Every January and August, the creative team at Shine makes it a priority to attend the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and see the latest products for children. It seems like it was just yesterday we were here cruising the aisles for inspiration and ideas for our classes and community. We are always amazed by new designers and the way classic, everyday children’s items are re-imagined to meet the needs of the modern family. We still love the companies and items we reviewed in August, so click here to read about those. Below are a few other picks from the current show at the Javits Center in NYC.
Honestly, gift bags at parties usually underwhelm us. When we produce an event we like to fill gift bags with quality over quantity and items kids will want to keep and use, not just candy or disposable toys. We were very inspired this time around. Our friends at Kido just came out with a really attractive and modern spin on some classic gift bag goodies. Their tops, bird whistles, animal bead tilts and wobble toys are perfect for young children.
Our friends at NPW on the other hand distribute some incredible gift bag items for older kids. From their farm and zoo animal fingernail stickers to their talking hand tattoos, finger tattoos and finger & and hand puppets, these gifts are sure to encourage imaginative dramatic play and hours of fun. We’re also huge fans of the animal crayons, art boxes and fingerprinting art sets for giveaways at an art party. Truthfully, a look through their products will have you wanting to order a ton of gift bag goodies.
As always, we are looking for modern, educational products to both use at home and in our classes. Our friends at Petit Collage have done it again. We’re obsessed with their new Alphabet Art Cards, featuring ABCs, a first word and vibrantly-hued graphic images. If like us, learning combined with modern décor is your thing, check out their new United States map printed on FSC-certified solid birch wood. It is perfect for a bedroom, playroom or classroom.
For a more sophisticated alphabet block, check out Areawear’s Alphabet Blocks designed by Pat Kim. These pine and mahogany blocks are so beautiful you might have a hard time deciding if they are for you or you children.
We love Eeboo for so many reasons. They continue to inspire us with their beautiful and imaginative products, but we have always been in love with their wall cards. Printed on laminated cardstock, the different sets are both perfect for learning and decoration. Our favorites are Fairies in the Garden and Counting Birds.
If You Build It…
As always, we are big proponents of good old fashioned blocks and open-ended building. The options are endless and each show we continue to add to our collection. We have always liked Tegu for their social conscious philosophy and eco-friendly blocks in natural colors and we’re sure you will too. Your children will love these Honduran hardwood blocks because of the magical magnets inside each block which keep their creations from crashing to the ground.
For older builders, we love the Dutch designed Woodmobiel by Oots. These blocks, connected by nuts and bolts, allow children to build whatever their imagination comes up with. But to help you get going, each set comes with general instructions, and directions on how to make the safety tested models. There are nine models in a Starter Kit and twenty in all for the Standard Kit!
Finally, we think we may have found the 21st Century Lego!! Danish designed Plus Plus, distributed by Geared for Imagination, are a simple shape with endless possibilities. This fun, interactive building system allows children to be creative and strengthen motor skills with shape, color and form. The elegance of a simple construction shape allows children to design mosaics, 3-D sculptures and more. With a variety of sizes, these building manipulatives are perfect for children from 3 years through preteen!
With dozens of products that inspired our team, we’re already excited to head back to the NYIGF in August. Until then, we will continue to share our favorite toys, products, fashions and décor with our community. For more of our inspiration, be sure to follow us on Pinterest.
By Aaron Goldschmidt, Founder & Director, Shine