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


Petit_Collage

I’ve been receiving catalogs from Petit Collage for a couple of years now, and every time I look through them I think, “I really should add some of these beautiful items to our store.” I’ve been asked repeatedly by customers to add more mobiles and growth charts so I have added Petit Collage’s collection of bamboo mobiles and paper growth charts, along with some of their other fun toys!

Safari Mobile

Safari Mobile

The bamboo mobiles are a great choice for anyone wanting a wooden mobile but without the heavy, bulky pieces. Petit Collage offers several themed mobiles that are light and whimsical and suitable for the nursery or any other space in your home.

See our entire collection of bamboo mobiles HERE.

Giraffe Growth Chart

Giraffe Growth Chart

 

Petit Collage makes darling paper board growth charts that are easily transferable from room to room and collapse nicely for storage.

See our entire collection of growth charts HERE.

Our World Floor Puzzle

Our World Floor Puzzle

 

We are big fans of puzzles and nesting blocks here at Hazelnut Kids so we are happy to expand our offerings with Petite Collage’s heavy duty floor puzzles and stackable abc nesting blocks.

 

Animal Nesting Blocks

Animal Nesting Blocks

 

My own children had similar blocks and we spent hours talking about the pictures and reading them before stacking them ever so gently and then knocking them down in crazed delight!

 

Lastly, I couldn’t resist the sweet rolling elephant. This guy is quite large and sturdy, and is a great gift for any toddler in your life.

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Hazelnut Kids is delighted to offer these new items from Petit Collage and I will end this post with a little info about Petit Collage taken from their own website:

Started in 2006, Petit Collage is all about good design. Artist Lorena Siminovich approaches all she does including authoring and illustrating over 20 children’s books with this philosophy. With her team of designers, she creates modern wall décor and home accessories influenced by midcentury design. The studio, located in an artistic hub of San Francisco, is an incubator of new ideas, art, and illustration where creating great design and pushing the envelope on new formats is the norm. Playfulness imbues every format Petit Collage touches from mobiles and mirrors to dolls, decals and more. Striving to handcraft their goods in a sustainable way using the best-quality, most forest-friendly materials available is equally important.

Sure to delight inspired children and grown-ups alike and found in homes the world over, these goods are perfect for the nursery yet sophisticated enough for any room in the contemporary home.


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.


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.


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?

susan1

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)
$179

 

Julianna's Wooden Play Kitchen with Broiler Oven

Julianna’s Wooden Play Kitchen
with Broiler Oven
$219

Christina's Wooden Play Kitchen

Christina’s Wooden Play Kitchen
$189

Sera's Wooden Play Kitchen

Sera’s Wooden Play Kitchen
$159

 

Jenny's Wooden Play Kitchen

Jenny’s Wooden Play Kitchen
$169

Sylvie's Wooden Play Kitchen

Sylvie’s Wooden Play Kitchen
$249

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


As the demand for US made toys grows, so does the search for US toy manufacturers. We were thrilled to discover Roy Toy and learn that not only were they a US toy company, they made wooden construction sets that are a perfect fit for Hazelnut Kids. Roy Toy is a three generation family business that has been creating the same classic building logs since 1930. All of their Earth Friendly sets are made using wood obtained from mills that follow sustainable forest management practices. Each wood building piece is tumbled for a smooth finish and left in its natural color – free from dyes

These earth friendly construction sets come in three designs – Cabin, Farm, and Tree House. They are perfect gifts for any budding architect aged 3-5 and at $20 each, you can’t beat them!

Tracy Coe – Owner of Hazelnut Kids and mother to Jackson and Ivy


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
Dimensions 

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! 


 

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


Clementine Art makes all natural art supplies for little ones, and they do it well!  Just as the name implies, their products are fresh and natural – and bursting with “flavor.”  The company was inspired by an art teacher’s studio full of children, creating and imagining wonderful things – but getting messy in the process.  What ingredients were in the art products these children were emerging themselves in?  Were the ingredients safe?   The teacher started making supplies herself from all natural ingredients – and well, the rest is history!

