Tag: plush toys

Turn your kids into toymakers this summer

Wow, is our email box and social media feed getting packed with parents stressing out about what to do with kids during downtime this summer. Seeing as how we can’t let kids play in the park by themselves without 8 “concerned” neighbors calling 911 (grrr…but that’s another post for another time), we’ve been actively seeking out fun crafts, projects, and educational activities that keep them busy until you can get out with them. Or even just let them have a little fun time indoor on a rainy or zillion percent humidity day. Related: summer fun Now our friends at Cate +...

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Little Bellwoods toys: The smaller the creatures, the bigger the awww…

My kids have a penchant for falling in love with tiny things. I can’t blame them; I’m the very same way. The smaller and cuter a toy happens to be, the more we all adore it. So how could we resist the heart-meltingly adorable creations over at the Little Bellwoods Etsy shop? Short answer: We can’t. Every little stuffed animal is cuter than the next. Skunks, foxes, and, well, the cutest toy birds I have ever seen in my entire life. And every little one is made by hand –and obviously with love, too– by a Canadian mom. (Toronto, represent!) I’ll...

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Because girls like dinosaurs. And well, boys like purple.

I just love when parents get fired up about not being able to find the kinds of off-the-beaten-path things their girls are interested in. Because really, that just inspires entrepreneurs to come up with such things and now we all get to reap the benefits. Such is the case with everything at mom-run shop Nawi Kids. – Don’t miss an exclusive discount below –  Moms Nas and Whitney started their company years ago when Whitney’s daughter was potty training and into dinosaurs. Surprise, there was no dinosaur underwear for girls anywhere to be found. So, smart mom that she is, Whitney decided she...

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19 very (very) special non-candy Easter basket gifts kids will love.

Between school parties and Easter baskets from their grandparents, my kids will be coming home with chocolate bunnies and cream-filled eggs to last us till the Fourth of July. So I’ve been looking for some extra special Easter basket gifts for kids that go beyond what you might find on your drugstore shelves. They’re perfect for those of you who want to ease up on the sugar; or for kids like ours, who are already going to have more than their fill from other sources. Mix them in with some traditional Easter fare (it is hard to resist jellybeans after all), or limit...

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Move over cutesie nursery art, plush taxidermy is taking over.

When papier-mâché animal heads began popping up on blogs a few years ago, I wasn’t completely sold on the trend of faux taxidermy as children’s decor. Sure, they were a million times less creepy than the real deal, but they didn’t seem playful enough for a kid’s bedroom. On the other hand, the plush taxidermy from Kelsey Davis Design are the perfect mix of wit and whimsy. If had a nursery to decorate, I’d place my order today.  All of the creatures she makes would be adorable over a crib or a dresser, but the crown-wearing lion and vintage-patterned pig are my two favorites. Related: Zoo portrait clocks that will have you laughing.   The wall mounts...

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8 of the coolest Year of the Sheep baby gifts for your little lamb

I’ve always loved the Chinese Zodiac and not just because I’m a Chinese American. I am fascinated by the history of the signs and their meanings. So with the Chinese New Year just a couple of days away, we thought it would be fun to round-up cool Year of the Sheep baby gifts. If you happen to be expecting a little baby lamb (we’ll go with the lamb instead of the ram) in 2015 or know someone who is, here are some wonderful Year of the Sheep baby gifts to help celebrate. Kung Hei Fat Choi!   The beautiful knit dolls from BlaBla Kids have...

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Building a better bear with Bears for Humanity

It’s pretty easy to find a teddy bear that my kids will love. Cute and stuffed? Check. But finding one that I love for them is a bit trickier. Bears for Humanity is a winner for all of us. My favorite thing about Bears for Humanity is their buy one, give one business model which husband and wife team Vijay and Renju Prathap modeled after TOMS. Each purchase means an equal bear—not some cheaper facsimile–goes to one of their U.S. partner organizations, like Toys for Tots, pediatric cancer org Expect Miracles, and Save the Children, all to brighten up another child’s day. Beyond that, Bears for Humanity hits so many of my...

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Custom dolls from your kids’ drawings. Now that’s a keepsake.

My three-year-old son brings artwork home from nursery school by the armful — if you consider a couple of paint drops on construction paper to be art, that is. Every so often, however, he creates something that actually resembles a person, place, or thing, and I want to save it forever. The coolest way I’ve discovered to immortalize a child’s doodle is to turn it into a custom doll. We’ve covered quite a few impressive artists who make custom dolls from drawings that kids make and now there’s one more. Enter Yaela, a designer and mother of two. She runs an online studio called Dolls ‘n’ All...

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12 of the coolest baby gifts, gadgets, and gear of the year: Editors’ Best of 2014

Shopping for baby gifts might just be among our favorite kind of shopping to do, and we’ve featured no shortage of amazing baby gift ideas on our site this year. (If we do say so ourselves). After much consideration, deliberation, and debate, we’ve narrowed it down to the very coolest, all of which we would have loved to receive ourselves when our little ones were born. Here, our picks for 12 of the best new baby gifts of 2014. That will be just as cool to give to some lucky parents in 2015.   This is post is part of of our annual series of Editors...

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What are the best gifts for a two year old? We’ve got tons!

Choosing the best gift for a two year old from among ride-on vehicles, construction toys, dolls and more can seem overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to some favorites that our own boys and girls have loved. Because that first birthday party may get more hoopla, but we know the second is where you get to buy the really fun gifts for a toddler who is just getting ready to, well, toddle everywhere. And, possibly, remember your gift in the first place.   RIDE-ON TOYS FOR TWO YEAR OLDS   You probably don’t have to worry about a two-year-old getting enough exercise, but the challenge is to...

