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TOYS & GAMES
Sweet shadow puppets from Nogaravin
Last week our oldest daughter Sara and I visited the Kleine Fabriek, the children's fashion and lifestyle trade fair here in Amsterdam, where we met our lovely Polish shop member Noga Ravin. I've always loved the look of Noga's 'Doggy Bags', but it was nice to discover her original and innovative range of products in person. [video width="480" height="270" m4v="http://babyccinokids.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Shadows-sketch.m4v"][/video]   Her ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
Stitch 'n kids: felt hand puppets
A few weeks ago I made these owl hand puppets with my kids, which was such a fun project that I thought I should share. First, we designed the owl on paper. Then, we cut out the different shapes of felt, first the shape of the body (twice), then the details like the eyes, the ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
Shadow puppets
We are on holiday! Yes! But I need to work the first week, which is not so fun. So my girls have been going to mini holiday ateliers which you can find all over Paris -- little art classes and theatre classes that teach kids essential survival skills like making shadow puppets. Not a skill useful ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
DIY: sock puppets
I think it is a classic to make puppets out of socks. But it is something we have never done at home. Last weekend we finally did it and it is a nice way to spend an evening. It is a really easy DIY and very fun. I  very much like changing "normal" things into ...
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TOYS & GAMES
Puppets, for re-enacting your favourite stories
We love the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It is still one of those books my kids request at bed time, or.. even now I'll catch my older kids reading it to the younger ones. So, you can imagine how excited they were when this puppet set arrived from AlexandAlexa last week. I ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
Bunny Finger Puppets
Aren't these bunny finger puppets just darling? Cute for your kids' Easter basket, or just for a bit of creative springtime play. And easy to make too... even for sewing novices like myself (no sewing machine required). Molly at The Purl Bee gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make these little felt bunnies, including ...
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TOYS & GAMES
Folkmanis puppets
What is it about puppets? I feel like there isn't a single kid out there who doesn't love them. My boys were each given a Folkmanis hand puppet for Christmas last year and it was by far their favourite gift. In fact it was the one toy they insisted we bring with us on our ...
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BOOKS
Shadow puppets
When you have a child with a particular obsession or interest, it's funny how we as parents feed it.  I have a son whom, as you know, is wild about sea creatures.  It's not the usual temporary phase (you know... one month dinosaurs, the next month trains), but one that has lasted for well over ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
Hand puppets
This past weekend was cold and wet, which is probably the worst weather combo ever! It made for a weekend spent mostly inside, which meant my husband and I were forced to be creative to keep our boys entertained. Making hand puppets turned out to be a brilliant idea, because we spent about an hour ...
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PARENTING
Busy Boxes: a great idea to keep little ones entertained
Super simple ideas are the best, and this idea of a BUSY BOX for bigger siblings, which is great for both mamas and kids, will help enormously in the early weeks & months of second (or third) time motherhood (especially if you don't have extra help at home!). We know newborns love to feed, sleep, ...
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CRAFTS AND DIY
Splotch animal Pop-up Cards
Ella recently celebrated her birthday which means this week her thank you cards are on our family to-do list (don't for a second think that I actually get around to mailing out thank yous a week after a gift is given, but the best of intentions is always there immediately!). Nathan's mom gave us a ...
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BROOKLYN
Acorn Toy Shop
  Acorn Toys (323 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn) is a treasure.  The shop ladies were so utterly gracious as my 3-year-old exclaimed repeatedly, “I want it all!  Let’s take it all!”  I had to agree with her.  This little gem has the loveliest selection of toys, clothing, and decor, special enough to be passed down through generations.  It's ...
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CELEBRATIONS
First day of Advent (and the sweetest Christmas calendar from Fabelab)
Last year I blogged about our last minute advent calendar -- not a calendar filled with gifts and sweets, but one filled with little notes suggesting a daily activity to get us in the mood for Christmas. It was a huge success and a tradition was born, so I just (quite last minute again!) put ...
