Hape Wooden Pay Kitchen

Shown here is the Hape Wooden Gourmet Kitchen Set described below.

At Hazelnut Kids, wooden play kitchen sets are among the most popular types of toys that we offer. Ideal for toddlers ages 2+ years old, wooden play kitchens can foster creative and imaginative play while giving children a sense of freedom with their own kitchen space. Paired with awesome wooden kitchen accessories like pots, pans, various foods, and utensils, a complete play kitchen set can keep your young chef engaged for hours.

In this post, we are going to share three of the best wooden play kitchen sets at HazelnutKids.com and why each option offers a great investment to facilitate creative, life-like play for your child.

Hape Wooden Gourmet Kitchen

Made from natural wood and water-based paint, the Wooden Gourmet Kitchen from Hape is an excellent option among wooden play kitchen sets. Young chefs can can craft their own kid-sized play meals with this ideal wooden starter kitchen.

Check out the video below to see some of Hape’s wooden play kitchen sets and accessories in action.

Great for encouraging imaginative, pretend play, kids can interact with this wooden kitchen in many ways. Hape Wooden Pay Kitchen SetsTurn the big red knobs to get the stove going, peer through the over door to watch the food bake in the oven, and after a pretend feast has been eaten, kids can wash the dirty dishes in the sink.

The hutch and cupboard are ideal features for storing dishes and play food. Matching fridge and cookware is available for purchase with the Hape Wooden Gourmet Kitchen set, available at HazelnutKids.com.


Glückskäfer Wooden Play Kitchen with Top

Wooden Play Kitchen SetsThis dual-sided wooden kitchen set by Glückskäfer has a stove and oven on one side and a sink and cabinet on the other. The sink is designed with a stainless steel insert that can easily be removed and cleaned when needed. The oven opens for plenty of baking space and the stove can accommodate most child sized cookware. Wooden Play Kitchen Sets

This piece by Glückskäfer will keep your kids busy while you’re occupied in the kitchen. Although this wooden play kitchen set is an investment, it’s a timeless heirloom that’s made to last for generations. See the Glückskäfer Wooden Play Kitchen at HazelnutKids.com for further details.


Elves & Angels Jenny’s Wooden Play Kitchen

Jennys Wooden Play Kitchen SetsJenny’s Wooden Play Kitchen by Elves & Angels is a great option that caters nicely to play areas that are a bit less spacious but still enabling of relentless culinary creativity. The top shelf on this wooden play kitchen set can be used to display food or finished dishes. The complete unit offers an array features and playful possibilities, including a ringed stovetop, oven, built-in sink, and convenient storage compartment.

Elves & Angels Jenny’s Wooden Play Kitchen set is crafted with a smooth, formaldehyde-free birch plywood and is finished with linseed oil. The kitchen is 30.5″ tall, 25″ wide, and 11″ deep and the top shelf is 5″ deep. See this product among many of the great wooden play kitchen sets at HazelnutKids.com.

Kathe Kruse Waldorf Doll - Cup Cake

Kathe Kruse Waldorf Doll – Cup Cake

Kathe Kruse of Germany is going through some corporate transitions and US retailers are unable to order many of our beloved Waldorf dolls, wooden dollhouse dolls, and organic baby dolls and animals. Hazelnut Kids does still have a broad selection of these items available, but only in limited quantities. We are unsure if and when these items will be available to U.S. retailers again so if you have intentions to purchase any of these items, we recommend you do so soon. And if you have any recommendations for us regarding other Waldorf doll makers, wooden dollhouse dolls, or organic baby dolls and stuffed animals, we would love to hear from you at info@hazelnutkids.com.

Easter Basket GiftsHolidays have become synonymous with waste, excess, and unhealthy behaviors. Easter is no exception with plastic grass, plastic eggs and cellophane-wrapped baskets.

With a little thoughtfulness, you can make the switch to a green Easter. And with Earth Day just a couple of days after Easter, what better way to celebrate spring than by making earth-friendly choices?!

There are many eco-friendly Easter basket gifts and fun activities that will resonate with kids, leave a lasting and more meaningful impression than a basket full of sugar. Here we will explore some fun Easter basket alternatives and Easter basket gifts that are not only eco-friendly, but are also fun, creative and engaging (leaving your kids with more than the typical sugar high.)

First, Find a Natural Easter Basket

The Easter basket is your foundation and a great place to start thinking outside the box. Opt for baskets made from natural materials over the cheap plastic variety. You can find some beautiful handcrafted baskets at natural gift stores; but if you are on a budget, a great place to look for baskets is at thrift stores.

Who said you even need a basket? Wide-mouth flower pots make for great alternatives. Or try something useful and nontraditional with your kids like a 100% certified organic cotton sack from Eco Lunch Gear. Our friends at Eco Lunch Gear offer several crafty, eco-friendly and reusable products that are ideal for Easter. Check out their Cinch Sack as a creative Easter basket alternative, in addition to the Reusable Sandwich Wrap as a purposeful gift to make school lunches a bit more fun.

Keep it Real (Like the Easter Bunny Would)

Now that you have an Easter basket, you will need to line the bottom with something. Here, the possibilities are endless!Green Easter Basket Grass

Ditch the plastic grass and grow your own. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, grass is probably one of the easiest and fastest things to grow. All you need a is a small dish, some soil, seed, water and sunlight. You can use grass, wheat, alfalfa, clover or chia seeds.

Once your grass is grown, place the dish in the bottom of your basket and viola! After Easter, your child can plant the grass outside, or use it as kitty grass for your feline friend to graze on.

Dried beans make a great basket lining as well and kids will have fun diving their hands into the beans to search for buried treasures.

Playsilks from Sarah’s Silks are another great grass alternative. Playsilks come in all the colors of the rainbow. Fluff them in your basket and tuck colored eggs and gifts into the folds. Playsilks offer limitless imaginative play. In the hands of children, they can transform from a cape to a magic carpet, a tented fortress to fairy wings and beyond.

Opt for Natural Toys & Gifts for Easter Basket Stuffers

Natural Easter Basket ToysNow that you have the foundation, what should you stuff your Easter baskets with? Instead of filling them with sugary, artificial candies, natural toys and gifts make for great Easter basket stuffers.

At Hazelnut Kids, we offers tons of natural wooden toys and eco-friendly Easter gift ideas.

  • Wooden Toys: Hape wooden jungle parade, wooden farm animals and dinosaurs, Hape little wooden vehicles or pulling animals.
  • Arts & Craft Kits: Pied Piper Crafts Knitty Kitty Kit, Pirate Map Kit, Wind Car or Sailboat Kit, Artterro Art Kits, and Ecojot Recycled sketchbooks.
  • Activity Easter Gifts: Hopstic Chinese Jumprope, Sarah’s Silks

Natural Easter Egg Dying KitPerhaps the most well known Easter tradition is egg dying. The Glob Natural Easter Egg Dying Kit uses all natural, non-synthetic dyes, making it a great choice for your eco-friendly Easter.

Making the switch to a green Easter this year is easy and a lot more creative and fun than navigating the candy aisle at your local department store for sugar and plastic products.

Do you have any awesome ideas to make Easter a bit greener? We would love to hear about your eco-friendly Easter ideas or traditions. Leave us a comment below!

Waldorf DollsFor generations, children have played with dolls across all corners of the world. Dolls are a wonderful way for children to learn about themselves and the world around them through imaginative play.

There are a wide variety dolls to choose from these days, many of which are mass produced and sold in department stores. But one doll you will not find in any department store or advertised on TV is the Waldorf doll. A growing number of savvy parents are catching on to the superior quality and benefits of Waldorf-inspired dolls and choosing them over manufactured, plastic dolls.

The Origin of Waldorf Dolls

Waldorf Inspired DollsThe inspiration behind Waldorf dolls started with a different approach to education, developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner back in 1919. A Waldorf education is based on a humanistic approach to teaching. According to the Association of Waldorf Schools of America, Waldorf education is based on a “profound understanding of human development that addresses the needs of the growing child.” 

The curriculum is designed to meet the various stages of child development. Teachers at Waldorf schools strive to deliver an education that nurtures the whole child- heart, hands and head- rather than focusing on the mind only. The popularity and success of Waldorf education has encouraged and ignited the growth of Waldorf toys.

What Makes Waldorf Dolls Unique?

Waldorf DollsWaldorf dolls are different. They are made from natural, eco-friendly and organic material like wool, silk, cotton and wood. These natural materials make the dolls aesthetically pleasing, warm and comforting to touch. Each Waldorf doll is a high-quality handmade heirloom piece, crafted with love and care, to be enjoyed for generations.

The facial features of Waldorf dolls are intentionally made to be quite simple, consisting of two dots for eyes and a thin line for the mouth; similar to the way that many children start to draw faces. The simple features with natural, pleasant expressions are designed to inspire creativity and imagination. Children are free to transfer a range of emotions into the doll while playing

Children love to dress and undress these dolls. The clothing is made child-friendly to be easily taken on and off. Kids can express their sense of choice, creativity and aesthetics by playing dress up.

Where to Find Waldorf Dolls?

Kathe Kruse’s official Waldorf-endorsed dolls can be found at Hazelnut Kids in many different forms. Kathe Kruse dolls are individually crafted in Germany from natural materials. She makes a diverse range of Waldorf dolls for children ages three years and up, each doll is as individual as the child and made with care.

Waldorf Doll ClothingWaldorf dolls are safe, free from chemicals and synthetics. They are soft and cuddly and the natural wool and cotton fibers absorb heat, making them warm when held near the body. As one of the best choices of natural toys for kids, Waldorf dolls allow kids to develop many important skills, such as cognitive development, fine motor skills and self helping skills.

Children use play to understand their world, using dolls to re-enact interactions with people, practice caring and nurturing and even preparing for a sibling. Loved by children and adults alike, Waldorf dolls will be adored and cherished for years.

Elves and Angels

This time of year we receive lots of questions regarding our line of Elves and Angels Wooden Play Kitchens. David Smalley of Elves and Angels has done an outstanding job of creating heirloom quality wooden play kitchens that are kid friendly, earth friendly, and wallet friendly. David has made it his mission to create a selection of play kitchens that are under $200. There are a couple of deluxe versions that are slightly more expensive, but the majority of his line fulfill his mission. And did I mention they are made in the US, in the great state of Maine?


Susan’s Wooden Play Kitchen

When looking through all the different models, it can become a bit overwhelming clicking back and forth to compare them. We are hoping to make this easier by creating a kitchen comparison chart. Enjoy looking them over and if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@hazelnutkids.com or 231-941-1901.

