My daughter came home from school the other day telling me about how her friend was given a very tiny oven, that is also "very cute" but that it can do real things like make cakes and it is for kids! I said, "Was it an Easy-bake oven?" And she looked up at me, amazed, and said, "Yes! Mama, how did you know that?!" [more inside]
My 42 year old sister is going to camp. I want to send her a care package appropriate for a kid at camp in the 1980s. [more inside]
My tabby cat, Jacqueline, has become obsessed with a nylon cord wand toy I made; please help me. [more inside]
What are some fun items I can surprise my 5.5 year old nephew with on a 6 hour plane ride? [more inside]
Hello! My baby is having a birthday party, and I noticed that most kid birthday parties include goody bag giveaways filled with all kinds of crap. I don't really want to gather a bunch of cheap things, and instead would like to give one nice gift for kids to take home. Any suggestions? [more inside]
My son turns 4 tomorrow. His fine motor skills are behind the curve (but within the range of normal). He loves Rube-Goldberg devices, Making Things That Do Things and sandbox worlds. His favorite toy is gravity. Please recommend me. [more inside]
I have a large dog who's a powerful chewer. She's not interested in plastic/rubber bones or other toys. What can I get her that will maximize time chewing for the lowest cost, without choking/digestion issues? [more inside]
My lovely cat is now an only cat. What toys does she want to keep her amused during the day when I'm at work? [more inside]
We are moving across the country and will be driving for 7 days. We plan to give our son one "present" to open every morning, with the hope that he'll play with it that day and whine less. What are some things we can give him? [more inside]
I'm looking for a puppet of a duck, where the way it is constructed it is possible to move the duck's bill with your hand enough that you can pick something up. Help?! [more inside]
Our son, who's 3 (I guess closer to 3.5 if that matters, has essentially been sharing a room with us, his parents, since he was born. We live in a 2-bedroom apartment, and our second bedroom has always been a combination of office, guest bedroom, and miscellaneous storage. We have on multiple occasions in the last three years needed to use the guest room for long term visits from various family members so haven't really converted it to our son's bedroom. Now we are ready to, and I'm kind of blanking on how to make the space really great for him. I'm hoping the hivemind can come through with some interesting ideas. [more inside]
I remember seeing a blog post or article about a play laboratory or mad science set that someone made for their kid. It was a small piece of furniture with laboratory accessories and places to store them, just like a play kitchen set. It came with a lab coat and test tubes. Might have been BoingBoing, but I can't find it. Help?
My nephew (who is five months old) lives in Hong Kong. I would like to purchase Christmas gifts for him online that will be locally delivered, rather than buy presents here in the US and ship them. Can I do this? What is the best website to use?
Hi All, I would love some help with a birthday gift for my 5-year-old nephew, whose birthday is right on the heels of the holiday season! [more inside]
He loves fiddling with switches, buttons, knobs, etc. and taking things apart. He also loves throwing his toys across the room, so whatever I give him should not be so hard/heavy that it breaks windows or injures people upon impact. I've already tried Legos and Lego-like building toys with no luck. Ideas?
I'm looking for a gift for a 5YO who loves building things from diagrams. Snap Circuits were a huge hit. The obvious answer is LEGO, but 1) which LEGO set? and 2) what other building-from-instructions toys are out there? [more inside]
Two upcoming road trips for the holidays plus one young toddler who could make it all pretty miserable. Please share any tricks for keeping the little guy busy in the car. [more inside]
where in lower Manhattan or possibly Midtown today can my friend find a great store with lots of coloring books and crayons and the like? [more inside]
A favorite doll (Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, to be specific) was lost for quite some time, but newly discovered in a box out in our shed. After almost a year of being exposed to a lot of moisture, she is a moldy mess. [more inside]
Please help me find female representation in the land of traditional boys' toys. [more inside]
What's your best toy(s) recommendation for a bright 2 to 2.5 year old? [more inside]
One of my kids is visiting family who live in a remote small village. She can't bring much because the trip is by bus and boat and foot to get there, but will bring a box on my behalf to the almost-five year old daughter of someone I briefly foster parented. What can I put in a medium box that's lightweight, durable in tough rural conditions, and wonderful for a little girl to play with? [more inside]
On the Qubo channel (we like "Animal Atlas"), we saw a commercial for sets of little velcro pom-pom things that kids could stick together to build various shapes (bugs, mushrooms, rockets, etc). The schtick was that you could undo them and build something new. They were called something ridiculous of course (Squishoos? Stickums?) and my Google-fu is failing me. Ring a bell with anyone?
Is there any place that sells configurable action figure parts? Like a LEGO set of He-Man parts? [more inside]
My 18 month old nephew LOVES "real things" that are not toys. For older kids in my life, I LOVE buying them things like rock tumblers, microscopes, binoculars, swiss army knives (when they're old enough and with parental permission), digital cameras, or things to support their hobbies (like nice fins for snorkeling). We send them money from foreign countries just for fun (various small bills and lots of coins) and rocks and seashells. I've also had great luck with kids magazines and non-kid magazines (like Science, or National Geographic). I'm also rather good at getting experiences for kids and older teens - museum passes, or concert tickets, or a special fun restaurant where they sing, etc. But I've realized that I'd love to buy the younger set more "real things" because they seem to love them so much more than actual toys! This is roughly for ages 1-5. Would love some additional help of "real things" that toddlers and preschool kids like! [more inside]
I like to visit independent toy stores when I travel. I’m looking for stores that sell “natural” toys, wooden toys, Waldorf dolls, etc. Toys made in the U.S. would be great, but not necessary. Can you recommend such a toy store on the East Coast or Midwest?
