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Maker Stories

Building Knowledge: Tiffany Ard’s ‘Super Nerdy’ New Design

February 17, 2015

Tiffany Ard has been a long time favorite artist of UncommonGoods. We’ve featured a multitude of her fantastically scientific and geeky products. However, she had some ideas that she couldn’t execute herself, so she asked UncommonGoods to develop products with her. We knew this would be a huge opportunity for us and couldn’t wait to get on board.

Tiffany Ard | UncommonGoods

While she may be known as the Nerdy Baby Lady, she is a creative force to be reckoned with. From the very beginning of development, her enthusiasm was exciting. I couldn’t believe the depth of her knowledge for these higher level STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math, as she taught me) concepts. Every time she would forward a new set of art for our review, I would learn something new while fact checking. Who knows what a P-Orbital is? I do now.

This was our first product with the manufacturer, so Tiffany and I would go back and forth, refining her artwork until we got it right for production. After a grueling development cycle, we finally blew a sigh of relief when we got the final sets in hand. We collectively agreed that the aptly named Super Nerdy ABC Blocks would be a big hit in our collection. It is still one of my favorite projects during my time here at UncommonGoods. I can’t wait to get working on our next project with Tiffany, but before diving into our next brainstorming session, Tiffany agreed to take a pop quiz about her art, the blocks, and growing up geeky.

Super Nerdy ABC Blocks by Tiffany Ard | UncommonGoods

What was your favorite science project as a kid?
Oh, gosh just one? I loved science and read almost everything in the school library’s nonfiction section. I liked inventing stuff. When I was about nine I wanted to make a doorbell that our dog could ring by scratching on the door. The guy at Radio Shack showed me how to make a circuit with a switch. I set it up with a horrible sounding buzzer, and when it was done, my dad helped me attach this clunky, awful-looking contraption to the front door. Which thinking back is weird because we were renting and our landlord was sort of a grump! I hope they got their deposit back.

But the other constant was art. My earliest memories are of mixing paints. What an awesome experiment that can be for a kid, you know? Nothing blows up, nothing expensive to ruin, just seeing what happens when you mix this shade with that until you have a big gray sludgy mess—and then you rinse your brushes and start again.

Tiffany Painting

Watercolor Illustrations

When did you first come to the conclusion that you were a nerd?
Well, you know junior high is an age where kids are looking around to see where they fit in. I was too afraid of being hit by a ball to do sports, too shy to be a theater kid, too unpopular to be one of the popular kids. The kids I spent time with liked Douglas Adams and Carl Sagan. We liked writing stories and inventing languages and pretending to be time travelers. Hmm. Maybe “dorks” is a better word than “nerds!”

What are your favorite science facts that everyone should know?
I tell my kids that there are no scientific FACTS. Just answers that explain what we see happening around us, and new information can always change our understanding. But I’m being annoying, homeschooley, science mom.
My current favorite facts:
1. Evolution is real, y’all. It’s worth the effort to understand, because it is amazing.
2. That said, dinosaurs and humans DID co-exist. In fact we still do! My son has two of them as pets and they’re just as loud and messy and demanding as you would expect little, feathered dinosaurs to be.
3. Your body has more bacteria cells than human cells.

Why is it important to give kids gifts that are both fun and educational?
It isn’t! I mean, let’s be honest—you really do not need to cram kids’ brains with scientific terminology. The best gifts invite open ended play and make kids feel empowered to experiment fearlessly. If they happen to learn some fun science facts, all the better.

Turbellaria

Which illustration on the Super Nerdy ABC Blocks is your favorite and why?
Oh gosh. I love Io with its cute little active volcano. But my favorite might be the derpy-eyed flatworm. Those worms really look like that!

From Absolute Zero to Zoological Oddity, your ABCs cover some pretty interesting material. How did you decide what to put on the blocks?
This was a fun exercise in problem solving. There are 26 letter blocks, each block has six sides. My kids helped me brainstorm ideas. For some letters, there were too many options to choose from! Feynman, Friction, Fahrenheit, Force, Freefall, Fibonacci… For those it came down to deciding which would translate best into small, one-color illustrations.