Julianna's Wooden Play Kitchen

Julianna’s Wooden Play Kitchen
(without broiler oven)


Julianna's Wooden Play Kitchen with Broiler Oven

Julianna’s Wooden Play Kitchen
with Broiler Oven

Christina's Wooden Play Kitchen

Christina’s Wooden Play Kitchen

Sera's Wooden Play Kitchen

Sera’s Wooden Play Kitchen


Jenny's Wooden Play Kitchen

Jenny’s Wooden Play Kitchen

Sylvie's Wooden Play Kitchen

Sylvie’s Wooden Play Kitchen



Jenny’s Julianna’s Julianna’s with Broiler Susan’s Sylvie’s Christina’s Sera’s
price $169 $179 $219 $199 $249 $189 $159
height (inches) 30.5 34 34 38 40 28.5 27
width (inches) 20 23 23 24 28 28 24
depth (inches) 11 12 12 12 11 11.25 12
shelves 1 on top with no back 1 on top with back 1 on top with back 2 with partial backs 2 with full backing no no
moveable knobs yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
bottom broiler no no yes no no no no
metal sink yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
4 burners yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
middle oven shelf no no no no yes yes no









What’s not to love about  ROYGBIV ?

Rainbows are colorful, cheerful and even playful! We’ve compiled a few of our beloved rainbow colored wooden toys that will brighten up any room in your house and provide quality playtime for your child.

Glueckskaefer Wooden Carriage with Blocks Toskana

For the busy toddler in your life, this simple set of blocks will keep them moving. The car shaped carriage can be pulled around, blocks can be unloaded and used endlessly, and they store perfectly in the car carriage when playtime is over.

Let the stacking continue with

Grimm’s Wooden Nesting Box Tower

This set includes 6 brightly colored wooden nesting blocks, that will provide hours of fun and discovery. Teach your little one about colors, shapes, and sizes while they line-up, stack, or nestle their colored blocks. As each block is nestled inside the next – a new sound is produced, depending on the size of the block. They also make attractive storage containers.

For the musically inclined we have

Plan Toys Oval Xylophone

This colorful xylophone is made of smooth, beautiful rubberwood and has a unique shape. Playing it is an enjoyable way to exercise eye-hand coordination, while reinforcing your child’s nautral sense of harmony and rhythm

And the perfect wooden toy for any R-O-Y-G-B-I-V fan,


Grimm’s Large Wooden Rainbow – 12 pieces


This 12 piece wooden set provides endless possibilities for open-ended play for children. It will be enjoyed for years by your little one as a baby, toddler, and then preschooler and kindergartner. They can make tunnels, little homes, or unique forts. A great compliment to their existing dolls and cars.

Any of these beautiful wooden rainbows are sure to please. And your little one will be too busy to even think about that pot of gold!

If your child is a fan of rainbows, here’s your chance to surprise them with one. Simply leave a comment (top of page) telling us which wooden rainbow toy would be loved most and we will randomly select a winner on Mother’s Day (May 12th).

This contest is now closed. Congratulations Samantha! Thank you to all who participated and stay tuned for our next giveaway.

As I sat down to write the latest installment of our A to Z brands series for Plan Toys, I started browsing through the two-hundred-some products we carry and it got me thinking…  Sure, we offer everything from the smallest piece of wooden play food to the grandest wooden dollhouse and everything in between, but what exactly is behind the Plan Toys name and why does it continue to be a leader in quality, imagination-inspiring wooden toys?

Plan Toys has been around since 1981, when they opened a small factory in Thailand, making toys exclusively out of sustainable rubberwood.  Since then, their commitment to creating toys that foster imaginative play and educational growth – while being environmentally and socially responsible – has not faltered.  Today, their high-quality wooden toys are available in 59 countries and the company is as dedicated to its mission of “creating innovative toys for the development of every child” as it was when it opened its doors over 30 years ago.

So what’s the big deal about rubberwood anyway?   Well, in the simplest of terms, it’s one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable (not to mention high-quality) woods available for use in the manufacturing of consumer products.  It comes from rubber trees, which are the world’s primary sources of rubber.  Once a tree stops providing the latex sap necessary for rubber, the tree is of no use and is typically cut down and burned then replanted.  Plan Toys saw this as a sustainable opportunity and chose to use the otherwise-discarded natural rubberwood as their primary building material.  The result is a very strong and durable wood, perfect for all sorts of wooden toys.

And so what makes Plan Toys such a strong and durable brand?  I think it comes down to a few simple key things: innovation, awareness and quality.  (I might even liken Plan Toys position in the natural toy industry to that of Apple in the consumer electronics world.)

The Plan Toys catalog of products is constantly evolving.  We’ve recently seen the departure of a large portion of their offerings, many of which seemed to be Plan Toys mainstays, only to be replaced by newer, more smartly designed wooden toys that are sure to become the new standby’s of the company.  These new designs meet changing times and have adapted to the way kids learn and what’s beneficial for their physical, intellectual, and social development.

The awareness label can be described two-fold.  On one hand, Plan Toys is extremely socially aware.  On top of the wide range of baby, toddler, and children’s toys in their product line, they also have developed adaptive toys for children with special needs.  The Build-A-Robot was designed specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, helping to identify emotions, while incorporating sensory elements.  Along with this social awareness, comes an underlying commitment to environmental stewardship. Plan Toys is environmentally conscious in everything they do.  From the natural, non-toxic materials that goes into every one of their wooden toys and the recycled and recyclable material they use in their efficient packaging to the solar energy and biomass that helps run their plant, they truly do operate under a “green mind.”

And, lastly, Plan Toys means quality.  The company is veryserious about having their toys adhere to worldwide safety standards.  Plan Toys’ own standards for quality are evident in their products.  Their wooden toys are not going to chipor break after a few play encounters. They are not going to leach harmful chemicals or have their paint ruboff.  Instead, you’ll have aquality toy that child after child can play with.

So whether you’re looking for that perfect natural baby gift or a wooden version of a classic … Or if you’ve got roads and rails on your mind… Or maybe you’ve got that little one who loves to whip up a delicious meal in their kid-sized pots & pans … Or for those days when you want to mix fun with learning, try the A-Z cards.

I guess what I’m getting at is… If you can think of it, Plan Toys probably offers it and it’s gonna be good!

For more information about this incredible company, visit the Plan Toys website, then come check out our wide selection at Hazelnut Kids.

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn



Have any wooden heirloom toys in your child’s toy box that were from your own childhood?  My parents had the foresight to save a few of my favorites from when I was young and now these classic wooden toys – that were made domestically (Canada, for me!) from safe and sustainable materials – are among my two kids’ favorites as well.  Whether you currently have toys like this in your own collection or not, Maple Landmark offers plenty of options for adding to or starting your own “save and pass-down” group of wooden toys and games.


Each Maple Landmark product is made right here in the U.S.  Since 1984, they have been making quality wooden toys and games in their Vermont workshop, using Vermont hardwoods and locally sourced nontoxic paints and finishes.


They offer something for every age group.  Their intricately engraved Wooden ABC Blocks are truly a sight to see and the perfect set for your little toddler (and certainly one to pass on!).  For the young builder/craftsperson in the household, the Made By Me kits are a wonderful way for children to work on their fine motor skills and develop a sense of pride in making something of their own.  And the ever popular Spinny series (available in Critters, People, and Speller) packs enough fun to keep your youngster entertained during those road trips, visits to the waiting room, or anywhere else a little quiet time is needed!  (Also the perfect stuffer for those Easter baskets… nudge, nudge!)


Maple Landmark also manufactures a variety of classic wooden games.  From Wooden Tic-Tac-Toe for the beginners to the beautiful Wooden Chess Set for those true gamers, every game is made with care and safety in mind.  Who needs a computer screen when a quick game of classic Wooden Solitaire is handy?  Or when there’s an opponent or two nearby, try out the award-winning Mancala Stone Game or a good old game of Chinese Checkers.


Whatever game you’re after or whichever toy looks fun, you can feel good knowing that your future generations will enjoy playing with these high-quality playthings as much as you do now!


~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn


When I was a kid, I was a very serious bookworm and one of my favorite responses to the question of: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was “a school librarian.”  What better job was there, than to be in charge of all of the books in the school’s library and have control over that little date stamp and ink pad?!

I was also an avid organizer (and still am!) and I spent many a rainy day organizing my books alphabetically, or by size, or whatever other pattern fit my fancy.  If only the Little Librarian Home Library Kit had been available back then!

This affordable kit will allow your child to transform his or her collection of books into a full blown library!  The Home Library Kit will not only encourage hours and hours (and hours!) of imaginative play, but it will also get kids excited about reading and teach them about responsibility and deadlines.  Lend out a book to a friend, relative or even a stuffed animal.  Then keep record of books borrowed and returned, track due dates, issue overdue slips, and present reading awards.  JUST like a real librarian!

Little Librarian kits are made and assembled in the U.S.  It’s the perfect gift for any young book lover and, hey, maybe you can have a little fun with it too!

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn



In a previous blog entry we highlighted the wonderful world of Waldorf dolls, specifically the beautifully handmade creations from Kathe Kruse.  But this German company doesn’t only produce Waldorf dolls – they offer a myriad of other natural and organic toy options as well that are designed and made in Germany.

As an accessory to the dolls themselves, they have created a line of Waldorf doll clothing, perfectly sized for the 10” Mini It’s Me Waldorf dolls.  This takes playing dress-up to a whole new level when your child’s doll can get in on the fun!

Looking to fill your dollhouse with a family of wooden dollhouse dolls?  Look no further!  Kathe Kruse offers a line of delightfully charming wooden dollhouse dolls as well as an entire selection of Waldorf dollhouse dollsEach miniature doll is handmade from natural materials and there’s everything from the wise grandparent down to the newborn baby.  With their pose-able bodies and cheerful outfits, your child’s dollhouse will come to life with countless hours of imaginative play.

We are very proud to carry a large selection of Kathe Kruse’s organic line of stuffed toys and animals.  As a parent, you can rest assured knowing that if one of these little lovelies goes into your baby’s mouth, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about!  Made from 100% organic cotton and oh-so-lovable, these toys will be quick to become a favorite at home, in the car, or anywhere. 

We carry organic towel dolls in a variety of colors and designs – perfect for those infant months during which our little ones want to constantly be clutching or chomping on something…  Instead of the mass-produced pillow pals made from synthetic materials, give your child the gift of a natural and organic pillow friend…  Or for those restless nights, provide some natural warmth and serenity with the organic cherrystone pillow and organic musical lamb.  Whatever the choice, these naturally made organic stuffed animals and towel dolls will be fast friends for your little one.

And rounding out our vast and varied selection of Kathe Kruse products are the brilliantly colorful wooden puzzle sets and wooden stacking towerThese wooden playthings will have your toddler gaining logic and fine-motor skills as well as enjoying a whole lot of fun!

Kathe Kruse is an incredible company, rich with history and a strong reputation for well-made natural and organic toys.  We hope you’ll enjoy watching your children play with them and then relish in passing them on to future generations!

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

Looking for some really great imagination-building wooden toys?  Well, look no further than Holztiger’s beautiful line of wooden dinosaurs and castle figures.  These wooden playthings are perfect for the Waldorf classroom or for your own playroom, as they will inspire whole new worlds to be imagined and stories to be told.

