As a toy blogger I see a lot of kids toys as you can imagine, but the ones I am always drawn to are ones that will last generations, ones that our children can enjoy, but also their children. In this very consumerist society, it can be easy to give your children toys upon toys upon plastic toys. But the ones that they will remember won’t be the plastic ones that break or run out of battery, but those that provide them with hours of imagination and wonder. The ones that are sturdy, robust and built to last, which is why I tend towards wooden toys. Aesthetically from a parent’s perspective they are beautiful to look at which is important as you will be seeing it daily, but from a consumerist perspective, they are also ones that you know will survive the rough and tumble of children. They won’t be thrown in the bin because they no longer work!
Some Christmas gift ideas for kids aged 4 to 6 years, give them the ability to draw, create, jump and have fun with their imagination and learning through play.
As you know we adore Inkibabinki here on this blog, it is one of our fave Australian kids fashion and decor range for their minimal, design led approach.
They have done it again this festive season with their new limited edition Minimalist Christmas Tshirt. We loved it so much that we thought we would get into the Christmassy spirit in November and have a bit of fun!
A little Easter bunny gift inspiration, a little late but gorgeous gifts for the Easter Bunny’s upcoming visit!
Clockwise from top left: Bunny garland from Velveteen Babies, Speedy Bunny print from Wee Gallery, baby teething ring from Say Seb, Bunny ear doll from Tippitoetailor , Bunny shelf from Little Red Elk, Bunny kids blanket from Miniwilla, Bunny and egg cookies from Hello Naomi, Bunny egg cups from Buddy & Bear, Lambswool Mr Bunny from Sally Nencini, Bunny tee from Inkibabinki , Bunny pillow from Minis by Vane and Rabbit print from Alphabets and Animals.
Wishing you and your families a very happy and relaxing Easter!!
One of the things that I love to do in life is to give; I love giving little presents and cards, the joy that it brings the receiver, lights up my world. It is just something I have always loved doing and one reason I started this blog as I adore researching and buying gifts and making cards for friends and family.
This year I was touched by the “Pay it Forward” initiative that has taken off on social media over the start of the new year, a movement to encourage and inspire acts of kindness. There is so much bad news in the world, every day, even more so of late, that it is nice to see the real spirit of humanity, and that is essentially one of kindness and hope.
It inspired me and made me think, how can I help someone else, to brighten their day, or to give them something that might help them out in their life.
Now I am not a maker, nor am I creator, so I couldn’t make something to give to people, well apart from a hand written card. So I thought hard about what it is that I do, (my husband questions this most days with me!) and I thought that I could write up a feature on a new shop, kids designer, crafter or artist and get their brand and designs out there through my blog. Give them exposure across my blog and media channels that will help them to boost their brand. I thought that could be my way to “Pay it forward” in 2015.
I then posted this idea up on my Instagram account in January after being inspired by the fabulous Captain & Co and others I had seen on Instagram and Facebook. I thought about how many features I could write this year on top of my current work schedule and felt that I could manage 5 brands, writing about them twice over the course of the year. I felt bad only picking 5 once I had responses back, so I added in a 6th brand who had also been quick to respond to my post.
The 6 kids brands that I am so excited to write about this year are:
1. Cream Empire – stylish nursery and kids bedding and soft furnishings. Designed and made in Australia.
2. Canterbury Kids – a fab bricks and mortar children’s clothing boutique stocking Minti, Scotch & Soda, Bebe, Wilson and Frenchy and more. Based in Victoria, Australia.
3. Bowe Baby – produces practical and thoughtfully designed baby items like car seat shades with nappy holder, stroller covers as well as nursing covers and blankets that will “make parenting simple”. All designed and made in the USA.
4. Schooza – hugely fun kids dress up and costumes for all occasions. Designed and made in Australia.
5. Chykaboo – gorgeous baby blankets organic teething rings, softies and prints. Designed and made in the UK.
6. Jack and Evelyn – produces classically designed kids products such as toy boxes, poncho towels and baby bibs. Designed in Australia.
