Our Children's Gorilla have established themselves as a rather delightfully eccentric company with previous offering such as their skull cave and monster top. Somehow, though,they always seem to tune right in to a child's imagination.
Now here's a product the adults, too, can most definitely enjoy: facial features on a roll of sticky tape.
Add a hilarious touch to gift-wrapping, or just bring this out for a fun but very simple rainy-day activity. Stick on paper, old boxes, the fridge, or even your scooter. Who can resist?
Just how long do the holiday thank-you letters hang over you in your house? You know the familiar refrain: "Not right now". Usually accompanied by copious eye-rolling.
Would some incredibly appealing notecards make the difference, do you think? They certainly would in my house. Suzy Ultman continues her fabulous run of paper goods with these Russian doll cards.
Next year, stock up on a few of these or their ilk, and I guarantee you, those notes will be written in a jiffy.
Alphabets: illustrators love to try them (until they have to think of something starting with X) and we love to feature them. Fortunately, you love to buy them too, giving us the excuse we need to slaver over illustrators' websites all day.
At the going rate, we're bringing you an alphabet every couple of weeks. Has anyone yet covered an *entire room* with the best of the bunch? Let us know.
Meanwhile, if there's still a space that needs filling (or you've been holding out for that perfect alphabet, never mind that junior is now fifteen years old and writing his first novel), consider this lovely print from Sigrid Martinez.
Lots to love about this one, but it's the beatific bear that I like best. Can anyone figure out what the X solution is this time?
Goodness knows we try to bring you as many posts on kids' design as we can, but even we would admit that we can't offer coverage of everything. So, for those long moments between Babygadget posts, you may be glad to peruse the online Babiekins magazine.
Styling itself as "for the trendsetting child", the publication brings together several inspirational contributers, mostly parents themselves. Fashion and interiors are interspersed with ideas for things to do with kids and some stunning photography. The Moomins interiors spreads are a particular highlight.
The whole publication is visually beautiful, and it just goes on and on, with something to catch your attention on every page. Babiekins, we salute you.
Now, I'm the first to berate the commodification of all those little things we used to do ourselves as parents: from kits to make your own pompoms (er... some wool, and a couple of 'o' shapes?) to mechanised rocking machines, they all seem... well, a bit unnecessary, really.
And while it does seem a little sad to buy a pack of mini lunch notes ready for inclusion into your darling's packed lunch box, well, they are from the excellent design company Peagreen, so I will hold my fire.
No doubt they are executed beautifully with plenty of room for your own little personalised additions - and thus, instead of tutting, I'll add them to my ever-expanding wishlist.
Every parent has a person in their lives who might occasionally need reminding of the fact that Sounds are Loud or Soft. Preferably soft.
Sadly for all of us, this is a one-off salvaged print which has now been sold, but more happily, if you haven't yet discovered UK retro paper goods store Present and Correct, lots more quality products of the same calibre await you there.
Where has Suzy Ultman sprung from? I do not know, but recently her products have arrived in all my favourite kids' boutiques, looking assured, and just that little bit different. Whether it's the nicely packaged thick card picture packs, or the large dress-up dolls, all her products stand out, even in a marketplace packed with similar goods.
Jolly good, another illustrator in the ascendant, it looks like. Long may this trend continue.
Would it be completely insane to say that pop-up books count as one of my 'reasons to be cheerful'? Recently, I've really started to appreciate the incredible artistry that goes into a good pop-up (and note I say 'good' - there's a lot of dross out there too).
Here is an incredible-looking book/work of art which has had an awful lot of thought and craft go into it. Wordless, the book takes you through the development of a city from a single church to a busy metropolis - so it's educational for the older kids, and, well, just a fun and interesting experience for the youngsters.
As parents will know, it's a losing game trying to get lengthy thank-you letters out of small children: their attention spans simply aren't up to it.
That's one reason why I like these animal notecards from local-to-me (but stocked worldwide) UK company Sukie.
There's room for a single sentiment, scrawled in toddler-sized letters, and no more. The word 'thank you', 'hello' or even 'sorry' will be admirably conveyed, and the attractiveness of the card and the accompanying stickers and envelopes will quite make up for the brevity of the message.
Only thing is... do you ever think some paper sets are too nice to use?
I do like these baby announcement cards from Umpen: direct, to the point, and rather beautiful. Plus gender-neutral colouring (ok, there's a big patch of pink, but really, it doesn't scream 'girl') means you can stock up on them pre-birth in a very efficient way.
Umpen are a London-based company, but see their contact page for details of distributors in Australia, Canada and the US too.