It’s Chinese New Year and this time we’re celebrating the Year of the Monkey. Come and see what we’ve found to welcome your little chimp to the fold.
I can personally attest to the fact that a monkey is a good animal to be. We monkeys are curious, sharp-witted and smart (I’m loving this description), but our curiosity can get us into trouble. One source claims that monkeys are accident prone, but who doesn’t have days when everything they touch turns to broken? On the darker side, monkeys are mischievous and masters of the practical joke, so any parents expecting in 2016 better be ready for a future that includes rubber chickens, whoopee cushions and fake dog poo.
In the honour of this year’s Chinese zodiac animal, we’ve put together a list of our favourite monkey-inspired gear from Etsy and beyond.
Including a dress up from an Etsy shop has become a bit of a Babyology lunar new year tradition, and this year the baby monkey hat and nappy cover ($67) above with its curled up tail is absolutely scrumptious, and perfect for adorable photo ops.
In honour of the cartoon monkey’s favourite food, we’ve chosen this totally bananas universal pram liner ($52) from Australian company Chuck and Taz. Along with the Mountain Buggy Swift, Chuck and Taz liners were the must have accessory when I was pushing my screeching newborn eldest down Sydney footpaths. The bananas print also comes in harness covers and nappy pockets.
From 3 Sprouts comes a storage bin ($55) that’s a great size to tidy away rogue toys or laundry, and we love the monkey version in natural cotton canvas and yellow and brown felt.
French toy maker Djeco has taken the traditional skittles bowling game and added some cheek. The monkey skittles set ($55) has three smiling monkeys, three colourful palm trees and a coconut to knock them all down. It seems kids almost never use toys for their intended purpose, and the possibilities for this set are huge. Drop the coconut from a crane to demolish a tower of blocks, act out the song “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” or tie string across the trees to trip up unsuspecting parents. Because, you’ll remember, monkeys are practical jokers.
Monkeys born in 1980 take note: the Monchhichi ($39) is back! Between the puppy dog eyes, freckles and sucking thumb, these guys are undeniably cute, and it’s easy to see why this little Japanese primate became such a worldwide sensation in the 1980s.
You have to look a bit closer to see the monkey design on Sture and Lisa’s bodysuit ($37), but it’s there, adorably repeated, floating under umbrellas. It’s monkey-themed, but in a retro, Scandinavian-inspired way. We love the royal blue background and contrasting green piping as well as the fact that the cotton is 100 per cent organic fair trade.
Monkey sock shoes! They’re cosy, save you putting both socks and shoes on little feet, and they’re ridiculously scrumptious. I’m not sure I’d want to ruin these delightful creations by sending my kids outside in them, but I think they make the perfect slippers. They’re just $15.
French designer Coq en Pate manages the balance between playful and sophisticated so masterfully, and the organic cotton canvas Monkey Shoulder Bag ($34) is a perfect example. The monkey’s face is bug-eyed and looking for mischief, but the colour palette is fairly neutral, and the diamond pattern of the monkey’s body contemporary. If kids don’t like this one, I reckon it could make its way into your own handbag collection, you know, for weekends.
We’ve come a long way from the old school push along toy. Orange Tree Toys has a wooden monkey version ($20) complete with little banana with a felt peel that’s absolutely darling. And the sound of little wooden beads softly clacking as the wheels turn is so much more pleasant than plastic balls rattling around a plastic dome, no?
Alimrose Designs Monkey Rattle ($30) is a stripy, caped crusader, complete with a red mask. Super heroism is the idea here, but in the spirit of cheekiness, this little monkey is more likely to be up to no good.
How funky is your monkey? Designer of melamine kids’ plates Jane Jenni thinks pretty funky. We’d argue that kids need no assistance being naughty at meal times, but this cute little monkey plate ($13) will remind kids that even at the end of a rambunctious day, it’s best to keep mum and dad on their toes.
(Header image via TG Newborns)