The first feature on Cream Empire will be featured later this week, so stay tuned!
Image courtesy of Captain and Co.
This week, we have been very lucky to have some visitors come and stay with us. They are rather unique, a lot of fun, and they like to go on adventures! They go by the name “The Organic Family” and I have to say it has been a pleasure getting to know this sweet little family of 4, yes you may have guessed it by now, wooden dolls, by Goose Grease toys!
This little family consists of a mama, papa, brother and sister who have been lovingly hand crafted using wood that is sustainably sourced under fair trade practices in Bogotá, Colombia.
Goose Grease is owned and run by a wife and husband team, Anna and Juan Donado out of Brooklyn, New York. Juan is Colombian and he chose his home country to produce these sweetest of toys and Anna trains the skilled artisans to hand paint each doll, using non toxic water based paints.
I adore wooden toys as you would no doubt realise in reading my blog. Why? Well there are many reasons for my love of all things wood! One is the aesthetics and texture, they just look stunning and the natural softness of wood is a nice change from all the plastic in this world. Another reason is the heirloom quality of wood and the fact the toys can be passed down through the generations and not be broken or have pieces missing like plastic toys. Finally, that due to the quality and design, wooden toys generally don’t date, which means you won’t thrown them away when your child has had enough of that latest trend.
It was with much pleasure therefore that this little organic family came on a big adventure to our house via the fantastic new Australian based shop Noc Noc; who source and stock only handcrafted wooden toys from around the world. Heather’s passion for wooden toys is similar to mine, in that she chooses wooden toys for their environmental and sustainability factor. As a mother of 2 gorgeous kids, she wanted to consciously source toys that were handcrafted and of artisan quality. However, as I too have found, Heather struggled to find handmade wooden toys made in Australia, in particular, on a wholesale level. We just don’t seem to have the demand for it here, well not yet…
Goose Grease toys were one of her first purchases for the store and Heather tells me a little more as to why she choose these toys in particular:
As soon as I saw these dolls I had quite a physical reaction. I really felt like a small child again and I just wanted to hold and play with them (and I do). They are so beautifully made and feel so gorgeous to hold. Knowing that they are each lovingly hand lathed and then hand painted makes them so very special. I also just love how different each set is. The organic family just melt me. The Monochrome are the trendy family of the bunch. The ninjas make me giggle. So I can imagine that they also bring out these different emotional reactions in children too! I was over the moon when I found out that I could sell them in Australia and in fact we are now their Australian distributors.
I also asked Heather about the importance of wooden toys and what future they have:
I actually see us moving in a full circle. Back to natural, ecologically friendly toys. Whilst the tech age is undoubtably here to stay, I also see parents making choices to limit these techy items and give their children toys that will allow their imaginations to grow. I also most definitely am seeing parents who wish to limit the plastic and waste that occurs in their children’s worlds. I think different parents have different reasons for doing this whether it be environmental, health (the toxic chemicals in plastic), for aesthetic reasons or even for the nostalgia of our children having the wooden toys like we did. However I am definitely seeing a resurgence in wooden toy enquiries and an understanding of the higher price tag that come with these toys.
I am looking forward to seeing more from Noc Noc in the future and the new discoveries and treasures that Heather is no doubt going to find as she pursues her dream of creating a creative hub, made of only handcrafted wooden toys.
Now let us go and see what adventures the Organic family got up to on their stay with us!
The adventures of the Organic Family.
Families that camp together….
Football fun with the siblings!
Can we have an icecream, puhleeease Mum!
Finishing off a fun day with a play on the swings and tasting the delicious organic ice cream and juices!
Size: 6.5 – 9 cm tall
Non toxic paint, fair trade conditions, sustainably sourced wood.
****DISCOUNT CODE ****
Heather has very kindly offered free shipping on all Noc Noc toys using code “KGT15”.
Disclosure: in order to review Goose Grease, we were given an Organic family to test out.