Sunday, July 13, 2008

Crazy Cool Creative Toys

Just because I'm a mean mom and don't buy my girls anything new doesn't mean that I don't totally covet really cool kids' toys. I like the girls to have non-media-oriented, non-electronic toys that are ethically produced, made with renewable resources and without harmful chemicals, and are sturdy and inspire creativity and a variety of appropriate uses at a variety of developmental levels. That's not much to ask, right? No wonder I make a lot of the girls' stuff out of cardboard and felted wool, but if I could, I'd buy...Look at this awesome baby. It's apparently called Totem, from Hip from Holland. It's a building toy made from laminated recycled cardboard printed with these cool graphic design-y images, and you put them together with the slots in the sides to make stuff.

I think these dyed wooden arches are another interesting take on the construction toy. It's cool to add dimension to the typical stack-a-block form of construction play.
How minimalist is this scooter?
Name an art supply, and I'm pretty much its biggest fan, but these beeswax crayons sound especially awesome:

They're supposed to have a lot of pigment for their consistency, which means extra-brilliant colors. The girls love to experiment with drawing on colored construction paper--you know, light blue on blue or whatever, so it would be nice to not often have to squint to admire their work.

The girls haven't really done dollhouses yet--they used to have a medieval castle they'd play with sometimes, although they didn't have any teeny people to populate it (how did I not notice that and therefore put the craft wagon into gear?), and they have an old-school garage sale Fisher Price garage that they often use with my childhood Hot Wheels collection, rescued from the family attic one winter--and I'll probably end up making them one out of a cardboard box and some dolls out of felt, but wouldn't this upscale treehouse residence be cool?
I like how it doesn't have rooms, per se, but you can manipulate all the materials to make it however you want.

These metal letters are part of some crazy complicated children's early literacy program (I'm suspicious in that the children's T-shirts this program also sells are touted as an "important reinforcement in the program," but whatever), but don't they totally look fun, too? Willow's way into stringing letters together and having me "read" them, and Sydney's a stacker and sorter and arranger, so they'd both think these were pretty cool.
Know more cool toys? Share!

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