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


Kathe Kruse Waldorf Doll - Cup Cake

Kathe Kruse Waldorf Doll – Cup Cake

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


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

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

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

First, Find a Natural Easter Basket

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

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

Keep it Real (Like the Easter Bunny Would)

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

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

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

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

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

Opt for Natural Toys & Gifts for Easter Basket Stuffers

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

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

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

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

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

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


There are countless advertising campaigns that would like you to believe that your child needs the latest new thingamabob in order to grow into an intelligent little person. But when it comes to toys, your grandparents probably had the advantage. natural wooden toys

Traditionally, all over the world toys have been made of natural materials like wood, lovingly built by craftsmen and artisans. Natural wood is beautiful, non-toxic, and durable, making it a wonderfully suitable material to make natural toys for babies and children.

Tune Out to Tune In

Many parents buy into the hype of flashy new toys with battery operated components that produce sounds and movement. Parents are told that these high-tech toys will stimulate their children and enhance brain activity.

While stimulation is good and important for brain development, children are becoming overstimulated by the high tech society that we live in. Bombarded with lights, sounds, television, advertisements, and animated objects everywhere we go, children today are exposed to more external stimuli than during any other time in our history. All this external stimuli is precisely why the home should be a haven for creative and imaginative play, inspired by natural wooden toys.

The All Natural Argument for Wooden Toys

Wooden Dollhouses for KidsWooden toys allow children to develop cognitive and problem solving skills while engaging in play. The simplicity of wooden toys requires children to use their imagination and creativity, much more so than flashy, battery-generated toys allow.

Modern toys are designed to distract or amuse children, similar to the way television is used to distract. Rather than pushing a button and sitting back to watch the toy animate itself, the child has to be an active participant to engage in play with wooden toys, requiring them to actively push, pull, turn or connect parts. When paired with a fresh young imagination, the possibilities of solid wooden toys are endless.

Developmental Benefits of Natural Wooden Toys

There are several notable developmental benefits of playing with wooden toys. Apart from developing imagination and creativity, these include the development of: Wooden Toys

  • hand-eye coordination
  • problem solving and puzzle skills
  • spatial awareness
  • shape and color recognition
  • finger dexterity
  • movement and motor skills
  • increasing attention span and patience

The natural textures of wood against little hands and fingers also invites children to touch, feel and explore, stimulating the senses. The benefits of natural wooden toys for kids are virtually endless.

Make the Switch to Natural Wooden Toys

wooden toys for kidsIt is only within the last several decades that we have seen a switch from natural toys to toys made from chemicals in toxic plastic factories. These plastic toys do not stand the test of time, they are cheap, toxic and unsustainable.

More and more research is concluding that plastic leaches out toxic chemicals, even the so called safe plastics that are BPA free have been proven to leach estrogenic chemicals. Babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouth! Plastic is not suitable for anyone to be putting in their mouths, especially children in their vital developmental years.

All natural wooden toys are safe, non toxic and durable enough to inspire creativity and imaginative play for generations to come.


Having fun

Don’t parents and childcare providers have enough to worry about these days? Chemicals in our food and water, chemicals in our homes and yards, and chemicals in children’s toys, gear, and clothes! Just when I think manufacturers are coming to their senses, a report comes out stating otherwise. This month the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States found that makers of kids’ products reported using a total of 41 chemicals identified by Washington State Department of Ecology as a concern for children’s health.

The chemical reports are required under Washington State’s Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008, which requires major companies making children’s products to report the presence of toxic chemicals in their products. The reports cover certain children’s products sold in Washington State from June 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013.

Major findings from the reports include:

  • More than 5,000 products have been reported to date as containing a chemical on Washington State’s list of 66 Chemicals of High Concern to Children.
  • Products reported so far include children’s clothing and footwear, personal care products, baby products, toys, car seats, and arts and craft supplies.
  • Toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, cobalt, antimony, and molybdenum were reported, with cobalt being the metal most often reported.
  • Manufacturers reported using phthalates in clothing, toys, bedding, and baby products.
  • Other chemicals reported include solvents like ethylene glycol and methyl ethyl ketone, and a compound used in silicone known as octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane.

