Tag: puzzles

Over 20 of the best bunny gifts for Easter, whether you’ve got toddlers or tweens

Ready for Easter? We weren’t either until we started searching the web for ideas, and got excited when we found so many totally adorable bunny gifts for Easter out there! And there’s no chocolate, Peeps, or jelly beans in this bunch — not that there’s anything wrong with those. We just thought it would be fun to find some cool, non-candy gifts for Easter baskets, for babies all the way up to our not-too-old-for-Easter-gift tweens and teens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Shaped like those iconic Peeps candies we can’t stop eating despite ourselves, these Easter bunny crayons from Custom Crayons by...

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Immerse your kids in Chinese culture without the super long plane ride

We love finding new ways to teach our kids about the big, diverse world that extends far beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood and town. And while nothing can replace actually going to the countries themselves, playsets like this one from Whole Wide World Toys may help even our littlest jet setter hopefuls learn all about different countries in a way that is fun and educational. And their first stop? The huge country of China. What makes Whole Wide World Toys’ World Village China Playset so neat is how it incorporates a ton of age-appropriate information along with the toys themselves. Each playset comes with...

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7 unique nativity sets for families with young kids. So basically, not glass.

Now that it’s officially December, I will soon unpack and set up my childhood nativity set, even if our holidays are largely secular nowadays. However after three kids who turned my nativity into a sort of dollhouse toy each year, it’s time for me to consider something new. Which is why I have been looking around the web for a beautiful and unique nativity set for families that won’t be easily destroyed, should the kids get a little handsy with the Wise Men. In other words, no $800 porcelain figurines painted with 14k gold leaf. So I came up with seven nativity sets I really...

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Four of the best multiple-solution puzzles for kids. Because there’s no one right way to play.

If you’re still puzzled (yes, I went there) over what to get some of the kids on your list, keep reading. Whether it is a small wooden puzzle for little hands to manipulate, or something larger and more complex that gets the entire family involved, a well-made puzzle is a great plaything that will never require batteries or a wi-fi connection. And if your kids prefer their play to be more open-ended, we’ve found four options with multiple solutions so that their finished product doesn’t have to look the same way twice.   Nene Imagination’s Puzzles Without Borders: Penguins and Friends (shown at top)...

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The best gifts for a 4 year old? Tons of fantastic ideas.

Buying a special gift for a four-year-old is so much fun since this is the age that kids really start to show their preferences and interests. Plus, they aren’t sticking every little piece into their mouths (phew) and can play independently for a lot more time than their younger selves. So if you’re looking for the best gifts for a four year old in your life, skip the stuffed animals. This BTDT mom has a lot of cool ideas for you that are extra special. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 4-year-olds: The ultimate birthday party gift guide   OUTDOOR TOY...

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History wasn’t always fun and games. Except when it is.

I’ve come to understand that for tweens, creating a love of history is often about making it as salacious and entertaining as possible. The British creators of Horrible Histories have nailed that genre, with a successful series of illustrated Horrible Histories books. Think: the story of the English monarch who died after falling off the toilet (George II), all the gory details about the Roman colosseum, and the nastiness of the Greek gods. If your older kids can’t get enough of this kind of stuff, they’re now out with a brand new Horrible Histories puzzle series, each of which feels like...

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The Odd One Out: A welcome twist on the classic find-it book

Thanks to a recommendation from our friends at Zoobean, I recently discovered a new book my kids are obsessing over. The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup puts a modern twist on the classic kids find-it book. You know, those books where they’re supposed to look for something tiny in a big, busy page of cartoons? We’re big fans of artists who don’t dumb down their art (or their vocabulary, for that matter) for kids, which is why what could be an otherwise annoying read is actually a lovely experience for parents as well as children....

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Happy National Puzzle Day! 8 irresistible puzzles for toddlers that make fabulous little gifts

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!     This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)   Is this...

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Petit Collage puzzles that are in no way petit

It’s true: we’re Petit Collage fangirls. So it’s only natural we think these new floor puzzles are pretty grand. With lovely artwork and big ol’ pieces for petite hands, these new floor puzzles from Petit Collage are right up our alley. Each one is two feet wide, with 24 pieces about five inches square.  Each of the four designs comes packaged in a cute box with a rope handle and is geared for ages 3 and up. And you don’t have to worry if your bebe chews on the pieces–they’re printed on recycled paper in vegetable inks. Petit Collage,...

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New photo gifts for kids: The ultimate vanity project. Not that that’s a bad thing.

My kids love nothing more than looking at photos of themselves. In fact, if I’m hard pressed to find something to amuse them in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or on the train, my go-to source is the camera roll on my iPad. Now if only there was a way to get them to do something meaningful with their vanity. Enter the new photo puzzles and drawing pad from one of our favorite sites for gorgeous personalized photo gifts, Pinhole Press. When it comes to creative and cool ways to display photos, Pinhole Press is a great destination....

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Personalized puzzles that make perfect birthday gifts. Maybe not just for kids.

I just finished spring cleaning my kids’ bedrooms and, while I was able to part with many things, I held onto almost anything that had been personalized with their names. If you too find that personalized gifts hold a special place in your heart, then you won’t be puzzled by my enthusiasm for something beautifully made–yet affordable–that could become a treasured plaything to hang onto for a long time. We’ve loved TinyMe’s colorful personalized labels, and we’re also smitten by their adorable wooden jigsaw puzzles that come in a huge array of styles and colors. The lovely muted color...

