Tag: wooden toys

Adorable personalized wooden ornaments for kids who wants to see their own names on the tree. That’s, all of them.

Every Christmas, one of my kids’ favorite things to do is reminisce about each ornament as we hang it on the tree. Sure, it takes us a long time to get the whole thing decorated, but we love trying to remember the story behind each one, and some of the most special are those personalized ornaments we own, customized with names, dates, or pictures right on them. So when I saw the simple and lovely personalized wooden ornaments (they’re bamboo!) from the family-run Graphic Spaces Wood featured in our gift guide in our list of cool personalized gifts for kids, I knew my family needed one. Or...

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Super nerdy blocks for super scientists

There aren’t many wooden toys for toddlers that I can imagine an older kid would love too, but these super nerdy ABC blocks from Uncommon Goods are a major exception. They’re made from locally sourced wood and printed with non-toxic inks, featuring letters, illustrations, and scientific vocabulary words. They’re safe for toddlers to gnaw on, sturdy enough for preschool architects, and offer such cool reading material that middle schoolers might use them as a study reference for science class. Or hey, maybe your kindergartner will wow her teacher with talk of buckyballs and the water cycle. It’s never too...

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Train the next adorable generation of baristas to spell your name right

Okay, so maybe my eight-year-old daughter already knows how to use a coffee maker. And maybe she has her own hand-painted Goblet of Fire mug, in which she begs for a sip of the steaming hot ambrosia of morning. But still, what if I’d gotten her started even earlier with cappuccino? That’s why this adorable wooden Babyccino Machine from Djeco at Little Citizens Boutique is so brilliant. Forget the wooden birthday cakes and felt donuts and give my future barista a cappuccino maker toy as pretty as it is fun that comes with real working parts, just like a Nescafe machine....

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How fun are these number blocks? Let us count the ways…

With so many amazing modern building blocks out there, it’s not hard to find a set that I’d love to give to my kids. But I’ve just discovered SumBlox, the most incredibly original set of durable beech wood blocks that mixes math learning and block play together in such an interesting way, I think they’d be just as valuable in our kids’ classrooms as in their playrooms. Related: 6 cool sets of wooden blocks for older kids that are anything but square What makes the cool-looking SumBlox number blocks so unique is that each block has its value represented by its height so that kids can...

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Gorgeous handmade toys you’ll be tempted to play with yourself

Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and say it: The holidays are creeping up. I know that means half of you hate me, and the other half are like “whatever, my list is already done.” In which case, I bow to you. But if you’re starting to think about  special gifts for kids for any reason at all (I won’t use the “H” word if it makes it easier for you), we’ve got a slew of ideas in the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop. And one of our favorite new finds has been the exquisite handmade toys from Abby...

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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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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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A natural wooden dollhouse so adorable, an elephant couldn’t forget it. Especially in this case.

We’ve seen just about everything in the  dollhouse world, but we’ve never seen an elephant you could live in. The natural wooden dollhouse called the Ele Villa (“elephant house”), from natural, sustainable toy company Rock and Pebble definitely brings something new to the world of imaginative play, and I love the underbelly parking as much as I love the well-dressed people who live there. Don’t miss limited time free shipping below! The Ele Villa dollhouse is made of birch and is totally sustainable, natural, and non-toxic. With two floors standing 16″ tall and eight rooms that can be painted or decorated to your heart’s content, it’s as...

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Tree + Me

We missed the boat on a big fancy modern swing set for my kids–maybe because we live in the city and don’t have a yard? Yeah, that could have a little to do with it. But their Grandma and Papa put up a handmade swing for them which made me realize that once again, the basics can make kids perfectly happy. Especially when it’s one that will last–maybe until the next generation? That’s why I got all “awwwww” when I saw the gorgeously handcrafted old fashioned wooden tree swing from Minnesota’s The Original Tree Swing on Etsy. Pricy? Yeah. But built (from...

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Buildex Speed Machines: Cool building toys for kids who love their wheels

If you’re looking for a neat little birthday gift, or perhaps something unique for the Easter basket, check out the Buildex Speed Machine construction toy. Because not every kid wants just a bunny in her basket. These brightly colored, wooden-construction building toys for kids turn into toy motorcycles, toy trains, and toy race cars that go together easily without glue or tape. And thanks to a GridLock construction system, they won’t fall apart when your child takes them for a spin. My son loves that the rubber rimmed wheels on his Speed Drifter Speed Bike really do spin, and the front...

