I’m more optimistic about the state of kids’ design now than I ever thought I’d be. When my first NettoCollection crib came out in 2003, it seemed like there was nothing out there, just the sound of crickets in response to the cry of young parents everywhere who wanted something new, something stylish, something . . . good.
Design for kids had gotten pretty low down, but things are getting better every day. A magazine like Babble is one of the signs of this recovery. When they asked me to do a column talking about products I like, I jumped at the opportunity to show you what I think is the best stuff for kids right now.
Every other week, I’ll pick something (mostly modern, but we’ll mix it up) and talk about why I think it’s great, why you and your kids will like it, and where you can buy it. As a children’s furniture designer and as a dad, all kinds of things catch my eye – high, low, big, small . . . Here we go!
The MoMA store has many wonderful things for kids and this M.C. Escher Lizards Puzzle ($18) is one of my favorites. All kids love lizards – better still, a herd of ’em. This puzzle is playful, but it’s actually also a great tool for teaching puzzle-solving skills with some flexibility. The graphic aspect kind of reminds me of Keith Haring. It looks cool enough that you won’t mind seeing it on the floor, even in the living room. And when it’s not put together, it’s actually fifteen toys!