Not only are Clementine’s products completely natural, safe, and non-toxic – but they are also environmentally friendly.  The company is American-based, and aims to maintain a small footprint.  They use very little packaging, so you don’t have to feel guilty when you open up a package with Clementine Art supplies!

I always smile when I pick up a Clementine Art product.  They are beautifully packaged -with a crisp, clean design, and the colors are so vibrant.  Colors that could only be found in nature.  Plus, they smell great!

Check out all the yummy Clementine Art natural art supplies that Hazelnut Kids has to offer.  Inspire your little one to create, learn, and discover!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids


For 30 years now, the Long family has been making beautiful wooden toys with natural materials – and a whole lot of love!  Their priorities include sustainability and nurturing imaginative play for children.

North Star Toys are one of those brands that are hard to appreciate from just photos.  Their toys are beautifully handcrafted from  fine woods and finished with a non-toxic food grade mineral oil.  I always feel so pleased when we receive orders for these toys, because I know the recipient is about to receive a timeless, lovely, special toy that will be cherished.

Made in America in their family’s shop, these toys are built to last for generations.  Whether it’s a classic rattle for a newborn, a set of Little Rollie Vehicles for on the go, or a Dragon for a little whimsical play – North Star Toys are made with children in mind.

A message from North Star Toys: “At North Star Toys we believe that conscious parenting is one of the most wonderful and challenging responsibilities on the planet.  It is our hope to support this important endeavor by offering simple toys that stimulate creative, imaginative play.  We truly care about the toys we make and hope that they add to the nurturing experiences of childhood.”

We love North Star Toys – made in America, sustainable, and just a darn good family owned business that cares!

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!

Enjoy!

Bridgett – Manager, Hazelnut Kids


As parents in the 21st century, we may take the existence of Children’s Museums for granted. The Association of Children’s Museums reported recently that 44% of their over 300 member museums opened in the 1990’s. Children’s Museums exist in cities and in suburban areas across the country to provide playful and interactive learning experiences. More than 30 million people visited Children’s Museums in 2006. 1

Hazelnut Kids’ operations are located in Northwest Michigan and we are lucky to enjoy the existence of a Museum of our own. We are long time supporters of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum’s fundraising efforts and their play-based learning environment. We are happy to have provided new Plan Toys and Haba play food and a Plan Toys Wooden Market Stall for use in the Museum’s exhibits and programs.

Aren’t sure where your closest Children’s Museum is? Visit http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/us_members.htm.


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*


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


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


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


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


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


Haba and Plan Toys wooden play foods

At Hazelnut Kids we carry two brands of wooden play foods: Haba and Plan Toys. Since we believe that wooden play kitchens are one of the best toys to give children, it was important to us to find a large variety of wooden play foods. But, sometimes customers are surprised at the size of the foods, so I’d like to talk about that today.

Our Plan Toys sets are much larger than the Haba sets. Some come with a cutting tray and have velcro in the middle of the foods so that children can practice cutting foods. You can order most items individually as well.

We have a large selection of Haba foods which are sold individually (except for the Fruit and Vegetable Set that we put together and comes with two shopping nets). They are smaller than Plan Toys foods, and actually quite petite.

When I first bought Haba foods for my sons, I was surprised at the size. But, as I saw them play with them I realized how appropriate the sizes are for kids and the way that they play. If a child is preparing a feast for their friends, they may want to add several foods together in their play pan. Larger foods (such as Plan Toys) would only allow one or two foods to fit in the pan, but the child can add several of the smaller Haba foods together in the pan. They also fit on child-sized dishes more easily. As adults we are so used to larger foods and cutting them down to child sizes that we expect larger things. But it’s more fun for a child to have a whole apple that fits on their plate than it is to just have a piece of apple. Just as kids like having a play kitchen because it gives them the feeling of having their own perfectly sized world in the middle of this very big world, they like having play foods that are kid-sized, too.

