Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Favorite Things

Star Struck graphic by Toxic Fingerboards

Just like Oprah, I have my own list of favorite things. I thought I'd post them here by category. Let's start with Children's Items, in no special order:

1. Toxic Fingerboards. This little company is the brainchild of my son and husband. My son loves playing with the little fingerboards, so my husband started creating them. Their online business has been up and running for nearly two years. And now, aside from the handmade wooden fingerboards, you can also find ramps and rails and other obstacles there. These are a great handmade toy for boys.

2. Crayola Model Magic Clay. It's so pliable and easy to work with - my kids love this stuff, and they spend many a night creating little treasures out of it. Then, they leave their creations out overnight to dry and they become keepsakes.

3. dollcloset on Etsy. First let me say that I was completely against my girls owning American Girl Dolls. I thought they were way too expensive for little kids to have as toys. But after much discussion, my mom finally talked me into it (her treat), and now both my girls have their very own. My mom has had a blast taking the girls to Chicago to pick them out and outfit them. But again, I find the AGD clothes to be pricey. So I went in search of an alternative, and I found dollcloset on Etsy. I can't say enough good things about the clothes Christine makes for American Girl-sized dolls! They're original and well-made, and the service is top-notch. So that's where I shop for doll clothes.

Purple Blast Jumper (we own this one)

4. Our neighbor, Timmy. He's great fun and my girls love to play with him. You should see the ginormous things they make out of cardboard. Sorry, Timmy is not available to the general public - he's ours.

4. raspberrykidz on Etsy. This is my sister's shop. It's filled with super-fun kid art drawn by her very own kids. Then Rachel, my sister, scans the images into her computer and takes out any random scribbles and professionally colors the pictures. She even raises parts of the images for a really cool 3D look. She'll even do this with your kids' doodle (these make such great gifts for parents or grandparents!). Check out some before and after kid art on her website, RaspberryKidz.

5. Apples to Apples Jr. Just plain fun. Even our youngest, who's just learning to read, loves to play. It's a great family game.

More of my faves in the coming days. Let's hear your favorites for the kiddos!

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