The New York International Gift Show takes up the entire Javits Center as well as a few spaces on the west side piers, but it has only a small section devoted to Baby and Child. I always make sure to walk through this section and I keep my eyes peeled for other kid products sprinkled throughout the aisles. Here are ten favorites from this year's show:
1. Bunny Dish Sets by Thomas Paul (top image). This melamine dish set by Thomas Paul is apparently not new, but it was new to me. They were hidden underneath a table in the booth, but I took them out for a closer look. They're not on the TP website, but are easy to find online (here's one place: Seltzer Studios, $26/set)
2. Tube Toys by NPW. This toy has a lot going for it: it's built by kids, the materials are recyclable and it has a nifty design. There is a car, train, firetruck, and tractor and they'll begin shipping out to stores from NPW this month.
3. Totem Line by Kids on Roof. This Dutch company is making inroads in the U.S. and I think they'll do well. I was particularly drawn to Totem Archiville, a whole town kids can assemble and play with made from recycled cardboard pieces. Pieces slot together and can be easily taken apart and stowed - particularly smart toy for small homes.
4. Numbers board book by Orla Kiely. Best known for her memorable patterns and color palette, two forthcoming board books are getting the Orla treatment. Only Numbers was at the show, but both will be released in April by Macmillan.
5. Farm to Table placemat by Modern Twist. I'm a fan of Modern-Twist's write-able, wipeable silicone placemats and their latest addition has a lot of things for kids to color and also conveys a message about sustainable food practices.
6. 3D Wall Art & Clocks by Art ThingysIndustrial designer (and dad) Paul Ocepek makes each 3D art/clock/thingy ("Art Thingys") himself in Massachusetts. Not exclusively for kids, they bring a fresh, sculptural component to walls.
7. Backpack/Lunch Box sets by So Young Modern Family An elegant solution to kids' lunch and school needs, these sets (availalble in April or May) from So Young Modern Family connect the two for easy carrying or for easy separation. So smart.
8. Flip & Draw books by Mudpuppy. Not Mudpuppy's newest offering (which were cute finger puppets), I really loved these fun flip coloring books. They collaborated with some artists you may know including Jenn Ski and Johnny Yanok for almost a dozen books to choose from.
9. Robot March crib bedding by Little Auggie. I liked everything in the Little Auggie booth, but was particularly drawn to the small-scale pattern of this robot bedding. The small print was refreshing - adorable close up and hard to discern from a distance which is a bonus if you're not looking to define a room by your bedding or be tied into a robot theme.
10. Woody Chairs by Little Nest. Based in Australia (with distribution in the U.S.), this was the first time I'd seen Little Nest's small, stylish furniture firsthand. The booth was a little crowded and disheveled, but my eyes were drawn to this pair of Woody Chairs based on the Eames-designed LCW chair.
(Images: Carrie McBride)