Wout received one of these Wigglers from his grandparents and he loves it, because it keeps on bouncing up and down. I have no idea how you can buy the Wigglers. I would just send the Belgium company Dam an email.
A friend told me about Knex construction toys and she told me her 4 -year-old son likes it a lot, although it requires completely different building skills then for example Lego. Maybe it is more for boys than for girls although they have many girl themes as well. Knex from Pennsylvania presents themselves as the most innovative and fastest growing construction toy company. Their sets start at the age of 3 but they also have complicated sets for 9 and older. Knex is sold in over 30 countries. Let me know if you have experience with this product, I would love to hear more about it!
My son is currently into puzzles, and therefore I came across Mudpuppy and found a great selection of not only puzzles but also flash cards and other educational games. They have all kinds of themes, some of them licensed from famous authors like Richard Scarry and Eric Carle. Mudpuppy is part of Galison, originally known for its paper products made for museums. Customers from the US and Canada can order online. All others should send an email.
As my German language skills progress, I come across more German sites. I found these Kettler plug-in figures ('steckfiguren') and fell in love with them. The packaging, the cuteness of the characters and the way it is presented on the website makes it irresistible. I have no idea if children like to play with it. However, I saw that they sell around the world, so I guess it is popular. If you have time to read about the history of Kellner; it is very interesting as it all began in 1919!
I am thinking of buying a Like a Bike for my 2-year-old for Christmas. I see them regularly and it is amazing how fast though still controlled kids can go with it. I have heard it is the best preparation for a real bike because they learn how to balance themselves. I always thought Like a Bike came from the US, but it is actually a German invention. You will find all international dealers under 'Vertriebspartner'. I will have a look if I can find a good deal at Ebay...
Via Olivelse I found Take-g Toys. I think it is from Japan, but I am not 100% sure. It is more a piece of art than a toy (which you would definitely conclude after looking at the prices). I absolutely love the shape and the different colors of wood being used. I have no idea where you can buy these wooden wonders from Take-g, but maybe you will find out when browsing the site. There is a small part in English.
Maybe you noticed that I do not write often about toys. The main reason is that I only want to highlight things that children really enjoy, not just adults. E.g. most adults like me love wooden toys, but my personal experience is that it does not apply for most children. I would love to get feedback about wooden toys that your kids love and have endless fun with. I think it is good to share experiences with other parents, because there is so much out there! At the moment my son (2,5 years) is mostly playing with his Lego Duplo toys. It is amazing how long and intense he can play with it. He likes the fact that all cars (police, fire truck, tractor) can be attached to eachother and the attributes can be used for different events (a hose to put out a fire or to fill up gas). I think Lego Duplo is great too because it's sturdy, it is not too easy nor too difficult to play with and it stimulates creativity.
Skummis from Sweden: Totally adorable soft toys in bright colors and unusual shapes. The range includes stroller toys, baby rattles and cuddly toys. Available at Nordic Kids in the UK. Oolaalaa from Holland: A new range of sit balls with a clever memory function, it always returns to its original round shape. I sat in it and it's really comfortable. Available in 5 sizes for all ages and heights. Especially the globe is very fascinating: a great way to learn about capitals, oceans and countries! Last post for this week; we will be off to Zeeland in the Netherlands where we will spend a long weekend with 5 other families, all with 1 0r more kids. It will be fun!
Trä Present is Swedish for "wooden gift" and they offer a range of surprising gifts, mostly made of natural wood. The huge collection of gifts makes it hard to choose. I adore the little bed which is a music box and the small cabinet with drawers. Nice to know: a part of Trä Present's profits go towards a number of small-scale educational and development projects in the countries where their products originate. Trä Present products are sold in a number of European countries like Spain, Poland, Netherlands.
Käthe Kruse is the oldest German doll company, in business for more than 100 years. Their classic dolls are famous around the world and some of them are real collector items. I personally like the Käthe Kruse baby range very much: simple shapes and beautiful fabrics. You can check out their retailer page to find out if you live in one of the 14 countries they sell…