Tag: wooden toys

Forget the Kentucky Derby. This horse wins our hearts.

As a Southern transplant, I couldn’t let the annual running of the Kentucky Derby go by without at least a little hat tip (ha, get it?). But since I’m pretty sure I won’t have a need for a gigantic hat anytime soon, I figured a cute little horse for my little jockeys was much more up my alley. This gorgeous rocking horse by Playsam is sleek and sophisticated, and built to last through lots of different riders. Made from wood and paints from Germany, it’s a fantastic modern update to the more traditional rocking toy that all kids seem...

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Cool Canadian craft and design for our “collectif” consciousness

If you’re lucky enough to live in Montreal, then April 30 is going to be one really amazing day of shopping. The mama-run Collectif nënë is launching their first annual baby show and you will want to be there. Of course, most of us aren’t Montreal mamas, but that’s what online shopping is for. I started browsing their websites to write this post and, well, let’s just say I’m amazed. These artists have some of the most original and incredible creations and I kind of want one of everything. From the endearing stuffed animals and creatures by Raplapla (above)...

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GoodWood Blocks are, well, good wood

We’ve got no shortage of toys in our house, but of all the ones my kids consistently play with, their simple set of building blocks win over anything else they own every single time. So when I saw the GoodWood Deconstructive Blocks, I knew my kids would flip. Because I did. These super cool blocks are ethically made in China from forest-friendly rubber wood, and painted in beautiful bright colors using water-based acrylic paint. The sets feature cool shapes that allow kids to get super creative with their structures, which is a nice change from the typical squares, rectangles,...

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A baby rattle keepsake in shining…wood

When you think of a baby rattle as a keepsake gift, silver is probably the first material that pops to mind. But I’ve just found a wooden one that’s so gorgeous, it’s giving silver a run for its money. The Timbur Baby Rattle combines traditional woodworking skills with computer design to create a stunning piece of design. The flowing lines of the all-natural wood come to life with a high-polished surface, and the natural shell beads inside turn it from mere clutch toy to baby-pleasing rattle. And the natural oils and wax used in the finishing means no need...

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Easter basket gifts without the Easter basket sugar

Ever since my daughter declared Easter was her favorite holiday, I’ve paid a little extra attention to the gifts I put in her Easter basket. After all, I’m sure the Easter Bunny thinks she’s pretty great. While Easter is still a few weeks away, I’ve pulled together some of the coolest Easter basket gifts I’ve seen recently for those of you who already have the jelly beans and chocolate bunnies covered. Clothes like the organic Bunny Onesie from Collette kids (above left) or the organic bunny onesie from AnnieWear (above right) are so cute, they don’t need to hide...

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Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk this dinosaur

Boom, boom, acka-lacka-lacka boom, baby. We’re proud to show you the results of humanity’s first attempt to literally Walk the Dinosaur. Bonus: This king of the terrible lizards has some sweet dance moves. The Tyrannosaurus Rex Push Toy from Arks and Animals on Etsy is one of the most unusual (and unusually cool) wooden toys we’ve found, which is saying a lot. Measuring in at just under a foot tall, this handsome dino is hand-made by an internationally known woodworker from trees on his own 50-acre family farm in New York, then finished with safe, natural dyes. When you...

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Lift a leaf and learn about a tree

I have a soft spot for good quality wooden toys. I like them so much I find myself decorating my daughter’s room with them, and these handmade, wood puzzles from Just Hatched are no exception. They’re much too pretty to keep in a drawer with a variety of lovely colors and themes like leaves, moon phases, hearts (for Valentine’s Day), simple shapes and more. The Wooden Leaf Puzzle won Etsy’s Earth Day Voter category and it’s also my favorite. Lift each leaf and see the name of the tree the leaf comes from. With the Moon Phases Puzzle, kids...

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Paper dolls meet building blocks

My go-to standard baby shower gift was, for a long time, either a baby bathtub, or infant footie sleepers. Useful, and admittedly a little uninspired. These days, I want to give something unusual, beautiful and creative: both moms and babies deserve them. My latest find? Blocks for more than building. Another offering from one our fave shops, Magpie Lovely, these chunky 2″ Paper Doll Blocks feature sweet vintage illustrations and are priced at $20 for the set of three. They’re hand-sanded and sepia-inked to achieve an heirloomy look and feel, but they’re safe and eco-friendly, with untreated wood and...

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Welcome to the big time, Little Alouette.

We just love it when one of our favorite little mom-run brands makes it big. Not only because that means that quality construction and design reap the rewards they deserve, but because even more people will get to discover a great new star. It’s the same way I felt when my high school best friend showed up on a commercial for The Chapelle Show. That’s why we’re so excited that CMP perpetual crush, Little Alouette, is now available from Seventy Seven. Maybe you’re familiar with Little Seventy Seven— the online portal for American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie which hawks...

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An heirloom-worthy stacking toy

I’m one step closer to becoming a treehugger. My new toy crush is made with organic maple, cherry and walnut wood and tackles balance, problem solving, pattern recognition and fine motor skills. Oh, and it’s for babies. The Brainbow Stacking Nesting Arches (Brainbow! Love that name!) from Little Sapling Toys is the antidote to those brightly colored plastic stacking toys found at every big box toy store. It’s the toy I can imagine safely storing away after my son grows out of it to save for his kids. I love the handcrafted look and feel of it; each piece...