Shelves in Tiffany's Studio

What are some fun ways to use Super Nerdy Blocks, aside from just stacking them up and knocking them over?
Spell your name. Look for patterns. Sort by type of interest—biology, chemistry, math. Make paths. Hide them all over the house and look for A-Z. Close your eyes and pick one block, and then challenge a friend to define the term.

Besides giving kids super-fun math and science toys, what else can grownups do to help encourage kids to embrace their nerdiness?
Model CURIOUSITY. Act excited when you don’t know something. Let kids see you trying and failing and trying again as you tackle learning something that’s hard for you. Let them experiment, let them play, and create a space where it’s always okay to make wrong guesses.

 

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: A Grand Adventure

November 28, 2014

Daniella | A Grand Adventure | UncommonGoods

Product: A Grand Adventure Activity Set

Research:

Can this Grand Adventure Game be really fun for a 5 year old? I chose to do this activity with my grandaughter on a Saturday afternoon. We did many activities indoors and outdoors, which was a lot of fun. This gave us the opportunity to enjoy activities together and build beautiful joyful memories filled with smiles and laughter. This set of twenty activities will become a treasured keepsake for the both of us.

1

Hypothesis:

I went in hoping that this set will be a fun learning experience that my granddaughter Jailah would enjoy. I was happy to see  many learning activities provided in the deck. I was also looking for activities that could keep her entertained,  rather than buying a new toy knowing that she wouldn’t play with again.

Activities for Grandchildren

Experiment:

First we spread out the 20 activity cards that were designated for “Little G”–AKA Jailah. Then we took turns completing the activities that were provided for “Big G”–ME! We Started with one activity and continued moving on to the next.

Playing A Grand Adventure Grandparent/Grandchild Game

Conclusion:

Being a Mother and Grandmother you are always looking for a way to entertain your children. This Grand Adventure activity was filled with hours of fun and bonding. Her favorite activities were Buggin’ out, Thumbs up, and Have you heard the one about the funny Grandkid?. I enjoyed all the activies that were included in this game and would definitely recommend this as a gift for all grandparents to share the experience with their grandchildren.

Having fun with A Grand Adventure Activity Set | UncommonGoods

 

Gift Guides

Gifts for Kids: 15 Educational (and Fun!) Toys and Games

November 13, 2014

Scratch Map Deluxe | UncommonGoods Gifts for Kids| Educational Toys and Games | UncommonGoods Did you ever dream of growing up to become an astronaut, world-renowned artist, or president? Chances are, the kids on your holiday list are filled with the same big ambitions and want to absorb all of the knowledge they can along the way to adulthood. Keep those young, audacious spirits excited about learning the wonders of the world with these gifts that encourage creativity and make education fun.

Super Nerdy ABC Blocks | UncommonGoods

 

1. It’s true that A is for apple and B is for boy, but your kid probably already knows that. Teach them the ABCs from “Absolute Zero”  to “Zoological Oddity” with Super Nerdy ABC Blocks. (Or let them show off all of the cool things their first initial stands for with this matching art.)

Fresh Architecture Memory Game | UncommonGoods2. This update to the classic game of memory won’t soon be forgotten. | Fresh Architecture Memory Game

