Browsing Tag

gifts for kids

EDUCATION

A one-of-a-kind bedtime book for kids who like space

Each time my son sees his book, he says with a proud and happy face: “This is the book that my mom made for me”.  There is nothing more joyful to hear for a parent (or a grand-parent).

When the PR team of the London-based start-up Lost my Name approached me to review one of their books, their second title The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home instantly grabbed my attention. I knew that this lost in space story would speak to my 5-year-old son. What I didn’t know is how advanced was the way they personalize this space odyssey. Continue Reading

BABY products FAMILY

Holiday Gift Guide: What to Give to a Two-Year-Old

holiday gift guide for toddlers

This guide is made of things that my 20-month-old son already has and plays with everyday. These educational toys are sure bet for little boys and girls.

Ok, the first item is not a toy but this Woodours melamine cup was too adorable for not include it on my guide. The Woodours collection (literally “Wood-Bear”) tells the story of a Papa and Baby Bear. Papa is strong as an oak tree, but a gentle soul. Woodours combines the best of teddy-bear cuddliness with a modern flair. I not only like the design but also the story between it. I bought his Woodours cup by Ebulobo at Faon on Saint-Denis Street.

Look for the 2+ years old version of Play-Doh. Initially, I bought him a My First Crayola Super Soft Dough Shape and Create Kit that includes 8 animal shape cutters, 3 cutting tools and a dough extruder pump. The accessories are awesome but the Crayola dough dries too quickly. The Play-Doh dough is definitely easier to manipulate. Playing with dough has become one of his favorite games. He likes to play with us or by himself.

The Puzzle Duo collection by Djeco is awesome. Each box of these two-piece puzzles are designed around a theme. They teach toddlers vocabulary and notions as they develop their fine dexterity. Zack has À table!, which is no longer available. I plan to by him the Habitat set. For 3 years old, Djeco makes Puzzle Trio. Zack has also have one. Right now, he plays more with the Duo. The puzzle comes in a nice box. My son have fun emptying and putting the pieces back in the box. Available at Renaud-Bray. I bought mine at Educa-jeux at Place Ville-Marie.

My son has several packs of First Builders by Mega Bloks. Having a kit with wheels open new creations for him. The more he plays with them, the more unique and complex his structures become. Personally, I prefer the Mega Bloks to the Lego DUPLO. Both have the same educational and fun values.

We bought him a B. Meowsic Keyboard a month ago. Zack likes to sing in the microphone that amplifies his voice and makes music with the keyboard. We bought ours at PinkiBlue in Montreal.

Lastly, I must mention again his Hippo Zoo backpack. I bought it when he started daycare. The backpack plays an important part of his daily routine. He carries it with him on our way in or out of daycare. When I forgot to put it next to the car seat, I am quickly reminded that he wants to be able to touch his backpack. I prefer that he carries outside the home a backpack than his cuddly night buddy.

You probably noticed that some items are from French companies. I have no problems finding them in Montreal. I am not sure how widely available they would be in your area. Some products might be available at Amazon. Still, I shared them because of their aesthetics. You might look for similar items that are easier to buy in your area. Happy holiday shopping!

 

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Alphabet Animals, Farm to Table and Farm Buddies Kidz Box and Placemats

modern-twist farm buddies :: alphabet animals and farm to table placemats

modern-twist farm buddies :: alphabet animals and farm to table placemats

I am counting the months until my son could use those. I have been a fan of the Kidz Box since they were launched by Modern-Twist. They added new drawings that are better than ever for a young child. Alphabet Animals or Farm Buddies could be his first ones since he is familiar with the topics.

Overall, it is Farm to Table that won my heart because it teaches kids where their food comes from. You can either buy the placemats separately or a gift box that includes a set of markers. Grow your collection with time by simply buying more doodle-friendly Kidz placemats. Their  selection provides various styles to suit the kid’s taste, gender and age.

kidz placemats

Artistic, Practical and Eco-Friendly

You will not run out of paper when you eat at restaurant or visit a friend if you carry a couple with you. When the kid has finished colouring, take a picture of their art with your phone before you clean it with a wipe, a damp cloth or rinse. Kids can color the Kidz placemats as often as they want. As a parents, you feel good knowing that you save paper.

SOURCING:
+ Kidz Gift/Storage Box: Farm to Table + 6 Markers $26 USD at Modern-Twist
+ Kidz Placemats $14-$19 USD at Modern-Twist

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Vintage-Inspired MP3 Player for Kids

vintage mp3 player kids music

Most kids don’t have any difficulty finding their way around tech devices, yet we probably wouldn’t let them out of sight with our phones or tablets.

Handcrafted from non-toxic wood and materials in Germany, this modern music box – hörbert – has all the functionality of an MP3 player combined with the charm of a vintage toy, yet it’s tough enough to withstand life with kids.

vintage mp3 player kids music

Since small children can’t read, 9 buttons on the front encourage them to explore different sounds and content via color. Old school switch and volume controls are easy for small fingers to grasp.

A secure back panel houses a 2 GB memory card, batteries and any necessary wiring – no cords or cables for little hands to disconnect, or little mouths to chew on.

vintage mp3 player kids music buttons

hörbert can also be personalized for gift giving with custom wood engraving on the front, and is a lovely way to promote some music appreciation among the little ones in your life.