Each wooden figure is handmade in Germany.  Shapes are cut from hardwoods, sanded to a smooth finish, then hand-painted and finished with water-based paints and lacquers. Holztiger designs are simple, yet beautiful, allowing for open-ended imaginative play across many age groups.

For those little dinosaur-lovers you might know, Holztiger offers almost every prehistoric reptile from the Dimetrodon to the Allosaurus to the Pachycephalosaurus (now, try to say that one five times fast!).

They also offer an equally grand line of wooden castle figures, depicting the most regal of wooden kings and queens. Enjoy a joust between two sets of wooden knights on horseback or have one of them ride off to rescue the fair princess from the colorful wooden fire-breathing dragon.

The options for play with the Holztiger wooden toys are endless, limited only by your child’s imagination.  Watch the imaginary worlds that unfold!

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

We’ve been carrying a variety of beautiful Glueckskaefer nesting toys and building blocks for some time now.  Then there’s also the playground favorite, the big jump rope.  And we can’t forget about one of our best-sellers, the knitting mushroom.


But lately we’ve added a whole new line of Glueckskaefer playthings, perfect for the little chef in the family.  These kitchen-related toys are made especially for small hands and are the perfect addition to a child-sized play kitchen or helpful tools while helping alongside mom or dad in the real one.

This adorable miniature grater reminds us of something you might find in a Montessori classroom as little hands help prepare a snack. The wooden base keeps the grater steady and the stainless  grater gets the job done!

The classic hand beaters are quite charming as well. Also made of stainless, these beaters are functional, and if your little one is going to do all the work, we insist you let them lick the beaters!

Equally functional and adorable are the mini flour sifter, muffin mold, colander, rolling pin and stainless pots and pans. And you should have heard the “awe!”s  when we first saw the miniature wok, complete with tiny chopsticks! These made for children pieces rival any of your adult sized kitchen tools and we mean it when we say they are completely functional.


And speaking of kid-sized… The Glueckskaefer wooden play kitchens are at that perfect youngster-height and are, truly, some beautiful pieces of heirloom-quality play furniture.  The small stove-sink is great for tabletop kitchen play when you might not have the floor space for a freestanding play kitchen.  Or… if you do, the stove-oven-sink combo offers the basics of a real kitchen in a compact size.  If you’ve got a little extra space and want to have a play kitchen suitable to pass on to future generations, the play kitchen with top is for you.  Whatever the choice, each is made in Bosnia-Herzegovina from solid wood and will stand up to years of culinary creation by your mini chef!

From Glueckskaefer: “We are strongly convinced that through our products we are able to support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living, to respect social and ecological responsibility, and also to fund ‘Heads’ for creativity and imagination, ‘Hands’ for skill and craft, and ‘Hearts’ for honesty and for love.”

From Hazelnut Kids: “Bon appetit!”

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn


We’re really excited about the line of cooperative board games offered by Family Pastimes. Not only are they fun and educational, they’re also handmade from eco-friendly materials, including recycled pasteboard and soy-based inks.

This family-based company has established quite the name for themselves when it comes to cooperative game play.  What are cooperative games you ask?  It’s really quite simple…  There is no winner or loser, as in traditional competitive games.  Rather, the game’s success hangs upon each player working together to reach a common goal.

There are Family Pastimes games suitable for all ages.  In Max, players aged 4-7 work together to get all of the little creatures back home safely before Max, the black tomcat, can catch them.




5-9 year olds will become a team of special detectives, seeking to uncover which suspect has taken a batch of top secrets in Spies & Alibis.



For the multi-aged group, Mountaineering offers a real life adventure game for 7-12 year olds.  In it, the players are part of an expedition, sharing equipment and battling challenges, as the team tries for the summit.



There are even games suitable for the teenagers and adults in the family.  Earth Game is good for ages 12 and up, where the goal is to manage resources and solve problems among nations in order to avoid war.



Or try Untrivia, a question and answer game that deals with practical issues (rather than trivial ones).  Great for teens and adults alike, this game will encourage open discussion about topics such as child-rearing, cooking, travel, health, car and home care, etc.  A really great one for the family whose kids aren’t so little anymore!

The other nice thing is that many of these games are suitable for one or more players.  Brainy Games is a great one to play alone or with a group.  It includes three separate logic games that will keep the player on his toes and have them playing over and over again.

Whatever the choice, these cooperative board games from Family Pastimes are wonderful alternatives to the Snakes & Ladders, Clues, and Monopolies of the game closet.  Next time it’s family game night, try a turn at playing with your family rather than against them!

Good luck!

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn


Sketchbooks sure didn’t look like this when I was growing up!  Sure, the metal coil binding is reminiscent of those on the paper notebooks I used to tote around to and from school, but that’s where the similarities end.  The ecojot sketchbooks are not your ordinary school/art supplies, both in the way they look and the story behind them.

These colorful creations come from a Canadian brother/sister duo who started the company in hopes of combining beautiful, whimsical artwork with eco-friendly stationery.  They certainly succeeded!  Each ecojot sketchbook is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and decorated using non-toxic inks.  Even better, for every sketchbook they sell, the company’s “GIVE” program sends a notebook to a child in a developing country.


And then there are the fun and original designs and two different sizes to choose from.

The smaller 6×9 books come in colorful apples, popular owls, modern robots, and space & planets.






The larger 9×12 books come in adorable animalsflying butterflies, funky milk trucks, and the lovable monkey on a skateboard.


Let the creating begin!



~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

Don’t we all crave a bit of the one-of-a-kind, never-been-seen-before, no-other-like-it?  Cate & Levi is a dad-founded company that can bring your child just that – in the form of a lovable woolen pal that will be unlike any other.  Each Cate & Levi creation is made from reclaimed wool (think old sweaters piling up in the closet!) and stuffed with sheep’s wool, so no two of these natural toys will ever be the same.


They come in all shapes and sizes, too.  The stuffed animals are big and lovable and so much more vibrant than your usual polyester plush toy.



They’ve also got a terrific line of great and goofy hand puppets and, for those sleepovers or slumber parties, the pillow pals are perfect.


Have a child on the go?  Turn to the backpack buddy for a fun friend to bring along to school (with no worries of having the same bag as the kid next to you!) or the purse pal for the little ladies who need something to carry all of their treasures. 


Cate & Levi products are all handmade in Canada and the materials are sourced as close to the production site as possible, thereby reducing their carbon footprint.  They are also a socially conscious company, which donates 10% of profits to charities for children in need.

Repurposed and whimsical and 100% unique, these woolen play pals from Cate & Levi will have you and your child smiling in no time!

Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

Learning through play is a common theme underlying many of the wonderful toys and games we carry.  The clever Beleduc puzzles are no exception.  They are intricately illustrated and each one is truly a puzzle of discovery.

Made from durable birch wood and colored with non-toxic German water-based paints, Beleduc puzzles are typically comprised of five layers.  The frog puzzle chronicles an amphibian’s life cycle from egg to frog and everything in between.  Or for those insect lovers, learn all about metamorphosis with the butterfly puzzle, which tracks its life cycle from egg and caterpillar to adult butterfly.

Beleduc also offers a multi-layered boy body puzzle and girl body puzzle, which are wonderful tools for children to discover the various vital systems and physical layers that make up a boy or girl’s body.  And the perfect gift for that soon-to-be older sibling, the mother puzzle will help explain just what is going on inside that growing belly of mom’s!

Whether learning about animals or the human body, you’ll enjoy discovering the hidden surprises of Beleduc’s beautiful layered puzzles as much as your child will!

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

This past holiday season, these little guys have been flying off the shelves, and for good reason…  Anamalz combine the durability of wooden toys with the flexibility of your typical stuffed animal and, even better, they’re made of natural materials!  And the number one reason why we think Anamalz are so popular: they’re just SO darn cute!

They are small enough to fit in a pocket and there is almost every animal you can think of from baboons and buffaloes to lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  And for the budding paleontologists in the family, there is even a full set of prehistoric dinosaurs to add to the collection.

And when these adorable creatures need a place to call home, there is a treehouse and barnhouse made just for them.

Anamalz are:

  • Made from organic maple wood, cotton, wool, water-based paint, and formaldehyde-free glue
  • Animal lovers!  The company donates a percentage of profits to wildlife organizations around the world
  • Unique.  Each one bears its own code which allows the proud owner to register the animal online, name it, and print out a personal certificate

Have one look at these Anamalz and we think you’ll be as tickled with them as we are!  They’re the perfect gift for any young animal lover.  Happy playing!

*Note: No Anamalz were harmed in the writing of this blog post.  😉

Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

We are so thrilled to welcome an incredible German company to our family of brands. Grimm’s Spiel & Holz designs and creates their lovely pieces with love and handwork in Europe. They use alder, lime and maple wood from sustainable forestrys in Europe, as well as non-toxic water-based dyes for their dynamic colors.

Their designs are clean and simple, allowing for lots of room for a child’s imagination to take flight! They also are easy to store or travel with, as the puzzles come in wooden trays, the blocks and rainbows are nesting, the wooden dollhouses are mobile, and the mosaic is magnetic in a travel tin.

A message from our Grimm’s representative:

“American children deserve Grimm’s Toys. Loved by European children for 30 years, these award winners are crafted and sanded by hand with a nontoxic, lead-free, water-based stain in eye-popping vibrant colors.  They’re earth-friendly, ultra-smooth and lacquer-free (making them easier for little ones to handle and stack). Now we’re pleased to bring Grimm’s products—artful puzzles, blocks of all kinds, baby toys, dolls, rolling toys and much more—to U.S. retailers.  You must see these toys and hold them in your hands to appreciate their outstanding quality!”

These wooden toys are of heirloom quality and can be passed down from generation to generation. The grain of the wood shows through the stain, and they are truly lovely pieces. We hope you will love them just as much as we do!

Bridgett – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service & Manager, and Mother of Jack and Isabelle


Waldorf toys are becoming more and more popular lately and Waldorf schools seem to be popping up in communities across the country.  We thought we’d take a minute to explain just what is behind everything “Waldorf” and focus specifically on those infamous little Waldorf dolls that are always big hits with children.

A little history…

The “Waldorf” term originates from a school that was founded at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919.  The structure of this school’s curriculum was based upon the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner.  He advocated practical and artistic learning with an emphasis on open-ended activities and imagination, imagination, imagination!  Almost 100 years later, the Waldorf/Steiner approach to education has stuck and the term “Waldorf” remains widely used to describe a variety of high quality children’s toys and learning materials.

Waldorf Dolls

Waldorf dolls are used extensively in Waldorf education and they’ve been making their way out of the classroom and into the homes of children around the world.  They are handcrafted and made of natural materials, including cotton stockinette and sheep’s wool.  These little wonders are easily recognizable with their beautifully simple design and neutral features, which stimulate a child’s creativity and imagination.  Their arms and legs are flexible and they typically have a full head of long hair (usually made of mohair or boucle).

