Tag: wooden toys

A natural wooden puzzle that let kids play with fire…and water, earth and air.

This is the time of year that my kids become obsessed with games, puzzles and any activity that can keep their attention without them having to be outside in our freezing cold weather. Usually for Christmas I stock up on a little new inventory of things like natural wooden puzzles so that we’re not running out of options. And now this set from long-time favorite toy shop, Natural Pod, is on my must-have list. This children’s natural wooden puzzle introduces your children to the wonders of the four elements. Earth, fire, water and air are represented by a cave, flames,...

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Wooden sweets for your sweets? Sweet!

My kids absolutely love to play store. They’ll gather up whatever small toys they want to sell, set them out, and then yell at me until I agree to buy something. (They need to work on their customer service a little.) I imagine my favorite shopkeepers would happily extend their offerings to sweets if they saw the adorable wooden candy store sets from a brand-new Etsy shop I found. Snugglebug University at Etsy is pure sweetness. The Wood Snow Cone sets (below) are amazing, but I love the two Deluxe Wooden Candy Store sets best. They’re packed with little whoopee pies, candy peach rings, money,...

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Rounding up the best mustaches for kids in honor of Movember

For the past few years, my husband has kicked off November cleanly shaven and ended it in full mustache-mode. I don’t even complain because he’s doing it for Movember, an annual worldwide mustache-growing fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for male cancer charities. So in support of all those men who are smack in the fuzzy middle of growing a mustache this month (and with empathy for us women who have to get used to kissing them in various prickly phases), we’ve rounded up some fun mustache-themed items for kids that will stick around long after the facial hair...

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Ring, ring! Cuteness calling

Here’s a sweet phone for your little one that doesn’t require a contract, an upgrade, or even a fancy power cord. And it even rings! You know, like phones used to do? The ring ring! phone available from our pals at ROMP is the apex of heirloom toys for kids 3 and up. Handmade in Germany of cherry wood and finished only with vegetable-safe oil, it’s good for the environment and for little hands. The dial spins, the bell rings, and you never know who’s going to be on the other end of the line when you pick up. (Knowing most...

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Block party: printables that let you create your own mix-and-match stackables

It’s nothing new to us mamas that kids love blocks. But it’s double the awesome when kids get to build their own. And that’s where Olliblocks come in. These adorable children’s blocks are assembled by you and your child. All you need to do is download the PDF, print, adhere the paper to 1.5″ or 2″ wooden blocks, and start mixing and matching. They come in three sets of characters: animals, girls and boys. Get your little one’s favorite for $5 each, or download all three for $12.                                                                                                      ...

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This DIY dollhouse delights (with free wallpaper designs, no less)

I have a dollhouse-obsessed five year old…and I’m not complaining a bit. I love the fun creative play and imagination it inspires. (Currently, the little girl who resides in the dollhouse is named “Frodo.”) If you’re more interested in the idea of play than the idea of packing it full of expensive collectible furniture, this dollhouse kit might be for you–including some amazing free downloads (yes, free!) to help make it your own. The birch plywood dollhouse at Ferm Living is right up my alley–simple and unadorned. Plus for those of you with space issues, you can mount it...

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Shake, rattle, and drool: handcrafted heirloom baby rattles

Let me rattle off a few words for you to chew on: heirloom, handmade, safe, affordable. Also: pretty. These Heirloom Baby Rattles from Windfall Boutique on Etsy are everything you could possibly want in a baby toy–but at half the price you might expect to pay for something so classic, sturdy and beautiful. At only $16.50, each rattle is handmade of domestic cherry, walnut, and maple, laminated with food-safe glue, filled with jasmine rice, and finished with food-grade mineral oil. That means you get a toy that’s attractive, unique, and hard to break. It also requires no batteries, has no...

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Eco-sweet and plastic-free: we’re in dollhouse heaven

When I survey my children’s toys, I have two thoughts: 1. I should have purchased stock in Duracell. 2. How can one household amass so much plastic? So I was thrilled to come across a world of handmade toys, interactive ideas, and three oh-so-beautiful words: “no plastic parts.” If you’re seriously nostalgic for simpler toys like I am, you’re going to adore the online toy store Once Upon a Treehouse. Once Upon a Treehouse is the charming brainchild of two mamas, Lori and Tara, who are sisters. The background story of their business is as sweet as their creations....

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DIY Crafts meets toys meets awesome

One of my son’s favorite activities is creating DIY roads and parking garages for his collection of Matchbox cars. So when I saw this super easy tutorial, I thought it would be a cool way to take his imaginative play to the next level. These DIY chalkboard city blocks from hellobee are brilliant, imaginative fun. Requiring only a few supplies (and crafty genes are NOT on the list of must-haves), you and your favorite car-lover can whip up an entire neighborhood in a couple of minutes. Vroom-vroom!   All you’ll need is chalkboard paint, sandpaper, and a bunch of old blocks...

