Local mom-in-the-know Jennifer McCurry shares the essentials every modern family needs

Our editor-at-large curates the sweetest toys, clothes and accessories for kids and mommies

BY February 17, 2023
Mommy Must Haves Color Block Toys
(Courtesy Plan Toys)

Color Blocking

Plan Toys, available at All About April at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay in Naples, specializes in sustainably sourced wooden sets. They’re made in Thailand with chemical-free rubberwood, formaldehyde-free glue, organic pigments and water-based dyes. Babies 1 year and up will love this classic Shape & Sort It Out set designed to strengthen problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination and color recognition.


Mama and Mini bracelet
(Courtesy Made by LALA J)

Bead It

The MAMA and MINI bracelets from Made by LALA J reflect the company’s origin. The handmade jewelry line was created by Fort Myers-based, 9-year-old Lily Anne Jenkins and her mom, Lisa Anne, as a way for Lily to cope with a family illness. The duo makes artful clay earrings—for adults and littles—including botanical statement dangles and unicorn-shaped studs—and beaded bracelets. They sell their stock online and in local boutiques, such as Nokomis Home Fragrance in Fort Myers. Recently, Lily Anne and Lisa launched SWFL Strong bracelets to give back to victims of Hurricane Ian.


Reef Stroller
(Courtesy Silver Cross Reef)

Off-Road Strolling

The Reef Stroller is perfect for adventurous Southwest Florida families. Multi-terrain wheels make transitioning from sidewalk to sand to grass a breeze, while the muted earthy tones of its recycled fabric blend into the natural environment. The stroller, which arrives ready to use—sans confusing instructions or frustrating setup—also folds in one hand and can stand on its own while compressed. Tots up to 55 pounds stay cozy inside the detachable bassinet thanks to a naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial lining made from super-soft bamboo.


Pottery Barn Kids room furniture
(Courtesy Pottery Barn Kids)

Bunk Up

My 6-year-old twin boys had one wish for their birthday: bunk beds. I dreaded the idea until I came across this stylish collaboration. Sarah Sherman Samuel x West Elm’s Arches Twin Bunk Bed turns the sleepover staple into a swoon-worthy design feature. The bed banks on Sarah’s penchant for warm, textural elements that create modern, uncomplicated spaces.


Kids Play Kitchen
(Courtesy Crate & Barrel)

What’s Cookin’

If your child likes to help mommy and daddy in the kitchen, look to Crate & Barrel’s Modern Chef Large Wooden Kids Kitchen Playset—I only wish I had this retro-style range in my own home. Two-tone wood cabinetry and a shiny silver sink with matching hardware make this play kitchen look more like a remodel than a kids’ toy. My favorite is the chalkboard that allows littles to write menus and task lists.


Kids Blue Camo Backpack
(Courtesy sunset + pine)

For the Books

Local mom Kirstin Maas opened my new favorite kids’ store (read more about her on p. 28). With a Soho aesthetic and European flair, sunset + pine stocks trendy children’s clothing and accessories with environmental and social consciousness. The STATE Bags Kane Kids Camo backpack is a prime example. Made from recycled materials, including water bottles, the bags come in tons of cool colors and patterns. For each sold, STATE donates funds for educational programs and fully stocked backpacks to families in need. 

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