The Biz

Many car lovers collect 1960s vehicle memorabilia, and even enjoy passing down their appreciation to their children with toy cars that sport this signature look. Candylab Toys captures the spirit of the ’60s with its line of classic collectible toy cars. What makes these cars unique is that they’re made of wood, a material growing in popularity due to its longevity and environmental sustainability.

eeBoo is a woman owned, innovative toy company from NYC celebrating its 20th anniversary of making uniquely beautiful toys and intelligent gifts for children. Twenty years ago eeBoo’s founder Mia Galison was unwilling to choose between work and family; integrating the two, she forged an original path for herself, her husband and three children. Mia and her husband put in long hours and depended on the help of neighbors, friends, families, and babysitters, and they never separated their life from work. They wanted to encourage creative thinking, open-ended play, and meaningful communication in the products developed.

Playhouses make the perfect hideouts where kids can create their own cozy kingdoms of fantasy and fun. Traditionally, playhouses have been outdoor buildings, usually small sheds or the classic tree house. Of course, not all kids have access to the type of outdoor spaces that allow for these options, not to mention the fact that tree houses and outdoor buildings can be difficult to build and aren’t the best options in bad weather. Yuhuhugs introduces children to a whole new set of options with their innovative line of indoor playhouses.

Caletha Crawford

In early May, ABC Network’s reality show Shark Tank was in Detroit looking for entrepreneurs to showcase on its upcoming season. Julie Andreae, co-founder of Secure Beginnings, a Detroit based manufacturer of a revolutionary breathable crib mattresses, jumped at the chance to participate – and was selected to advance to the next round. One of the requirements of advancing into the next round of consideration for Shark Tank is the creation of a video detailing the product. Andreae was given only a few days to ideate, shoot, edit and submit a video, so she called on Media Genesis to help pull the video together quickly.

With more and more families becoming ecologically aware and moving toward sustainable living, wooden toys are experiencing a renaissance. Karl Oppen, founder of Tree Blocks, is a business owner who has put responsible forestry practices to work in his company. After overseeing factories in Europe and Vietnam, and becoming familiar with the high demands those locations place on the forestry industry, Oppen opened his first U.S. factory in Wisconsin. The off-the-grid operation uses sustainable forestry, reclaimed wood, and off-cut wood to create a fun and unique line of toys.

What’s better than a jigsaw puzzle with the design on one side? When the other side reveals a second part of the fun. That’s the idea behind Flipzles, award-winning puzzles made of thick, durable wood with vibrant images on all three layers, each a unique piece of art created by Vicki Lewis. Flipzles help kids discover spatial relationships and build hand-eye coordination, yet are compact, easy to store and a snap to take anywhere.

pediped footwear

Maple Landmark has been making eco-friendly, educational wooden toys, games and gifts since 1979 in Middlebury, Vermont. Many people know them for their NameTrains, but they craft a wide array of children’s products including heirloom wooden baby toys, toddler toys, board games and gifts. The Giggle Guide® recently caught up with Maple Landmark for a look behind the scenes of this topnotch brand:

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, has long been known for its tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, and those yummy butter cookies you get every Christmas… but what about couture? While most people still think of Italy and France as the fashion capitals of Europe, Holland has been a quietly growing force in the industry, and lately it’s been hard for anyone who buys or sells kids’ clothing to ignore the influence of this small but vital nation. Leiden-based design house Cakewalk is a great example of the Dutch children’s clothing aesthetic.

Welcome to the preteen years, which some parents have come to nickname “second toddlerhood”. At this age, it can be a balancing act to allow kids the independence and individuality they need, while ensuring they hold on to the innocence and wonder of childhood for as long as they can. By guiding kids’ choices in the right direction, parents can do their part to make this stage of growing up as fun, exciting, and rewarding as possible. Companies like 100% Gumdrop, Lemon, Inc., DeSalitto and Limeapple offer fabulous fashion options for parents – and their awesome tweens – to consider.

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