Preschool Toys & Products

Target drops pink for girls, blue for boys in toy department. Good or bad move?

Catherine Armitage In the cut-throat world of children's toys, gender-based marketing is the most divisive issue of all. But does it matter if we buy pink toys for girls and blue toys for boys?

IKEA introduces safety campaign after two toddlers die under falling furniture

Curren Collas, 2, died after he became trapped under an IKEA dresser in the US.

Megan Levy IKEA has launched a safety awareness campaign in Australia following the deaths of two toddlers in the US who were crushed by falling chests that had not been properly secured to the wall.

Satanic baby doll teaches toddler to swear and other inappropriate toys I've owned

UK couple claim My Little Baby Born Nappy Time doll (pictured) taught their two-year-old to swear.

Kerri Sackville It is always disappointing when a toy turns out not to deliver what it promises. Perhaps more so when it teaches your child to swear.

Lego has taken over my life

Lego: the many ways it has taken over my life.

Ariane Beeston Last night, I dreamt in Lego. My life has officially been taken over by tiny, multicoloured bricks.


They eat them because they love them

Soft toys: Marked by love.

Kristina Wright Do your children's favourite stuffed comfort toys look like chewed up, faded, versions of their former, once glorious selves?

Crayola's Facebook page was hacked over the weekend


Livia Gamble Crayola has issued an apology after their Facebook page was hacked over the weekend.

Can toys really be ‘educational’?

Goldieblox: Engineering for girls.

Nicola Yelland Being a child in the 21st century is very different, and some would say more complex, than in previous times. What remains constant is that children love playing and that play is regarded as the most effective way of learning in childhood.

Little Addie's dying wish

Terminally ill Addie Fausett, 6, has one Christmas wish.

Shaza Barbar As children wait for their presents this Christmas, one little girl is asking for a lifetime of Christmas cards for herself and her two sisters.

How a bear is helping families facing cancer

Mummy's Wish Talking Comfort Bear.

Danielle Colley This simple gift is bringing comfort and joy to children with a parent who is suffering from cancer this Christmas.


Top 10 banned children's toys

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Some very dangerous and down right scary products have been allowed onto the market in the last 60 years. Here are some of the scariest.

Kinetic Sand: You will be as addicted as your kids


Amber Robinson It's one of the hottest gifts for this Christmas and last, Kinetic Sand is mostly sand, but with a 2% binding agent which makes it a whole lot more fun than regular sand.

Zara pulls lookalike Holocaust shirt for children from sale

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Katie Carlin Fashion retailer Zara has pulled a striped shirt for children featuring a yellow star from sale after complaints that the shirt resembled the prison uniform worn by concentration camps during the Second World War.


Lego Storage Ideas

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Are you living in brick landmine madness? Here are some creative and useful Lego storage solutions that you could use in your home.

Animal movies for kids

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We have collected the best of the best animal movies for parents of kids who just can't get enough of our furry, feathered, slimy, creepy-crawly, ocean-dwelling friends.

Cuddle Buddies offer comfort for autistic children


Alison Bradshaw Craftholic Cuddle Buddies are a series of large as life cuddly characters which are not only being played with and loved by children across the world, but are also being used to soothe children with transition issues, anxiety and autism.

Review: Giggle Galaxy quilt cover set

Giggle and Hoot

Margarida Fantini There is a range of 'Giggle and Hoot' products available for little fans of the show and this one is about to help us transition our firstborn into a big boys bed.

Our favourite Giggle and Hoot products

We love the range of Giggle and Hoot products at the ABC Shop - here are four of our favourites.

Myer customers demand removal of "super skinny" dolls

Parents are protesting against the sale of Winx Dolls.

Catherine Rodie When Mark Chenery, father to four year-old Sophia, first set eyes on the Winx Club dolls at his local Myer he was horrified.


4-year-old Instagram star proves fashion doesn't have to be expensive

Ryker Wixom is a stylish four year old.

Rachel Clun Four-year-old Ryker Wixom has become an Instagram sensation in just five months, with almost 100,000 people following his mum’s Ministylehacker account to check out his latest threads.

4-year-old Instagram star proves fashion doesn't have to be expensive.

