Thursday, September 3, 2009

Babes in Toy Land

I love toys. I also, as you may know, love heirlooms. In order to combine these two things together the toy in question must posses certain qualities. First, it has to be made with exceptional quality; kids can be so hard on their toys so if you want a child’s play thing to last it better be sturdy. Second, for a toy to become an heirloom it has to be truly loved by its possessor. And finally, for it to succeed in being passed to another, someone else has to actually want it. When I think of these three characteristics - quality, charm, and appeal - there really are only a few select types of toys that come to mind. Perhaps in the forefront is the wooden toy.

Wooden toys appeal to me on so many different levels. Presently, as a collective, we are all about being “green” and eco friendly, there seems to be a constant worry about safety with all the different glues and paints being used on our kids stuff as well. This, combined with the classic look and feel of wooden toys, and the simplicity they represent makes them so much more attractive to me.

Etsy boasts many shops that feature some very beautiful wooden toys made with exceptional quality. Jumping Jasper from The Wood Garden is a perfect example of this. Crafted by a fellow Canadian, this delightful toy, is built of maple and walnut and finished off with a coat of organic flax seed oil. I almost did not want to feature him because I greedily wanted to keep him for myself and the playroom here at the cottage! I am absolutely in love with this item and if you are looking for some fun baby gift ideas I would suggest stopping by this shop.

I also adore this next wooden toy from Woman Wood Worker, for several reasons. First and foremost, I love that this female woodworker has “skills and a garage full of power tools.” Her pieces are traditional wooden toys, but built with a twist. I love that you can get a wreaking ball complete with a wall to break down, how fun! Her shop also features some really cool natural train sets as well and at an amazing price.

This next item is from Kitty Baby Love and is what set me off in search of fun wooden toys in the first place. This bowling set is so cute for any child or cat lover and comes complete with six kitty shaped pins, a wooden ball, an official score pad, and a canvas carrying case. This is a perfect game for aiding in hand-eye coordination or counting. If you are looking for something unique and whimsical as a gift for your next children’s birthday party I strongly suggest looking here.

The top is perhaps the most classic of all the wooden toys I have featured – I have this lovely image in my mind of a bunch of messy faced kids laying and kneeling around in a circle, spinning their army of colourful tops with amazement shining in their eyes. These little gems from Urban Turn are made of hard maple and come in a variety of colours. Check out this shop for a selection of cool wooden buttons as well.

If you have a baby you know that they love to put anything they can get their hands on into their mouths. It’s kind of yucky to think of what is actually going in there but with the marvelous selection of teething rattles and toys available in Little Alouette you can rest easy. I love this uncomplicated giraffe teether which is made from Ohio maple and coated with organic flax seed oil. It is amazing how something so simple can be so great for developing fine motor skills, grasping, creativity and free play!

And finally, there is a huge genre in the wooden toy category that encompasses the doll house. When we were little girls we probably all had Barbies (or some other variety of her) and, obviously, she needed somewhere to live, right?! Jacobs Wooden Toys has a fantastic variety of functioning doll house items that would put a smile on any little girls face. This kitchen set is made of spruce and Baltic birch, along with a coat of beeswax. The nice thing about the items found in this shop is that you can also request for your doll house bits and bobs to be unfinished so that you and your girls can paint them yourselves!

I am so happy to fill the playroom here at the cottage with such extraordinary toys. I feel good on so many different levels letting my bébé play with them. Kids don’t always need those blinking, noisy, vibrating, loud toys that most of us have littered on our living room floors – an imagination and a simple plaything is often enough. And, I’m willing to bet that at the end of the day, it’s these classic toys that our kids will still be hanging on to when they have a little person of their own.


  1. What a fabulous collection you found :)
    I love the little kitty bowling set!

    off to heart ...

  2. i agree with you. these are such great timeless toys.. theyr so uniquely crafted.

  3. What a great little collection of finds! Thanks so much for featuring us :] I'm off to check out that grasshopper pull toy myself!

  4. I adore the kitty bowling set! Great finds (as always!).