The cream of the crop – Kathe Kruse Waldorf Dolls

Kathe Kruse is the exclusive producer of official Waldorf dolls.  This German company has been making Waldorf dolls since the very beginning and it shows…  These dolls are individually handmade and absolutely beautiful.  They are warm and cuddly and have a realistic feel and weight to them (the natural materials contribute to this), making it nearly impossible to resist giving one a close snuggle.  A Kathe Kruse Waldorf doll is a true gift to any child and certainly one that can be passed on to future generations (which only adds to its richness).  We are very proud to carry a large selection of Kathe Kruse Waldorf dolls and clothing.  Bring a little of the Waldorf experience into your home and watch your child grow!

Shannon Beery – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

Plan Toys has numerous new train track sets available – just in time for the holidays! Here at Hazelnut Kids, we are very excited to offer new train track sets for customers looking to add on to their current set, or to customers looking to purchase a starter set.

Those looking to add on will love the Plan Toys – Plan City Country Track and Accessories Set and the Plan Toys – Plan City Mountain Track and Accessories Set. These track sets have something fun to offer – a bridge, stable, and horses – or a mountain tunnel with exotic animals.

Those looking to start a wooden train track collection this holiday season will love this Plan Toys – Plan City Figure Eight Train Set. With 20 train pieces, a train, and signs and bushes – this is a great beginner set.  Or maybe the 14 piece Plan Toys – Plan City Oval Train Set is just the right size!

Whether you are looking to spice up your existing wooden train track set – or get one started with a smaller sized set – you will want to take a peak at our new arrivals to see what Plan Toys has added to their line.

For even more wooden train track sets or road sets, look at our existing Plan Toys City Set category.

Happy Travels!

Bridgett – Customer Service & Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Take one look at our selection of Ball Track Sets and your head might be ‘spinning.’  But don’t ‘roll’ your eyes and move on just yet!  We’ve sorted through our selection and have created another little table for you to get on ‘track’ when it comes to selecting the perfect ball track set.  (Okay, okay… enough of my ball track puns!)

My First Ball Track Ball Track Construction Set Click Clack Roller Build N Roll Build N Spin
Brand Haba Haba Plan Toys Plan Toys Plan Toys
Ages 3 and up 3 and up 18 months and up 4 and up 4 and up
# of Pieces 44 50 1 solid track; 2 wooden balls 44 39 


Details The “has-it-all” starter kit for younger children; 

Includes unfinished blocks, ramps, dominoes, and marbles

More emphasis on building a structure using the various unfinished blocks, then having the marbles run through it;

Includes blocks, marbles, and a bell

Ideal for toddlers;

Stimulates visual and auditory senses;

No track building required

A colorful ball track set that is smaller in size and more easily used by older children;

Includes unfinished and painted blocks, ramp systems, windmill, and wooden balls

Not your typical ball track as it uses rollers instead of balls;

More easily used by older children;

Includes unfinished and painted blocks, ramps, and rollers

Ability to expand? Yes – with all Haba ball track add-ons and block sets Yes – with all Haba ball track add-ons and block sets No Limited – with Plan Toys Construction Set and Build N Spin Limited – with Plan Toys Build N Roll
Price $44.99 $80.99 $40.50 $55.00 $75.00


Haba continues to be the leader in classic, unfinished ball track systems that can start small (with a beginner’s set) and be added onto in various ways to create giant mazes of tracks and obstacles.  We often recommend these Haba ball track kits to our customers who want to have something they can have grow with the child as he or she gets older…  Start off with getting your child a basic kit, then with every birthday or holiday or special event that comes afterwards, get another compatible ball track add-on (which we carry most of) that will make the resulting track more and more complex – and more and more age appropriate too!  We promise that the adults will have just as much fun creating these ball track patterns as the kids do!

The Plan Toys ball and rolling track sets are also great.  With their colorful design, they’re a bit more modern than the classic Haba sets and the construction-like nature of their set-up makes them good options as one-time gifts for middle-aged children.

And for those little ball track beginners, the Plan Toys toddler set is ideal.  Put it in a room with a two-year old and watch the joyful discovery that will ensue.  It’s solidly built and made to delight as the balls drop over and over and over again!

Whichever you may decide upon, you can rest assured that each set is solidly made and all of the materials are completely safe and non-toxic.  Even better, each set is packed with fun and possibility (for your children and yourselves!).

Shannon – Customer Service and Research Specialist

Hazelnut Kids employees are self-professed foodies, and in fact, the owner’s husband owns local restaurants here in Northern Michigan – so it’s no surprise that we are especially interested in Plan Toys new line of food sets!

Plan Toys is known for their clever concepts and quality products, and they certainly did not disappoint this time around.

Each wooden food set has its own little detail that just makes you smile with whimsy. Such as the mushroom slices adorning the steak set, or the little cake topping with the frosting bag in the cake set.

Whatever strikes your fancy, we have a new Plan Toys food set for you! Breathe new life into that old kitchen set, or start-up a pretend restaurant.

Hmm…this is making me hungry…Happy Snacking!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Giveaway: One lucky winner will win their choice of new Plan Toys Food Sets. To enter, simply check out our site and tell us which set is your favorite. Post a comment about it here on our blog by October 9th and be entered in the giveaway. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries.  Random drawing will be held on Monday, October 10th. We will even throw in two additional entries if you vote for Hazelnut Kids for the Green America Peoples Choice Award! Thank you for sharing the love and good luck!

Continue reading


With so many options available for children’s’ dollhouses today, we thought we would help break down the information from our five Plan Toys Wooden Dollhouses for you.

We have dollhouses with classic or modern styles, color accents or natural wood finish only, removable staircases, printed wallpaper, furniture included, and many other varying details. Sometimes all the options can be overwhelming. We have created a table for a quick comparison of our Plan Toys Wooden Dollhouses.

Victorian Wooden Dollhouse Chalet Wooden Dollhouse Chalet Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture My First Wooden Dollhouse Terrace Wooden Dollhouse
Levels 3 3 3 2 3
Design Classic Modern Modern Simple Current

in inches

29 x 24 x 12.4 30.7 x 14.2 x 23.6 30.7 x 14.2 x 23.6 24.6 x 16.5 x 22.6 22 x 18.5 x 27.6
Details Panels open and close; timeless design Two separate units and two staircases can be arranged in different ways; has colorful accents Same as Chalet, but also includes five sets of furniture Includes balcony, sliding doors, and floral wallpaper Partition, windows, and doors are moveable; has colorful accents
Price $225 $180 $225 $108 $100


If you are looking for a truly unique and forward-thinking dollhouse, the Plan Toys Wooden Green Dollhouse with Furniture is an eco-friendly inspired version of the classic wooden dollhouse. It has 2 levels, a contemporary, sustainable design, is 18.1 x 21.7 x 19.9 inches, and retails at $216. The features include a wind turbine, solar cell panel, electric inverter for generating electricity, rain barrel for collecting rain, biofacade (uses the natural cycle of plant growth to provide shading), a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation, and recycling bins.

While there are varying elements to each Plan Toys Wooden Dollhouse, one thing remains consistent – the quality. The wood is incredibly sturdy and resilient, and  extremely soft and smooth. Each wooden dollhouse was designed with little fingers in mind, and are easily accessed by children. The Plan Toys Dollhouses offer a perfect canvas for young imaginations.

Happy Pretending!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Many of the brands we carry, were started by parents that left the corporate world to raise their children, and do something they can feel good about. After all, that is how Hazelnut Kids was born! Kids Konserve was also created in this manner. What is so great about the two mothers that started this business, is that they really wanted to set an example for their children. They saw a need to reduce waste from school lunches, and decided it was important to actually set an example for their children on conservation. Their mission was as much about reducing lunch landfill waste as it was about inspiring and empowering their children to demand change for the future. This focus on bettering the future, through teaching our children today – is what we love about Kids Konserve’s mission.

The bonus is that they have quality, practical products to back their mission up.


Their insulated lunch sacks replace brown paper bags, and keep lunches cool! They also have a convenient carrying strap attached, and the exterior is made from recycled plastic.



Their nesting containers provide three different sizes to hold various foods, and nest inside each other for easy storage. They are made of food-grade stainless steel and come with a leak-proof PVC-free, BPA-free, and phthalate-free flexible lid.




Their stainless steel, insulated food jars are perfect to keep cold foods cold and warm foods warm. They are made of food-grade stainless steel, and hold 12 ounces.



Their stainless steel water bottle is just what you need to eliminate plastic water bottle or juice box waste. Made of food-grade stainless steel and decorated with non-toxic paints, this bottle holds 20 ounces.



These are practical, durable, and eco-friendly products that Hazelnut Kids is so pleased to add to our back-to-school supplies. They are sure to come in handy year-round, however! Thank you Kids Konserve for offering so much more than quality products – thank you for offering an example to our children, and making a difference one lunch at a time.

Giveaway: One lucky winner will win their choice of Ocean or Sky Lunch Kit which includes the insulated sack, the stainless trio, the round stainless container and matching stainless water bottle.  Check out our site and tell us which design is your favorite. Post a comment about it on our blog by September 4th and be entered in the giveaway. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries. Just remember to tell us with additional comments. One comment = one entry.  Random drawing will be held on Monday, September 5th. We will even throw in another entry if you nominate Hazelnut Kids for the Green America Peoples Choice Award! Thank you for sharing the love and good luck!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

This giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who participated. Congratulations Dena Schweitzer! 

Inspiration can come at anytime, anywhere. That’s why Hazelnut Kids is so excited to bring the whimsical ecojot line of sketchbooks to our customers. Help encourage your little one’s imagination with one of these colorful sketchbooks. Whether they enjoy drawing what they see in nature, creating their own unique creatures, writing short stories or practicing their alphabet – or whatever strikes their fancy – these sketchbooks are the perfect accompaniment for your child’s creativity.

Coming in two sizes – the standard 9 x 12″ and the ideal for travel 6 x 9″ – these sketchbooks are filled with 60 pages of blank post-consumer paper, just screaming to be drawn or written on! That’s right, ecojot uses 100% post-consumer paper, so sketching is guilt-free! Plus, they are printed and designed in Canada.

Hazelnut Kids has 4 of the large and 4 of the smaller sketchbooks to choose from, so there’s a design for everyone!

Pair an ecojot’s sketchbook with a set of colored pencils for a lovely birthday gift.

Giveaway: One lucky winner will win their choice of ecojot sketchbook along with a package of our lovely Lyra Super Ferby (chunky) Colored Pencils!  Check out our site and tell us which sketchbook is your favorite. Post a comment about it on our blog by August 28th and be entered in the giveaway. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries. Just remember to tell us with additional comments. One comment = one entry.  Random drawing will be held on Monday, August 29th. We will even throw in another entry if you nominate Hazelnut Kids for the Green America Peoples Choice Award! Thank you for sharing the love and good luck!

