Tag: wooden toys

Wooden toys they way they used to make them. And still do!

Just before Christmas, I was at a craft show and bought the sweetest set of wooden play money (yes, wooden bills!) for my kids. Then, I promptly lost the business card for the creators. As luck would have it, last week a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to their Etsy shop and I have been lost in a sea of beautiful wooden items ever since. The people at The Woodlot really do work magic with their designs. I am smitten with their gorgeous wooden jewelry, their adorable wooden toys, and their lovely wooden alphabet sets. Seriously, this shop...

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Gift for nine-month-old boy who has everything? Reader Q&A

Any fab gift ideas for 9 month old boy who has everything? – Alysia, via Twitter If you’re about to visit a little one who has “everything” (a slightly daunting proposition when he’s not even a year old!) I like giving toys that can be both a plaything and something lovely to display on a dresser, bookshelf or chair. Especially ones that are handmade. This way, it’s got a more keepsake feel to it, and it’s not just another plastic thing to toss into the toy bin (or step on at night). –Christina Unless his name is Mahershalalhashbaz”, the...

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Five adorable Easter basket ideas for last-minute ordering

I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to Easter basket ideas, always shopping for my kids’ gifts a few days before the holiday and wishing I had planned ahead for once. But, this year, I’ve found a few special picks that you’ll need to buy now if you want to have them in those baskets by Easter morning. Related: 19 truly special Easter basket ideas that don’t include candy To start, you’ll want to make sure you have a basket, and I love Good Wishes Quilts natural cotton baskets that are just the right size for a few small...

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Pirates vs Ninjas, the final showdown

Ready to put an end to the old question about how one man can defeat 10 ninjas? Well if he’s a pirate in the hands of a very good checker player, it’s not only possible, it’s likely. The pirates vs ninjas checkerboard from Brooklyn artist Anna Donado of Goosegrease, is amazing both in concept and in execution. It’s all handmade and handpainted using non-toxic materials. (She specializes in cake toppers, so one would presume that she knows a little something about non-toxic paints.) Of course 34 handmade characters, the checkerboard, and a little muslin bag for storage doesn’t come...

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Hail to the chiefs

Today is a great day to spend a few moments talking to the kids about our U.S. presidents and their important contributions to society. But with these cool presidential blocks, you can have that conversation all the way to Election Day and beyond. Amazingly detailed, colorfully patriotic, and even educational, Uncle Goose’s fine Presidential Blocks are a great edu-toy and keepsake for kids way too young to vote. The 45 blocks include all 44 U.S. presidents, with one block holding the “Oath of Office”, so your future politico can get started memorizing that early. Older kids can test their...

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Editors Best of 2011: The coolest toys for our kids

Enjoy these, our Editor’s top picks of 2011 for toys for babies, tots, and big kids too–all of which we think will keep kids happy for more than a few minutes. That’s pretty rare these days. And not a battery compartment in sight! Little Sapling personalized alphabet blocks Liz: I think this is just about one of the best baby gifts or shower gifts ever (at top)–they’re handmade, personalized, and they’ll actually be played with. After which, you’ve got a lovely heirloom. You can’t say that about tickle-me-anything. Breastmilk Baby Doll Liz + Kristen: We have to give a shout-out...

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Simple wooden toys that your kids will simply adore

I never mean to, but I occasionally have a weird mind slip and underestimate the power of simplicity. When a package arrived in the mail from Gween, bearing six pieces of pretty, shiny wood meant to put together into a windmill shape, I wasn’t sure my kids would like it. But you know what? They loved it. But the experts at Gween knew that they would. The cool windmill (officially named “Gusto”) is one of five models of stackable toys that can be put together in different ways–which works on kids’ motor skills, piques their problem-solving interests, and (if...

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4 modern nativity sets, not one of which lights up

Though my religious affiliation can best be summed up with a long puzzled silence, there are certain things from my youth that I carry with me to this day, like praying when the plane jets down the runway, and setting up the nativity scene before Christmas. Our nativity set is a bit battered though, so I’ve been on the lookout for something a bit more contemporary to add to our decor this holiday season. Here, a few beautiful (and sometimes pretty funky) sets that may fit into your holiday as well. –Christina As a long time fan of the...

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Up where the air is clear

My kids fell in love with Anamalz right away. Not so much because they were made out of eco-friendly, organic wood and textiles by a super cool Australian company. But because of all the reasons kids like toys–they’re cute. And they’re awesome. They’re bendy and they stay upright. And they inspire imagination. Want a sheep to roar like a lion? Want a dinosaur to sing all the words to Twinkle Twinkle? Done. Try doing that with some AAA-battery devouring toy. So now I’m happy to find that there’s a whole new playhouse made just for our Anamalz. Not that...

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Tegu blocks go mobile. i.e. They like to move it, move it.

When we find something as smart and cool as the magnetic blocks by Tegu, we keep an eye out for whatever they come up with next, because we know it’s going to knock our socks off. This time, they’re knocking our blocks off by adding— drumroll– wheels! [don’t miss a chance to win your own set after the jump!] We, like pretty much every parent out there, fell for the fun, eco-friendly, magnetic blocks the first time we saw them. But now that they’ve added the new Tegu Mobility line, building takes on a whole new dimension. You can...