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Wonderful wooden blocks for multitasking kids

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Petit Collage here at CMP. It’s also no secret that we think wooden blocks are an absolutely perfect gift for occasions of all kinds and children of all ages. But when the two combine? Well, to say we’re excited would be an understatement. The new Safari Jumble from Petit Collage is a set of wooden animal blocks, a brainteaser puzzle, and stylish bedroom décor all rolled into one. Talk about multitasking. Nine wooden animals fit together just-so in a small wooden tray (don’t worry, the animal outlines are laser-etched right onto the tray,...

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Humble wooden blocks get a beautiful makeover

Whether you are looking for a stunning first-birthday gift for a special child in your life, or your preschooler just loves to build, this beautifully designed set of colorful blocks is one toy they’ll treasure. Especially when they are building the Land of Lollipops or whatever they dream up in their imagination. Land of Nod’s It Makes a Village Building Set would create the village (or previously mentioned Land of Lollipops) of my kids’ dreams, with swoopy arches, wavy roads, and even little shapes that could become anything from a rock wall, to a cluster of bushes, to a...

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A bird in this tree? Worth years of fun for little hands

Puzzles really need to pop to stand out amongst the competition these days. When you give a puzzle, it can sometimes go unnoticed in a sea of blinking lights or licensed Harry Potter allure. I am absolutely in love with this handmade Bird Tree Puzzle that your child can use for creative play or as a good old fashioned manipulative. Plus it’s so beautiful it could serve as a dinner centerpiece at a funky shabby chic affair. (Maybe?) The birds are simple and sweet thanks to the gentle colors and nontoxic dyes. But don’t get me wrong, this will be...

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The puzzles that give other puzzles puzzle envy (is there such a thing?)

One of my favorite pastimes with my kids has always been puzzles. I love the combination of relaxing and challenging. My son usually only lasts a quarter of the way through, but my daughter patiently works until the very last piece is placed. (I try to quit but she just won’t let me.) So I am thrilled to find these gorgeous, handmade wooden puzzles that I think so many parents will love. The wooden magnetic geography puzzles by Steven Mattern Design are cool to look at and so educational–what a great way to make geography more interactive than a...

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The coolest kids toys of 2012: Editors Best of 2012

We love nothing more than finding toys for kids that are handmade, or at least, don’t require an on and off switch and 300 batteries. Instead, our favorite toys of 2012 are all powered by the imaginations and little hands of kids. Liz LEGO Friends As one of the original they’re doing WHAT with LEGOS? cynics, I have come full circle, completely respecting the way that LEGO Friends sets give more girls the chance to combine building skills with imaginative play. I will say I prefer the veterinary clinic, flying club, or invention workshop to the uh, beauty salon; but hey, no one says...

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Clever photo gifts aren’t just for grandparents, you know. 5 great photo gift ideas that kids will love.

When you think of custom photo gifts, most people probably think of calendars for Grandma–sweet, but a bit predictable. So why not use photos to make gifts for the littlest members of your family too? Kids love to look at faces–especially familiar ones–so we think it’s a terrific idea to make custom photo gifts for our kiddos. For a few years, we’ve happened to love the quality of Pinhole Press holiday cards and photo products, so we’re thrilled to see some of the amazing new products they have out just in time for the holidays. Check out the collection...

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Get crafty, young grasshopper, with 3D puzzle sculptures

The cooler weather is setting in, so I’m already on the hunt for inside activities that will save my hide come winter. I admit I’m pretty picky about what crafty goodness makes the grade at our house, so when I heard about green 3D puzzles that the kiddos could build and color, I was all ears. {Keep reading for an exclusive CMP discount on 3D puzzles!} The eco-friendly Urban Canvas 3D puzzles are created from recycled cardboard that is reusable (honest!) and durable enough to be constructed and destructed. The pieces are also reversible, with a funky preprinted pattern on one side. The...

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Puzzles that are curiouser and curiouser (and cooler and cooler)

I’ll admit it–puzzles don’t normally pique my curiosity. But when you combine a beautiful painting with intricate laser-cut wood pieces that are works of art in themselves, you have me grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Artifact Puzzles is pure puzzle genius, with offerings like we’ve never seen. Alice in Wonderland by artist Justin Hillgrove is just one option–they’ve got tons of others to charm you as well.  Each sophisticated puzzle is laser-cut of 1/4″ thick wood in the most interesting shapes. From cats to octopi and teacups to toadstools, these are not your average wiggly bits. And they’re not for...

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The animal blocks that might lead to Tetris greatness

First, the bad news: when you get all these block animals lined up just right, there will be no fireworks over the Kremlin. The good news: they’re seriously cute and probably won’t obsess you like Tetris. Oh, and your kid can play with them, too. We’re always big fans of My Sweet Muffin, and their new Eco-Wooden Animal Blocks are no exception. In addition to their stunningly adorable design, you can also rest easy knowing that they’re completely child-safe for mouthing and banging. Each block is handmade of different woods, finished only with linseed oil. The set comes with...

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