Polar Bear's Underwear
by Tupera Tupera
7 1/8 x 11 3/4 in; 32 pp;
Age Range: 3-5 years
$12.75 on Amazon
A book that Chloe loves to read and laugh out loud with is the new book from Chronicle Books, Polar Bear's Underwear by Tupera Tupera (a Tokyo based art and design studio). Of course, in order to start reading, you'll need to take off the red paper underwear to open the book. Let's just say, this process is full of giggles, jokes and snorts from kiddos. I mean how can you not laugh when you say the word underwear?
Inside the book, Polar Bear and mouse go on a journey to find his underwear. With clever cut outs, kids will encounter lots of wacky animals in their colorful and fancy underwear. Of course, in the end Polar Bear realizes he is wearing underwear after all –– his new white underwear. He just couldn't see it! Kids will love to help Polar Bear find his undies and enjoy the beautiful illustrations. Also, this book would be a great potty training book for toddlers to excited about wearing their own underwear.
Our project was to make beautiful two-toned loofah soaps. Everything was included in the kit to make the soaps including containers, labels and raffia string. It made things easy for me to just have all the supplies ready to go! The instructions were clear and we had fun adding our own twist to things.
Chloe loved pouring in the soaps! Here she is after finishing a few bars. If you're interested in making this yourself, the full tutorial for the loofah soap project is up on their blog.
Handmade Beauty Box is a great way to have a project delivered to your door each month. Each box includes how-to instructions and all all the supplies –– to make soaps, lotions, mineral makeup, bath fizzies, lipsticks, nail polishes, salt scrubs, candles, and more. You can choose from various subscription plans: $31.50/ month, $29.99/month for a 3 month subscription and $28.79/month for a 12 month subscription. In addition to the fun you'll have making projects, just think of all the cool gifts you'll be able to give!
This week Chloe had the flu so when she finally felt better yesterday, we decided to do some crafts. She has loved folding her own paper airplanes for years now and she was particularly excited about this kit, One Minute Paper Airplanes ($12.01 on Amazon by Andrew Dewar (published by Tuttle Publishing). Finally she said she could make a really fast high-flying plane. The kit comes with 12 beautiful planes that can be easily popped out by my 6 year old. It comes with a 32 page color booklet with instructions and also comes with a rubber band catapult launcher.
She decided she wanted to make the Streaking Comet. She punched out all the pieces and I helped her make sure the folds were done in the right places. She only needed my help when it came time to stapling the nose of the plane. For older kids, they could definitely do an entire plane by themselves. We live in a loft space so we had plenty of air to launch our Streaking Comet right away! Wow could it fly far! It was lots of fun and highly satisfying for her to complete a project so quickly that she could play with it.
Origami is a fun craft for kids to do. I love how you can take a small, flat piece of paper and turn it into a wonderful 3D object. Trying to teach Chloe has been slow going because for the most part, instructions I've found online or inside a package of a origami paper set, haven't been too clear. Now with the My First Origami Kit ($13.46 on Amazon) by Joel Stern (published by Tuttle Publishing), Chloe and I have been having fun making cute animals. The kit comes with everything you need which I love because you can easily take the box to go. It comes with book filled with step by step, clear instructions for 22 origami projects. The kit also comes with 60 two-sided origami sheets and 150 decorative stickers from eyes, paws and more. The instructions are very clear and perfect for my 6 year old to grasp.
The origami papers are very different and fun. They come in a wide array of patterns and colors – definitely way more exciting than just a rainbow of colors you typically get in a pack of origami papers.
Also, if you're like me and always going to kids' birthday parties, this kit makes a great birthday gift!
I love the kids clothing brand les petits carreaux and right now they are having a sale on selected kids clothing and accessories. Use the code HAPPYSALES at checkout for 50% off. There is free shipping on orders $150 and over.
If you're a parent, chances are you have many of the Toca Boca games on your mobile phone or iPad for your kids to play with. Chloe is obsessed with most of them but the one at the top is the Toca Hair Salon (both 1 and 2). Now kids can wear their favorite Toca Boca characters on their arms, hands – where ever they wish! Toca Ink ($10) was created in collaboration with Virginia Elwood, a renowned Brooklyn-based tattoo artist. These temporary tattoos would also make great stocking stuffers or birthday party favors. One pack of tattoos includes 8 tattoos featuring characters from various Toca Boca games.
