miss k little shop

Little shop of horrors

Okay New World, you had your fun. Miss K is excited that Little Shop is back.

Chemo Barbie for sick kids

Thanks to a campaign by a mum and her brave daughter, Matell has agreed to keep making Ella, a bald doll to help kids going through chemo.

Barbie is leaning in

The doll has dabbled in more than 150 careers, but now, with her smartphone and tablet in hand, Entrepreneur Barbie is leaning in.

Kardashians kids' klothes

The Kardashians are looking to ensare a new generation of fans with the release of a collection of kids clothing.

Barbie and standards of beauty

People seem convinced Barbie instils in her preschool fans a false and remarkably detailed standard of beauty.


We're talking about...

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'Normal' Barbie

Pictures of 'normal Barbie' swept the web last year and now her designer is crowdsourcing funds to make her a reality.

designer kidswear

Renting designer gear

Designer clothing rental services for kids are the new thing in the States, but do they encourage materialism?

New World Little Shop

Miniature groceries new craze

Mock miniature groceries are sparking warnings about the power of marketing to children.


Review: Lego City

We asked Essential Mums readers and their kids to roadtest the LEGO City starter kit. Here's what they thought.

hazard sign

Parents warned after battery death

Safety experts are trying to educate parents about the dangers of button batteries after the death of a young Australian girl who swallowed one.

wheat bag toy

Wheat bag dangers

They may be cute and help warm your kids up in the colder months, but cuddly toys containing wheat bags can be dangerous.

kid on bike

A bike buying guide

Choosing a bike can be overwhelming for parents. Here are some suggestions from experts on bicycles and safety, to simplify the process.


Toy-maker targets mums

Earlier this month Mattel gathered together a bunch of influential mummy bloggers to discuss one of the great mysteries of modern life: why mums don't know how to play Hot Wheels with their sons.


Faulty toys a hazard

The recall of 25 faulty toys and leisure goods last year shows why New Zealand needs stricter controls around consumer products, watchdogs say.

Lucy Muir

Preschool gift ideas

With three weeks to go until Christmas, the pressure is on to get sorted with gifts. Essential Mums has scoured a range of gift ideas for you, in case you needed some inspiration.


Doll made by body image experts

Lottie, a wholesome girl-next-door doll, has been modelled on the average nine-year old girl's body shape rather than Barbie's unrealistic curves.


All I want for Christmas...

Santa is stockpiling Lego and radio control vehicles for Kiwi kids this Christmas, Trade Me says.

Lego friends

Lego and girls

Gender stereotyping becomes a big hit as Lego targets girls with their latest line.

ipad kids

Screens stealing childhood

I f you look around you chances are you'll find young children engrossed, not in the world around them, but in their new digital reality.

sock str

Not just monkeying around

Two Wellington mums take ordinary socks and turn them into cuddly companions for sick children.

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