I was first introduced to Uncle Goose wooden blocks, all designed AND made in the USA, by the lovely Faye from Abacus Kids a few years back. As an American brand of blocks it wasn’t one I was familiar with nor grew up with unlike I am sure many American readers. But this brand of block is a powerhouse and one you need to know about.
Producing blocks for more than 30 years, this family run business has kept their design and manufacturer of wooden toys in the USA since they began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1983.
Oh yes Candylab Toys are back with another ahhmazing Kickstarter campaign this year! These guys seriously blow me away! Their company has been completely crowd funded through Kickstarter over the last 3 years and the wooden cars that they have produced are pretty darn phenomenal. Yep that is a big word, but it is rightly deserved, because these guys are kicking it and their wooden toys rock!
I wrote a blog feature last month all about Australian Wooden toys and I am very exciting to start looking around the world at what other countries makers and creators are designing and producing for our children in terms of sustainable heirloom wooden toys.
This month, we travel to the grand ol USA! And gosh there is so much going on here, it was really hard to make a decision on the curated goodness coming out of the US. I think I will need to do another one very soon.
This month’s toy review is about a reinvented and remastered take on an old classic, the block. Yes the wooden block has been given a completely new, updated and very much needed revamp. It has moved the block beyond just stacking and building and into a whole new world of engineered construction.
This “Toy of the month” is the utterly brilliant Bokah Blocks and these wooden blocks are so ingenious that we were blown away by them in our Kids Gifts and Toys household.
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.