Sun Art Paper
Create cool works of art with photo-sensitive paper—just place any object on the 4” blue square and leave in direct sunlight for a while, then rinse with water until the image appears. Objects with distinctive shapes, like leaves, feathers, and shells, work really well. From Restoration Hardware; usually $10, now $7.99.
Ideal Frontier Logs
Fisher-Price Workshop Playset
This 27” workshop grows with your child. As your child gets bigger, so does the playset, with its hideaway second tier. The workshop includes a drill press that makes realistic sounds; a real working vise; a hammer, screw driver and wrench; and a bunch of nails and screws. All pieces store inside the 21-lb. unit. Requires 2 AA batteries. Available at Toys R us, $69.99.
Bob the Builder Ready-to-Read Boxed Set
Green Doll House by Plan Toys
Plan Toy’s Green Doll House received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award (a "green toy" accolade), thanks to its recycled rubber wood construction, and its many energy-efficient home design features–wind turbine, rain barrel, solar panels, and shade canopy. The house stands 22.3” H and includes 5 rooms of furniture. Available thru Yoyo Toys, $239.99.
Construction Worker Role Play
One Step Ahead has the tools for kids to get into construction mode, from work clothes (hard hat, tool belt, goggles, etc.) to heavy-duty plastic machinery like a 25” L turning cement mixer and tip-resistant wheelbarrow. Kids (ages 3 and up) will have good fun and a good workout in the sandbox. From One Step Ahead, $19.95-$99.95.
Home Depot Tool Set
A complete set of plastic tools for the budding L’il Fix-It. You child is sure to look adorable as he/she goes around the house making pretend repairs. The set includes plastic moving jigsaw, reciprocating saw, power drill, goggles and 2 battery packs. The Home Depot Toy Tools are exclusively from Toys R Us, $29.99.
The Original Muck Boot™
John Deere Soft Tool Box
This Soft Toolbox with Socket Wrench and Pliers from John Deere is perfect for the young helper in your household! The pliable plastic toolbox features a sturdy handle, hinged lid, and easy-opening top. It even includes their very own ratchet and pliers! Designed for age 18 months and older. Available at Tractor Supply Co., $25.95.
Topozoo Dino Building Set
Crayolla Kid's Washable Paint
Help your child develop his or her talents as a painter with Washable Kid’s Paint from Crayola. These paints are ideal for adding vibrant colors to arts and crafts, posters, and school projects. They can be used on almost any surface and easily applied with brushes, sponges, stamps, stencils, and other tools. $6.99
This Craftsman Workshop is ideal for the handy boy—or handy girl! The play tools and workshop, which come complete with tool caddy and peg board, encourage motor skills and imagination while kids pretend to work on whatever DIY projects they dream up. Available at Little Tikes, $114.99.
MultiBlocks is UncommonGoods' first ever YouGoods contest winner. Designed by Brad Singley, these blocks were inspired by his father, a civil engineer who built toys for his children. Made in Michigan from scraps of basswood leftover from other products, these blocks feature laser-etched numbers and increments and are sanded to a satiny smooth finish. Set of 42 blocks is $38.00.
The Erector Set
Since 1913 Erector Sets, with their nuts, bolts, multiple metal parts, motors, and optional configurations, have been challenging young builders and inspiring creativity, logical thinking, and how-to skills along the way. With this special edition set, you can make over 25 moving models from forklifts to airplanes. Available with compartmentalized carrying case at FatBrainToys.com, $94.95.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!