Exploring the development of structures from early igloos to 3D-printing today, author David Jenkins has created an informative, visually stunning work on how and why we build things. While the narrative was crafted to appeal to younger minds, the topics of environmental awareness and sustainability, as well as artist Adrian Buckley's illustrations certainly resonate with children of all ages.
With the clean lines associated with the zippiest vintage European race cars, Restoration Hardware's Roadster Scoot for kids is a beautiful toy car—that allows children between the ages of two and four to get behind the wheel and power it along. It's pedal-free (meaning it's foot-powered) and comes with padded seating, a working steering wheel and silver-walled rubber tires. Altogether, it's a smooth and beautiful ride.
Encouraging exploration, curiosity and adventure, the kids' collection from Arro Home is space-themed; with plenty of intergalactic illustrations to put little ones in an imaginative state of mind for bedtime. The 100% cotton Astro pillowcase set features suns, asteroids, uncharted planets and clouds, reminding tykes to shoot for the stars.
A clean piece of modern toy design, the Cloud House from Rock and Pebble isn't an average doll house. It's an dreamland fit for kids who dream big. Composed of solid birch plywood (with a layer of water-based paint), it's a safe place to daydream or shift around the accompanying figures, which are sold separately.
Surely encouraging plenty of dreams about prehistoric adventures or perhaps a keen interest in the Brontosaurus, these bright green dinosaur pajamas from Bedhead are for all genders. Crafted from a cotton and spandex blend, the set offers plenty of movement for the little ones to sleep comfortably and are made in the USA.
Blending two iconic toy archetypes, the robot and the pony, Monroe Workshop's herd of mini robot horses makes for a whimsical handmade addition to the toy chest. Coming in a set of five, each horse has been crafted from cotton rope and wood scraps from around the studio. Their charm and simplicity of design also makes each a design decoration when they're not being actively used.
In an attempt to share the original, rebellious spirit of skateboarding with a younger generation, graffiti writer and European skateboard industry veteran Dave the Chimp worked with Solid Skateboards to make a fun collection of decks for kids. This eight-inch Godzilla board is made from seven-ply Canadian maple and features the Japanese monster vomiting tankers, whales, people and trains.
A retro flying saucer, Tin Toy Arcade's Space Patrol Commander 1950 throws back to the futuristic imaginations of '50s Japan. The tin toy winds up and scuttles on its own, and also tacks course when it bumps into obstacles. There's a charm to the vintage-inspired object and the design flourishes make an old concept relevant again, but most importantly: it's fun to watch it rove around.
It's safe to say that the classic yellow and checkered New York City cab has entered the world of iconography. With Candylab Toys' "Candycab," there's a solid beechwood iteration worthy of the home. For kids who enjoy reenacting a good car chase, the Candycab makes for a safe and fun toy that keeps the taxi cab history alive.
A true "one-eyed" supporter of Australian Rules football is an unflinching, unwavering champion of their team—even if they are the biggest losers in the league. Melbourne-based store Doomsday has created, with Sherrin (who have been making footballs since 1879), a one-eyed designed football for those fans of the game. Perfect for a little kick-to-kick or a game of catch day or night—thanks to the bright yellow night-game colorway.
For the young and the young at heart, there's nothing as magical as a song—or simply making a racket. Do both with this cute, bright red mini banjo from Poketo. Little ones can develop their motor skills on the four-stringed instrument, while grown-ups can do their best Angus Young impression—and its tiny, packable size (just over a foot long) makes it perfect for on-the-go jam sessions.
There's arguably no better way to learn how a camera works than by building one yourself. That's exactly what Bigshot offers: a kit for constructing a 3MP digital camera from scratch—that's easy enough for anyone over the age eight. There's a flash and an LCD display, but most fascinating of all is the lens turn-wheel allowing for panoramic shots and even 3D imagery.
As a fun way to encourage their son to wash his hands before meals, Swedish couple Niklas Lagström and Marina Nilsson started "hiding" his toys in transparent soap bars. Handmade in Sweden, using vegetable based glycerin, Happy Soap is free of SLS and SLES irritants (and is unscented, too) to be as gentle as possible for kids. The couple now scouts locally for loved toys (from dinosaurs and cars to ponies and jewelry) that are no longer wanted—to bring joy to another child. €1 from each soap purchase is donated to the international non-profit Save the Children, and Happy Soap has already been able to raise €1,000.
Injecting fun and excitement around electronics, circuitry and coding, Technology Will Save Us offers DIY kits that teach you how to build a solar-powered moisture-sensor for your plants, a portable speaker from everyday household objects, a game console to play games you've created, and your own noisy synth. Most noteworthy is the opportunity for customization and experimentation within each kit; it all ties in to Technology Will Save Us' mission to change the younger generation's relationship with technology from that of a passive consumer to an active maker and builder.
Artist and graphic designer Bryce Wilner's Gradient Puzzle is a feast for the eyes and a true challenge for the brain. Made using thick stock and high-quality paper, the pieces won't fall apart—no matter how many times to try to make a piece fit. This stunning meditation on color is available in blue/green or red/yellow and is a treat for kids and adults alike.
Created by East London-based Donna Wilson, this adorable baby blanket (measuring 100cm by 68cm) is made from super-warm 100% lambswool and is knitted in Scotland. The blanket is available in three gender-neutral colorways and covered in horses, deer, moose and all kinds of trees—so baby's imagination will wander to forests filled with all kinds of magical creatures as they snooze soundly and cozily.
Designed by Australian homeware duo Kate and Kate, the Oscar blanket is entirely free from any harmful substances—so you can feel comfortable bundling up little treasures in the 100% cotton creations. The fabric is cozy and breathable, and the bold geometric design is gender non-specific and soft—in off-white, sandy and gray hues. Fully machine washable (and able to be thrown in the dryer), it's also convenient for busy parents.