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Gift Guides

Top Gifts for Kids

November 19, 2011

Meet Jodie. Jodie has a great family and a lot of holiday shopping to do. Back in September, we asked our Twitter followers to tweet @UncommonGoods for a chance to win a $500 holiday shopping spree. We received almost 500 entries, but could only pick one lucky winner. Our winner, Jodie, tweeted at us loud and clear, and we had the wonderful opportunity to help her pick gifts for her family and friends.

Jodie’s Family

She told us all about the people she’ll be spending her $500 gift certificate on, and we had a blast helping her pick the perfect gifts for her loved ones. We had so much fun, we decided to create a few gift guides inspired by Jodie’s favorite people.

She told us about her nephews, Mark Anthony III, Simon, and Shamus. These playful picks were chosen with puzzle-loving 4-year-old Simon and 6-year-old Arts & Crafter Shamus in mind.

This Old Man- This cuddly puzzle helps kids learn to count through music. While youngsters are learning to count, they can use rhyming queues to match the removable pieces with the corresponding numbers and get them back into the right pockets. This Old Man also comes with a CD, so kids can sing along as they put a shoe in pocket number two and the door in pocket four.

Life Size Zoo Book- This big book (14.5″ L x 10.5″ W) is perfect for your favorite little animal. Featuring facts, games, and close-up photos, Life-Size Zoo is fun and educational. If the little one in question prefers underwater adventures, check out Life-Size Aquarium.

Make Your Own Family Set- A great gift for crafty kids, this set encourages creativity and celebrates families of all sorts. The kit includes seven dolls, three pieces of fabric, three pieces of felt, craft glue, four colors of yarn, and 12 colored pencils.

Putty Creatures- The great thing about these little blobs, is that they can take shape with the help of a little imagination and some clever molding. The set includes two putty puddles, which each comes in it’s own tin. Each pile of workable goo includes two eyeballs to give your creature creations just the right look!

Whatchamadrawit- This exciting game give “quick draw” a new meaning. Players choose a card, then race to see who can complete a drawing of the silly scenario first. When the game isn’t in play, the cards can also be used as fun prompts for doodling.

Stormy Seas Balancing Game- This balancing game encourages strategic thinking as players work to balance “cargo” on the deck without tipping the pirate ship. If a sailor spills the pieces, they’re out of the game; the player who lasts the longest without loosing their booty wins!

MultiBlocks- Designed by Brad Singley, these stackable wooden blocks are labeled with numbers and increments to encourage mathematical thinking.

Construction Plate and Utensils- It may be easier to get kids to eat their peas when they get to shovel them in with construction equipment! The construction plate features fun compartments for all of your child’s favorite foods, and special spaces for the bulldozer pusher, fork lift, and front loader spoon.

If the kids in your life are anything like Jodie’s nephews, we think they’ll love our uncommon picks! Need more ideas? Check out our other great gifts for toddlers and kids. Or tweet @UncommonGoods. We’re on call to help with any personal shopping requests!


YouGoods: MultiBlocks Mania

April 26, 2010

UncommonGoods is proud to announce the winner of our first YouGoods product design contest – Brad Singley and his amazing MultiBlocks!

With inspiration from his father, a civil engineer who built toys for his children, Brad Singley decided to pass on the love for analytical and creative thinking by building simple, fun wooden blocks.


“I can still remember the frustration of playing with building blocks as a young child,” Brad says. “I wanted to build BIG, but it was impossible to make a skyscraper out of triangles, semicircles, cylinders, and small cubes. When I was five years old, my dad made me a set of building blocks out of some lumber scraps from our garage. He cut them into four sizes. The smallest blocks were 1.5” cubes, and the others came in lengths of 3”, 6”, and 12”. Finally I had some dimensional lumber! I played with those blocks more than any other toy from my childhood.

“In college, while sitting in structural engineering classes, it occurred to me how many engineering concepts I had learned as a child from playing with my blocks. Cantilever beams, moment arms, centers of rotation, friction forces, etc., were all fancy names for what I had learned from playing with my blocks.

“I decided to make a set of blocks for my daughter, and she has been playing with them since before she could talk. At age four, she recognized that if she lined up 8 of the smallest blocks, they were the same length as 1 of the longest blocks. We started referring to the different sizes as ‘ones, twos, fours, and eights.’ I thought it would be helpful to route these numbers into the side of the blocks with notches at each unit increment.”

Brad Singley Multiblocks

Brad lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. He loves design, Ben and Jerry’s and Ray and Charles Eames (I tried to get some juicy information out of him and that’s all he would reveal when I asked about celeb crushes). Last week he and his wife Meg flew to NYC to tour the city, eat some delicious…albeit gluten-free food, see some beautiful sites and finalize his deal with UncommonGoods. It was exciting to meet the designer, hear the back story of the blocks and see the contest come full-circle. We are thrilled to announce that MultiBlocks will be hitting the site soon! Click here to see the MultiBlocks (previously known as Brainy Blocks) in action – Brad has built some pretty cool stuff with them!

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