Storymatic Kids Game | UncommonGoods

3. Whether you use the cards to tell a brand new bedtime story or listen intently as your kiddo writes an original fairytale, the Storymatic Kids Game is designed to help children of all ages think outside the book.   Musical Pat Bells | UncommonGoods 4. Sure, banging on pots and pans is fun, but your little percussionist can make beautiful music AND learn the C major scale with these Musical Pat Bells.   Whatchamadrawit | UncommonGoods 5. It’s not a whatchamacallit, it’s Whatchamadrawit–a super fun way to encourage kids to get creative through guided doodling. 21830_kwizniac_kidz 6. Tryouts for a TV game show might still be a few years away, but it’s never too soon to start filling a young mind with fun facts. | Kwizniac Trivia Game for Kids   scratchmap Scratch Map Deluxe | UncommonGoods 7. Whether the giftee is already a world traveler or dreams of visiting far away lands in the future, they can uncover adventures with the Scratch Map Deluxe.   USA Scratch Map | UncommonGoods 8. If your future explorer isn’t quite ready to have the whole world at his or her hands, the United States is a good place to start. | USA Scratch Map   A Grand Adventure |Grandparent-Grandchild Game | UncommonGoods 9. Grandparents: This is your chance to win extra spoil points. A Grand Adventure lets you give grandkids hours of fun with 20 activities for Big G (grandparent) and Little G (grandkid) to do together.     Rememory Game | UncommonGoods 10. Recalling old memories can be just as fun as creating new ones, especially when those two things are happing at the same time! | Rememory Game     Kid's Edible Chemistry Kit | UncommonGoods 11. Many kids grow up to learn that cooking can come down to a science. In the meantime, the Kid’s Edible Chemistry Kit teaches the basics on acids and bases, pigments and polymers, and more.   Elements Photo Card  Deck | UncommonGoods 12. Not every kid (or adult, for that matter)  knows what bismuth or boron looks like, but this colorful card collection lets science lovers picture the periodic table in a new way. | Elements Photo Card Deck   United States of America Blocks Set | UncommonGoods 13. Your little guy or gal might still be too young for civics class, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in the building blocks of our nation. | United States of America Block Set   President Block Set | UncommonGoods 14. Want to be elected “best gift-giver ever”? Vote yes to the President Block Set.     Hanz-Genius Kit | UncommonGoods   15. Tiny tinkerers will get an introduction to kinetics, practice puzzle solving, and hours of imaginative play with the Hanz-Genius Kit.

 

UncommonGoods Gifts for Kids

Gift Guides

Kinetic Sand: Sculpt it, Spread it, Move it

May 31, 2013

The moment I saw Kinetic Sand, I was addicted. At first, I played with it and felt like I was a kid at the beach again, playing with sand castle molds. I couldn’t wait to bring it into our assortment. I brought it to the office to pass around to my coworkers – my teammates absent-mindedly played with it during meetings and at their desks. It’s fun for kids and also the perfect stress ball or thinking toy. I love sharing this item with friends, because as soon as people understand what it is and what it does, they can’t get enough.

Here are a few examples of what happened when I introduced some unsuspecting members of our team and artist family to this workable, sandy substance.

First, customer service specialists Valerie and Lauren gave this not-quite-putty a try.

They mushed it, squished it, and watched it flow.



Then they practiced their sculpting skills by reproducing some of their favorite uncommon goods.

Tabletop Buyer Candace brought her sand on a visit to Twig Terrariums, and Michelle and Katy’s reaction was priceless.


I’m sure keeping a few piles of Kinetic Sand around the office will result in many more impromptu product testing sessions. After all, it’s proof that you can have fun in the sand without spending a day at the beach.

The Uncommon Life

“My Favorite Gift” – Childhood Memories of UG Team Members

December 24, 2012

We read each and every comment that our customers leave on our site, and we are often moved by the stories you tell about giving and receiving gifts from UncommonGoods.

In recent weeks, we’ve shipped out many, many gifts, and it got us thinking about the gifts you never forget. So last week, asked a random handful of our fellow team members, “What was your favorite gift that you received when you were a child?” Here are their answers, in their own words. No job titles, because this is about play, not work!

Jonathan Acevedo

I was fourteen. We had just moved here to Brooklyn, and we were still really poor.  What I used to do, I’d go to an arcade and I’d pay two dollars to play on a PlayStation for 30 minutes. My mom saw how much I liked it, and found a way to save up all the money and buy me a PlayStation for Christmas.