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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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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

From retro to oh-so-new, we’ve got the tech for you. Here are a few of our favorite picks from the last week, just in case you missed them. 1.Even little babies can get in on Instagram, thanks to this adorable handmade toy. 2. Store your kids’ artwork using your smart phone! Just hurry and snatch up these awesome apps while they’re still free. 3. Our readers are going nuts for this smart tech-fabulous notebook developed by Moleskine and Evernote together. Trust us, you’ll want this. 4. Check out the stylish, tech-savvy laptop bag that goes with everything– and we...

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Just what the future doctor ordered

There’s something that seems to be universally fascinating to kiddos, generation after generation, about playing doctor – and by that, I mean the kind with stethoscopes and tongue depressors and a plethora of toilet paper “bandages.” My childhood doctor kit was molded plastic and lasted one weekend. What I would have given for one of these. The gorgeous Wooden Play Doctor Set by Australia’s Miss Yesterday is made of different renewable timbers and includes a stethoscope, syringe, thermometer, tube of antiseptic lotion, and two “blister packs” of pills. It’s finished in a rich, eco-friendly clear oil, and it’s suitable...

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If they had a hammer. . .

When my kids were little, they had a bunch of plastic “tools” that they could use around the house. But once they outgrew these toys and actually wanted to “saw” something, I was at a loss since our real tools were just too big and dangerous. But here, at last is a compact tool kit out of France that’s sized perfectly for their little hands. Moulin Roty’s Wooden Tool Box is such a nice gift for the young aspiring carpenter. With a child-size hammer, two screwdrivers, and a mini saw, this beautifully constructed and packaged kit is a great...

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Tetris, now in 3D. Also, no screen.

For those of you like me who spent far too many hours playing Tetris on your Gameboy (RIP), you’ll know instantly why I thought these blocks for kids were a fantastic idea. The Tetris Blocks by Kubix come with 50 colorful, geometric blocks that kids can lie flat and interlock, or just use them as they would regular blocks and let their imaginations go. They could even create games out of them, as you see how high you can stack them, or how many you can fit together of a single color or shape. Tetris blocks would make a...

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Steampunk building blocks for the junior mad scientist

Finding that Higgs Boson particle is pretty cool, I guess. But maybe it’s time to go back to the roots of invention and adventure that make America so great. Namely, dirigibles, freeze rays, lasers, and zombies. all of which come to life in this most wonderful set of handmade blocks. The Young Mad Scientist’s First Alphabet Blocks by husband and wife team Xylocopa Design on Etsy are probably my very favorite wooden blocks ever. They had me at T is for Tentacle and kept me at I is for Invention, and this Invention is half axolotl and half tractor. I’m...

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Play with blocks, learn Korean. It’s child’s play!

We admit it: we’re blockheads. We love blocks. Old fashioned blocks. Presidential blocks. Chemistry blocks. Alternative blocks. So when we find beautiful blocks that look like a designer’s dream and can teach over 100 words in Korean? Our happiness isn’t just squared– it’s cubed. Korable Blocks are really kind of brilliant. Designed by a Korean dad in New York and handmade in Michigan by one of our favorite little companies, Father Goose, each set includes four beautiful, handprinted wooden blocks that can be combined to make over 120 Korean words. The enclosed booklet shows you how. So not only...

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And for its next trick, PlanToys will turn sawdust into toys

Long before it was considered the “right thing to do”, one of our favorite toy companies, PlanToys was making imaginative, eco-friendly toys in cool, modern shapes and bright colors. While they’ve pushed the standards in environmentally friendly business practices over the past 30+ years, we are so impressed by their latest innovation. With over two tons of rubberwood sawdust generated daily, PlanToys has come up with a brilliant solution to what has always been just “waste.” They take the sawdust and squish it together under such great pressure that it creates a solid material which only needs a wee...

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Wooden pull toys – Remember those?

7Long ago, before everything had a battery, lights, and played annoying music of some kind, kids actually had to power their own toys. And as much as I have an appreciation for power toys in my arsenal of parenting tricks, I just love a simple wooden toy with a string. The vintage pink elephant wooden pull toy at New Arrivals Inc. would make such a lovely baby shower or new baby gift. Until the little one’s old enough to play with it, I’d pop it on a shelf as a decoration. Then if your kids are anything like mine,...

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Earth Day Pick – Eco friendly wooden toys

On Earth Day or any day, I love the feeling a wooden toy creates; fresh, clean and perfect for a creative little mind. It’s no secret we are fans of Little Sapling’s all-natural wood toys. Now the husband and wife team, Nick and Kimber, have done it again with this charming little piece just added to their collection. The wooden toy camera makes it pretty obvious why the Christensens have the top selling toy shop on Etsy. (Not that we don’t have other favorites, of course.) It’s an excellent, original gift idea for the kid who has everything or for your...

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