The Best of Etsy for Children
Today we have Rebecca Brown of the lovely blog, Sweet Hot Mess. We are fortunate to be able to benefit from the fruits of her labor as she shares her favorite Etsy shops for children. Also, if you have not seen her beautiful house tour over on Design Mom, you must indulge…!
I discovered Etsy.com years ago and have not been able to shake it since. And while I try to make a lot of homemade things for the kids in my life (stuffies, blankets, blocks, etc) I use Etsy to fill in where I lack in skill, time and creativity. And I love the idea of people working hard in their homes to make a living, to share their passions and innovate in a field where so much of the children’s market has been met by a more generic group-tested corporate approach. But more than that, I’m a sucker for heirloom toys – for sentimental items that won’t end up in a pile of broken plastic in my recycle bin.
While there seems to be an infinite number of stores and new products on Etsy at any given time, the following items are a sampling of the latest and greatest (this list can change with every visit). I hope you enjoy…
Wood Toys (see above) are a favorite in our home and a favorite gift to give. While we prefer a simple collection of blocks and train tracks, I love to give personalized trucks, teethers and puzzles to family and friends. And a lot of these shops offer to personalize any their toys – just leave them a note.
Many skilled woodworkers have moved beyond pre-school games and toys and are specializing in Montessori/Waldorf style educational games. The following are math based games and I love them and want them all. Sigh.
And even if a shop doesn’t appear to be specifically geared towards kids, I’ve learned to search for a specific topic or item and find a plethora of interesting products that I would never have found if I had just searched via the set categories on the sidebar. We are doing a Solar System unit in the fall and these are a few of the items I found when I did a search.
Beyond units and specific interest, I find that I am always in need of alphabet and phonetic tools. These are few of my favorites (Is it bad that I sometimes search Etsy for ideas that I could do on my own, but can get them for much cheaper? Do you see what I see?).
We are big believers in imaginative play – to the point where at certain ages, our kids “education” is made up of up to 80% imagination games. Felt food is a favorite in our house. I’ve made a lot of food myself and have bought just as much. And when all else fails, my little sister can replicate any picture or idea I have. Sushi is a favorite around here. And I am definitely buying the pattern for the Passover meal, in that we will be doing a unit on world religions this coming year.
To wrap up on a “softer” note, I have special spot in my heart for softies and plushies. Our children need comfort, rest, and quiet as much as they need activity, stimulation and imagination. The moments when I come into a room and see one of my kids hugging a favorite soft friend and staring at the sky through an open window, those are the warm fuzzy moments life.
Well, these are my latest and greatest. Go here, to link over to all the items seen in these pictures. Well, these and a few extras – I can’t help myself.
Keep your eyes out for the felted wool solar system – swoonworthy!