We recently hung a bird feeder in the apple tree right outside our kitchen window, and it has been so much fun to watch all the garden birds help themselves to the birdseed. There are moments where we can spot three or four different birds taking turns flying up to our bird feeder, meanwhile pigeons (and squirrels!) help themselves to the seeds which fall onto the ground. The kids love pointing out the different birds we spot in the garden, which is why I knew they would love this new British Garden Birds Poster from Finch and Robin. The poster details 10 different garden birds, and we’ve hung it right on the wall by our kitchen table so that we can reference it every time we spot them.
I also like that £2 per poster is being donated to the RSPB Scotland to help save wildlife.
My daughter Coco’s first word was ‘Why???’. And seven years on, it still might be her favourite word!
Now, the problem is, the questions are slightly more complex at seven than they were at, say, two. The universal answer of: “because I said so” does not really cut the mustard anymore, especially when being asked things like: “But why did people think it was a good idea to cut each other’s heads off during the French Revolution? Why did they think that this was a solution to make the country a better place?”.
The book Big Questions For Little People is perfect for all of these types of questions. It even asks questions your child might not have thought to ask yet!
The book is curated in aid of the NSPCC (The UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and people like Tracey Emin answers question about art, Heston Blumental about food and Jarvis Cocker on music. If those people don’t know what they are talking about, no one does!
- Emilie x
My oldest has a birthday coming up. Eight! It sounds so big to me! He’s at that tender age where he is no longer a little kid in a needy way, but yet he’s still so naive and blissfully unaware of ‘cool’. Still happy to hold my hand as we walk into his classroom and kiss me when I pick him up. So sweet. I want to pickle him and keep him like this forever!
Anyway, I’m slightly stumped as to what to buy him for his birthday. (Don’t you find that the older they get, the trickier it is to buy them things? Or is it just me?!) I picked up this How To Build A Human Body book/kit the other day and I think he’s really going to love it!
The set includes a 32-page book full of colorful illustrations and intriguing facts about the human body along with 66 slotted pieces to build a 3-D skeleton. Cool, no?
ps – If you have other tips for what to buy an 8-year-old, please share!
I am always on the lookout for new craft books, for the simple reason that we like crafting so much but often do need a little boost in inspiration. This great new book is by the same lady as Let’s Make Some Art. It is such a great way of introducing children to creating new art and using other things (namely fingers) to create shapes. I also love the little video that goes with the book and also the little online games.
Big Kids Magazine is an Australian magazine created by two friends living in opposite sides of Australia, and they haven’t seen each other for over 12 years! Jo, from Perth, is a dancer. Lilly, from Sydney, a visual artist. They are mothers as well — and now publishers!
Big Kids Magazine is a not just your ordinary magazine. It’s a celebration of creativity, art, words, meanings, associations and innovation. Printed on beautiful paper and full of gorgeous illustrations and ideas, this magazine is such a great inspiration for children — and adults too!
Sara and Pim love the magazine, and it’s been so inspirational for them. I see lots of ideas we discussed while reading Big Kids Magazine back in their artwork! (And do you like the crazy guy above we drew together as a family?)
The Little Boy Who Lost His Name is the story of a little boy who wakes up one morning to realise that his name has gone! He puts on some clothes, brushes his hair even, and sets off on a magical journey to find his lost name. One by one he gets the missing letters back, given to him by wonderful creatures he meets on his path.
Each book by Lostmy.name is based on the letters of your child’s name (so it’s personalised), and there is a girls version next to the boys version. Lostmy.name (a company created by 3 dads and an uncle), did a truly superb job of making a personalised book with not only the most beautiful illustrations, but also with a story that is very sweet and clever and captivating. It works perfectly, totally independent of the name of the child!
The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name is most suitable for children aged 2 to 6 years old, but little Casper already greatly enjoys reading his personalised book — see photos above!
My oldest son recently started reading chapter books. Chapter books! So big! He’ll nestle himself into a chair and quietly read a book to himself. I love watching him get lost in a book — to see the joy on his face or to hear him giggle as he reads something funny. It’s amazing how confident and independent he has become!
Now that he’s reading chapter books, it feels like a whole new book world has opened up. I keep thinking of all the books I read as a young child and all the books I hope he’ll also read. Books like Where the Red Fern Grows (do you remember it?! did you cry too?!!) and The Boxcar Children mysteries and The BFG! Ooooh to be a kid again!!
