Nature's Purest logo

Finding new brands of organic, natural, and wooden toys is not often easy but once in a while we stumble on one and say, “Why haven’t we seen them before now?” Such is the case with UK manufacturer, Nature’s Purest.

Nature’s Purest is based in the UK, and they have their own manufacturing facility in beautiful Sri Lanka. They design and make several lines of boutique baby items, mostly for the nursery, but we fell in love with their stuffed bear, bear lovey, and dolls. Not only are they stinkin’ cute, they are made with a naturally colored cotton that grows in shades of cream, beige, and light green. While not certified organic, their cotton is 100% free of chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers, and their items carry the Oeko-Tex 100 and Garments Without Guilt certification to offer parents peace of mind when purchasing for their children.

Nature’s Purest does offer one item that is certified organic, their ragdoll, Natalie. Natalie stands about 13.5 inches with sweet braided pigtails and a darling outfit that can be removed. She is sweet and soft, and she will make a special friend for any young child.

Organic Doll Natalie

Organic Doll Natalie

Nature’s Purest has a collection of soft dolls that make up their “World Family.” Each of these charming dolls is made from scraps from Nature’s Purest’s nursery lines. Pappa is quite the hipster and Mamma lovingly carries Babba in a sling all while caring for this worldly family from around the globe. All clothing, except shoes, are removable and the children’s clothing is interchangeable as they are all the same size. Each doll is sold separately or you can purchase them as a set to make a super special gift.

Nature's Purest World Family

Nature’s Purest World Family

And for the babies, you can’t go wrong with the darling stuffed bear and bear lovey. The soft velour is made with a naturally colored cotton/poly blend and stuffed with poly-fill. They are not certified organic, but you can read about their 100% naturally grown cotton and feel good about putting either of these bears in the hands of your baby.

Nature's Purest Bear Lovey

Nature’s Purest Bear Lovey

Nature's Purest Stuffed Bear

Nature’s Purest Stuffed Bear


Olives and Pickles Natural ToysAttention all you Hazelnut Kids! There are a few new kids on the block and they’re a part of the Olives & Pickles family of toys. To help them feel more at home, we would like to formally introduce our new friends, so please help us make them feel welcome and loved!

Olives & Pickles is the perfect addition to our eco-friendly and kid-safe family of superstar products. Olives & Pickles is a mother-owned company that’s committed to responsibly sourcing all product materials. Frustrated and fed-up with the lack of safe, non-toxic baby products available, Olives & Pickles was created to answer the call.

Olives and Pickles Organic Toys

Shown here is Maxime, Olives & Pickles’ Organic Plush Puppy

The company goes to great lengths to take the guess work out and bring you the very best and safest products available. How could we not love such a righteous company?!

As you all know, Hazelnut Kids is one of the few places where you can shop for natural toys with peace of mind. We only sell the best, safest and most eco-friendly products available.

So with no further delay, here are the five new kids on the block from Olives & Pickles!

Olives and Pickles Organic Plush and Wood Teether - Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears (Organic Plush and Wood Teether)

Bunny Ears is a teether made of 100% organic, untreated solid beach wood with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton plush crinkle bunny ears. Plush Bunny Ears make crinkle sounds when grasped, providing light sensory stimulation for your baby. The wood teether is easily removable for cleaning.

Hand polished beach wood is perfectly smooth and free from oil, wax or ink, which makes Bunny Ears a favorite among Olive & Pickles. The organic cotton fabric is printed with low impact dyes, making it perfectly safe for your babies mouth. Great for traveling or on the go!

Olives and Pickles Organic Plush Bear - Jacques with Blankie

Jacques with Blankie (Organic Plush Bear)

Jacques with Blankie is an irresistibly soft and plush little bear. Made from Olives & Pickles standard 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and stuffing. Jacques from Olives & Pickles grasps his blankie under one arm, but he won’t mind sharing it. Babies love Jacques and he will soon become your child’s preferred snuggle toy.

 

Luc the Giraffe (Organic Plush Teething Toy)Olives and Pickles Organic Plush Teething Toy - Luc the Giraffe

Luc the Giraffe helps to ease teething discomfort and is perfectly safe for your babies mouth. The softest plush 100% GOTS certified organic cotton fabric and stuffing, make Luc the Giraffe irresistible to small hands and mouths.

