very first thing my son does when we sit down to eat at a restaurant (well, after ordering both ice water and milk) is ask for my iPhone. I’ll admit that I’m often tempted to hand it over because it’s such an easy way to keep him entertained while we’re waiting for our food in restaurants. I mean, I always have it on me, and he can play any number of kids’ apps, watch a movie, or find kid-friendly clips on YouTube. But, he’s four. I know doesn’t need all that extra screen time. (Do any of us, really?) Plus,...

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Oribel PortaPlay, a baby activity center that lasts beyond the baby years. Really.

When that baby of yours hits the 5 or 6 month mark, so many things begin to change. Suddenly your baby is way too big for hanging out in the swing, but too little to sit and play in the pack n play, and this is where the exersaucer can save the day.  Not like we need a ton of new gear around our home, but we are bouncing up and down for the new Oribel PortaPlay convertible baby activity center design from Oribel which, in addition to having a great design for play and development, can transition into a play table as your child grows, making it a smart value. (Editor’s note: We’re receiving security warnings when...

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Trend alert: Donuts are everywhere! (What? You don’t have a donut pool float yet?)

I keep being told that donuts are the new macarons, which used to be the new cupcakes, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m seeing them everywhere. And my kids are clamoring for them. They are emblazoned on stationery, tote bags, t-shirts, even toys and cosmetics, making them perfect for birthday gifts, or to tuck into a camp care package for a donut-deprived child of yours. I will say that though my favorite donuts are more simple cinnamon sugar or glazed, the frosted variety with sprinkles definitely seems to be winning out in the kitschy donut gift category. Hey,...

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Great party favors for 3 year olds? Reader Q+A

If you could do a post on cool favor ideas, that’d be great!  My daughter’s third birthday is coming up this fall, and I like to get children’s party favors for 3 year olds that won’t be thrown away when the guests get home! -CMP reader Monique, via email Monique, I feel the same way exactly. The hardest part of birthday party prep for me has always been buying the party favors, because I tend to think the party itself should be the big treat. Especially if I’ve already dropped some money renting out the gymnastics studio or hiring a balloon artist, not...

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