It was a secondhand PlayStation, it had marks on it, but I didn’t care.  It was crazy, I was going bananas in my house, and I played it alllllllllll night long. And I beat the game. I beat all three of them that she bought me.

I honestly don’t know where she got the money. But I’m trying my best to pay her back. I just had my first child, so she’s a grandmother now. That’s more than enough, for her, I think!

David Anderson

I loved Legos as a kid. And when I was probably eleven or twelve, that year was my Lego year. Every gift that I got was a Lego set.

I got a police station Lego set, the train set that runs on the track, I got a pirate ship Lego set…it was Lego mania. It was so awesome, because it didn’t matter what set it was. They had the pirate ship stuff, they had a town theme, they had an airport theme…it didn’t matter, as long as it was Lego, and it had an instruction book with it, I was going to do it. Whatever it was.

It was funny, because I would put them together within an hour of opening them, and then that’d be it. Because I was like, “All right, this one’s done. What’s next?” I would Eat. Them. Up. Just love putting them together. And when I finished them, I was like, “I don’t want this any more.”

I gave them to my brother, and he just tore them apart. He didn’t like Legos. It was like this factory of me making Legos and then he would destroy them.

Bryan Balin

I was the youngest of three. My older brother was born in 1976, my sister was born in 1980, I was born in ’85. So I would get hand-me-downs for Christmas. Which I never really liked that much, but that was the way it went.

As a kid, it was fine, because my sister and I were close to each other in age, so I would get her toys, and they would be really up to date. But by the time I was about seven or eight years old, my sister’s interests had gone to Barbies and princesses and stuff. So I would only get my older brother’s toys from the ’70s. Which made it very funny, because I was playing with like Mr. T. in the late 1980s.

So the only other option was, my dad would buy these knock-off toys.  Like, I was very much into whatever was on TV, stuff  like Power Rangers.  So it was not the Power Rangers, it was the “Power Warriors,” and it was the wrong color and so forth.

One year, I was about six or seven years old, I was walking through a Dominick’s, which was the neighborhood grocery store, with my dad. And there’s a big stack of Nerf Chainblazers. I didn’t give my Dad one second to talk. I over and over just hammered him, “Dad I want this, Dad I want this, Dad I want this, Dad I want this!”

And he said, “No. Absolutely not. There’s no way we’re going to waste this money on you.” So I gave up.

A few days before, he said, “What are you getting for Christmas, Bryan? You know, I stopped by Walmart and got a bunch of Power Warriors toys.” He was taking me for a ride.

On Christmas Day, we go down under the tree, and there’s this big box, right? And it’s far too big for a Chainblazer, so I’m like, [sighs] “They gave me another hand-me-down, or this is an educational toy.”

I open it up, and there’s just wrapping and pillows and stuff.

I open it more, and inside is the Chainblazer.

I was overjoyed. I was screaming, I was jumping, I was super happy that I’d gotten this thing. And of course I immediately opened it up and started shooting at my sister. I played with it for years.

My father was usually the disciplinarian, made sure everybody did their chores, and go to bed, and all of that. So he was very pleased to have done that. And it was nice seeing that side of him that I didn’t usually get to see.  He actually did not buy it at Dominick’s, he got a deal at Costco for it.

Gaby Dolceamore

Elbow was my favorite doll. She was one of those first baby dolls, with her arms up like a true newborn. I’d bitten some of her fingers off. I called her Elbow. I couldn’t think of a girly name.  I was probably about a year old when I got her.  I didn’t know too many words, so that was what I could think of.

She was my first and my best friend. Before I had a little sister, I had Elbow. She was on such a pedestal that I didn’t actually play with her like I’d play with other dolls. She was like Madame DuBarry of Versailles, she was the king’s favorite. She slept in the bed with me.

Every year for Christmas, Santa would come in and re-dress Elbow in a new pretty dress while I was sleeping. So I’d wake up and I’d have presents to go to downstairs, but first I got to see Elbow in a new dress.