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KIDS
WalkyTalkies -- talking socks
In essence, WalkyTalkies are simply socks -- albeit fun and good-quality ones. But that's not all... WalkyTalkies offer an extra little bit of great usability to make them really awesome: the socks double up as hand-puppets! I just love this clever idea from a Dutch mum (and so do my kids). Aren't the best ideas often the simplest ones? xxx Esther  
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PLACES TO VISIT
Weekend Getaway: Budapest
Have you every been to Budapest? I would love to go! I'm a little bit obsessed by old European capitals at the moment, so Budapest is right at the top of my list of places to visit. One of our lovely readers, Diane, visited Budapest recently and put together a little lists of things to ...
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KIDS
Cute toys under £4 from Eenymeeny
Ivy has now lost her two bottom teeth!! I think it's really young to start losing them (she's only 4½!), but it goes to show that no matter how hard I try to keep my babies little forever, they just insist on growing up! : ) Anyway, the tooth fairy has now come twice in ...
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KIDS
Cute Crow dress, from Dundelina
Dundelina is a Norwegian brand with a sweet collection of 'dresses with a story'. There are dresses with large pockets hiding little secrets, brooches that become finger puppets, reversible skirts and shirts with hide and seek layers... so fun! My absolute favourite item in the current Dundelina collection is this Crow Dress, which I couldn't resist ...
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BOOKS
Little Puggle crafty activity kits
Little Puggle is a brand new website offering a monthly subscription service for craft activity boxes to be sent to your door. Each box is filled with crafty and cool activities, DIY art kits and all the necessary materials (scissors, paints, glue) for making your creations. When you sign up, you can fill out your ...
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TOYS & GAMES
Playon Crayons
A friend gave my daughter these fun non-toxic crayons for her third birthday. I wish I’d known about them sooner! They are wildly entertaining as you can color with them, stack them into towers, turn them upside down and pretend they are ice cream cones, and put them on little toddler hands as extra colorful ...
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BOOKS
Fantastic Mr Fox
Last weekend, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the girls and I made popcorn, wrapped up in blankets and settled down to watch Fantastic Mr Fox. Have you seen it? It is turning into one of our  all-time favourite movies. So many things are great: the script, the action and George Clooney's voice! Plus, it works for ...
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WEEKEND GETAWAYS
Weekend Get-Away: Stockholm!
Stockholm is SUCH a cool city. I have been only a few times, but each time I felt an urge to move there (and not many cities do that to me!). It's beautiful, it's trendy, it's kid-friendly, most people speak English, and it's always voted one of the best cities for families to live... so ...
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TRAVEL
Weekend Get-Away: Boston
According to my friend, Marika, who is a regular visitor -- Boston is an absolutely fantastic city to visit with kids because it is jam-packed with things to do for the whole family, regardless of age and interest.  It's also super easy to get around town, either on foot or by public transport.  The centre ...
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BOOKS
Taro Gomi's Play All Day
I love Taro Gomi's illustrations and we've always enjoyed his books (My Friends, Bus Stops and Everybody Poos) so I was really interested when I discovered Taro Gomi's Play All Day activity book.  Since then, I have bought it for everyone I know -- I feel like I've found treasure!  The book is basically the BEST ...
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TOYS & GAMES
Mini cardboard theatre
Cute, this mini theatre! Especially since it features the characters of Little Red Riding Hood -- my kids' favourite fairy tale and one they know by heart (I do too). It features four adorable woollen little finger puppets and a cardboard theatre. What a wonderful little gift (and it comes flat-packed so it's perfect to ...
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That's a wrap! We're packing down our 4th London ShopUp and we couldn't be more happy and thankful about it! We had an amazing time and we've met so many wonderful families with their adorable children (seriously! those rosy cheeks and those eyelashes). Thank you to all who made it a success, shops, sponsors and visitors. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Stay tuned, we will soon post a recap on the blog with plenty of photos! #TheShopUp ( @estherbabyccino @martina_longhi)
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Day two at @theshopup is in full swing! We love our little visitors️ (lucky babies who are about to get spoiled!🤗) #TheShopUp
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