By Laura Vaillancourt - Thursday, February 26th 2015
In 2006, Artterro founder and CEO Forrest Voedisch was shopping for a craft kit for her young sons. She noticed lots of uninspiring projects, cheap materials and wasteful packaging. She decided to make high-quality, eco-friendly, engaging art kits so that parents would have a convenient way to bring art into the home. Voedisch states, “With the help of my business partner, Jennifer Conn, and the rest of our team in Madison, Wisconsin, the Artterro line now includes 12 kits that make it easy to explore needle felting, decoupage, art journaling and more.” Popular kits include Wire & Bead Art, Bookmaking, Art Dolls, and Wool Felt Jewelry.
Toy Fair -
New York City, New York (2/14/15 - 2/17/15)
Valentine’s Day is all about love, and when you’re a kid, there are few things you love more than your toys. Considering this, it makes sense that that the 2015 New York Toy Fair kicked off its opening day on February 14 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Toy Fair brings together hundreds of exhibitors from far and wide. The whopping 422,000 net square feet of exhibition space was divided into convenient product zones, making it easy for visitors to find the types of products and companies they were looking for. Manhattan Toy, ** Lil’ Orphan Nannies**, Le Toy Van and OgoSport all felt the love in their respective product zones.
It’s almost spring break, which leads to summer road trips. Despite what it looks like outside, in most of the U.S., we’ll all be on the road soon. And that means trying to offer the best in road trip entertainment. Parents will love you for offering something small, super portable, and with zero noise. Offer them a mini respite from the beeps of modern life with MiniLou. A children’s product company dedicated to bringing creative and portable products to families, MiniLou offers illustrated coloring books, paper pals and bookmarks for trips both short and long.
By Hannah Driscoll - Wednesday, February 18th 2015
While a lot of toys are used to simply keep babies distracted, Tiny Love offers products that support a child’s growth and development. Mobiles, gyms, and carriers are all made with the thought of how to make these first years a great beginning in a child’s life. These products are more than just a baby item, they stimulate an engaging and interactive experience. Multiple awards in best innovation and development show how instrumental parents will view Tiny Love products as educational choices for their babies.
The gold standard in toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, European-based HABA USA celebrates its 35th year in North America – and the 10th anniversary of smash hit, award-winning, preschool stacking game Animal Upon Animal – with the release of dozens of brand new toys and games designed to delight a whole new generation of children. With hundreds of products spanning dozens of categories, HABA USA is the high-quality, high-design choice for millions of parents around the world. In addition to products manufactured in the German headquarters, HABA USA also distributes several innovative, European brands throughout the North American market.
Thames & Kosmos continues to lead the charge in energizing young minds with a passion for STEM-related subjects. The award-winning company is set to release 26 new science kits including the Kids First Series, which introduces science to children as young as three, and a new collection of space-theme kits, which captures the spirit of the latest efforts from around the world to pursue space travel and exploration. In addition, the company will announce its expansion into the board game category starting with a carefully curated series of six, high-quality, German-style board games from the internationally renowned publishing powerhouse, Kosmos.
By Laura Vaillancourt - Friday, February 13th 2015
ZipIt is the brainchild of Israeli Industrial Design student Ishay Halmut. The products range from pencil cases to backpacks to women’s bags. Each bag is unique, playful and practical. ZipIt aims to ignite creativity and inspire its customers to think differently in order to unlock their potential. These products are for the young, and young at heart, who want to enjoy clever design at accessible prices.
There are a great many kids who feel lonely and think they don’t fit in. Let’s face it, children like to be just like those around them and often don’t have the skills to understand and appreciate what makes them unique and special. In the book A Different Kind of Safari, by Helen C. Hipp, the story is inspired by a real African safari that the author took with her 14-year-old special needs son, Ray. On the trip, Ray spotted a hippo gone solo, standing apart from the herd. This particular hippo was not only alone, she was pink. Ray asked the guide why the hippo was a loner — the answer inspired the book.
New York isn’t the only place for amazing trade shows. At this time of year, it makes sense to head south! The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market is an impressive forum for new and established businesses of all kinds to introduce their products and court new customers. This year’s show brought out hundreds of vendors and thousands of guests, setting new records for sales volume. In such a large venue that features businesses from so many industries, it takes a lot for a children’s product vendor to stand out. Indy Plush, Zoocchini, Paper Punk and Just Born all made their mark on the Atlanta scene this year.
Sometimes, the right gear makes all the difference. When a child is comfortable and organized, he or she is better able to enjoy the experience of being outdoors. LittleLife is a division of Lifemarque, a UK-based company that offers camping and travel gear in grown-up sizes. LittleLife takes that same adventurous vision and high-quality craftsmanship and applies it to gear and accessories for kids. Rather than just making miniature versions of adult gear, LittleLife adds its own kid-friendly style and flair to its line without sacrificing functionality. Even the littlest adventurers can enjoy this company’s products, thanks to the wide array of eye-catching choices.
When last we met JJ, the canine star of JJ The American Street Dog, he was pulled from the streets and had happily found his forever home with 6-year-old Maya and her family. Maya learned all the rewards of adopting a street dog in need. In JJ Goes to Puppy Class, Maya starts to realize just how much responsibility any dog requires, as she sets about trying to train JJ to be a good puppy. The beauty of this book is it illustrates many of the common issues young children face when a new pet enters the home. It also shows how Maya handles them with aplomb and learns to fix the problems rather than whine about them.
Eastern Iowa isn’t the place most people think of when they talk about the beach. Known for its thriving agricultural economy, rolling hills, and small but bustling city centers, this area of the Midwest is home to plenty of lakes but of course no white sandy beaches. It is, however, the birthplace of Packable Pails, a business that’s all about the sandbox and beach. Packable Pails may look like regular sand buckets at first glance, but they collapse down to a small, flat manageable package that can easily be taken along on all your adventures.