Let’s be honest, a modern art museum can only hold a kid’s attention for so long. I’m guessing this awesome (unofficial) audio tour created by kids will make everything a bit more relatable. “Each piece of art is analyzed by experts aged 3-10, as they share their unique, unfiltered perspective on such things as composition, the art’s deeper meaning, and why some stuff’s so weird looking.” Brilliant.
There are still a couple of (significant) kinks to be worked out, but even so, this is my favorite iPad app for kids yet. Build a world of characters and props, then bring it all to life by moving them around and speaking the dialog or sound effects. Art Maker records the movements and audio and creates a movie you can play back and enjoy together. The hiccups… the audio can slip out of synch, objects sometimes vanish and there’s no way to save your videos outside of the app (or share them). But I’m hopeful an update will soon arrive to fix these issues in an otherwise awesome app. Learn more by visiting their website or download it from iTunes.
If you’re head is hurting trying to figure out how to decorate your nursery, you could do a lot worse than to line the wall with some of the amazing animal prints of Sharon Montrose. She has a virtual zoo to choose from on her site, check it out here.
And if gorgeous animal photography is your thing, make sure to check out our earlier post about Andrew Zuckerman’s Creature. The perfect coffee table book once your kids are old enough to not destroy anything left on a coffee table.
If you’re a fan of fun and happiness, you’ll likely also be a fan of Lullatone. This video pretty much sums up their playful spirit. The Japan-based duo are cranking out ear and eye candy at an inspiring pace.
Their music will transport you. Need an alternative to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports to help your baby drift off to blissful sleep? Their Looping Lullabies will do the trick. Also nice, they let you pay what you want, so if you’re on a budget, you can still enjoy their work. Like true artists, they just want to be able to keep doing what they’re doing. And we hope they succeed.
Does anything really need to be said? I think we all secretly want to wear slippers like these to work but are afraid of the backlash. But, is there any legitimate excuse not to be wearing a pair around the house? Totally fun. Get ‘em here.
If you’re growing bored of Ugly Dolls here are a couple nice alternatives. First is the latest creation from the folks at Wry Baby (above) called Stuf (available sometime in October). The other (below) are “Aminals“, which are inspired by the drawings of children and 100% organic. Both companies are going above and beyond to be socially responsible, which makes them even cooler in our eyes.
If it weren’t 9:30pm on a Sunday night I’d be racing to the lumberyard right now. How cool is this? And with as much as my daughter loves picking flowers, I can’t imagine I’m not going to be able to get her excited about building one with me. A designer named Brian Johnson is the brains behind the idea. He sells them on Etsy, but also invites you to do-it-yourself. Seriously, how late is Home Depot open?
Well, it’s official, we did our first trade show (The NY International Gift Fair) for Wee See. It was a great (albeit grueling) experience. Beyond making amazing connections, a very cool bi-product of participating is that you get to see what everyone else has been up to. We took good notes and will be sharing some of our favorite finds in the coming days. So come on back!
First up, tegu, a beautiful set of wooden blocks that they’ve somehow managed to embed with magnets. You simply can’t make anything unattractive with them. We could’ve spent all day building stuff if we didn’t have to get back to our own booth.
Check out this amazing new pop-up book from Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud. Available from Amazon.
While on the subject I thought I’d mention something we were recently gifted. Normally we’re opposed to anything with a forced structure when it comes to kids’ creative activities, but this blank pop-up book “kit” is really pretty fun. It’s still a blank canvas, but with a few elevated surfaces on which to unleash their imaginations. Also available from Amazon.
I was both delighted and horrified to learn about this interactive exhibit at MoMA. Delighted because, well, it just seems great. And horrified because we didn’t learn about this in advance so we could have arranged to have Wee See projected on one of the walls! We’re so happy MoMA sells our DVDs, but man, what a missed opportunity. Anyway, looks like a worthwhile activity for the kids if you’re in New York sometime before the end of August.
I was recently in the MoMA Store in Soho and saw they sell Slinkys. I’d forgotten what beautiful objects they are. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as well as a curiosity of what the story was behind its invention. So I Wiki’d it! Reading it was a reminder that perhaps the only thing keeping some of our simple ideas from becoming great, life-changing ones, is believing in them and following through. Inspiring.
“In 1943, Richard James, a Naval mechanical engineer stationed at the William Cramp and Sons shipyards in Philadelphia, was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships in rough seas. James accidentally knocked one of the springs from a shelf, and watched as the spring “stepped” in a series of banana spilts, to a stack of books, to a tabletop, to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. James experimented with different types of steel wire over the next year, and finally found a spring that would walk. [His wife, Betty] dubbed the toy Slinky (meaning “sleek and graceful”), after finding the word in a dictionary, and deciding that the word aptly described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing.”
“Grey is out. Gloom is gone. It’s time to live our lives in colour. The Let’s Colour Project is a worldwide initiative … to transform grey spaces with colourful paint. A mission to spread colour all over the world. We are working together with local communities across the globe, rolling up our sleeves to paint streets, houses, schools and squares.” What a great concept. Love it! Learn more here.