So far he’s read a couple of the Mr. Gum books and he’s currently reading James and the Giant Peach (and loving it, of course). Next on his list is The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon, which I haven’t read, but it looks so cute!
So… I would love to know if any of you have suggestions for easy-to-read chapter books? I would even love to hear suggestions for girls, as I am always wondering what books to buy for all of his girl friends. Please share!
It is pretty hard not to be a Marc Boutavant fan if your are a kid or, indeed, a parent. My kids read Mouk again and again and again. What I like about his style is how every picture is so full of details, you can never get tired of looking at them.
Have you seen the train puzzle designed by Marc Boutavant yet? If you put all the pieces together it is 6 foot long! Every puzzle piece is a different wagon full of different animals and worlds.
If you want to know more about Marc Boutavant check out his top 10 children’s books recommendations which we wrote about on Babyccino a while ago.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Happy Easter!
These darling honeycomg figurines by OMM design are just too cute! They come in a gift box with a selection of 5 figures (three different sets of designs are available) and are just perfect to give away as a little present, spruce up a boring corner in your house, or include in an envelope to send to a far away friend.
Available by Little Baby Company!
I guess we are all really into crafting these days here at Babyccino Kids, as here is another recommendation for a craft book. I reckon the truly terrible weather we have been having is keeping us cooped up inside and crafting is the only way we are keeping our children (and ourselves) sane. I do think you can never have enough craft books and this book has quickly become one of my favourites. A Craft A Day, by Sarah Goldschadt, features 365 sweet crafts. Most of them are easy and do-able by everyone without any special equipment, which is something my kids absolutely love — a success is pretty much guaranteed.
I am becoming such an Instagram addict. I’ve never done any other form of social media before now (I still don’t have a Facebook page!), but I can so see the appeal in Instagram. It’s so fun to keep track of friends and family through daily photo updates, and I’ve even made entirely new friends too – what a fun community!
Anyway, the other day I saw this arts & crafts book on Shak-Shuka’s feed and ordered it immediately. I then posted this photo on my feed and got such a flurry of interested comments. (Another bonus of Instagram! Discovering great new products!)
The Best of Making Things was first published in the early 1970s and has remained a trusted handbook for children’s art projects ever since. I love the variety of projects from simple to more complex, and I love the easy-to-read instructions with step-by-step drawings. My boys, aged 5 and 7, have already flipped through the book and found projects to do on their own. And I’m looking forward to doing some of the more difficult projects with them… like making paper from laundry lint, a cardboard box loom, or even simple clothing items. Fun! (Available from Amazon US or UK.)
My husband and I were laughing the other day about how when we were little, we hardly ever went anywhere on holiday that involved getting on an airplane. I think Disneyland was about as adventurous as we got when I was little (I still remember how excited I was to hop on that plane!).
How different it is for our children! In their short lives, they’ve been on so many flights it’s not even exciting for them anymore. And because we fly home to the US each summer, they’re not even phased by long-haul flights. The kids have flown so many times now that I can’t even keep track… which is why I love the idea of this new flight logbook from Simply For Flying! It’s a children’s logbook, designed so that kids can record each flight they take by logging the flight journey, date, airline, aircraft type, distance flown, and flight time of each flight. There’s also a notes section so they can write down observations about their trip, draw a special drawing, etc. How cool will it be for them to look back on this when they are older?! I wish we had discovered this sooner.
Photos by Robin Keller Photography for Simply For Flying
My girls do think they have the most hilarious sense of humor, but it reminds me of the kind of humour pre-pubescent boys might have: It’s just not really refined. (Their idea of a good joke is making fart noises.)
You can just imagine their joy when I took them to buy a present for their friend’s birthday party recently and they discovered a prank box by made by Djeco. It contains 6 prank items, from a whoopie cushion to a camera that squirts water.
It amused me slightly that this box had been sorted under the category “educational toys”. I don’t think it is very educational — but it is a lot of fun!
I got this from Enfant Lyre, our all time favorite children’s book shop in Paris, but you can also order it off Amazon France.