Each pack includes:
1 x Nova from Toca House
1 x T-bot from Toca Train
1 x Walter from Toca Cars
1 x Babe the blue Ox from Toca Kitchen
1 x Blox the Builder
1 x Larry the Lion from Toca Hair Salon 1
2 x Toca Boca logo
The tattoos are also excellent quality. The colors and details of the illustrations are amazing and they last through multiple hand washings. (Simply scrub them off at bath time with a warm soapy towel.) Chloe chose the T-bot from Toca Train but since this post she's had about 4 other tattoos on her hand from the Toca Boca logo to Nova (her favorite) from Toca House.
Around my house, Chloe can't get enough of making her own little story books. The creative folks at Wee Society have a great DIY project for your budding writer. Just download the fill-in-the-blanks story worksheet which includes instructions for DIY stamps and ideas for illustrations (inspired by Ed Amberley).
I also love their alternative to candy on Halloween night like little toys, stickers or temporary tattoos to pass out. These super cute Spooky Spider or Boo Crew Tattlys are designed by Wee Society.
Finally, if you still are looking for costume ideas, check out their paper bag DIY costumes from last year here.
Mix It Up by Hervé Tullet
8 5/8 x 8 5/8 in, 64 pages
$11.13 on Amazon
Just out now is Hervé Tullet's new book Mix It Up!, published by Chronicle Books. Mix It Up! is the much anticipated follow up to his first book, Press Here. Through his simple paint splat style, he shows kids the art of mixing colors together and giving kids the notion of artistic empowerment. I've always felt that the French have an amazing grasp of building in art into the everyday life of kids and Hervé earns his nickname "the Prince of Preschool" so well.
The book is interactive and takes you through a painting journey as if you are painting and mixing yourself. Nevermind, that the paint is actually dry and printed on paper, it all looks so amazingly real! The good news? No messy fingers. :)
Mix it Up!’s creator, Hervé Tullet will be visiting the US in October doing large-scale interactive art project events with kids at museums, libraries and event centers. Also in NY, the Brooklyn Public Library main library is hosting an exhibit of original paintings that explore and explain his influences as an artist and book creator. The exhibit is the first of its kind for Tullet. It will be on display from October 2, 2014 to February 1, 2015.
I recently posted on Coquette about my shopping experience at Galerie Lafayette in Paris. Chloe and I were armed with a personal shopper, Elodie who helped us find cute outfits for back to school. Some of these French brands I have known very well over the years from my mother-in-law and our many travels to France. Galeries Lafayette is fantastic because it has all the brands under one roof, from luxury kids clothes to everyday affordable ones. It is fantastic one stop shopping in my book. I usually buy Chloe key clothes for the season and they end up being go-to clothing she lives in and dresses up in as well.
At the top of my list is the brand Catimini. They do both girls and boys clothing and the quality is impeccable. (Luckily for us Bay Area folks, they have a store within the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara, CA.) The magenta spirit ethnique cable knit cardigan pictured above also can be worn in reverse and showcases an embroidered deer pattern. Their clothes can take many washes. Also, from all the playground wear my daughter goes through, the dresses really last! In fact, I've passed some of her dresses down to my friend's girls, who are still wearing them years later.
You can't get more French than Petit Bateau. Go for the signature stripes or in my case this time, I found the cutest floral sweatshirt and skirt set. If you have a new baby or know someone who is expecting, I love their baby bodysuits which are made in the softest cotton ever! We picked up a few pants for Chloe here. I find that their pants are durable and I like their adjustable waists.
For kids fashion with a refined element, Jacadi has it all. Featuring prim and proper dresses for girls, handsome shirts for boys, and fabulous outerwear with no fleece in sight, this brand gives elegance to little kids.
Bonpoint (pictured above and below) is another one of my favorite brands. It's filled with rich cotton prints that the crafter in me just wants to scream inside. I sort of want it all in my size, you see. The prices are expensive so pick and choose pieces to get. This season, the smock style shirt and dress is in full swing for girls. Colors featured blush tones, bright reds and oranges as well as grays. That's what I love about French fashion for kids. They are never afraid to give kids color variety aside from the typical pinks and blues that gives French kids an immediate sophistication.