Here’s a list of the most common chemicals that may be found in varying levels in today’s conventional, plastic or painted children’s toys (and their yucky implications – which, of course, depend on the level of exposure in each case):

  • Lead
    • A heavy metal that can be used for pigmentation in paints and plastics as well as a stabilizer in PVC products (which we’ll get to later).  It also is used often in the casting of metal, namely in inexpensive toy jewelry.
    • There really is no safe level of lead for children.  It impacts brain development, which can cause delays in learning and shorter attention spans.  Even worse, these effects are irreversible.
  • Bromine
    • Used primarily as a flame-retardant in textiles and furniture.
    • These flame-retardants build up in humans and can cause reproductive problems for exposed women as well as possible birth defects.  They contaminate breastmilk and umbilical cord blood and are classified as “possible human carcinogens.”
  • PVC & Phthalates
    • PVC is a widely used plastic, very common in children’s toys.  It is not easily recycled and extremely toxic when produced and disposed of.  It is also extremely brittle, requiring additives to make it flexible (most commonly phthalates, pronounced “thal-ates”).
    • Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are most commonly used to add flexibility and resilience to plastic products.  They are easily leached and exposed to humans via ingestion, inhalation, or simply through exposure to the skin.  Phthalates are most often found in household products from toys to plastic raincoats to that inflatable pool in the backyard.  They can also be found in non-plastic items such as personal care products (by way of “fragrance”).
    • Phthalates are carcinogenic and they may cause kidney and thyroid problems.  They are also linked to increased instances of asthma and allergies.  Most notably, they can have detrimental effects on the endocrine system, altering normal levels of hormones in young boys.
  • Cadmium
    • Another heavy metal used in pigments and as a stabilizer in PVC.
    • At high levels of exposure, cadmium can be linked to cancer and can cause adverse effects on the kidneys, lungs, and intestines.
  • Arsenic (inorganic)
    • May be used as a coloring agent in plastics and textiles.
    • Inorganic arsenic is carcinogenic and may cause cardiovascular problems, skin irritations, and hormonal issues.
  • Mercury
    • Most commonly used in inks, adhesives, and coatings and most toxic during production and when disposed of.
    • Mercury can build up in the body and young children are more sensitive to it.  It affects kidney function and is detrimental to the nervous system and brain.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
    • Used mainly to make rigid polycarbonate plastic (that #7 plastic with PC underneath the triangular symbol).  It’s also found in epoxy resins, which are used in the inner coatings of food cans.
    • BPA is an endocrine-disruptor; a synthetic estrogen that can cause problems in neurological development, behavior, and fertility.  It can trigger hyperactivity and attention deficit and may also lead to cancer and obesity.

So… after all of that shockingly bad news, what can we do as parents and caregivers to ensure that the children around us are not exposed to such harmful substances?  The first step has been taken care of just by reading this post!  Being aware of what chemicals are harmful and then going beyond that to avoid such nasty substances is a great start.  Then, get rid of all of the “perpetrators” in the home and choose wooden and organic toys.  Ensure any coatings are completely non-toxic.  Do your homework and purchase toys from reputable companies who have proven that toy safety is their top concern.

Visit www.HealthyStuff.org for more valuable information, then be sure to stop by www.HazelnutKids.com to get that toy box restocked!


 

What’s not to love about  ROYGBIV ?

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

Glueckskaefer Wooden Carriage with Blocks Toskana

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

Let the stacking continue with

Grimm’s Wooden Nesting Box Tower

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

For the musically inclined we have

Plan Toys Oval Xylophone

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

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

 

Grimm’s Large Wooden Rainbow – 12 pieces

 

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

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

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

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