Little taggies provide areas for babies to grab on to and can also be attached to a car seat or stroller. Luc the Giraffe from Olive & Pickles makes a great toy to travel with and fits perfectly into your diaper bag.

 

Elephant Louise (Organic Plush and Wood Teether)

Olives and Pickles Organic Plush and Wood Teether - Elephant LouiseElephant Louise teether is made from 100% untreated solid organic beech wood that is easily removable for cleaning. Her soft plush body is made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton fabric and stuffing.

The ears of Elephant Louise make crinkly noises when grasped and teething knots and taggies provide texture for your child to grab on to and ease teething discomfort. The contrast of soft and hard textures not only provide surfaces to cut new teeth on and sooth gums, but also provide important sensory stimulation.

Maxime (Organic Plush Puppy) Olives and Pickles Organic Plush Puppy – Maxime

Maxime Plush Puppy is dressed up in his adorable little vest and just waiting to be adopted by your little one. He is so friendly, soft and cuddly and his number one purpose for existing is to sooth and comfort your baby. As a popular option among Olives & Pickles, Maxime Plush Puppy is a great choice for a wide range of ages.

Olives & Pickles products are always PVC, BPA and Phthalates Free, GOTS certified, 100% natural and printed with low impact dyes. You can rest easy knowing that the folks at Olives & Pickles have already done all the research for you and taken out the guess work. So you can just focus on the difficult decision of which toy to choose, they are all so adorable and unique, we’re sure you will want one of each! Olives & Pickles make wonderful baby gifts, so you can share the love with all your friends.


When looking to expand our offerings of wooden rocking horses we stumbled on Beck To Nature, and boy were we glad we did! Beck To Nature is just the kind of company we love to work with. They are US based, family owned, and environmentally focused. The husband and wife team are originally from Hungary and are committed to sourcing innovative and green products from their homeland.

Now back to these amazing rocking horses. The SIXKID Wooden Rocking Horse comes in a “Mini” for ages 18 months and up and a “Maxi” for 3 years and up. They are beautifully hand crafted from  beech plywood and the saddle is made of Walnut. They are treated only with natural oils and wax which make them not only fun but lovely to look at everyday!

Giddyup!

Tracy Coe – Customer Service, Owner of Hazelnut Kids, and Mother to Jackson and Ivy


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

 


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


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!

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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


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


One of my favorite things to do in the Spring is dye Easter eggs! Yet, in the last few years, I have become increasingly uncomfortable using the painfully artificial dyes available to us in grocery stores. Especially since we boil our eggs with hopes of eating them later. I have had to throw away far too many eggs that have cracked, revealing neon colors on the flesh of the egg.

If you read my blog last year, you know that I finally opted to make my own natural dye. But rest assured – this was out of desperation. I could not find any natural egg coloring kits on the market.

Imagine my elation this year as Hazelnut Kids announced the arrival of eco-kids eco-eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kits! No more boiling beets for me.

Eco-kids is a lovely United States based company, created by parents that wanted to create non-toxic, natural materials for their children that inspired creativity. Mission accomplished! After starting out selling handmade art supplies at farmers markets, eco-kids has grown and become one of our favorite wholesalers.

eco-kids eco-eggs coloring kit details:

  • can create 6 colors from 3 natural dyes (color chart included)
  • ingredients – purple sweet potato, curcumin, annatto seed and blue cabbage extracts
  • can dye at least 4 dozen eggs
  • can download fun egg creature cutouts and activity sheets from eco-kids

Plus, check out this fun video by eco-kids if you want to see eco-kids eco-eggs coloring kit in action:

eco-eggs by Jack and Ella. from eco kids on Vimeo.

This natural Easter egg coloring kit offers the perfect solution for those ready to make the switch to natural dye, but not quite interested in boiling down their own colors. I cannot wait to give this a try with the kids!

“Hoppy” dyeing!

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


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.

GIVEAWAY

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.

Giveaway!

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!