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12 favorite sloth picks to kick off Sloth Week. Yes, that’s a thing now.

They aren’t as sly as a fox, as wise as an owl, or as puffy as a hedgehog, but the unassuming sloth is poised to be the next big thing for kids, as Liz and I noticed as we toured Toy Fair earlier this year. These slow-moving, surprisingly adorable creatures even have their own week dedicated to them, with Sloth Week 2014 beginning today, June 20 so you and the kids can view online videos and sloth-related TV programming on Animal Planet all week long. (Kind of the kinder, gentler alternative to Shark Week.) If you too want to surround yourself or your kids with all things sloth,...

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16 of the most adorable Easter basket gift ideas for kids: It’s raining bunnies and chicks!

Make your kids’ Easter baskets a hundred times more adorable by adding some playful chicks and bunnies to your list of Easter basket gift ideas for kids–of course along with some of our favorite Easter candy and Easter-themed gifts. Our recos are almost entirely indie-made, and we promise that none of them include a five-foot purple stuffed rabbit. Though we can’t guarantee that won’t be the grandparents’ pick.     Wee Gallery’s new set of 12 animal kids’ animal tattoos makes a nice alternative to more candy in the basket. Featuring a bunny, dog, and cat, they may end up on the...

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Oh Joy for Land of Nod: A new line of baby gifts and decor bursting with fun.

When we heard that one of our favorite design bloggers, Joy Cho, was launching the Oh Joy for Land of Nod baby collection, we seriously couldn’t wait to get a look at it. All of her design collaborations have been terrific and we figured this one would be both terrific–and affordable. And so it is. Well, not like thrift shop affordable, but definitely in the realm of baby gifts that people outside the 90210 can afford. Starting today, you’ll find cute, colorful, playful baby gifts with modern touches from artwork to bedding and decor. Even three fun patterns of an elephant...

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Chimeras mix-and-match plush toys: Lend me a hand. And an ear. And a bat wing.

If your kids are always drawing their own magical animals, these wacky and adorable Chimeras plush toys from Walrus Toys can bring their dreams to life in a way that doesn’t involve a trip to the Island of Dr. Moreau. When I was a kid, we had the Wuzzles, and we liked them–remember Ellaroo and Bumblelion? But now, kids get to mix and match all sorts of animal parts to make a Munny, a Batephant, or a Pog. Or a Munbatephanog, if you get the full set. These Chimeras come in sets of two creatures, each of which can be...

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The popular Cloud B night light embraces the octopus and the fox. No narwhals just yet.

I may in fact be the very last parent to come around on the Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and its myriad night light variations. But after seeing a few children absolutely go from panicked to peaceful at night with this thing by their bedside, I’m converted. Even more so now that I’ve gotten to check out some of Cloud B’s new offerings at Toy Fair 2014, starting with a plush adaptation of the Twinkles to Go Octo (above) called the Cloud B Octo Softeez Nightlight. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   I love this soon-to-be-released night light which is far more compact...

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Baby trend alert: Gray and white as a chic, gender neutral baby palette

More and more, we’re seeing a move away from yellow for “surprise” babies, and toward beautiful heather grays and rich charcoals. Paired with white, it’s a little less severe than black and can be and incredibly stylish on either a boy or a girl. Plus, you can pair this gender neutral palette with accessories of any color, should you want a pale pink blanket, for example, to tip off admirers that that bald little baby head does, in fact, belong to a girl. On behalf of our partner Nordstrom, and their Little Me collection of very affordable baby basics,...

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Stuffed animals that give back: So wonderful, you won’t mind one more in the house.

I have always had a weakness for stuffed animals and I was thrilled to be able to buy them without judgement again when my daughter was born. When I came across Bunnies By The Bay I was sold instantly on their fabulous little stuffed animals that give back. Not only do they look like the high end ones you might see in FAO Schwartz, but when I found out that they also help orphans around the world? I want to give them all a hug. And a home. The Red Thread collection of stuffed animals donates 10% of their proceeds...

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Elephants on Parade

We know personalized baby gifts are supposed to show you gave it more than two seconds’ thought choosing a special keepsake. These cozy pachyderms, an exclusive offering from Baby Gardner, do just that. This little baby elephant parade wall hanging is a a great find for anyone looking for a sweet, unique baby gift. The vintage vibe of these hand-stitched friends make them a darling accessory to any nursery. There is a tenderness to these softies with the interlocking of the trunks and tails of the family, very comforting indeed. We also couldn’t love more how these don’t scream safari theme —...

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The coolest kids’ toys: Editors’ Best of 2013

There are always so many of the coolest kids’ toys from small companies for us to discover each year and 2013 was no exception. In our Editors’ Best of 2013 series, we offer you our very favorites of the year, each of which was chosen for its originality, craftsmanship, great design, and low wear-out factor. They’re not all the toys you’ll find in the big stores, and that’s in part what we love about them.       The Rainbow Loom As our editor Liz said on CNN this year, 2013 was the year of the Rainbow Loom! Girls...

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Good mojo from yarn zombies? We’re in, especially if it includes sock monkeys.

There’s an uncomfortable stage in between childhood and adulthood when you might need a good luck charm or security blanket, but you know the other kids are going to make fun of it. We’re betting that if your good juju comes in the form of a zipper-chested twin zombie sock monkey, they’re going to back right off. These little Yarn Zombies are an adorable but edgy way to give someone a boost of confidence, love, or quirky goodwill right when they need it most while maintaining their valuable street cred. Each knitted, 5-inch tall talisman is geared toward a specific...

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