DesignForMiniKind

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toys & games.

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Bee’s Favorite Things

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I get a lot of emails asking about what I keep in our home, the types of toys and books and activities that sprinkle our days. And I will first say this: although I am a minimalist, I am also a peacemaker. If it overjoys Bee’s uncle to gift her a thirty pound stuffed Minnie Mouse to display in our living room, and if said stuffed Minnie Mouse delights Bee, then welcome to the sofa, Minnie. Please don’t leave your cheese between the couch cushions, but otherwise, make yourself at home.

Indeed, there are things you don’t choose for your kids – items that are gifted with love that, sure, aren’t your style but are made tasteful by sentiment. The handmade outfits from grandmother, the battery-operated push toys, or if your child is anything like Bee, the plastic army men she perpetually steals from the nursery at church. (This child has very sticky fingers, word to the future.)

For everything else, we get a choice. And while she’s still tiny, I choose to surround herself with a small handful of beautiful, well-designed toys that we both love to share. Here’s the list!

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The Lovie Project

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I’ll admit; I had never heard the word ‘Lovie’ until I started reading parenting blogs, but I digress. Bee has thousands of stuffed animals she loves, from an odd neon cactus to a plump, plush bumblebee. They’re her staples, her “fwends,” as she calls them, and we haven’t tackled a bedtime routine without them in nearly a year. Indeed, there’s something special about your child’s first attachment to an inanimate object, whether blanket or animal, toy or truck. And on Valentine’s Day this year, the spotlight goes to the Lovie – the well-loved, forlorn objects of these little one’s undying affection. Here’s the deal:

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The Art of Curiosity

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I love when grown-up objects are inspired by kids. How could our lives not be inspired by these tiny creatures, begging us to slow down and look deeper and play longer? Such is the case with Ingrid Hulskamp’s latest collection: “En Voyage.”

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Fridge-Worthy

kidsonroof tatlin

My parents were both school teachers, so we had no shortage of educational toys scattered about our home on any given day. One of my favorites were Tangrams – I fondly remember an entire summer dedicated to creating different animals from the colored triangles at my disposal.

Now, a short 25-something years later, I still love the idea of creating something out of nothing. It’s so metaphorical – the idea of puzzles. That we’re all just doing the best with the pieces we’ve got, attempting to pull together a portrait that looks like something worth keeping around for a bit.

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The Running Wheel

tolls toy

A wheel on a stick? Could it really hold a child’s attention for more than a few minutes? Polish product designer Grzegorz Cholewiak and
German artist Lena Hensel answer with a resounding yes in their newest invention for the littles: Toll’s Toy.

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Eat Veggies

donna-wilson

Have you seen Donna Wilson’s newest creatures? They’re fluffy, cozy and… edible! Cheers for veggies that any kid would love on their plate.

To Buy: £37.50 at Donna Wilson

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Shoppable // Eeny Meeny

eeny meeny kids

I’m always looking for international shops that ship worldwide, offering the highest quality toys and goods from Japan, Sweden, Norway and beyond. I find it fascinating that, thanks to this dear Internet thing, I can stock up on unique gifts for special little ones in my life – without having to jump the pond myself.

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Bubbles Up

bubble set for kids

Seeking: a bubble wand that isn’t overtly plastic or primary-colored or loud and boisterous. Spotted: Amechan bubble set from Kiko+, constructed from sustainable beech wood with a matching candy-shaped tray and a surprise bubble recipe inside.

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Kidspiration: Blue Skies

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Last weekend, Bee and I enjoyed a perfect mom+daughter date. There was sunshine and swimming and lemonade, stroller naps and bananas and jazz bands. It was just… perfect. Sure, there were meltdowns from bouts of boredom (Bee) and impatience (me). But the day inspired us to get outside more often and enjoy these lazy summer days as much as we can. Because before we know it, this season will have passed us by. (And I’m not talking about summer, am I right?)

In honor of our perfect day out, here are a few blue sky-inspired finds we’re loving!:

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Heirloom Toys

fredericks and mae

The concept of heirloom toys has always seemed kind of impossible, you know? Could a single toy actually survive the chewing of babies, throwing of toddlers, forgetting of children? And with the quick sifting of trends and color schemes and “of-the-moment” patterns, how could you ensure a timeless, classic design?

Fredericks & Mae can. And has.

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