Enjoy!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids


At Hazelnut Kids, we use beautiful, 100% post-consumer recycled gift wrap. The only problem is – we are left with lots of scraps after lovingly wrapping our gift orders with this paper. As cabin fever set in at my home, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Find a use for all this leftover paper, and entertain the young, creative minds at home! I thought, what a great opportunity to test out our new Clementine Art Glue as well.

Clementine Glue and Earth Lovin Paper
Clementine Glue and Earth Love’n Paper

So, I gathered some colored paper from our art closet, got out the gift wrap scraps and Clementine Art Natural Glue I brought home from work – and we got busy! We cut the papers into small square pieces, and then used decorative scissors to cut out a slightly smaller size of the gift wrap paper. Thanks to Clementine Art, there were no overwhelming fumes as the kids glued their gift wrap pieces to the colored paper. When they got some on their fingers, I thought “oh well, it won’t hurt them!”

Jack cutting the gift cards
Jack cutting the gift cards

For the finishing touches, we used a stamp on the back of the cards that says “To:” and “From:” so they could be used as gift notes for packages. We tied scrap pieces of raffia left over from gift wrapping at Hazelnut Kids to make a nice detail at the top of the cards.

Isabelle tying the gift card
Isabelle tying the gift card

My daughter was so inspired by the project that she searched her stash of “saveables” to see what else she could use to make cards with. About a year ago, she saved every piece of gift wrap after a family member opened all of their wedding gifts. She did not want it to get thrown away, and just knew that she would find a use for it someday! She had quite a collection – and it made for some really beautiful cards!

finished gift cards
finished gift cards

I was happy to do more than just recycle our gift wrap scraps, and the kids were proud to make such lovely and functional cards. We were all happy to use a glue that was gentle on our noses, skin, and the environment! What kinds of treasures can you make with your would be trash?!

Happy creating!

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?

http://www.hazelnutkids.com/cgi-bin/item/KI10043b/search/Kinderkram-Colored-Ball-Catcher---Blue

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


Artist - Jack, 6 years old

Artist - Jack, 6 years old

So my son has been using the same blue Easter egg-shaped piece of chalk on his blackboard since last Easter.  Needless to say, I was very excited to see Hazelnut Kid’s new Mercurius Blackboard Chalk come in!  I promised him that I would bring him home a set, and today I did.  He received them with a giant, “Thank you so much Mom!” and then got right to work.

The colors are unbelievable.  Yes, you pay for what you get.  What you get is a super high quality set of chalk – they blend so well, and the colors jump off the blackboard.  The smiles your child produces as they create are priceless, however.

Not only is my son thrilled at the potential he has for greatness with this color wheel of pastels . . . he is thrilled to have the means to practice his weekly spelling words with no harm done to the environment.  That’s right, no more paper.  He now has 12 colors to choose from as he writes and erases each word of the week.  The colors add fun, and the lack of paper involved makes us all feel like we are making our footprint that much smaller.

So don’t wait – get your set of 12 vibrantly colored pastels today!

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids


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 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


Earth Loven recycled gift wrap logo

We are proud to announce the newest addition to Hazelnut Kids – our new gift wrap from Earth Love’n Paper Products. This paper is made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and uses vegetable ink for printing. In addition to that, no harmful bleaching compounds are used in its production. By choosing this recycled gift wrap alternative, no new trees are cut down, less energy and water are used, and less pollution is produced. Earth Love’n Paper and Hazelnut Kids are both Trees for the Future partners, so when you purchase a gift with Hazelnut Kids and have it wrapped in our new recycled gift wrap – you’ll get the benefit of supporting new tree planting – 2 fold!

Earth Loven recycled gift wrap

Beautiful, fun, and colorful designs!

As an Art Student, I’ll be the first to admit – it takes a lot for gift wrap designs to impress me. So many seem boring and uninventive. Not true for Earth Love’n Paper’s designs! Bright colors and whimsical figures help make this much more than gift wrap – they are works of art! Unwrap carefully – you’ll want to use this paper over and over again! And when the time comes to dispose of the paper, it is completely recyclable.

Included with our new gift wrap will be matching gift cards, also 100% post-consumer recycled paper and vegetable ink.

