With all the bells and whistles – literally – that are the hallmark of modern toys, I’m always happy to find those that put a new spin on an old classic without the use of batteries–or the need for a bottle of ibuprofen for mommy.
Artist Gaia Cornwall, founder of Magnetic Kids, has reinvented the paper doll. With hand-drawn figures, clothing and pets in a variety of colors and styles on sturdy magnetic paper, kids can start playing right away instead of spending the afternoon cutting out the clothes. (And accidentally, those stupid little fold-over tabs.) Also don’t miss the "make your own" section, where kids can pick out the one that looks most like them, then customize with clothing and a pet of choice. Not only will Magnetic Kids keep your own kids occupied, but by donating a portion of her proceeds to children’s charities, Gaia’s helping to keep other kids playing happily too.

Art, charity, and good clean fun? I’m sold. –Julie


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