Last year, Chronicle Books partnered with MoMA to create a handful of fabulous toys for young kids. I’ve been trying to figure out how to spin these into a book post, and have given up because although they are from a publisher, they aren’t books. But you know? They are just way too cool not to post about, even if they are as much toys as paper products, so today, my ShelfCandy is a little different. Paper toys for on the go!
MoMA Modern Play Family .
ISBN: 978 0 8118 7343 7
MoMA Modern Play House
ISBN: 978 0 8118 6911 9
This play house set features six nesting boxes printed with different material surfaces to create the walls of the house, and a few pieces of easily assembled furniture pieces and flooring choices, as well as a a sheet of cling designs that can add lamps, plants, and other funky accessories to make your house your own. It’s all amazingly well thought out and ingeniously packed into a small package perfect for taking along, yet flexible enough to give your kid some space for being creative with their play.
The family that goes with the house is similarly spare in design, allowing children to take the two adult figures and three child figures, and add hair and clothing from a collection of 150 interchangeable options to make of them what they will. I love the flexibility here, as all are gender-neautral to start, meaning that the family can be representative of a huge variety of people. The fact that they come in pastel colours means that they are also race-neutral, unless you happen to know of a people who come in blue, pink, purple, and green. I love that this leaves play wide-open, though the pets available are the traditional two dogs and a cat.
All of this is parceled into small, easily portable little boxes, making it perfect for visiting, trips, or keeping your spaces free of bulkier dollhouses. The cool factor of having MoMA-designed toys makes it a perfect gift for the difficult-to-please hipster family, too, which is a great score, since cool for kids is not always easy to come by.
These lacing shapes have become hard to find, though I am seeing them on the big used book sites (amazon.ca, powells.com, alibris.com, abebooks.com) pretty readily, if you’ve been looking for this sort of thing. What makes these different from any other lacing cards? Well, they are not covered in characters or the sort of pictures that you normally see, to start with. Instead, there are shapes and patterns that not only make for good early learning, but are also both cooler and more gender-neutral than average. One of my favourite things about this set, though, is that the cards can be laced together to form either a book or a wall hanging that, as a collage of shapes and patterns, is worthy of display.