A great value for your pocket book, and an even greater value to our earth!

written by: Bridgett – Manager of Hazelnut Kids


 

 

Sigg kids water bottles at HazelnutKids

Hazelnut Kids is now an authorized retailer of Sigg Swiss Engineered Water Bottles. Since we are a natural toys store, we weren’t sure about branching out into water bottles. But, since our focus is on the health of children and our Earth, and our customers were asking for alternatives to kids plastic sippy bottles, we agreed that they would be a good fit at Hazelnut Kids. Our family has used Sigg bottles for years and I’ve always been impressed by the company’s focus and the durability of the bottles, so it was an easy decision to choose Sigg.

We carry a variety of Sigg kids bottles, and a couple that will appeal to adults, too. We also have Sigg carrying straps to make it easy for kids to carry their Siggs anywhere, and ‘Kids Grips’ so even the littlest children can easily drink from a Sigg.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Sigg, here is the information from the Sigg brand facts page we’ve created on our site:

Hazelnut Kids Brand Facts: Sigg Water Bottles

Why we love Sigg: Besides being beautiful and indestructible, we love how these products can so positively impact the health of people and the planet. According to Sigg, “American’s are adding 30 million PET water bottles to our nation’s landfills every day”, yet many Sigg bottles are still being used 10 – 20 years after they are purchase. We also appreciate that the company donates 1% of sales to helping to preserve the environment.
Country: Switzerland
In business since: 1908
Materials and Safety: Extruded from a single piece of pure aluminum. The exterior is created using a solvent-free, eco-friendly,powder-based coating which is baked on to create a vibrant finish. The bottle lining is a water-based, non-toxic coating that is baked into the interior walls and remains flexible and crack resistant for the life of the bottle. Due to the finish of the liner, there is much less chance for bacteria build-up with a SIGG as opposed to plastic containers. Sigg bottles exceed FDA requirements and have been independently tested to prove 0.0% leaching. Because the liner is baked into the inner walls of the bottle, it will not flake or chip even if dented on the outside.
Awards: They were called the “World’s Toughest Water Bottle” by Backpacker magazine (June 2006) (they shot golf balls out of a 100 lb cannon at them and Siggs dented but didn’t break!); Included in Time Magazine’s “Most Amazing New Inventions of 2005” list.
A message from Sigg: “Environmentally speaking, Sigg bottles get an A+. Not only are they designed to be reusable, they are 100% recyclable at the end of their very long lives. This is a far cry from single use, disposable water bottles (PET plastic), which create millions of tons of unnecessary waste each year. In fact, according to the Container Recycling Institute, less than 15% of plastic water bottles used in the U.S. are actually recycled – most wind up in landfills where they can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Besides reducing our reliance on petroleum-based PET bottles, Sigg USA donates 1% of all sales to helping to preserve our environment.”

To view our selection, visit our water bottles page at HazelnutKids. Cheers to healthy children and the Earth!


We just received a large Plan Toys order, and have added several new Plan Toys natural toys to our site. A few of the highlights are:

  1. We’ve expanded our wooden dollhouse furniture to include the Neo line (more colorful and modern than the traditional line). We’ve also added a modern doll family, so now you can choose from four different wooden doll families for your dollhouse.
  2. Since the Oval Xylophone is so wildly popular, we have added the Melody Xylophone which has more keys for more musical variation, three music sheets, and a longer, sleeker look.
  3. We’ve added an adorable vegetable set (there is even corn on the cob!) and a food and beverage set that compliment the other Plan Toys wooden play kitchen foods. Some customers love the small Haba wooden play foods, while others prefer the larger Plan Toys foods, so if you’re a fan of the larger foods, you’re going to love these.
  4. Bee Maracas and Frog Tambourines are back in stock! They were so popular that we were surprised and disappointed when Plan Toys decided to discontinue them. Fortunately, we were able to buy up some of what was left in their stock so that we can continue to offer them for a little while (but they’ll sell out fast!).
  5. For the full list, check out our new arrivals page.

Enjoy!


Between all of the ordering of new natural toys and restocking after the holiday rush here at Hazelnut Kids, I have neglected our blog this month, but I promise to make up for it in the next few weeks as I announce our new vendors and products. We have found several new vendors whose beliefs and passions match ours (co-operative play, supporting the environment through our businesses, reducing waste, safe toys, avoiding plastic).  I look forward to introducing them to you soon!