Some customers ask if they can mix Plan Toys foods and Haba foods. Our response is that their sizes aren’t similar, so placing a Plan Toys apple on a plate next to a Haba banana may look a little strange, but we’ve found benefit in having foods from each brand. Both sets are designed for children 3 years and older, so if you had a child who just turned three, he may enjoy cutting the larger Plan Toys foods apart while an older child may like cooking with the smaller Haba foods. If you are just looking for one set of foods that you may not want to expand on, a Plan Toys set is nice because it is a complete set in one box (and a couple of them come with trays). But if you are looking for a set that you can continue to build upon (i.e. gifts for each birthday or holiday), Haba is a great way to go because there is so much variety.


 

 

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 weren’t expecting more Plan Toys Oval Xylophones or Solid Drums until 2008, but we received an order today.  Yahoooo!  They are selling like crazy, so if you are interested in them, order today.  We have received a lot more Plan Toys natural toys and haven’t sorted through them yet, but the stock should be updated on our website by the end of the day. 


An update for those of you watching certain backordered toys:  A large selection of Haba toys, Anamalz wooden animals, and Eeboo products arrived yesterday. Today we received more Selecta Spielzeug and Chelona wooden toys and Kallisto and Lana Organic Stuffed Animals, and we expect to receive more Plan Toys on Friday (Dec. 7).  We are expecting a shipment of Waldorf dolls from Kathe Kruse any day now, and a large stock of Sarah’s Silks playsilks and silk toys should be delivered next week.  Phew!  That’s a lot to write, let alone inventory it all!  But, we love to see it coming in, and are trying to keep everything we can in stock.  Happy shopping at Hazelnut Kids!


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).


We recently received the following letter from HaPe to its retailers. HaPe is the manufacturer of our Bamboo Toys line and Anamalz, which we will begin carrying within the next few weeks. HaPe is one of the few lines that we carry that are manufactured in China, but as you will read, they own the factory in China and manage the entire manufacturing process to ensure toy safety:

Dear Valued HaPe Customers,

In response to recent and numerous toy recalls that suggest there’s trouble in toyland, we want to reassure you of HaPe’s commitment to the manufacturing of safe, quality toys.

We recognize the responsibility of producing a safe product for children. Since 1995 we have been producing HaPe toys in China using rigorous quality control principles adopted while manufacturing in Germany. Unlike other toy companies, we manage the entire toy manufacturing process from our wholly-owned Ningbo facility with HaPe employees thoroughly trained on process, quality and safety. With this formalized approach, we control design, production, testing and delivery of our robust range of award-winning toys to your store.

We are very quality-driven. In fact, we were one of the first two companies to receive the below certifications:

ISO 9001 (Quality Management Certification)
ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Certification)
ICTI (Social Accountability – audit by the International Council of Toy Industries)

We source top-of-the-line materials from responsible suppliers around the world.

Birch plywood from Russia (Note from Hazelnut Kids: birch plywood is not used in HaPe toys carried by Hazelnut Kids)
Lacquer from Belgium
Beech wood, glue and water stain from Germany

We are continually striving to improve the products we create. To ensure a 100% safe product, all HaPe products undergo rigorous international safety tests and have passed all EN71 and the North American Safety Standard ASTM. All HaPe products made in China comply with North American regulations for safe use by children and do not contain lead paint or hazardous materials. In the rare occurrence when HaPe uses a sub contractor, we use SGS, a highly regarded independent lab, to perform safety and quality tests prior to every shipment and conduct unplanned spot checks.

We are very proud of our HaPe collection and want you to know you are welcome to come visit our production facilities anytime. We look forward to supplying you with quality toys for years to come.


In order to provide toy safety information and other details about the brands we carry, we have added a new page to the HazelnutKids website called “Toy Safety“. It details:

  • Why we love the brand
  • The country where the toys are crafted
  • How long the company has been in business
  • The materials used
  • Safety information
  • Customer favorites
  • Staff favorites
  • Awards the toys and/or company have won
  • A message from the manufacturer

A link to it is in the footer at the bottom of every page, but you can also view it here.


Keptin Jr. is one of Hazelnut Kids’ favorite brands, as the company’s beliefs about child and environmental health so closely match our own. They are a fabulous company that makes the most adorable, soft, organic dolls and rattles. We carry their Organic Rattle Zmooz and Organic Cuddle Shirt Dolls.