Finish company Lovi makes gorgeous birch-plywood postcards that can be sent as little presents and assembled as beautiful 3D puzzles by the lucky receiver — without the need of any tools or glue. All designed by Anne Paso and 100% produced in Finland by the family owned company, these cards appeal to all ages, and make beautiful little decor pieces in the house. So great to stock up on a few to send out as birthday presents, holiday cards, or these sweet bunnies as Easter gifts!
Today, I would like to introduce you to yet another Montreal designer: Cara Carmina. Norma Andreu, the artist and creator is originally from Mexico City; however she now lives in my hometown and creates the most delightful dolls and accessories. I’ve had the chance to meet Norma and she is so sweet — I find that this sweetness comes across in her work. Everything you see in the Cara Carmina Etsy shop is handmade; Norma likes to experiment a lot and draw with her sewing machine making the loveliest detailed art dolls and different textile collages. She is also an illustrator and creates lots of different paper dioramas which are then turned into prints or postcards. In this shop you can expect to find lots of cloth dolls- you can request a personalized one too, lots of jewelry and cute accessories, even birthday cards or note books. You might find Norma has a thing for Frida Kahlo – personally I just love those rosy cheeks!
I discovered this sweet little boxed set of Maurice Sendak books on the the Misha and Puff blog the other day, and I ordered it immediately. So cute! The set consists of four different books, all so silly and fun and with cute rhyming texts. We are in love with the sweet little stories! And the illustrations are just adorable (my 3-year-old has been taking them to bed with her even though she can’t yet read). It’s available from Amazon (UK and US).
All photos from Misha & Puff
Virginia Lee Burton, the American author/illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner, probably doesn’t need much of an introduction (but those of you who aren’t familiar with her should check out this book and this book — they’re two of my favourite children’s books!). Even still, you may not be familiar with her book, Life Story, a book I only recently discovered.
Life Story tells the history of earth from beginning up to now, starting with the planets and solar system, then describing the early stages of life on earth, the prehistoric times (and dinosaurs!) all the way up to life on a farm in present day. The book is beautifully illustrated and elegantly written, so that even though the topic is quite scientific, it still appeals to children and it gives them an understanding of complex subjects.
I bought the book for my 7-year-old for Christmas this past year, and he is able to read the text on his own. But the book even appeals to my younger kids because of the detailed illustrations. And I must admit that even I have learned a thing or two from the book! It’s available from Amazon (US and UK).
I recently found these wonderful books for babies and toddlers called Indestructibles. Not only are they beautifully illustrated, they are also water-proof, tear-resistant, and baby-durable (I even tried to rip one myself just to see!) I have since ordered several as gifts for my friends and have some handy for when my little one starts getting interested in her big sister’s library!
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for tea in my kitchen with the lovely Ayala Homossany, the author/creator of the Enchanted Wonders interactive iBooks for kids. I loved sitting with her and looking over the book, seeing all the little details and features on each page. Ayala’s passion as an author, educator and mum is really inspiring. It made me think about my own parenting and how I should slow down a bit more and really sit with my kids to engage them in enquiry and exploration. So often I read a book to my kids (admittedly, often in a hurry to get through it so I can put them to bed or move on to the next thing), and I should try to be better at sitting and reading with them, encouraging questions and discussion.
Enchanted Wonders—Butterfly is designed exactly for this purpose — it is meant for children and parents to explore together.
The activities in the book are aimed to encourage children to question the world around them, explore it and give it their own interpretation. Each of the six activities in the book (draw, role-play, story-telling, sculpturing, drawing, movement and exploring the sense of touch) brings up a series of questions, and each question opens a door in the child’s mind, to another and then another, and all is done through the use of, video, audio, pop-up galleries, and heart capturing illustrations.
Unlike other eBooks and apps where the user interacts mostly with the screen, the Enchanted Wonder book series uses the screen as a springboard to engage the children with the real and physical world around them. Don’t you love that? So it’s not just like you’re handing an iPad to your kids to ‘babysit’ them. It’s really like an activity book, encouraging children to put the book down and observe their surroundings.
I am in love with these books! And Nico is even more in love when he sees himself as the hero of his own adventure. Fabuloos Dreams was the best present of this past Christmas.
They can be ordered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Catalan. It is also perfect to learn a second language!.
With lovely illustrations and text, I think Fabuloos Dreams books are not only books but something the child will keep forever — a book full of memories!