SOURCING:
+ hörbert MP3 Player, € 239.00

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

New Kidz Box Designed by Dwell Studio

dwell studio kidz box with little girl coloring a placemat by modern twist

dwell studio kidz box with little girl coloring a placemat by modern twist

I already introduced the awesome Kidz Box by Modern-twist last summer. They collaborated with Dwell Studio to bring three more illustrations to their collection. These ones are more tailored for the little ones. I want to get the Garden Bird for my niece because she loves pink.

dwell studio kidz box for modern-twist

The Animal Blocks will be good for a toddler. While the Car Transportation will occupy boys and girls at the restaurant. You can even bring a couple of Hot Wheels cars to drive on the road. I had a huge collection of Hot Wheels as a kid. I passed many hours designing roads and towns on the sand just to be able to drive my cars around my creation.

If you buy the new DwellStudio Kidz Box, know that Modern-twist is running a contest right now. Upload a photo of the finished masterpiece to the Modern-twist Facebook Fan Page wall before January 31st, 2011. By participating, you’ll be entered to win a $150 credit on Modern-twist.com.

SOURCING:
+  Modern-twist Kidz Gift/Storage Box: DwellStudio $30 USD

BABY products FAMILY

Baby Shower Gift Ideas – Part 4: Keepsake Gifts

Keepsakes as Baby Shower Gifts

Keepsakes as Baby Shower Gifts

I conclude this series on baby shower gift ideas with items that you will cherish for a long time.

Elegant Baby Coin Banks

If you wish to contribute to the baby’s future with a monetary gift, a piggy bank is a unique, tangible presentation idea that will be cherished in the years to come. These contemporary coin banks from Elegant Baby are available in a ceramic elephant, bear, giraffe and turtle.

Mozartkugel Music Box

A music box is a calming addition to a nursery for sleepless nights. This elegant version mixes contemporary design with classical music. Available in a dark oak or light beech finish, the ball plays music from Mozart with one turn of the key.

Petit Souris Bonnet

This bonnet has enough vintage charm for generations of hand-me-downs. Made by Canadian designer Patouche, it’s sewn from grey wool and lined with soft flannel to keep baby’s ears warm.

For more ideas, take a look at my suggestions for baby basics (part 1), decorative accessories (part 2) and what to give to a stylish dad (part 3).

SOURCING:
+ Coin Banks from Elegant Baby $26 each
+ Music Box from Mozartkugel $160 AUD
+ Baby bonnet from Patouche $36

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Holiday Gift Guide: Children

christmas gift ideas for kids :: stacking blocks :: crayons :: felt crown

christmas gift ideas for kids :: stacking blocks :: crayons :: felt crown

With 10 children on my Christmas shopping list, I’ve been scouring the Web looking for unique gifts that won’t get tossed aside the instant they’re opened. Here are ten finds that have me re-thinking my own wish list.

Maple and Walnut Stacking Set

Stacking toys are perfect for infants and toddlers, and this well-designed set from Little Saplings Toys won’t look out of place in your decor. What’s more, for every toy sold, Little Saplings plants a tree through Trees for the Future.

Kitty Egg Crayons

Crayons are a classic Christmas gift, whether tucked in a stocking or as a gift topper. These non-toxic Kitty Egg Crayons are ideal for small toddler hands. Handmade to be long-lasting and durable, these non-toxic crayons are free of paper wrappers for non-stop creativity. Choose from 20 shades to create a customized pack of 6.

Wool Felt Crown

Perfect for pretending, little princesses will love these soft and sweet felt crowns. Check out the options for little princes too.

Wooden Fruits & Vegetables Deli Tray Set

Discoveroo Wooden Fruits & Vegetables Deli Tray Set

Budding foodies can hone their kitchen skills with this 12-piece deli set painted with non-toxic water-based paints. Kids can chop and slice the fruits and vegetables; velcro tabs put them back together.

Animal Softies:: wooden pram :: Rhinocerous

Bookhou Animal Softies

Known for their beautiful handprinted textiles, Bookhou’s sweet animal softies feature original drawings of animals in vibrant colors.

Wooden Pram

Handcrafted from alderwood and cotton-linen fabric, this charming wooden pram features a carved moon and cloud on the side and is sure to become a treasured family heirloom. For ages 3 and up.

Bubynoa-Best Friend – Rhinoceros

Made from upcycled vintage wool and felt, this Rhinocerous is just one option in a menagerie of animal choices. Toys can also be embroidered with a child’s name for a personalized touch.

Stacking Construction Vehicles :: sophie and lili fabric dolls

Stacking Construction Vehicles

Melissa and Doug toys are my go-to for the little ones in my life. The wooden toys in particular have a vintage feel, but are also educational and interactive. A few little boys on my list will be receiving these stacking construction vehicles.

Sophie and Lili Dolls

Colourful, customizable and washable Sophie and Lili dolls are made to order, so you can choose each doll’s hair colour, fabrics and specify their name when ordering.

Sirch Olga Rocking Horse

Sirch Olga Rocking Horse

Design-purist parents and their little ones will adore this gorgeous ergonomic rocking horse with a comfortable red saddle. For 2 to 5 years old.

SOURCING:
+ Maple and Walnut Stacking Set from Little Saplings Toys $30 USD
+ Kitty Egg Crayons from Kitty Baby Love $18 USD
+ Wool Felt Crown from Dream Child Studio $18 USD
+ Discoveroo Wooden Fruits & Vegetables Deli Tray Set $29.95
+ Animal Softies from Bookhou $20
+ Rhinoceros from bubynoa $100 USD
+ Wooden Pram from Dreward $299 AUD
+ Stacking Construction Vehicles from Melissa and Doug $19.99
+ Selma doll from Sophie and Lili $25 USD
+ Sirch Olga Rocking House 132 €