Alliance of Momsis a community of philanthropists who support pregnant and parenting teens in LA’s foster care system so that they can build a positive future for themselves and their children. Together as a membership community of #momsformoms, theAllianceofMomssupports the work of creating greater access to parenting, family, and wellness education, healthcare, housing, and stability for youngmoms.
Welcome Baby provides pregnant women living near the poverty line with all the crucial supplies her infant needs in the first four weeks of life. A Welcome Baby box contains 220 diapers, wipes, clothing, bottles, baby wash & moisturizer, baby carrier, thermometer, pacifiers, rash creams and much more. Every baby deserves a healthy and hygienic start to life; Welcome Baby believes that no mother should struggle to afford and obtain these basic necessities while she is still recovering from giving birth. 10% of sales from this collection will be donated to Welcome Baby.
Being a first time mom to a little girl, there are so many amazing, usable and trusted options and gifts available on Rose & Rex. My favorite picks are the incredible assortment of dolls. Not only are they beautiful, but allow for imaginative play for my little girl as she grows. We especially love the Lingua Franca collaboration doll, which is absolutely adorable! What a creative way to spread a powerful message to all the young ladies (age inclusive) with a playful toy.
Jennie Monness is the Founder of Mo’Mommies, a resource for new and expectant mothers to connect, share, and foster community, as well as a partner at NYC-based Union Square Play. With a background in early childhood education, the RIE Educaring approach has inspired Jennie’s philosophies and approach to parenting. Jennie is mom to Tess, 2, and new baby girl Nell.
I am always looking at toys based on my philosophy of open ended, child led play experiences. This holiday, I’m adding some options that are more "purposed" toys because my daughter is now a toddler. She is in need of more strategic play than when she was 18 months, and loves smaller parts now.So while the nesting bowls are still incredible for her to use her own imagination to come up with uses for them, I also chose some toys that can help inspire pretend play. The baby doll set and pizza set for instance, automatically create a play experience where a child can start with the symbolic use and then create their own story around it (a pizza parlor for instance). The dollhouse is something that I would also add at this point because she is very much into pretend play with smaller parts. With a baby on the way, it helps with emotional aspects as well!
Lizzie Assa is the Founder of The Workspace for Children, an inspiration source for living a play based life with kids. Lizzie has a Masters in Education from Bank Street College of Education and taught nursery school in NYC prior to becoming mom to three kiddos, now ages six, nine and eleven. Combining her passion for play, art, and parenting, Lizzie offers tips and resources to parents, teachers and caregivers through her blog and social channels.
This collection of toys is near and dear to my heart. We either have the items listed, or they are something on our wishlist. The one common thread throughout is that these are toys that can be cherished throughout childhood and passed on through siblings and cousins. I am picky about what materials come into our home, and everything on this gift list makes the cut.
I love buying my children toys that feel meaningful for our family. There are so many fun, pretend cooking and baking picks on my list, as well as a guitar as both my husband Andrew and I are musicians. Maileg is always a favorite, too -- we can never have too many mice -- and my go-to gift is always the Tooth Fairy Mouse. Their soft colors and whimsical design make me feel better when they’re inevitably strewn about the house! My all time favorite toy is the set of Grapat bowls. Both Julia and James can enjoy them together and in different ways, whether it’s for pretend or just a bit of chewing ;-)
As a mom of 3, I’m thinking about gifting for each of their ages and stages.
For Goldie (11 months), I’m thinking about utility and what can grow with her. Kendall the Kale is our favorite teether, and I know it’s safe for her to chew on since it’s made of 100% rubber. I love any toy with my kids’ hometown on it, so we love the Globetotter NYC block. Goldie loves anything on wheels, too so Candy Cars are definitely on her list. Big Brother & Sister love helping her to explore these toys.
For Gigi (3), I’m thinking a lot about imaginary play, as well as collaborative play with her siblings. We are all in love with mice from Maileg, and can play for hours together and develop the cutest little stories. I love the Cat and Mouse Shoe Box since Gigi is really into ballet and kitty cats right now. The Tegu block set is also great for all three to play together, and I like that they’re an alternative to Magnetiles. The Moulin Roty My Little Armour is the most beautiful box, and my kids love to get these little friends dressed — it helps them learn about getting dressed for school in the morning, which helps us all get out the door, too.