Happy sketching!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Jack and Izzy sportin' their Mimi lunch bags


As the warm days of August come and go, we inch closer to the impending season of fall. With it comes crisp air, falling leaves, and brown bag lunches! This year, here at Hazelnut Kids, we decided to help you kick the brown paper bag habit with our new line of Mimi the Sardine organic lunch bags.


There are so many qualities about this simple lunch bag that make it stand apart from the others available. It is extremely light-weight, so your kids won’t complain about a heavy, bulky lunch box. The organic fabric is the perfect material to keep this lunch bag light, and keep the food inside safe. The acrylic coating of the fabric (not PVC), allows for easy cleaning with a wet cloth. At the end of the week, or after a particularly messy lunch, you can throw the Mimi the Sardine lunch bag in the washing machine and dryer.

Another great thing about Mimi the Sardine organic lunch bags, are the handles. Nice and soft, and just big enough to make it easy for little hands to carry it by themselves. Plus, despite its light-weight design, it is extremely spacious and durable. We’ve had our two Mimi the Sardine lunch bags for years, and trust me – Jack and Isabelle have put them through the wringer! They continue to smell fresh and look great, even after years of use.

Also, the organic lunch bags fit much more than you might think. We have been known to pack in lunch, snacks, and a water bottle at the same time! Hazelnut Kids Earthlust 13 ounce size water bottles fit in the lunch bags beautifully – with lots of room to spare.

The zippers at the top of the bags are another noteworthy quality of the Mimi the Sardine organic lunch bags. They keep everything secured in the lunch bag, and allow easy access for kids. Kids love to be independent and navigate their lunch bag by themselves, and I appreciated this quality when my kids were very little and still getting the hang of how things work.


If you homeschool, or don’t send cold lunch to school with your kids – don’t worry, this organic lunch bag is still a winner! We don’t even use them for school lunches, we use them for road trips, snacks on the go, picnics, and the list goes on!

Have I mentioned how completely adorable these bags are yet?! The designs are so super cute and the colors extremely vibrant (and they stay that way!). We’ve gotten more compliments than I can count on our Mimi the Sardine organic lunch bags.

Go ahead, check out all the designs we have available at Hazelnut Kids, and never fret again about how to pack your next snack on the go!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids




Summer is in full swing, and children are ready to grab their pails and head to the beach! Giggling children, sunshine, and sand castles – the perfect combination. Yet, one can’t help but feel a little pang of guilt as their plastic shovels and pails break under the pressure of wet sand and need to be discarded. But what are concerned parents to do? There’s never really been an eco-friendly beach toy option available, and you can’t go to the shore without castle-building supplies for your munchkins!

Solution: Zoe b Biodegradable Beach Toys. These sturdy – made in the USA – beach toys are made with Mirel™ bioplastic, and yes, they biodegrade!

Want to learn more? OK, here’s the lowdown on Zoe b Biodegradable Beach Toys:

  • Fully biodegrades in 2 to 3 years (versus 300+ years for ordinary plastics) when buried in soil, immersed in water, or composted.
  • Bioplastic is free of BPA and is FDA-approved for food contact.
  • Can withstand extreme heat and exposure to sunlight and is even dishwasher-safe.
  • Bioplastic cannot be recycled, nor will it breakdown in a landfill, so when you’re finished with the set, either pass them on, or bury them, sink them, or compost them!

At long last, the beach toy predicament is resolved! Now you can have American made, strong and durable, bright and attractive beach toys without the guilt of adding plastic to the landfills that hangs on for 500 years. Zoe b Biodegradable Beach Toys are high-quality so they can be passed on to other young ones once yours grow out of them – but biodegradable so that they will decompose within only 3 years when they are no longer being used. It’s the ideal situation, really. Plus, they are simply lovely.

So don’t delay, check out our new biodegradable beach toys today – and get diggin’!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Summer has arrived, and with it comes simple pleasures. A cool breeze, a melting ice cream cone, a glass of iced tea, or a splash in the lake. One of the most joyful pleasures of the summer season, is the sound of children’s laughter as they frolic and play!

As school lets out and we anticipate all the fun to be had, we can’t help but think about all of our lovely summertime playthings here at Hazelnut Kids. We wanted to highlight just a few for you to peruse as you prepare for the months ahead.


There is nothing like feeling the wind in your hair as you swing through the air! Your kids will love the fun they will have with the Original Tree Swing, and you’ll love the nostalgia it brings to you.



For those little ones that aren’t quite ready for the real thing, we have Yellow Label Kids Organic Knit Ice Cream Rattles. Just as colorful as the real summer treat, these rattles are hand knitted with 100% organic bamboo yarn, so they are just as safe as they are adorable!


It’s time to get dirty! This Plan Toys Wooden Dump Truck will provide hours of filthy fun for your little one this summer.


Get creative! What will you design on your sidewalk this summer? Mercurius Pastel Chalk has 12 vibrant colors that will inspire your outdoor artist.



Croquet anyone? Don’t let that sunny day pass you by, get out this Plan Toys Wooden Croquet Set and get ready for family fun!


Check out our Summer Season category for many more summer-tastic toys!


Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

At last, we have found an eco-friendly bike, that lasts through many stages of your child’s development! It is with great excitement that we introduce Wishbone Bikes. Wishbone Design Studio is based in New Zealand, and they are an innovative bunch for sure!

Their 3-in-1 bikes eliminate the need to purchase numerous bikes through your child’s toddler and early years, and their pedal-less design does away with the need for training wheels. Instead, the child learns balance right from the get-go.

Some of the Nitty-gritty details:

  • Start with the three-wheeled trike to offer a lightweight, yet stable, design for even the littlest ones to become comfortable moving on wheels
  • At 2 or 3 years old, remove the trike kit, converting it to a two-wheeled balance bike
  • Then when your little rider is not so little anymore (4 or 5 years old), flip the wishbone-shaped frame upside down for maximum height
  • Seat adjusts from 11″ to 18″ high

Some Green Details:

  • bikes are made from sustainably harvested birch and ash
  • seats are made of silicone – a material that is completely non-toxic and fully recyclable
  • bike parts bag made from certified organic cotton
  • no plastic in packaging, and Wishbone‘s marketing materials are printed on recycled and chlorine-free stock

Wishbone is a great choice for your child’s first bike. You can enjoy that it was responsibly and sustainably made, and your little biker can enjoy the freedom it gives them, and the skills they learn on it.

We offer stylish Limited Edition Wishbone bikes (3-in-1 Balance Bike – Koru, 3-in-1 Balance Bike – Wollemi), or you can choose one of the original wood designs ( 2-in-1 Balance Bike , 3-in-1 Balance Bike) and snazzy it up yourself! Hazelnut Kids carries the Wishbone Silicone Seats in 3 colors: blue, pink, and green. We also have Wishbone Bike Sticker Sets in 2 varieties: flames and flowers.

Happy cycling!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

The Cate & Levi Collection

The Cate & Levi Collection was founded by a Dad with a vision – create environmentally responsible toys for kids, that are just as charming as they are eco-friendly. One look at these cuddly critters and you will agree: mission accomplished!

Cate & Levi resides in Toronto, where their handmade creations take shape in their local studio. Not only do they use reclaimed wool (saving oodles of old sweaters from the landfills), they also source their materials as close to home as possible – further reducing their carbon footprint.

Plus, this feel good company donates 10% of their profits to funds that help children in need. Hazelnut Kids is thrilled to offer this outstanding brand to our customers.

Currently, we carry Cate & Levi Backpack Buddies, Hand Puppets, Peek-a-Boo Puppets, Pillow Pals, Purse Pals, and Stuffed Animals. There’s an animal for every little youngster (frogs, cows, giraffes, puppies, bunnies, monkeys, butterflies, and alligators – oh my!), and they are all one of a kind. Each product is completely unique, making for a super special gift.

So checkout out The Cate & Levi Collection of reclaimed wool critters, and you will never look at a wool sweater the same!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Once in awhile a company comes along that you just want to jump up and down over. Painted Turtle Wooden Toys is one of those companies. When the owner of this eco-friendly toy company contacted us about their products – it was a no brainer! We were thrilled to add Painted Turtle Wooden Toys to our Hazelnut Kids family.

This is why:
(Quote from the owner) “Our products are made only from regionally grown hardwoods that we purchase from an environmentally conscious local sawmill. The finish that we use is certified organic, food-grade hempseed oil from a Canadian farm—thus, everything is perfectly safe for babies to chew on and embodies our commitment to reducing our manufacturing carbon footprint.

We take great pride and care in crafting each item and everything is built to stand the test of time, making them excellent heirloom pieces.”

Here at Hazelnut Kids, we surely appreciate the care Painted Turtle Wooden Toys takes in their products.

Here’s a fun fact discovered by the lovely owner of Hazelnut Kids (Tracy): the painted turtle is Michigan’s Official State Reptile! I didn’t even know that our beautiful state had an official reptile, but it’s kinda fun that we have a bit of a connection with this wonderful brand.

We invite you to take a look at this gorgeous line of handcrafted wooden baby rattles, and imagine if you can – the softest wood you have ever touched!

Hazelnut Kid, Quinn, with rattle from Painted Turtle

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

We’re downright giddy to announce the arrival of Anamalz new line of Prehistoric Dinosaurs here at Hazelnut Kids.  These wooden dinosaurs are just plain adorable.  They are made of the same smooth organic wood that we know and love from Anamalz, and are accented with bright or muted tones to fit the personality of the dinosaur.

Their bendy limbs make them extra fun to play with, and their size is conducive to travel.  The Anamalz Prehistoric Dinosaurs each have a smile on their face, and are ready to make new friends!

In addition to the Prehistoric Wooden Dinosaurs, we have also received a number of other new creatures from Anamalz!  These include the baboon, polar bear, moose, reindeer, llama, koala, and buffalo.  Check ’em out quick…they’re bound to go extinct in a flash!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Gluckskafer is a family-owned company that has been in business since 1945! Their toys meet the strict European safety standards, using beautiful Linden tree wood and water-based coloring.

Gluckskafer has the following message:

“We are strongly convinced that through our products we are able to support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living, to respect social and ecological responsibility, and also to fund ‘Heads’ for creativity and imagination, ‘Hands’ for skill and craft, and ‘Hearts’ for honesty and for love.”

Here at Hazelnut Kids, we offer their “Wood, Shapes and Colors” line, as well as a few other items such as their Gluckskafer – Aluminum Water Kettle.  We love the simple beauty of the natural or stained stacking and nesting toys.

It is so wonderful to find toys that are made with integrity, promote creative play, and are beautiful to look at!  If you have not checked out our line of Gluckskafer Natural Toys, it is worth taking a peek!


Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Buying toys for your loved ones used to be a simple endeavor. However, we are all now, unfortunately, familiar with the recall notices and other alerts for toys and children’s items in the news that appear almost constantly. Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan is known for producing an annual guide (http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2010_11/Play_It_Safe2010RecallGuide.pdf) to toys and children’s products that are unsafe due to a number of factors. This guide is useful but it does not address other chemicals, such as BPA, that have given parents reason to pause and evaluate every purchase for their children.

