There is no reason why even the most mundane child's toy can't be stylish and beautiful – as with this Keith Haring Balance Game from Parisian concept store Colette.
The Balance Game is created by Vilac, a long-established French brand, crafting quality children's toys from wood in the forests of Jura. It's 18 pieces of brightly coloured wood in the shape of Keith Haring's distinctive figures which can be stacked on top of one another in a game which develops concentration, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills – never mind a fine appreciation of modern art at the same time.
The game costs 28 euros from Colette here.
This robot alarm clock from Habitat is a great piece of fun retro design for your kids – or just yourself.
The robot stands at just over 11cm high and is made from plastic. As well as looking good, he's got the added bonus of a clock in his stomach – and an alarm to go with it. This blue hatted robot is our favourite but Habitat is also stocking a slightly crazed looking pink robot alarm clock too.
They're both currently reduced in price to £8.
Buy it online
Not sure how we missed this reissue at the back end of 2010, the reissue of the 2011: Living in the Future book by Geoffrey Hoyle that is, courtesy of Green Tiger Press.
Originally published back in 1972 and primarily aimed at children, it was as mix of text and illustrations (courtesy of Alasdair Anderson) that attempted to predicted what life would be like in 2011, a modern-day utopia of three-day working weeks, breakfast factories, 'vision phones' and traffic-free commutes. Some have obviously not happened, but one or two of the predictions have. Those phones for example.
If you want to re-live your childhood or you want a child's eye view of the future promised to us all those years ago, you can grab the 64-page hardback reissue now online, priced at £7.50. An inside shot over the page.
Find out more about the book at the Amazon website
You or your kids looking for a secret hiding places? Perhaps not the most secure – but possibly the most fun – option are these vintage-style book boxes available from the Dotcomgiftshop.
From the outside, they look like old-fashioned childhood tales of daring. Take a peek inside and they're revealed to host a secret hiding place, perfect for stashing away a few secrets. Made from wood, while the box pictured looks like an adventure book, take a look at the other 'titles' which focus on a gymkhana, Buffalo Bill or a plain and simple A to Z. Each imaginary book cover is packed full of nostalgic charm.
The boxes cost £5.50 each.
Buy them online
This Going Places rug from Designers Guild is another example of a kid's design that's as desirable for adults too.
It's a colourful design, intended to capture the hustle and bustle of transport in a busy place. That translates into simple outlines of cars and trains, set amongst the backdrop of cars and mountains. Both the subject matter and the treatment of the design are reminiscent of classic transport posters.
Made from acrylic and measuring 120 x 170cm, the rug costs £195.
Buy it online