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Home sweet doll home

I have this fantasy every Christmas of convincing my extended family to go together on one big gift for my children. You know, instead of everyone doing their own thing and my kids ending up with a playroom full of blinky-light, noise-making, play-with-once-then-ignore toys. (And trust me, I know that karma will kick me in the butt when I’m a grandmother and wanting to choose my own gifts for my precious littles. Oh, I know.) But do you want to know what I’m working on for this year? Only the most glorious wooden dollhouse in the entire world. It’s...

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Teething rocks

Ok so maybe teething doesn’t really rock. In fact, it can be pretty painful for all parties involved. I recall more than my share of sleepless nights when my son’s teeth were coming in. Not fun. But maybe the teethers can be? I only wish I had known about this solid organic wood guitar teether from perennial CMP favorite, Little Alouette. The Gibson-shaped teether is made from locally-sourced Ohio hardwoods. The finish is as smooth as your baby’s bottom and you can feel safe knowing that any treatment on the wood is only certified organic flaxseed oil. I am...

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I hereby pledge to get crafty and go shopping!

Every month, each of the CMP contributors pick our favorite pick of the month and write a quick blurb on it for our monthly newsletter. Out of dozens of amazing posts in September, four of us nearly had a cage match over who got to squeal about Cubebot, the handmade wooden robot from Japan. Clearly, we all have a thing for handmade toys here. In honor of American Craft Week this week, our friends at the Handmade Toy Alliance are rallying moms like you and me to take the Handmade Pledge and promise to buy at least one handmade...

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Adorable families, custom made to look just like yours

The list of things my 3-year-old daughter doesn’t love is a lot shorter than the list of things she does. But if there’s one thing she digs more than anything else right now, it’s dolls. Specifically, dolls to whom she can assign the personalities of her family members. (We’ve lost count how many times her stuffed pig has been directed to act like Daddy.) So these Star House Custom Wooden Families–which are specially made to look just like us!–are about as perfect as the world can get. Like Star House’s Wooden Easter Egg Set, these wooden figures are exquisitely handmade. But each...

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Transforming the typical robot toy

Though I have a six-year-old son, I have somehow avoided those plastic transforming toys that are supposed to go from a car or a truck to a robot, though I can never get them to look like either one. But avoid a block of wood that transforms into a smiling robot that looks like he’s about to bust a move? No way: This one is just too cool. Created by amazing designer David Weeks, the Cubebot Wooden Robot Toy is a twist on the very-neat Japanese wood craft known as Kumiki. And unlike the typical battery-hogging, noise-producing, plasticky robot toy, the Cubebot is crafted of...

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The Taj Mahal of kids’ playhouses

I’m not gonna beat around the bush: Modern Playhouse makes a seriously cool modern playhouse. We’re talking the Taj Mahal of fourteen-square-foot living, folks. No more faded plastic hot dog stands or cardboard that crumples when your unruly toddler learns to stage dive. It’s really a very very very fine house. With a very very very steep price tag. Both the Wedge House and the Circle House are made in San Francisco and FSC certified, which means non-toxic, non-formaldehyde, naturally pigmented, and eco-friendly wood. The smart design is easy for two sober people to assemble and has been rigorously...

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Puzzles with multiple soutions

My kids are all puzzle fans, as evidenced by the thousands of cardboard and wooden pieces strewn about my floor at any given time of the day. But we’ve yet to see anything like the new multiple solution shape puzzles from one of our fave kid’s gear and furniture designers P’Kolino. These adorable wooden puzzles feature simple, bright pieces that can be used to complete the puzzle in a variety of different ways. So, instead of your kiddos mastering the puzzle on a few tries and then moving on to something else, they can spend minutes–hey, maybe even hours–creating...

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Fred’s XYZ Blocks FTW!

CMP loves to turn ABC into ROFL, and we are totally digging on these XYZ Blocks by Fred & Friends. They stack, tumble, and teach letters just as well as more traditional blocks, but they’re beautiful, unusual, and entertaining, too. E is for Earthworm, Q is for Quicksand, U is for Uvula, A is for Afro, and L is for Lawn Mower. All things being EQUAL, I’m going with Fred. The gorgeous, retro-style illustrations are by artist Christian Northeast, and the sixteen beautifully crafted wooden blocks come packaged in a handy wood box with a recyclable clear plastic top....

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Go fish

Maybe toddlers shouldn’t fish.  I remember thinking this as I watched my 3-year-old niece clutch a big fishing pole while my husband tried to keep her from falling into the deep dark water or skewer him with the sharp fishing hook that was waving wildly in the air.  I think next time we’ll amuse her with something a little more toddler-friendly that will still let her reel in her own catch.   Soopsori’s Ecowooden Play Fishing Set should keep her happily occupied while the big kids try to catch something that isn’t a weed. Plus, she can pick up...

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Happy Fourth of July cool moms!

Whether you stay up late enough for fireworks this year or you’re lying in bed in the dark, fingers crossed that the loud noise does not wake the baby (PLEASE GOD DO NOT WAKE THE BABY), all of us at Cool Mom Picks wish you a  Happy Fourth. May the drinks be cold, the marshmallows be perfectly grilled, and the kids let you almost feel relaxed. And to all of our non-U.S. readers, Happy regular old Sunday. The very cool American flag image is made using Uncle Goose’s President blocks which you will find at our affiliate...

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