I started shopping at Hazelnut Kids for my children for my son’s first Christmas. While I had taken great care to take care of myself when I was pregnant and change the type of food I ate, cosmetics and cleaning products I used, and clothing and diapers I purchased, I did not realize the complexities of buying toys for my son until his first Christmas and birthday approached.

Instead of toxic pull toys mentioned in the Illinois report, my son has these, which my daughter now loves. I have not had to be concerned about lead recalls years later or worry about small plastic parts falling off that could be ingested.

Plan Toys - Dancing Alligator Wooden Pull Toy

Plan Toys - Dancing Alligator Wooden Pull Toy

Plan Toys - Snail Wooden Pull Along Toy

Plan Toys - Snail Wooden Pull Along Toy

Parents of children 4 and older will remember the 2007 wooden train recall from RC2 that manufactures Thomas & Friends™. My son was beginning to be interested in trains that year and we made a choice to purchase a Plan Toys Rail and Road set like this one. I have never had concerns about these pieces and have found the paint and moving parts to work without fail for nearly three years of constant use.

Plan Toys - Road and Rail Play Set - City Transportation

Plan Toys - Road and Rail Play Set - City Transportation

Now that my daughter is older and interested in dolls, we will be purchasing a dollhouse for her and thought of no other retailer than Hazelnut to get one for her. The colors and design of this house are as exciting and interesting as other Plan Toys products are but I have no concerns about lead or other toxic materials in the paint. It is guaranteed to see a lot of use in the years to come.

Plan Toys - Chalet Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture

Plan Toys - Chalet Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture

Katherine DeGood – Contributing Writer for Hazelnut Kids and Mother of Willem and Adeline

Thanks to advances in technology, researchers at N.Y.U. are currently studying how young and crawling infants interact with their world and move through it. Children were recently outfitted with lightweight cameras that tracked their eye movements as well as gave a child’s eye view. In early findings, researchers were surprised to see that children were able to make quick decisions about their environment and the people around them without having to stop and focus on a particular item to determine how they were going to react to it. From the New York Times:

“Quick gazes at obstacles in front of them or at their mothers’ faces may be all they need to get the information they want. They seem to be surprisingly efficient,” said John Franchak, a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at New York University.

When thinking about toys and the role that they play with very young children, this study reinforces the idea that toys for young children need to immediately appeal to their every sense.

This rattle from Haba is a favorite of young children. It is colorful, easy to hold, and makes sounds that they love to hear.

The simplicity of a natural wooden ring rattle has been appealing to children throughout the years. The varying shapes, sounds, and smooth texture of this rattle is enjoyable for little ones and will quickly become a favorite toy that they will choose again and again.

Bright and interesting blocks are a universally recommended toy for infants and children. Haba makes the simplest toy even better with the addition of small unexpected surprises inside the blocks and inviting colors on the outside.

You can read more about this amazing research here.

Katherine Degood – Contributing Writer for Hazelnut Kids

We recently stumbled upon a company called Artterro. As a long time lover of the arts, I am always excited to be exposed to new, quality products that inspire. Artterro was created by a couple of Moms who were searching for art kits that encouraged creativity, and were sustainable.

They had this to say on their website:

Kids appreciate quality art materials! Beautiful supplies inspire them to create amazing things, just like they do for adults. Children easily immerse themselves in the process, often unattached to the final product, and their enthusiasm is contagious! Works of art composed with Artterro‘s high-quality materials become treasures artists young and old proudly display.”

I was ecstatic to bring a kit home and put it to the test! My daughter chose the Artterro Collage Jewelry Kit, and I’m not sure who was more excited.

Confession: While I was very excited to check the kit out, I have to admit I actually put it off for quite awhile. I was afraid it was going to require a lot of my assistance to help my daughter, and wanted to make sure I had enough time to give her my undivided attention.

Reality: I didn’t do a single thing to help her, and she was capable of working on the jewelry projects entirely on her own. This kit has a recomended age of 7+, and at 8 years old – Isabelle was fully capable of managing the kit on her own.

Discovery: Not only are Artterro kits eco-friendly, sustainable, and open-ended – but they also encourage independent work, and promote creative confidence! Isabelle was able to create her own piece of jewelry from start to finish, without my assistance. A confidence booster and just plain fun!

The really great thing was, I didn’t need to go around finding a bunch of different supplies in different packaging, wondering if they were of decent quality. I simply grabbed one bag, and everything we needed was ready to go. No excess packaging waste – just one bag with everything needed for the project inside. Great for a rainy day or a fun birthday gift.

We Want to Share the Love!

We want to spread the word about these fun kits, and give one away to a lucky winner. So don’t miss the chance to win this wonderful prize! Simply check out our Artterro products, and tell us what you love. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries. Just remember to tell us with additional comments. Random drawing will be held on September 30.

Good luck!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

*This giveaway is now closed*

Trees are a common theme around here at Hazelnut Kids. We hug them, we try to save them, and we even plant them. Well now we display them! I would like to share a couple of pictures sent to me by Denis Chirles, Executive Director for the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Hazelnut Kids donated several Plan Toys Stacking Trees for their lovely TREEscape exhibit. If you are in the Charleston, SC area looking for something special to do with your little people, stop in and check them out!

We love Sarah’s Silks at Hazelnut Kids, and anyone who has ever purchased their products would know why. Everything they make is just beautiful! Vibrant colors, soft textures, and elegant designs can describe each Sarah’s Silks product. They are simple enough to allow for childrens’ imaginations to fill in the blanks, yet the attention to detail speaks of the love and care that went into creating each piece. They use lovely silks and non-toxic dyes to achieve every color in the rainbow!

We are thrilled to offer so many new Sarah’s Silks products, and even more excited to offer a giveaway! Sarah’s Silks will send one lucky winner a basket of 7 playsilks.

Sarahs Silks basket of beautiful playsilks

I know in our house, playsilks have been skirts, capes, rivers, Easter basket fillers – the possibilities really are endless. So don’t miss the chance to win this wonderful prize! Simply check out our new Sarah’s Silks products, and tell us what you love. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries. Just remember to tell us with additional comments. PLUS, get another entry by following Sarah’s Silks on facebook! Which really, you should do anyway – who wouldn’t want to be in the know with all their great stuff?!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

This Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to our winner, Laura W! And thanks to all who entered!

What child doesn’t love to listen to stories?! Here at Hazelnut Kids, we decided it was time to offer some audio entertainment to our collection of inspiring toys for children.

We were pleased to discover Smart Dreamzzz, and we think you will be too! Smart Dreamzzz was created by a parent of two young children, and an expert in child psychology. Dr. Kristen Race is committed to helping families create a strong foundation that will lead to children making good decisions as they grow. Her CD’s guide children through age-appropriate meditation that help with sleep, and stress management.

Animal Dreamzzz provokes a relaxation response in the brain, making it easier for children to fall asleep. It includes 3 stories (about 15 minutes long each) about a giraffe, a baby elephant, and a cuddly bear.

Day Dreamzzz stimulates the memory, attention, and problem-solving areas of the brain. This CD includes 7 stories that help children relax during their stressful day – and is great at home, the car, or in the classroom!

Stories include The Magic Bottle, A Day Dream, The Sky Ride, The Relaxed River Otter, The Sleigh Ride, The River Ride, and Fireside

Dino Dreamzzz includes 3 stories (about 15 minutes long each) about a long neck, a stegosaurus, and a triceratops.

Each Smart Dreamzzz story begins with a soothing voice instructing your child to find a comfortable position and listen to their breath. She leads them to a state of relaxation and complete stillness. This in itself is worth the price of the CD. The bonus is a series of creative and imaginative stories that allow your child to experience adventures in their mind.

From Day Dreamzzz…. “The Magic Bottle”

“Imagine far off in the distance you hear the sounds of a waterfall. Pretend you are walking down a path in a beautiful mountain forest. As you walk, the sound of the waterfall gets louder and louder. You continue to walk down the dirt path and you start to feel a mist on your face. You’re getting closer! The sound gets louder and you find yourself coming to a clearing in the forest. Before you is a big beautiful waterfall cascading down layers and layers of rocks as the water makes its way down to the river below. You walk to the edge of the river and discover something amazing that has just washed up on the bank. It is a beautiful magic bottle!”

I play Day Dreamzzz in the car on the way home from school when I sense boredom, restlessness, or arguing between my two children. It works like a dream (no pun intended) to relax them and make them forget what they are arguing about. (Tracy)

You can find other testimonials HERE.


So for the July 30th giveaway, simply comment on this blog telling us which Smart Dreamzzz CD you would like. You can receive extra entries by following Hazelnut Kids on facebook and Twitter, and subscribing to the Hazelnut Kids newsletter. (sign-up is on the bottom left of home page) You can also tweet about our giveaway or share a link with your facebook friends for additional entries. Just remember to tell us with additional comments.

Good Luck and thank you for reading!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Tracy – Owner, Hazelnut Kids

EarthLust Leaf Stainless Steel Water Bottle

EarthLust Leaf Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Stainless Steel is an industrial looking material that is known for its strength and safety with food products. There is something amazing about how EarthLust has taken this masculine material and transformed it into visually delicate pieces of usable art!

EarthLust is an environmentally responsible company born out of California. The owners were inspired by the birth of their child, and quickly committed themselves to protecting his health as well as the environment.

As if their purpose as a company was not inspiring enough – the designs on their bottles are truly captivating as well. Some of the designs were even created by the owner herself, derived from family experiences in nature.

One of the favorites already is the EarthLust Elephant Stainless Steel Water Bottle. It has a vibrant green base – with a precious silhouette of an elephant parent and child.

EarthLust Elephant Stainless Steel Water Bottle

EarthLust Elephant Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Hazelnut Kids is proud to offer 13 ounce, 20 ounce, and 7 ounce (baby) bottles. We also carry the optional Sports Bottle Top for convenience.


So what do you think? Take a look at our selection of new EarthLust Stainless Steel Water Bottles, and tell us which one you would love to have. Tell us about it on our blog by July 15th, and be entered to win that very water bottle!


Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids

Perfect Life Cycle Teaching Tool!

Now that March has hit, Spring is threatening to come. Living in Northern Michigan – we are certainly ready to welcome it!

At Hazelnut Kids, we decided to add a couple 5-Layer Puzzles that would help take advantage of the learning opportunity that Spring presents (as well as a few people layer puzzles).

We have two options available for ages 4+; the Butterfly 5-Layer Puzzle and the Frog 5-Layer Puzzle. Each puzzle takes the child through the entire life cycle – from eggs all the way to the adult life. They are made out of birch wood with non-toxic ink, and have 30 pieces.

Help your child hop into Spring and check out our new layer puzzles today!

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids

So, as the holidays are behind us, and the gift wrap has cleared – the true test begins.  Do the kids actually play with the quality toys they received from Hazelnut Kids, or do the Legos and Barbies prevail?  As we had many new products this season, I updated my kids’ wishlists and watched as their grandparents ordered the new products.  Would they be a hit?  A break from school has allowed for much time at home for Jack and Isabelle to explore their new gifts, and I decided to describe their experience with each below to perhaps help with some gift giving decisions for our customers.