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Blocks with substance

Here at CMP, we’re total blockheads. We’ve brought you classic blocks, magnetic blocks, and amusingly subversive blocks. But this is the first time we’re taking it old school, all the way back to the periodic table. Yes, friends, you’re not just building towers.  These are the very building blocks of matter. Whether you’ve got a chemistry teacher friend with a Bunsen burner in the oven or your cousin the chemical engineer has a new miniature assistant, these Periodic Table Building Blocks are the perfect shower or holiday gift. As Sherlock would say, it’s elementary. And as Beaker would say, MEEP!...

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Cool race cars and trains – hold the plastic

My son’s car obsession knows no limits, which is why we’ve got tubs and tubs full of plastic race cars and trains packing our playroom shelves. But the play life of those tiny cars seem to be pretty short, which is not at all what I can say about this new toy set from HABA that’s kept his interest (and my girls’ too) for weeks now. Meet Discover Techniks, a cool building set that allows kids to create their own moving vehicles from wooden blocks using clamps, clutches, and wheels. My near 5-year-old son and even my 3-year-old figured...

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We’re wishing for Wishbone. The bike, not the salad dressing.

My oldest daughter, now 7, learned how to ride a bike in a matter of minutes thanks to a few months spent on a balance bike beforehand. However, when it comes to my littler kiddos, they tend to get more frustration than fun out of riding it. Or really, falling over on it. But that all changed when I discovered this unique transitional balance bike. We welcomed the Wishbone balance bike into our home a few months ago, and my kids are still fighting over who gets to ride it. The brainchild of a pair of smart parents, the...

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Poof, you’re a leaf!

Regardless of temperature, I never believe it’s actually fall until the calendar reads October. Which…hello, October! Now that I’ve spotted this Autumn Oak Leaf Wand from one of our favorite Etsy artists, I realize I’m definitely in the spirit. It’s handcut from sustainable wood, hand-finished with non-toxic paints and natural finishes, and capable of performing as much magic as those mass-produced plastic star wands with lace tulle around them. Maybe even a little more. –Liz Find a nice selection of eco-friendly wooden Waldorf toys online at Imagination...

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She will be loved

One of the best things about having a baby is knowing how loved she is by so many people, even before drawing her first breath. Gifts that express that very sentiment just might be my favorite. Another thing I love: this organic baby gift set put together by two of our favorite small brands. Whether you’re having a boy, girl, or an “I’ll find out soon enough,” your baby will look sweet in the organic “Loved” lap tee from Barley + Birch, plus an adorable heart teether from Little Alouette. Best, it’s all for just $35. Sweet. –Liz Find...

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Personalized alphabet blocks help you spell BEST BABY GIFT EVER

We’ve long been fans of the beautiful handmade wooden baby toys from family-run Little Sapling Toys, and now there’s one more item that can make you the most awesome gift-giver ever. These personalized wooden alphabet blocks are lovingly handcrafted out of walnut, cherry and maple woods, and I think it’s about the greatest baby gift. Especially considering it’s just $12.50 for 5 blocks. (Or $31 for 13.) Even cooler–you can also personalize them with recessed Braille letters too, should you need a great gift for a visually-impaired child. The first time I had heard about personalized name blocks was...

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Toddler toys to make you go gaga too

With all the round stacking toys out there, I was starting to think that there was some unwritten rule that toddler toys can only resemble inner tubes or wooden doughnuts. But I’m relieved to tell you that is not the case, thanks to this new, and very adorable pick. The wooden sunflower stacking toy is just the right kind of developmentally challenging toy for your toddler, and refreshingly outside the box with its cool shape and versatility. The same goes for the other fabulous nature-inspired stackers found in this Etsy shop including a cloud, sun, and iceberg. Stack it...

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Eco-friendly dinos that’ll make you roar

So my daughter has just embraced the wonderful world of dinosaurs–beyond Barney. This is a huge milestone. Huge. To encourage her newfound love of the stegosaurus and the parasaurolophus and all non-purple dinosaurs, we’ve forgone plastic dino dudes in favor of something more natural–not to mention adorable. Anamalz has just introduced a line of wooden prehistoric creatures to its popular critter coterie. With super-bendy legs, tails, arms, and necks, they’re perfectly posable and totally playable. The eco-friendly factor here is high: every toy is handmade with sustainable maple (leftover wood is used to grow mushrooms on a farm) and painted...

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C is for cute

We always have our eyes on artisans we’ve featured here before so we can share with you their newest, coolest goodies. So lucky me and you for this new discovery at one of our favorite mom and dad bizzes, Little Alouette. Word lover or not, the typography teething toys might just be the most awesome new baby gift, made from locally sourced maple and finished with organic flax seed – no icky chemicals, thank you very much. And each letter is made completely by hand. We loooove their suggestion of using these as a photo prop, which would be...

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3 cool toys for the crawling set

Now that my near 7-month-old can make her way around the floor, she can reach all the little teeny toys my older kids have grown accustomed to scattering everywhere. Aside from sending them to another room to play, I’ve found three toys that actually keep her occupied better–and more safely– than the tiny LEGO blocks she’s trying to score from one of her siblings.  Make sure to bookmark them the next time you need to bring a gift to your friends not-so-new baby that you’ve been meaning to visit all year. Little Alouette Wood Stacker Toy Truth be told,...

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