One year when I was six, we were at a flea market, and I was eyeing up this velvet dress with a white apron pinafore on top of it. A couple months later, my Dad and I were in our hall closet taking out decorations to decorate the tree, and I noticed the dress right there. He saw that I had seen it and kind of froze in his tracks.

And I was like, “Don’t worry. We won’t tell Mommy about this.”

Ever since then, it’s the one story they tell where they get choked up every time they tell it. Because it was me being wiser than my age, and really sweet. I knew that the surprise was ruined, but I didn’t want my mom to know the surprise was ruined, and I was just being so thoughtful.

That thoughtfulness died off! [laughs] I was a very empathetic child. Not so much in adulthood. [laughs] Which is probably why they enjoy that memory so much, because it was the last time! [laughs]

It wasn’t the moment that I stopped believing in Santa. I did still believe in Santa, I just thought maybe Santa didn’t have time to come upstairs and change Elbow’s dress, and that was something my parents did for him. Or maybe they were helping Santa out, because maybe Santa doesn’t go to flea markets in South Jersey. Maybe he’s got his own thing. [laughs]

Jody Edwards

I was seven or eight. I was a big Star Wars fan. I had all the action figures already. And I got the Death Star Action Set from Star Wars for Christmas. That was my faaaaavorite gift, it was so awesome.

To paint a picture of it, it was like a Barbie Dream House for the Star Wars characters. It was three-dimensional, about four feet tall, it had four layers. It even had the little trash compactor with foam “trash” in it. And you put the Star Wars characters in there and you could make the walls came in together in the trash compactor…it was super cool.

I kept it for all these years. And about three years before I had my son I ended up giving it away. But I wish I’d kept it for my son, because now he’s a big Star Wars fan. But you know, what do you do?

Victoria Gollan

We left Russia when I was one, and by the time we got to America, I was three. It was my mom and my grandparents, and everyone worked, but we just didn’t have anything left for gifts. I didn’t know that gifts were part of the package anyway, at that point. I was too young.

When we first moved from Russia to America, our temple was very involved in sponsoring us, and sometimes we would get gifts from people in the temple. So I’m not actually sure who gave it to me, but I got a bucket of beads. They were the sort of triangular kind that you could stack on top of each other, maybe the size of a fingernail.

I never wanted to make a bracelet or a necklace with them, because then I wouldn’t be able to do other things with them. Sometimes I’d string them together and maybe wear it for a little bit, and then I would take them apart again.

But my favorite activities were playing dolls with the beads, where I would take forks and I’d put the beads on their tines, and act out different scenes; and the other was playing “tea,” where I would group the beads into colors, and try to make, like, “Ok, green and red beads, this is a salad, this is cake,” so I’d have like the sprinkles on top of the yellow. There were just so many possibilities! [laughs]

Stan Jones

A little red wagon. My grandmother, she got it for me for Christmas. I didn’t know what it was. I saw it in the box, and I was so happy to get it. I liked it because it was red. And I wanted to pull it.

When I was a kid, I was in the South a lot. When I used to go down to Mississippi, the horse and buggy, we used to be in the back of it and ride through the fields. So when I got the wagon, it reminded me of all that, you see?

When I got it, I wanted someone to pull me in it. And I didn’t have nobody to pull me around in it. I wanted my mom to pull me in it. I sat in there crying, because I didn’t have nobody to pull me. My mother, she wouldn’t pull me in it. I’d just sit in it.

I used to go to the top of the hill – remember in the books, Jack and Jill? So I used to take it and go up on top of the hill, and get in it, and push it down. I got hurt, I got scars. I was about five or six, and I’m still scarred. [laughs] But I loved it! I loved that wagon.

It was funny, because when I got older, I bought a wagon, ‘cause I loved the wagon, and I tried to give it to my kids. They was like, “What is this?!” [laughs] They was like, “What I supposed to do?” I said, “Get in it, and I supposed to pull you!”