For Huck (5), I’m thinking about some more special toys and activities. The Areaware Blockitecture Big Apple Set is going to be a must have this holiday. My rocker’s favorite toy is his Loog Mini Guitar — it’s the size of a ukulele but plays and sounds like a classical guitar. The Calm Mind Kit is also amazing for teaching kids mindfulness at a young age. Huck loves the Eco Play Dough and it helps him so much when he gets anxious.
As a mom of an almost five year old and a 1.5 year old, I've spent a lot of time observing my kids play. I'm always fascinated seeing each child evolve over time in how he or she plays with the same toy. I know a toy was a particularly good buy when both my kids enjoy it despite their 3+ year age difference! Open-ended toys are great for encouraging imaginative play and also for your pocketbook and the environment -- as kids can potentially play with them for years. In this gift guide I focussed on “giftable” (nicely packaged) toys that inspire endless imaginative play across a range of ages — whether through tinkering, building, playing with sounds or pretend play!
Dough It Yourself
One of our favorite classes in NYC is The Dough Project Sensory Kitchen, which invites babies and caregivers to “pretend cook” using organic, food-grade ingredients and real kitchen utensils. The Dough Project recently introduced this DIY (Dough it Yourself) at home dough cooking kit, which includes pre-measured ingredients and an easy to follow recipe for making play dough. It's all packaged adorably, which makes it extra giftable! I love that play dough is developmentally beneficial across a large span of ages -- it's great for building fine motor skills and hand strength, working on the alphabet in a fun way and endless imaginative play.
Brand New Noise Player One
There are endless toys for encouraging littles to create and tinker with their hands. This Noise Player encourages kids to experiment with sounds in their environment and their own voices.
Everyday Play Deck
This deck is about generating ideas to help families repurpose materials for play. It's a small purchase that will generate endless opportunities for play!
Jennie Monness is an Early Childhood Specialist, the Founder of go-to resource Mo' Mommies and a Co-Founder of Union Square Play in Manhattan. Through her work, Jennie is committed to supporting moms through their parenting journey while honoring the unique developmental path of every child.
"It's magical when you see pretend play moments where children create their own world through play. When I choose toys, I think of the possibilities that each toy has. Toys should be able to be manipulated in many ways and inspire creativity, imagination and curiosity. They should encourage a child to be active rather than passive; to be engaged and involved rather than entertained and overstimulated. With the right environment and materials, children get lost in play that just flows. I find that Rose & Rex has such an incredibly thoughtful selection of toys that possess all of the things that I value in play. I've carefully chosen my favorites based on the things I find most important in play!"
My girls never seem to ask for any “big stuff” for special holidays. At first that could sound like a great problem to have, but if we’re not careful, it usually means a lot of odds and ends that can get forgotten about quickly. As a minimalist, I try to make sure to at least be meaningful with the “little things” we get them. That means making sure each gift will last forever (like a hardcover book or heirloom doll), can get used up completely (like crayons or a craft kit), or can be passed down from one child to the next easily (think well-made bikes, blocks, or instruments). With that in mind, I love gifting educational toys or things that encourage them to get outside and really play. One reason we love Rose + Rex (aside from Allie the owner being the nicest human ever!), is that everything on the site has already been curated by teachers and encourages skillful or imaginative play. The hard part of shopping around is totally cut out! Plus, every toy is gorgeous and when inevitably left on the floor, can totally double as cute playroom decor. ;)
Ocean ecosystems are under increasing stress from pollution, offshore development, and climate change.Through a global network of activists and volunteers, The Surfrider Foundation advocates for marine and coastal ecosystems and develops programs to ensure that they are protected. We are aligned with the work this organization does to encourage individuals, industry, and governments to protect our ocean by moving away from single-use plastics. Since launch, Rose & Rex has committed to saying no to plastic toys, which count for more than 90% of the toys on the market today.