A novel idea from textile designer and artist Elisabeth Buecher – instead of sitting around playing video games, why not get kids active in order to provide power for those same games – it’s a win, win situation! Pump Parquet puts special, brightly coloured pumps into the floor, when kids use them, they can either inflate toys, or charge things like video games, saving electricity and keeping kids fit. Plus, it looks pretty fun!
Our Children’s Gorilla
“The children’s imagination is our inspiration” say this Stockholm-based toy design company, Our Children’s Gorilla. Dollhouses are fully recyclable and flat-pack fire stations are ripe for customization. The nearest thing to a teddy is Gary, the very cool gorilla made from wooden blocks and rope. Sweden is known for its design eye, and despite being fully functional toys, these also look great: check out the stylish paper mobiles which can be cut out and assembled from a plan, but look just as funky as framed posters. Better still, this is cool with a conscience: Materials are environmentally friendly, and the company is dedicated to employing some staff from rehabilitation programmes.
Showrooms in Stockholm and Auckland, New Zealand. Ship worldwide.
The Traidcraft shop is full of fabulous things for all ages, but the children’s toys and furniture are especially lovely. Everything is fair trade, ensuring that small-scale local manufacturers are given a good price and able to continue their work. Check out the cute Alpaca Bunny Rabbit from Mink in Peru, a non-profit organization working with local communities in some of the country’s poorest areas. Boys will love the hand-painted pirate ship and wooden castle made in Sri Lanka by Gospel House, who aim to provide training and work to boys from the poorest areas of Colombo. One of the nicest things about these particular pieces, is that kids in more developed countries can help out less fortunate kids, simply by buying toys!