My son, he was the first kid. So after I pushed him around, we stopped. And he standing next to it. I said, “Do what I did. You gotta pull it and get someone to push you in it.”

So I came back in the house, and the wagon was in the corner. I said, “Brandon, why you not playing with the wagon? He said, “I ain’t got nobody else to help!” [laughs] He said, “I think this wagon is useless!”[laughs]

I think I got it because it brought a lot of memories of when I saw the wagon. He didn’t understand it, because I didn’t tell him. I just was over-infatuated with the wagon. When I brought the wagon home, my wife said, “What’d you buy that for?” I said, “ I bought it for the kids.” But it was really for me.

I’m still infatuated with red wagons. When I see ‘em in the store, especially at Christmas time, I just be standing there looking at ‘them. Maybe it’s the color. The white wheels, the black and white wheels. And then you can pull it, you know? That’s it. Really nice.

My daughter still has it in her house. She said she took it because she saw I liked it. She got a teddy bear sitting in it. My grandmother gave it to her before she passed.

Cameron Spencer

When I was nine years old, I received my first train set. It was a big one, too. A metal train, ’cause I’m kind of up there in age, so they made the real, strong, tough one. I forgot what company made it, but that was the best gift I ever received when I was growing up. Because I was infatuated about trains.

My cousin used to come from Washington. He was a little older than me. He used to take me all over the MTA. Back then the tokens were only twenty cents. That’s how long ago it was. In the ’70s. They were tiny, they looked like the size of a dime and they had a Y in them.

I had it until I was about eleven or twelve. My mother and father gave it to me. I kept it for a long time. And I passed it down to my son.

But they wrecked it up. I wouldn’t spank ‘em for that, though. The train set was old. But it was still functional.

Heather Thompson

The best Christmas present I ever got was a kitten.

My sister is seven years older than I am. So when she went to college, I was in sixth grade, in Mrs. Pavelka’s class. And we had rats in that class.

We were doing an experiment on whether protein or vegetables were better. So we fed one rat peanut butter and one rat carrots and celery and stuff.

At the end of the one month experiment, you could take the rats home. And on the weekends, they’d get kids to take the rats home and care for them.

So I begged. And I got to take the rat on the weekend. I cared a lot for the rat. I really liked it.

I begged and begged to have the rat at the end of the experiment. And my mom said, “No.” [laughs] She did not want me to take the rat.

But they knew that I was responsible, and could care, and they felt I was really missing my sister, and looking for something.

So that Christmas, we went to the ten o’clock church service. My mom had picked up the kitten that day, and had given it to our neighbors, who had it all afternoon. My mom was surprising us with this kitten that the neighbors were supposed to bring over after their church service, at midnight on Christmas Eve. And they were late. I was tired, and my sister was tired.

And I was like, “No, we want to go to bed.” And she was like, “No, let’s just stay up a little more!” But we went to bed.

Then the neighbors came over. And I came down in my ‘jammies, ’cause they were like, “Come down!” So I came down.

And it was my tiny little Christmas kitten.

I was ecstatic. I didn’t sleep that whole night. I mauled this poor kitten.

I named her Tasha. And she lived forever. She passed away maybe two years ago. She was awesome. The best little cat.

 

The Uncommon Life

Goldilocks & the Three Bears: An Uncommon Story

October 9, 2012

There once was a beautiful collection of handmade children’s accessories by Jen List and Stacy Waddington. The story began with The Three Little Pigs, but those little pink piggies aren’t the only adorable animals in Storybook Land. Before we get to the part where everyone lives happily ever after, we’d like to introduce you to some more cuddly creatures, the stars of chapter two of our uncommon fairy tale, The Three Bears. (And their friend, Goldilocks, of course!)