Received by Jack, 6 years old

Jack received this Kinderkram – Wooden Race Car, and I have to admit – I was skeptical.  Does it really work?  Will it be boring?  I was astonished how fast it zipped across the wooden floor!  He giggled with delight, and I am sure he will put many miles on this classic automobile!  Downside:  Jack wound it up a bit too much and the rubber band snapped.  However, it only took once to learn how much was too much, and with 3 extra rubber bands included, it was no problem at all!

Both kids have been interested in checkers lately, so I thought a Chinese Checkers inspired elf game would be lots of fun.  We gave it to Jack, but Isabelle is the one that has been playing it with me!  She seems as addicted to the strategy of the game as I am.  It is hard to pull yourself away.  As soon as we finish one game she is already saying, “let’s play again!”  It is a great game that adults can really enjoy with their children, and kids love improving on their skills.  Downside:  The pieces are pretty small, so sticking to the age suggestion of 5 + is a must.  You have to have good fine motor skills to place the little pieces where you want them to go.  Isabelle is 8 years old, and it suits her age very well.

Maple Landmark - Made By Me - Racer

My kids love creating things, so Santa was smart to but the Made by Me vehicles in their stockings.  The design is so simple, my 6 year old had no problem putting it together by himself.  He was very proud that he created the car.  Decorating is fun and easy to – crayons, markers, paint – whatever you have works on these car canvases!  Downside:    You’ll have to buy more once the kids are done creating theirs – because they enjoy it too much!

You can never have too many pieces for your ball track set!  This Basketball Hoop Set was a welcome addition to my son’s collection.  It comes with everything you need, so it makes a great set to be played on its own – but it also adds much excitement to your existing ball track.  This set scored major points with Jack!  Downside:   Do I have to find one?  Quality wood and the excitement of scoring big on a small scale – what’s not to love?


My kids have received far too many cheap attempts at ball catchers, all of which have broken within minutes of use and ended up in the trash – leaving them disappointed and saddened.  It is such a fun concept to kids, yet it was always over before it started.  Well, they both received a beautiful wooden ball catcher this year – and there is no disappointment in sight!  These toys will last for years, and are a fun, challenging way for kids to have fun on their own.  I even caught Nana giving it a try!  Downside:  Keep your distance from the child playing with this toy!  Or wear a helmet . . .

Received by Isabelle, 8 years old

A few years ago, Isabelle received a Kathe Kruse Waldorf Doll.  She adores it – to say the least.  There is something special about these dolls.  I know she will have it forever.  She has since been wishing she had another doll like “Sarah.”  This Christmas we decided to give her just that.  This Mini It’s Me doll seemed just right.  It comes in its own little carrying bag, and has an adorable hat!  Isabelle was ecstatic when she opened this present, and quickly named her “Molly” – Sarah’s little sister.  She is easy to bring along, and fun to change outfits with.  Downside:   She technically does not fit our 10 inch doll clothes, but Isabelle received a set and made it work.  She rolled the pants up a bit and made the skirt into a shirt!  It’s almost better, because she has been able to get creative with it.

This was a great gift that both Isabelle and Jack can enjoy with us.  The Haba Keep It Steady! Game is lots of fun for all of us, and is great when you wanna play something fun but not think too hard while doing it.  Really great for many ages, and doesn’t seem to get old fast.  I have to say I lost many times already – which is always fun for the kids!  Downside:  Not as exciting if only 2 players play, I rather play with 3-4.  But the kids still enjoy it with 2 players.

Isabelle has her own locker at school, and is quite interested in decorating it!  This Haba set of magnetic pins was a perfect fun little gift for her.  She can’t wait to bring them to school and adorn her locker.  When school is out, they will be perfect to hang artwork on the fridge.  Downside:  I want my own set!

Second grade really vamps up the vocab!  That’s why I was so glad Isabelle was very interested in playing this game that encourages word building.  The Haba Wooden Letter Dice is a fun way to practice spelling.  It was fun to play with two players, has a few different ways to play so it doesn’t get old, and was challenging for both my 8 year old and myself!  I’m sure her teacher will be pleased that she played this over break, too.  Downside:  I may have a wounded ego as Isabelle starts to beat me at this one!

Sarah’s Silks are not new to many of you, but they are to us!  At 8 years old, let me tell you they are still enjoyed.  The possibilities are endless, and Isabelle never tired of creating new dress-up ideas with her gold silk.  She loved the texture, the color, and the many ways it could be used!  Downside:  None!  Sarah’s Silks are the best, that’s all there is to it.

Well, that’s it.  Another successful gift giving season with Hazelnut Kids toys!  I hope this helps some of you who were wondering how these toys actually fair in the real world.  My children have yet to be disappointed by any Hazelnut Kids gifts they have received.  I hope your children have experienced the same joy this holiday season!

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

For awhile now we have carried Haba’s Japanese House Blocks, but recently we decided to add almost the entire line of Haba Architectural Blocks.  We of course love the smooth, sturdy quality of all Haba blocks, but we are especially fond of these sets.  We believe it is important to offer our children every opportunity to explore other parts of the world, and expand their knowledge of cultures beyond their own.  These blocks offer children a fun, tactile  way to explore other areas of our world.  Whether they are building the great ancient Roman Coliseum, or solving the mystery of how the Pyramids of Egypt were built years ago – these sets will offer a starting point for a great history lesson.  We can learn so much about a culture from their architecture, why not let your kids recreate it?!

Haba Pyramid Architectural Blocks

Just the other day, my kids’ Grandfather was referencing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and I thought, “how neat would it be for them to actually build one!”  Now you can offer that opportunity to your own kids.

Check out our new Haba Architectural Blocks, and make an investment in your child’s education.

Bridgett, Manager-Hazelnut Kids

 Plan Toys Wooden Punch and Drop

In an age where kids have everything imaginable – toys that have more lights than Vegas at sundown, and a mind of their own – it’s nice to know that the classics still have their place.  We recently went to a family member’s first birthday party.  He had received a couple gifts from Hazelnut Kids.  One was the Plan Toys Punch and Drop, and the other was the Plan Toys Walk n Roll.  Both were a big success!  In fact, Oliver, the guest of honor, was so enthralled with the Punch and Drop that he seemed slightly uninterested in some of the other gifts in its comparison.  I may be partial, but the boy lit up with that toy!  He loved punching the balls through the holes, and also enjoyed sticking them in his mouth!  It was nice to have peace of mind knowing the size and finish on the balls made it safe for him to do so.  Oliver’s mother has said that since the party, he has found some new ways to use the toy and likes to turn it on its side and try to punch the balls through that way.  Sometimes, it is the simple toys that allow kids to flourish in their creativity – what a joy to watch!

Plan Toys Wooden Walk and Roll

He enjoyed the Walk and Roll as well, but at 1 year old, that is a toy he will grow into.  It is always nice to receive a gift that he will love in 6 months!

I was happy and pleased to see our quality toys received so well!  I found myself, once again, proud to be a part of such a wonderful company that does more than just sell toys.  Hazelnut Kids inspires and encourages creativity and growth, and offers confidence in purchasing safe toys to be enjoyed for years to come!

So next time you have a party to attend or a gift to give, think about what you want to give that child, and if it is a whole lot more than just a toy visit our site and let us send a gift with love.

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

As I sit here writing my first official blog as owner of Hazelnut Kids, I am thinking of all the beautiful toys I have purchased from Hazelnut Kids over the last five years for my two young children, Jackson (age 5) and Ivy (age 3).

Plan Toys Wooden Walk-n-Roll Push Toy

The first toy that comes to mind is a wooden push toy similar to this one by Plan Toys. Jackson received his for a first birthday gift and I’m convinced he put a few hundred miles on it before he passed it to Ivy who put a few hundred more. I can still hear the “clickety-clack” across my floors, but for now it is put away for my future grandchildren.

Plan Toys Wooden Deluxe Road System

The next toy that comes to mind is the Plan Toys Road System that has grown over the last few years. Jackson started with the Deluxe Road System with a couple of cars. About the time he got bored with that, we added the Airport, and later the Fire Station and Parking Garage. By just adding a new piece once in a while, it becomes his favorite toy again and and again. I can say the same about his Ball Track.

Elves and Angels Wooden Sylvie's Kitchen

Another favorite Hazelnut Kids toy in our home is the Elves & Angels Kitchen. I love it because it’s beautiful, natural, and blends well in our home. My children love to take meal orders, prepare their “wooden entrees,” and serve them with a smile. And what great spelling and math lessons as they write out their grocery lists and calculate the costs.

The Sarah’s Silks Playsilks are a hit around our house as well. Just last week Jackson used one as a cast for his imaginary broken leg, and Ivy used one as a superhero cape and later a princess dress.

Haba Yahtzee in a Tin

And lastly, we love the Haba games and play with them almost daily. Three of our favorites are Yahtzee, Mini Bingo, and Ivy adores the Horse Memory Game.

Now that I have over indulged in product promotion, I would like to end by saying how delighted I am that Sheri trusts me to uphold the commitments she has made to parents, children, and the environment. I share the same values, and Hazelnut Kids will continue to be a trusted resource for safe and natural toys.

Tracy Coe owner – Hazelnut Kids

My son’s 5th birthday is coming up, so I have been browsing our selection at Hazelnut Kids to decide what to give him.  One item that caught my eye was the “King of Numbers” game by Haba.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t help me with Ryan’s gift because we already bought it for his older brother when he was 5, but since we like the game so much I thought I should spread the word.

Haba King of Numbers game

All of Haba’s games are unique, and quite a few of them have wooden figures that can be played with outside of the game.  The King of Numbers is no exception.  I love that the wooden king is a self-checking tool, as his feet will only fit into the holes in the cards if the child has arrived at the correct answer.  There are seven different ways to play this game, so it will be played with for a long time (as ours has been).

To read more about it please visit it on our site, and once there you will find a link to the game instructions so you can see exactly how it can be played.

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

There are certain toys that have been best sellers since I created Hazelnut Kids, so I thought I’d highlight one every so often.

Haba Triangle Wooden Baby Toy

Today’s best seller is the Haba Triangle Grasping Toy / Baby Teether.  It has a nice, simple design, and it is well-loved by babies as it is colorful, it is easy to hold, and the baby can twist it all over the place.  And parents like the low price: only $11.90 for a quality, wooden baby teether.

To read more about it and to read reviews from parents, please visit our website.  To learn about Haba including their safety standards please visit the Hazelnut Kids Toy Safety page.

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

Coastal Living magazine’s May 2009 issue featured the Haba Wooden Magnifying Glass and Tin from Hazelnut Kids in their “Tide Pool Party” article.  They wrote “Magnifying glass:  Some tide pool critters are no bigger than a grain of rice.  Make sure you can see all of them.”  We are honored to have been mentioned in such a beautiful magazine.