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Tinyme custom letter blocks have your name written all over them

We have featured piles of cool wooden alphabet blocks for kids over the years, from modern design blocks to steampunk science blocks, to Storyblox‘s “build-your-own” wooden blocks. And now there’s a cool set of custom name blocks on the, er, block, that’s perfect for a baby shower gift or child’s birthday gift. Australia’s Tinyme, whose puzzles, labels, and fun printables have been CMP favorites for a while, has put their creative stamp on custom name blocks. In order to get these beauties into our hands (which they will), they’ve got a Kickstarter campaign in the works to raise production dollars. And...

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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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Wooden learning toys in every color of the rainbow

If you asked my daughter what her favorite color is, her answer would be “rainbow.” I can’t agree more, and its bright and cheery vibe makes the sweet rainbow learning toys for toddlers so perfect for spring. This acorn sorting game is a perfect activity for the toddler set. Found among the wooden learning toys at Etsy’s Almost Crunchy, it is a wonderful application of the simple Waldorf teaching method of learning through play–the best way, if you ask me. The handmade set comes with 18 brightly colored acorns and 6 matching bowls to engage sorting, color matching and counting skills. It...

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Tegu’s new 130-piece magnetic block building set lets kids build to infinity and beyond.

We have played with Tegu and drank the KoolAid. From their mind-bending explorer sets to mobile toy kits, they simply rock the block. Our favorite eco-friendly block-makers have just rolled out a super tricked out magnetic block building set for the master builders out there, and we want it (for our kids) bad. This 130-piece classroom set is the ultimate for kids who want to get serious about their Tegu construction. We can only imagine what creations could come of out this totally souped-up box. If you are looking to kick up the playroom, add to your home school set-up, or...

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6 of the coolest dollhouse kits that promote building, design, and imaginative play. We want to live in them.

Dollhouses have always been a common feature on the floors of Toy Fair, but Liz and I noticed more and more options this year with dollhouse kits that add building and design, and sometimes even circuitry, to the act of play. Future architects and designers of the world, we’ve found the toys for you.   Roominate Dollhouse Building Kits Combining building, engineering, and design, Roominate’s clever dollhouse building kits come together in so many different ways, kids can conceivably construct a totally different house every time they sit down to play. And I love the many ideas on their...

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Stylish, fun wooden doctor’s kits for your own little medic

Based on the number of awesome-looking, well-made wooden doctor’s kits we saw at Toy Fair, we expect that a lot of kids will have fun taking care of all their new patients. Here’s a recap of some of the nicest doctor’s kits for kids that we saw, all of which should be available soon. Crafted in beautiful shades of hardwood,the Soopsori Wooden Doctor’s Kit (at top) includes the cutest stethoscope I’ve ever seen. And even if toddlers try to “eat” the wooden pills which, thankfully, are affixed to a larger wooden base, the natural linseed oil finish is non-toxic.  ...

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Smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, no princesses, ballerinas or “fashionistas,” whatever career that is.

This week at Toy Fair, I must say a progressive mama like me had a much harder time than expected scoping out smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, the girl dolls and figures were wearing something beyond princess garb or sparkly pink lace tulle. To be clear, I have no problem at all with ballerinas or fashion design kits or or traditional little baby dolls swathed in pink gingham–we feature plenty of them here But I have always wanted my daughters (and all the boys out there too!) to have choices. And if...

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PlayableART: Just as it sounds

At the NY Toy Fair this week, one of the finds I’m most excited about so far is a toy that I can’t say is entirely for kids. The gorgeously German-designed collection from playableART is designed to help get minds going and help you find your inner artist, whether you’re a four-year-old planted in front of a magnetic easel or refrigerator door, or a 40-something looking for a little moment of zen at your desk.   I am especially taken with the all new Magnet Relief art which allows you to explore design, shape, space and color with magnetic wooden...

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Wooden love blocks you have to love, any way you look at them.

It’s not hard to find signs of love all around us today, like these gorgeously designed wooden blocks that spell out love in 12 different languages. And when you take a closer look at how artful these blocks are, you’ll understand why I think they’d be equally at home as a piece of room decor as they would be a plaything for the kids. House Industries makes such incredible stuff we included several designs in our roundup of the best modern alphabet blocks for kids. Similarly, their Love Heart Blocks are so intricately designed, they are truly unique from every...

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A custom photo gift for babies too young to make one themselves

We all know how much babies and toddlers love to look at photos of the people they love, and so a custom photo gift can be a wonderful baby gift. But if you are like me, those puffy, plastic photo albums aren’t your idea of great nursery decor. And framed pictures in glass? Well, we all know how that is going to turn out. Enter BéBé Blocks. This great shop, started by a stay at home mom and her own dad, takes your favorite digital photos to create beautiful custom photo blocks to display. Don’t miss an exclusive offer for CMP...

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