Storybook Puppets | UncommonGoods

Storybook Purse | UncommonGoods

Storybook Slippers | UncommonGoods

Storybook | Necklace

Storybook Blanket | UncommonGoods

Gift Guides

The Three Little Pigs: An Uncommon Story

October 3, 2012

Once upon a time our buyers discovered a collection of whimsical children’s accessories from Jen List and Stacy Waddington. The short version is that we fell head over heels in love with these handmade upcycled fabric pieces and lived happily ever after. Of course, as in every fairy tale, there’s a little more to the story. So without further ado, the first chapter of our Storybook Collection, The Three Little Pigs.

But story time isn’t over just yet. The tale continues in chapter two: Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Gift Guides

Top 10 Baby Gifts from our Buyer

July 30, 2012

My name is Melissa, and I am the buyer for Children’s & Leisure product here at UncommonGoods. Basically, I am constantly on the hunt for new, cool, and – of course – uncommon items for our assortment. We scout trade shows, blogs, craft fairs, and more to find the best and most special product for our site and catalog. Kids is all about personality and I try to find awesome (and educational!) pieces that both kids and moms will love. Also, one of my favorite things about working at UncommonGoods is that we are really all focused on the inspiration, story, and artistry of our items – all of the vendors and artists I work with are so interesting and inspiring, and care so much about the quality and specialness of their product.

There is so much on the site that I am excited about, but I was asked to put together a Top 10 Baby Gifts list, and so here is my best shot (in no particular order):

2012 Birth Year Box – Kerri Lee’s amazing Birth Year Box is such a special gift for parents because it allows them to have a safe and beautiful place to store early memories. I love the sweetness of the dragon – I also just got a sneak peek of the 2013 Snake, and I really look forward to seeing what you all think! We also have birth year shadowboxes (similar to these keepsake shadowboxes) that are coming in for Holiday – get excited!

Birth Announcement Pillows – I love Lori Blum’s subway-inspired Birth Announcement Pillows – they are fresh and modern, yet timeless as a record of a parent’s special moment in time.

Baby Fortune Cookie Slippers – Della Slowik has some of my favorite quirky items – her Toddler Sushi Booties and Adult Sushi Slippers are a riot as well.

Organic Cotton Teethers Veggie Crate – These 100% Egyptian cotton veggies are so cute, and a perfect aww-worthy toy set. The carrot and mushroom both crack me up.

‘So My Story Begins’ Babysuit – I love this graphic – it always makes me smile. It also has one of my favorite customer reviews: “This baby outfit garners sounds of delight at baby showers. It brings a smile to everyone’s face as they immediately discuss how unusual it is. So My Story Begins has the potential to be an heirloom for the family.” (Cheryl from Capistrano Beach, CA)

Upcycled Sweater Moose Head – Josh Title’s cool Moose Head is a great decorative piece for a nursery made from discarded sweaters. These are eye-catching and quirky – we loved it so much we hung one up in the office!

Farmer’s Market Babysuit Collection – These Farmer’s Market Babysuits are truly all American, with 100% Texas cotton manufactured in Pennsylvania and printed in North Carolina. Make sure to check out the packaging, that is the selling point for me – what a perfect gift!

President Block Set – My favorite products are those that have both play and educational value – these are that, and handmade to boot. Other favorites along these lines are our Periodic Table Blocks and Nursery Rhyme Blocks. Stay tuned – we also just added some Egyptian Hieroglyphics Blocks and ABC Sign Language + Braille Blocks that I think are amazing.

Babiators Sunglasses – These are just cool, and a perfect mini-me moment. As one customer says, her baby “looks like his Daddy’s twin when they wear their sunglasses together” (Nana from Bryson City, NC)

Baby Shower Baskets: Take Me Home Outfit and Toy, Hat, and Bootie Set – These are brand-new to the site, and a couple of my favorite items, so I had to sneak in two for my last spot in the top 10! The toys are wonderfully soft and cuddly, and the hat, booties, and wrap sets are all of a beautiful and durable quality. I think these make the absolutely perfect baby shower gift!

There are so many more items that I love, but I hope this quick list helped you find the perfect items for you and your (or your friend’s or family’s) baby. I would love to hear if there any other items from our site that you all think are a particularly good baby gift – please share!

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