Hazelnut Kids in Coastal Living magazine

The magnifying glasses are fabulous, but they were discontinued by Haba (insert our weeping sounds here), so get them while you can (quantities are limited!).

Sheri Novak, Owner – HazelnutKids.com

 Stockmar Beeswax Crayons in a Wooden Box

We just received a large order of Stockmar beeswax crayons, modeling beeswax, window crayons, watercolor paint sets, and colored pencils, so we are now fully stocked again (phew!).

If you ever have any questions about any of our art supplies, we are fortunate to have a resident artist on hand (Bridgett), so feel free to contact her via our site.

Happy creating!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

We know it’s going to be a great day at Hazelnut Kids when we receive a nice big order of North Star Toys wooden toys, and today was that day.  Aaahhhhh…

North Star Toys Wooden Pull Along Puppy North Star Toys Wooden Roadster

Because North Star Toys is a small family-owned business and they take such great care in creating their toys, it takes a little extra time to receive their toys, but they are very worth the wait.   The company is located in New Mexico so the toys are beautiful ‘made in America’ toys using American hardwoods.  North Star Toys has been creating their wooden toy works of art for 30 years and they are a green company.

Please visit our North Star Toys wooden toys page to view our full selection or visit our Toy Safety page to read more about the company.

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

This past week here in Northern Michigan we’ve had some warm weather, so my kids and I were outside and almost-sort-of-kind-of believing that we may have seen the last snowfall of the winter.  They were enjoying playing in the little house at the top of their swing set, which is similar to a tree house (but without the tree).   But, alas, Mother Nature was toying with us and will be dumping quite a bit of snow on us over the next week.

Which brings me to today’s featured toy:  The Plan Toys Wooden Tree House.

Plan Toys Wooden Tree House

When you can’t play in a real one (and even when you can) it’s a great time to use your imagination and play with a smaller version of the real thing.  We gave this to our four-year-old son for Christmas this year, and he loves it (and so does his seven year old big brother).  The tree house comes with two figures, a pulley, a table and stools, a bucket, a swing, and a rope ladder.  It’s large (almost 22 inches tall) and sturdy and a ton of fun, no matter the weather.

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

Haba Child's Wooden Magnifying Glass

Today’s featured natural toy is the Haba Magnifying Glass.  We love this toy, so we were surprised to see that Haba discontinued it after 2008, but we’re glad that we still have quite a few in stock!

This is a beautiful magnifying glass with a blue wooden fame and a flecked red rope so it can be worn around the child’s neck as he explores.  It comes in a little wooden tin to protect it between excursions.  This would make a great Easter basket stuffer, as it is only $12.90 and would arrive just in time for spring nature hikes.

Get one while you can!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys

Plan Toys Wooden Baby Walker at Hazelnut Kids

Once again a reviewer did such a fabulous job describing one of our products that a review from me wouldn’t compare.  So, below is a portion of the Plan Toys Baby Walker review by Julie at Cool Mom Picks, but please visit their site for the full review.

“The Wooden Baby Walker from the always wonderful Plan Toys is a much better option.  Sturdier than its plastic counterparts, this walker also has an adjustable handle.  So it doesn’t matter how tall your toddler-to-be might be — when he’s ready, this walker is, too.   Plus, it’s filled with colored and natural wooden blocks, which further extends its useful life.”

Oh, and of course she said, “Find the Plan Toys Wooden Baby Walker at CMP fave Hazelnut Kids“.  Thank you for the wonderful review, Julie!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

 Haba Animal Yahtzee Game in a TinHaba Horse Memory Game

I thought things would slow down after the holidays, that we would find ourselves with much more down time at home, but alas, that is not the case! It has become harder and harder to spend quality time as a family. The weekends fill up quickly, and we’re lucky to sit down for dinner on the weeknights. It was time to do something about it.

Hazelnut Kids natural toys to the rescue! We started pulling our games from Hazelnut Kids off the shelf, and found just twenty minutes before bedtime, to spend quality time with each other. It doesn’t have to be long, and nothing is more fun than playing these great games together – cheering each other on!

A couple of our favorites most recently have been Haba’s Animal Yahtzee and Horse Memory Game. I had forgotten how much fun Yahtzee was, and had no idea it was something I would be able to enjoy with my 5 and 7 year old children. The Horse Memory Game is great fun with its delicate pieces and fun designs. It seems like every time someone turns over a horse somebody says, “Ooh, I like that one!”

Hazelnut Kids has a great selection of games for your family, including Cooperative Games such as Haba’s In the Country Educational Game.

Get family time back, and check out Hazelnut Kids great game selection – there is something for everyone!

Happy Playing,

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids

Plan Toys Animal Dominoes

When we received our shipment from Plan Toys with their new Animal Dominoes I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them! They looked so inviting with the fun animals and variety of colors. I decided I couldn’t wait for a special occasion, and brought a set home right away. They quickly became the game that we didn’t leave home without. They have many qualities that lend themselves well to travel:

  • They are very sturdy and able to withstand being dropped in the parking lot if they are not packed very well! You’d think a 5 year old would be able to handle his suitcase better…
  • They are substantial, which is good news when they get lost in a sea of bags in a packed-to-the-brim car. Yes, my kids love these so much they even found a way to play with them in the car! Which meant there were more dominoes on the floor of the car than on their laps. But, they were easy to find and grab, unlike smaller and duller-colored dominoes which could easily be eaten up by the seat cracks.
  • They come with a great cotton bag, so you don’t have to figure out how to pack a large box that will most likely get smashed. We threw ours in the beach bag without a second thought!

So far, our dominoes have accompanied us to many destinations, but a couple that stand out are a Northern Michigan Resort and a friend’s cottage on Lake Michigan.

Plan Toys Animal Dominoes

The dominoes were a great activity for our hotel room, and even though the resort had a huge outdoor slide and a great, fun pool area, the kids couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel room and have some family fun with the dominoes. Oh yeah, did I mention we parents enjoy playing as much as the kids do? Which, to be honest, we can’t say about all games! The dominoes were a great fit for our day trip to Lake Michigan, too. When the kids tired of swimming and needed something to do while we visited, they just pulled out their bag of animal dominoes and entertained themselves. I wasn’t concerned about them getting wrecked at the beach because they are so durable.

So, if you are looking for some good old-fashioned family fun that is convenient enough to throw in the trunk, I highly recommend Plan Toys Animal Dominoes!

Bridgett Beckwith, Manager – Hazelnut Kids

Anamalz wooden donkeyAnamalz wooden emu

We’ve recently expanded our collection of Anamalz by adding the following new (and adorable) wooden animals at Hazelnut Kids: a goat, kangaroo, panda, tiger, emu, rhino, donkey, brown bear, black ram, and camel.

Anamalz are designed in Australia and created in China in an eco-certified and ethically-certified factory. They are made of maple wood, cotton, wool, water-based colors, and formaldehyde-free glue. They are created under European license so they meet EN71 and ASTM safety standards.

Each Anamalz bears a unique code, allowing the proud new owner to register his or her new pet online, name it, and print out a personal certificate on the Anamalz website.

They fit nicely in Christmas stockings, and at only $5.90 – $6.90 each, they are an affordable set to begin collecting. Have fun!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

Maple Landmark Spinny Critters Maple Landmark Spinny People

Our Maple Landmark Spinny Speller has been so popular that we were excited to see Maple Landmark’s newest additions: Spinny Critters and Spinny People. These are perfect toys to keep in the car. They are compact and there are numerous combinations to create, so they will keep your children interested for a long time (i.e. they may significantly reduce the “Are we almost there?” questions that you’ll hear if you have a six year old like mine). Two more great selling points: They are only $7.50 each and they are made in America!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

I just created the “Back to School or Homeschool” category at Hazelnut Kids, and it was tough! When I look at our toys, every one of them qualifies as a toy that would cause a child’s imagination to grow or that would help them to learn something new. Although choosing which products to include wasn’t easy, being so beneficial for children’s minds is one of the beauties of natural toys.

We are a homeschooling family, so we are constantly looking for the learning potential in everything.  Here are a few examples:

  • The Balancing Cactus set by Plan Toys may just look like a fun game to some, but it teaches children physics as they learn to see in their mind how removing or adding a piece to one side would affect its balance.
  • A set of blocks (especially Unit Blocks) or a ball track set teaches spatial reasoning and mathematics.
  • Any board game that you play with your children teaches them social skills, memory (‘what do we do first and whose turn is it next?’), counting (if you are moving a piece based on a roll of the dice), the lesson of the game, and more. For instance, our Enlightened Play EcoRanch game has kids adopting (play) animals, taking care of them, and learning about taking care of the earth.
  • Art supplies let a child’s imagination shine, and two of the many things they can learn from them is to differentiate colors and how to create new colors.

Back to school time is a magical time of year for our family as we get excited about all of the possibilities of the coming year, and all that we can learn together. And after going through our catalog of toys at Hazelnut Kids, I am even more excited to begin.

Sheri Novak – Owner, HazelnutKids.com

Kathe Kruse Waldorf dolls are part of the family

I knew the Kathe Kruse dolls were the best handcrafted dolls I had ever seen, I knew they were safe for my children, and I knew they were cute as could be. What I didn’t know was that when I brought them into my home, they would become treasured friends to my 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter. There is something special about each doll. As if all the love that was put into making the doll translates into love it has to give the child as a treasured friend.

Sammy and Sarah (as my children have affectionately named their Waldorf Dolls) have become an irreplaceable part of the family. They are bedtime companions and bike ride passengers. They most recently accompanied us to fireworks down by the bay in Northern Michigan. Sammy and Sarah had front row seats, and my children loved sharing the experience with them!

Kathe Kruse Waldorf dolls at the fireworks

For those of you considering a special gift for a special child, I just wanted to share a bit of what Kathe Kruse Waldorf Dolls can mean to the child in your life. A treasured friend they shall become!

Bridgett – Manager of Hazelnut Kids

Wooden Toy Camera 

We’ve decided to frequently highlight a favorite natural toy of ours, as certain toys are customer favorites when they see them in person, but are harder to appreciate on a computer screen.  So, today’s featured toy is our Wooden Toy Camera from North Star Toys. 

Since kids love cameras (playing with them, not necessarily being on the receiving end of the bright flash), it just makes sense to save your camera by giving your child his own play camera.  And this camera is a work of art.  It is made of various hard woods so the natural color differences give it depth.  The button on the top presses down, so the child can feel like she’s really taking a picture, and the pretend lens on the front rotates so the child can focus the camera.  Ok, so most of that stuff is done automatically on cameras now, and no, this is not a camera phone, but we like the simplicity of it!  It is made in America by a wonderful family business that has been creating natural toys for over 20 years.  At only $22.90, it’s a great deal for a toy that will be played with for years, plus it will build your child’s confidence as he proudly uses his very own camera.  

Sheri at HazelnutKids.com