What follows is information from Keptin Jr’s website. So impressive!

“Keptin Jr chooses to use responsible and natural materials.

Why organic cotton?

Cotton is made of the fibers of the cotton plant. This plant, which is cultivated in (sub)tropical regions, needs a lot of water and is sensitive to insect-pests. Organic cotton is cultivated without the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Only biological controls and natural fertilizers are allowed for the production of organic cotton. In addition, organic farmers make use of the advantages of bio-diversity in order to keep the soil fertile.

• For reasons of health

We don’t want to expose children to toxic chemicals and pesticides, that’s why we choose to use organic cotton. In addition, organic cotton cultivation protects the health of the farmers involved and protects the environment.

• To protect the environment

If no pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are used, no harm will be done to the environment and surface waters. This is a major improvement for the mainly poor countries where cotton is cultivated.

• For reasons of fair-trade

Traditionally produced cotton is cheaper than organic cotton. This statement is only true if we disregard the hidden costs of traditional cotton cultivation. Hidden costs are the price the local community pays to fight for example the pollution of the environment or waters.

• Why pure sheep’s wool

Pure sheep’s wool has two important qualities. It absorbs body smell and adjusts to the body-temperature quickly; perfect attributes for soft toys for babies and children.

• For every baby, toddler, or preschooler

Because of the sheep’s wool our soft toys are warm and seem to be alive. The wool stuffing of the toy absorbs the child’s smell, that’s why our toys become trusted cuddly friends.

• For premature babies

Keptin Jr’s soft toys are a comfort to premature babies and will help them relax. How? The parents of a premature baby should wear the toy on their skin for a day. When the toy is left in the incubator with the baby, the baby smells the familiar scent of his parents.”


What follows is a safety statement from eeBoo.  eeBoo is one of the few brands we carry that is made in China, but as you will read, they maintain strict oversight over the production process.

August 30, 2007

Dear Valued Customers –

eeBoo understands the concerns many of you are having regarding the safety of children’s products made in China.  This is of particular concern at this busy holiday season and in light of the recent media attention.

eeBoo would like to take this opportunity to reassure all of its customers that we only use a limited number of factories in the production of our products.  These are all factories we work with closely on a daily basis and do not outsource any product without our prior knowledge.

The factories we use are certified with safety testing on each component of our products.  Any product with a painted component is independently safety tested at each printing.  We also randomly test individual items using an independent source.  All items tested are tested to ASTM and CE standards.

I hope that this helps to reassure you.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards
eeBoo


Shortly we will be adding a “Brands” page at HazelnutKids that will detail the philosophy, safety standards, country of origin, and additional information about each of the brands we carry. We recently received a letter from Plan Toys addressing the issue of safety in the wake of other manufacturer’s toy recalls, and we’d like to share it with you:

Dear Valued Customers,

In response to the latest concern regarding the use of lead paint in the manufacture of toys, Plan Toys would like to reassure all retailers and consumers that Plan Toys is manufactured with the highest safety and environmental standards in mind. We build 100% of our products within our own factory, so we control the entire process from wood selection, manufacturing, to shipping.

  • Plan Toys is manufactured from replenishable rubberwood.
  • Plan Toys uses a natural kiln dry process, in place of chemical treatment, to preserve and stabilize the wood, thus making the Plan Toys products preservative-free.
  • Plan Toys uses natural, water-based dyes in place of any type of paint to add accent colors.
  • Plan Toys has won the following standards and awards for safety, environmental sensitivity and innovative design:
    • ISO 9001 – Quality Management
    • ISO 14000 – Environmental Management
    • OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management
    • SA 8000 – Social Accountability Management
    • ASTM & EN71 – Toy Safety Standards
    • Parents’ Choice Awards
    • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards

Plan Toys takes tremendous pride in providing safe toys that are manufactured with sensitivity toward our environment.

Sincerely,
Nittaya Zeugfang
President
Plan Toys, Inc

We are proud to carry Plan Toys at HazelnutKids!