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4-year-old Ryker Wixom models versions of model outfits, at a fraction of the price. You can find out what brands he wears on his mother Collette's blog,

Crayon carvings

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Artist Hoang Tran creates beautiful carvings of popular characters from cartoons and television shows out of crayons, and posts his creations on his blog Wax Nostalgic.

Class 'mascots' a new cause of stress for parents

Have you had the pressure of hosting your child's 'mascot'?

Catherine Rodie Has your child brought home the class 'mascot'? The pressure of showing this mascot the time of its life is reducing some parents to tears.

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Top 20 tweets from #RuinAChildrensBook

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Did you miss the Twitter hashtag that ruined children's books? Here are 20 of the funniest.

Angelina Jolie and Stella McCartney have designed a line of kids clothing


Kathleen Lee Joe The eight-piece capsule collection is themed around Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, the movie about the iconic villainess from Sleeping Beauty that’s due out later this year.

Should we boycott gender-marketed books for kids?

What's so bad about gender marketing books?

Karen Tay The marketing of gender-specific children's books must be stopped because it's so insidious, argues this writer.


Stepfather creates children's book to propose to his childhood pen pal

Super family

Katie Carlin When American Rick Skalski decided it was time to propose to his childhood pen pal he knew he had to include one other very special person in the proposal – his stepson Evan – and the idea for a superhero proposal storybook was born.

'My Super Family' proposal book

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When American Rick Skalski decided it was time to propose to his childhood pen pal he knew he had to include one other very special person in the proposal - his stepson Evan - and the idea for a superhero proposal storybook was born. Here is a look inside the book by talented illustrator Yoni Limor.

Move over Suri and Harper: Aila's in town


Katie Carlin Four-year-old Aila Wang, the adorable niece of fashion designer Alexander Wang, stole the show when she arrived at New York Fashion Week last weekend dressed in a miniature version of her uncle’s latest designer tee.

The most fashionable four-year-old

This four-year-old child is better dressed than most adults in the fashion industry and her name is Aila Wang - the niece of fashion designer Alexander Wang.

Jeanswest launches range for kids

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If you are after adorable, affordable and durable clothes for kids aged between 6 months to 4 years look no further than the brand new junior range from Jeanswest - Jeanswest Jnr. Priced from only $14.99 to $39.99. Available in selected stores, throughout Australia and New Zealand and online from 10th September. For your first look at the range, visit

Our guide to the toy sales

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Amber Robinson From dates to catalogues and the best picks on offer: all the info on Australia's biggest toy sales.


Dolls for boys, drills for girls


Emma Charlton With firefighter kits for girls and baby dolls for boys, toys are breaking out of the gender ghetto this Christmas thanks to retailers willing to brush aside some hard-to-shift stereotypes.

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Preschool Gift Guide

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The count down for Christmas has bugun, so here is a list of gift ideas for kids aged four and five to help out with any last minute shopping.

Tabeo: the 'safe' tablet for kids


As the tablet wars heat up, Toys R Us has announced it is launching its rival to the market-leading iPad, with "kid safe" content.

Farting doll teaches kids to poo

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Staff writers Toilet training? Why not enlist the help of this farting doll from South Korea?

Exclusive sneak peek: DVF Gap Kids

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Gap Kids and DVF (Diane von Furstenberg) have joined creative forces to create a stunning line of kids clothes this season. Essential Kids has a sneak peek at the exclusive and limited range only available in Gap Sydney Westfield & Melbourne Chadstone Stores as of 15th March 2012.

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Win a Family Farm Trip with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

Hair accessories from your childhood

Remember back to your ballet bun or spending hours with the hair crimper? We take a look at some of the fun, silly, pretty products, inspiration and methods we used to style our hair from our own childhood in the 80's, 90's and 00's.

11 easy DIYs to spruce up your teen girl's bedroom

Click through the gallery for some simple ideas and tutorials.

Teacher creates Harry Potter themed classroom

An Oklahoma teacher is literally immersing her students in the world of reading, remaking her classroom to resemble something out of JK Rowling's wizarding world.

Ten favourite TV and movie nannies

Having a nanny around the home is very beneficial for parents and for kids.

Kmart decor hacks

Entire communities on Instagram are devoted to showing Kmart homewares prepped, preened and hacked into designer items.

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

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