Toys Games

Bauhaus Spinning Top

I think you need this, and now. What better way to distract yourself from the droll everyday office life than with a fun, vivid, spinning top that demonstrates color theory? Plus, it’s a reproduction of an original Bauhaus design, so you can say ‘Bauhaus!’ whenever someone comments on it. And, if a spinning top isn’t your thing, consider it as a gift (6 years old and up).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $55.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Roman Numeral Dice

Stay familiar with Roman numerals by using this set of dice. You might even rattle your opponents as not everyone can easily add up numerals, especially compared to the dots found on usual dice. History moment: according to Wikipedia, “the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set at the Burnt City (Shahr-e Sūkhté), an archeological site in south-eastern Iran.”
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Purchase Information:

Price: $4.95
Available from: Spoon Sisters

Fredericks & Mae Kites

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height… How long has it been since you flew a kite? Years? Decades? Change that answer to ‘days’ by considering one of these kites by Fredericks & Mae, or, if $64 is a bit too high for your taste, make your own.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $64.00
Available from: MATTER

Tsumiki Chalk Building Blocks

How fun are these chalk building blocks? The kit includes 7 wood blocks, a set of 6 dustless colored chalk sticks, a mini eraser and chalk sharpener. Whether you (or your favorite kids) draw windows and doors for homes and buildings or just your craziest patterns, the blocks will certainly be a new way to engage a little imagination.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $64.00
Available from: A+R Store

Classic Games Set

Let the games begin, or rather, que les Jeux commencent*! Dominoes, Chess, Pick-Up Sticks, and Checkers. The four classics all pack up neatly in this box that you can take on the go- the chess board is on the bottom of the box and the checker board is on the bottom of the lid. Could be a good thing to have on hand for your next road trip, or maybe just for those lazy summer days outside (of which you’ll have plenty, right?).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $27.00
Available from: Cursive New York

Upcycled Jump Rope

Jump rope! Get in shape with a jump rope made from 100% reclaimed mountain-climbing rope and rubber handles. Since the materials are reclaimed, no two will be the same. A 6.5 foot (single) length is sold at Branch Home, but should you need a 10.5 foot (double) length, go directly to Urban Infant.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $18.00
Available from: Branch Home

Earth Blocks

These blocks are a bit odd- sort of like a concession between a kid (“I want legos!”) and an interior designer (“No, they’re too colorful!”). Don’t go getting ideas though- replacing a child’s toy blocks with tree bark and tea leaves- that’s what these blocks are made of- is bordering on plain meanness. However, these blocks could be an interesting decorative accent for an eclectic interior.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $45.00
Available from: Jayson Home

Scrabble Typography Edition

Oh my, now the diehards of the design set can have an aesthetically pleasing Scrabble game. Scrabble enthusiasts might find fault with aspects of the board (no colors?!), yet there’s no argument that it’s, well, pretty. The storage case, magnetized gameboard, and tiles are made of solid walnut. Now available for pre-order, expected to ship August 2012.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $199.00
Available from: Winning Solutions

Muji Lego Paper Toys

To most people, trying to improve the LEGO block would be like reinventing the wheel, but leave it to the designers over at Muji to not leave well enough alone and come up with a very creative toy series that combine the snap-together blocks with paper. Each of the six play sets includes a collection of LEGO bricks, paper, and instructions to construct example models. A specially designed hole puncher creates perfectly sized holes to fit the blocks. Current sets include; Basic, Move, Sea, Animal & Vehicle, Christmas, and Animals. Just to add my two cents, I would prefer to buy only the hole punch, provide my own LEGO blocks, and let my kids go wild with blank construction paper, crayons and scissors. Either way, you can count on these toys to provide endless hours of creative fun.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $14.50
Available from: MUJI

Source: Design Boom

President Block Set

Seeing that it’s President’s Day, it’s only appropriate to share these patriotic beveled blocks. They feature the faces of forty-four U.S. Presidents, and with an oval office cube, together they form an American flag on one side. It should be noted that these shouldn’t be just for kids, as there are few adults that could name all forty-four U.S. presidents.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $98.00
Available from: Uncommon Goods

Dovetail Animals by Karl Zahn

Yeah, the Animal Boxes sure were cute, weren’t they? Now Karl Zahn has created a set of three wooden shapes, whose dovetail joints fit together to form an animal. Collect more than one and create hybrids (see video below).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $19.00
Available from: Areaware

Antics Ant Blocks

Add this to your rather-nice-to-look-at toy list for kids. Sixteen blocks have trails of ants on all six sides, forming loads of patterns for little (or big) ones to explore. Again, could be an excellent gift for niece/nephew/etc., as long as they are 3+.

Each set contains images of ant hills, a queen with her eggs, and a spider, the ant’s nemesis.

Purchase Information:

Price: $21.95
Available from: imaginechildhood.com

Slalom Steerable Sled

Remember how this week we’ll be updating our Gifts section? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have some snow, consider this for a gift this year…

When life gives you snow, you go sledding, obviously. Made from 5/8” thick marine-grade molded plywood, this fully steerable sled will hopefully help you and/or your kids fly down the hill safe and sound (and, of course, super fast).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: imaginechildhood.com

Vinyl Puzzle

Somehow a puzzle is the perfect past time during holiday family gatherings. Get this puzzle for the person who loves their vinyl, and watch them exclaim over titles that should (or should not) be in their collection. Or you could just get it as a history lesson for kids that have never seen a record collection… “So, back in the day, they used to have these flat vinyl disks that music was stored on…”
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Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00
Available from: Nest

Old Time Sling Shot

What do you get for someone that has everything? An old time slingshot, made from buckthorn branches, latex tubing, and a leather projectile pouch. I like that ‘female adult supervision’ is suggested in the description, though in no way do I assume adult females are any less likely to injure someone or something, on purpose or otherwise.

Dimensions: about 11″ x 4″-5″

Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: GENERAL STORE