2. Playfoam Remoldable Sculpting Beads: Again, another genius product that is hard to describe. You have to see it and feel it to get it. These little foam beads stick to each other so that kids can mold them into any shape imaginable, much the same way they do Play-Doh, but unlike Play-Doh, these won’t stick to anything else. But they aren’t completely mess free. The beads can end up everywhere. Stick the the brand name stuff to minimize the mess – they hold together much better than the generic. The fun factor is so high on these, though, and they are well worth a little mess!
3. Cool Crayons: Twig Crayons aren’t exactly a new medium – they’re more a new look for a very old, tried-and-true staple. These gorgeous crayons look like rustic twigs but work just like regular crayons. The thick shape makes them easy for little ones to hold, and they won’t snap in half like crayons can! I also love Crayon Rocks and Lyra Artist Crayons, which have very rich pigments and can be blended together! But my two-year-old’s current favorites are the finger crayons, which I bought for like a dollar at JoAnn’s Fabrics.
4. Dot Markers: When they broke these out at Eva’s playgroup, the kids went nuts. These markers dispense dots of bright color, making them a relatively mess free alternative to painting.
5. Rosie Flo Coloring Books: Most coloring books don’t excite me, but these provide hip sketches of fashions for budding designers. What girly girl could resist a coloring book filled with cool clothes? Another hip coloring book is Scribbles.
6. Washi Tape: This gorgeous tape is made from beautiful Japanese papers in an assortment of colors. Use it to adorn gifts, books, and crafts.
7. The Little Experience Craft Kits: When we were in Paris, I commented to a British mom about the adorable headband her daughter was wearing. It turns out she made it using one of these chic, ingenious kits from The Little Experience. Each kit contains everything your child needs to complete an adorable craft. One of my favorites is this stitchable doll. And the pretty boxes make them stylish, thoughtful gifts.
8. Moon Sand: There is almost nothing kids like better than playing with sand. When a sandbox (or the beach) isn’t accessible, Moon Sand is an ingenious alternative. This cool medium molds beautifully, like Play-Doh, but never dries out. The fun colors allow kids to create anything they can imagine, and some of the kits even come with little portable “sandboxes.”