Where should I look for toys that I wouldn't find in toy stores outside of such a large, diverse city? I'm also interested in watching the Venice Basketball League championship game tomorrow. What do I need to know about that? [more inside]
How do we catalog & value a large die-cast construction toy collection for eventual sale? [more inside]
We're trying to present ourselves as a super cutting edge team. Traditional fidget/thinking toys like Rubik's Cube, pipe cleaners, wooden blocks elasticated together, wooden puzzles, brain teasers, etc, are ALL OUT. They are sooo retro which is NOT what we're going for. I'm looking for CUTTING EDGE toys - gadgets and gizmos that team members can fiddle around with during a meeting or class, and make us look new and fresh.
I think they're Spanish, but I really have no idea. I'm looking to buy some online. Any information would be helpful. Thanks.
With our 6 mo daughter, we have an ever expanding universe of stuffed animals. What are some fun/interesting names that you've come up with for said animals? This is more for the amusement of weary parents than easy-to-pronounce-for-toddlers. I mean, we can do better than "bunny" and "racoonie"? My partner had an early burst of creativity with Sir Lambs-A-Lot and Harry B. Elephante, but I've got nada so far. We've got the usual coterie: owl, whale, dolphin, aforementioned racoon and rabbit, puppy, giraffe, you name it.
Husbunny has a few stuffed animals from when he was a kid, well-loved and frankly looking ratty and gross to me, but eye-of-the-beholder and all that, he intends to give them to our kids. [more inside]
I was recently awarded backpay for raises I was contractually owed, and I want to spent a portion of it on decor. I'm looking at 4 boxes of Cheerios and am slightly embarrassed -- I appear to regularly open new boxes before the unopened ones are finished. I'm thinking a cereal dispenser would help me unclutter my counterspace and reduce spoilage. Does anyone have a dispenser they really like? [more inside]
My best friend (really, my sister for all intents and purposes) just had a baby. She has a 3-year-old boy who is super, super precocious (as in, "name all the parts of your mouth" elicits responses including "hard palate" and "uvula"). He's excited about having a baby sister but I know that there will be some dislocation as he adjusts. I want to do something cool for him so that he feels special in this first period of time where things are likely pretty weird. [more inside]
I want to set up a cupboard with prepared activities and toys that the adult caregivers for my youngest can use to keep her occupied while I get work done. She has the usual books, blocks, playdoh, open-ended toys and art materials, but what she wants and needs are structured activities to do with caregivers. Has anyone else had success prepping activities and resources for their childcarers to use? I'm imagining stacks of ziplocs with craft kits/toys and instruction sheets, and a binder of suggested activities, but is there another approach that would work better? [more inside]
What are the best toys from the 80s, which can still be purchased easily? [more inside]
We (parents and 2 boys ages 4 and 16 months), recently relocated from an apartment with no outdoor space to a house with a backyard. A couple of months in, the joys of simply running in circles are finally wearing off. What outdoor toys/equipment can we get for the kids that will maximize everyone's fun? [more inside]
I'm looking for more 'toy' items for my home- pleasingly tactile, not messy, not obviously kidlike (no fluorescent plastic). Something that can be picked up, fiddled with, and is aesthetically attractive enough to display on my coffee table. [more inside]
Asking for a co-worker. She brought in a vintage toy that is a tall, tan-colored "person" with a beak-shaped face and a bulging belly. The hands are cupped as if the character used to hold something. And the body is bobbly - think of a bobble-head doll, but instead the whole body is on springs while the legs are stationary. [more inside]
Surely, somewhere in the world, there must be one. There certainly *should* be. Musical Instrument Museums abound, in many countries, and would probably be fascinating to visit. But what I really want to see (and want to see archived) is a lovingly-curated collection of TOY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. Does anyone know where in the world such a place might be?
Smallest child is being outright bribed into potty training, and the ultimate prize she now wants is a Furby. She has been asking for a robot of her own for a while and if it gets her out of diapers, we're thrilled. The online reviews are all super positive but don't cover my main questions, especially is there an alternative animatronic doll under $100 for a child? [more inside]
Looking to start a small side business of jigsaw puzzles in themes like oriental art, miniature art etc. Need some advice on specs and navigating the Ali Baba process [more inside]
For Christmas this year, my 7-month-old daughter received a few electronic toys that beep or bloop, light up, and move. A couple purport to have educational value, and they're all relatively annoying (to dad). What's the view of the pediatric establishment of these toys? [more inside]
I want to find my son a durable play table that he can set up his wooden railway toys on, and that we can store some of them in - do you own one you can recommend? [more inside]
I'm looking for the best browser-based toys and/or games that encourage exploration or play without necessarily having a goal or purpose. [more inside]
When I was a child in the late 70's, I remember these tiny, usually pink bendy toys we called "gumbies." [more inside]
What toys can you recommend for a two and half year-old kid that needs to develop a bunch of skills? [more inside]
My wife and I are visiting Japan soon and would like to visit interesting shops or design studios that specialise in uncommon and/or beautiful products, specifically for homewares, textiles and children’s toys and decor. We’re interested in contemporary design and want to get a feel for the modern Japanese aesthetic. [more inside]
When we were in London we saw a fun craft-toy called Sticker Scratcherz at both Hamleys and Harrods. We figured we'd find something like it elsewhere as well, but haven't had any luck, so I'm hoping maybe a mefite knows of something else like this. Preferably, it would be not as expensive, for a bit less content (if it were half price for half the amount of stickers it would make a great casual gift). [more inside]