Hazelnut Kids is now carrying Anamalz, beautiful, unique wooden toy animals. Each animal has a wooden head and body, bendable cotton legs (and neck, depending on the animal), and wool accents (ears, manes, etc.). They range from 2 – 5 inches tall x 2.4 – 6.3 inches long, and are priced at only $5.90 – $6.90 per animal!

Anamalz are created by HaPe (see our September 18, 2007 blog post for the HaPe Safety Statement), and are manufactured to the highest European and American safety standards using renewable resources, non-toxic glues and paints. Additionally, Anamalz donates a percentage of their sales to wildlife organizations around the world (how great!).

Now through October 31st receive a FREE Anamalz Calico pull-string bag (4.75 x 6 inches) and a FREE set of Anamalz collector cards with purchase of four or more Anamalz wooden toys at Hazelnut Kids (no coupon code necessary).


Sometimes new toys arrive and we say “Oh, that is really cute!”.  Other times, we say “Ohhhhhhhhh, that is really cute!”.  These organic cotton baby toy elephants deserve the long Oh.  They are chunkier than most of Under the Nile’s toys, and the colors make them perfect for a baby shower gift or a new baby gift.  They’ll look great on a shelf in the baby’s room as a decoration, too. 

They are only $13.90 and are created through fair-trade. To learn more about Under the Nile, visit our brands page here.


We are now carrying beautiful, hand-crafted Holztiger wooden dinosaurs and dragons. We loved them based on the catalog pictures and the description of how they are made, but when they arrived and we opened the box, we were in awe. I can’t wait to give some to our sons (thank goodness for a fall birthday – I don’t think I could wait until Christmas!).

Here is some information about them from Holztiger’s catalog:

Manufacture: Holztiger toys are all handmade. First of all, the contours are stamped out on wooden boards, then the figures are cut out with a saw. A number of different steps follow to smooth off the rough surfaces and edges. The wood is then primed and finish-sanded – a process which results in a particularly smooth and soft surface. Next, the figures are hand-painted with water paints. to make the figures resistant to perspiration and saliva, each figure is subsequently painted – also by hand – with a water lacquer. Once the Holztiger logo is burnt in, the final step is a trip to quality control before the wooden figure is released for its journey to the playroom!

Paints and colors: Holztiger paints its figures with water-based acrylic paints (so-called water paints), which are totally non-toxic. The grain of the wood is still visible even after painting, so that the full character of the wood is retained.

Product safety: Holztiger wooden figures conform with the European Directives for Toys (DIN EN 71). The non-toxic paints and varnishes are furthermore subject to constant quality controls by the state supervisory authorities. Over and above this, Holztiger makes additional voluntary commitments to quality and safety.

Materials: Holztiger wooden figures are made entirely of wood. To meet the challenges posed by hard playroom conditions, Holztiger uses only hardwood, whereby most of the figures are made of maple. Maple is not only hard and durable, but it is also characterized by attractive graining. Dependent on the requirements, oak, beech and birch are also used as well as maple. So when you buy a wooden toy made by Holztiger, you can be sure that it is not only durable and ecologically sound, but that it also meets the highest quality requirements.

View our entire collection of Holztiger Dinosaurs and Dragons here.


In addition to the original Maya Wrap baby sling / carrier, we are now carrying the Maya Wrap LIGHTLY PADDED baby sling, which has quickly become Maya Wrap’s best seller.  I was apprehensive at first, as one of the many draws of Maya Wraps has always been that they did not have bulky padding at the shoulder, which in other carriers makes it difficult to tighten the wrap.  Well, obviously Maya Wrap’s founder, Susan Gmeiner, knew what she was doing, as she has created a carrier with enough padding to make it even more comfortable than the original Maya Wrap, but not too much padding, so it is still easy to tighten the wrap. 

The padding is the only difference between the slings, as the fabrics and features are identical to the original Maya Wrap sling.  I believe that a Maya Wrap is the greatest baby shower gift you can buy a new mom, as it will be used for years (my son is 3 years old and I was just wearing him in our Maya Wrap today), it promotes a strong attachment and has numerous health benefits for the baby.  Click here for more information about Maya Wraps.