Pop Kids USA

Pop Kids USA is a fantastic and super fun brand of kid’s tees that is designed and produced in Chicago. When looking for t-shirts for my boys, I am always after clothes that are fun, hard wearing, and something that reflects my kids’ awesome characters. It was with much pleasure and delight therefore to receive a package of goodies from Pop Kids USA this month to test and review as their t-shirts fit my criteria perfectly.

Pop Kids USA is a year old however, Ellen and her husband Luke have been in the kids fashion business for well over 10 years and with influences like vintage graphics and signs, kids’ books, pop culture and typography; their t-shirts are uniquely designed to stand out from the crowd with designs like “The Wild One”, “Road Rebel” and “Bugs and Slugs”.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I love supporting handmade and small businesses and adore when a company designs and creates things in house. It is so hard to design a gorgeous product and even harder to work out where to get it manufactured; using fair trade resources in India, Indonesia or China or locating production somewhere in your own country.

Pop Kids USA are very much American and true to their name, every sweatshop free American Apparel tees is pressed by a local printer by hand which is dedication to the cause. Even more so as either Ellen and Luke are there to watch and check on the printing every step of the way.

Ellen and Luke design t-shirts seasonally, but as they are sometimes inspired by street art or a vintage sign they see, they may design just on a whim! Growing up with a love of drawing, painting and art, they have both been able to develop and evolve that love of all things visual; into creating brilliant designs for their t-shirt line. I love this true artistic aspect to their operation and the fact that they are inspired by lots of things I adore, like vintage graphics and the like. It definitely shows in their collection.

I have to say we have had a lot of fun with our tees from Pop Kids USA. We took the kids to the skate park where they could have a go on their scooters and skateboards. Needless to say they had a ball! And the t-shirts stood up to the test of skating and scooting to perfection. They have become our go to t-shirts as the kids love how soft they are against their skin and their fun designs.

Disclosure: In order to review the t-shirts,  we received a complimentary selection of them to test.

wild one scooter

POP boys

skater scooter

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Wild brothers

skater pop

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Toy of the month – August 2014

Quut toys – Alto and Cuppi

One of the toys that I was excited to discover at this year’s Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg was by young Belgian design company Quut. These young designers and parents had re-designed the way that sand toys should look and work -finally!

My kids absolutely adore playing in the sand, both at playgrounds and at the beach. They can be there for hours on end, which is an impressive feat given children’s short attention spans.

However, all the sand toys that I have bought so far to make sand castles has usually resulted in a sandy mess! What impressed me most about the Quut Beach toys were the ingenious designs that they had come up with which were relatively compact in size, brightly coloured and made of durable hard plastic which meant they were not just another throw away sand toy designated for the rubbish bin after a summer holiday.

As we were living in Nuremberg at the time I originally wrote this review, there were no beaches close by, however, we had a summer holiday planned to Turkey in late May and I wanted to buy some of these toys to test out on our trip.  I chose the Alto and Cuppi as I thought they were best suited to our needs of wanting to build sand castles and my kids love a good marble run which you can create with the Cuppi. They also both fit in our suitcases!

We had a lot of fun playing around with these toys to make the perfect sand castles on our trip away. I have to admit though my husband was a much better sand castle builder than me, but shhh don’t tell him!

In playing and creating sand castles with both the Alto and the Cuppi ( it is good to use as a scoop if you don’t have a shovel), I would say a few things… you need good clean sand, it can’t have pebbles in it as they can create air bubbles which don’t allow the sand castle to stand up. Also it can’t be too wet as then the castle just collapses. I think these toys would be perfect in sand pits as well as at the beach. There is definitely some trial and error in building a castle with these toys but you have a lot of fun in the process!

We have even used the Cuppi in the bath which the boys loved as they could tip and pour water to their hearts content. Not as much fun for Mama who had to clean up the floor afterwards.

We have also used the Quut beach toys  a fair few times at our local playground. I have to say all the kids in the playground where quickly attracted to the brightly coloured designs and they wanted to have a go at building a sand castle straight away. We have had crowds of kids each time we have brought the Quut toys with us and they have all had an absolute ball with them!

I am looking forward the fun we can have with our Quut over the Summer now we are living back in Australia!

Designed in Belgium and made in China

Ages: 12 months

RRP: Alto £14.99 and Cuppi £7.99.

Great for: construction, fine motor skills and fun in the sun! 

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