Saturday, September 19, 2009

TV free time

"The TV has spent much more time raising us than you have" Lisa to Homer in The Simpsons. Ironic isn't it.

Christie from Childhood 101 made the interesting observation that this week is "turn off the TV week" in the USA. What a wonderful thing!!! I'm all for encouraging Australian famlies to do the same.

Research has found that too much exposure to the electronic media may risk developmental blocks in young children, not to mention:
  • Difficulty switching off

  • Blunted senses, visual strain, understimulation of the brain

  • Social isolation and withdrawal

  • Less creativity and imagination

  • Commerical exploitation

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Attention deficit

  • Desensitisation from information overload

  • Exposure to violence

There's so much to be gained as a family from switching your TV off or even limiting the time to once a week. For instance in the evening you could try:

reading novels together;

taking up a craft like knitting or crotchet;

playing board games;

telling a story by candlelight;

putting on a puppet play or a concert.

Just eating dinner and talking around the table instead of having the TV blaring in the background has so much to offer - sharing each other's days, listening to your kids and knowing what is happening in their lives, relationship and communication skills.

I guarantee that once your children have more TV or computer free time you will stop hearing the words "I'm bored".

I know for some families it might pose a challenge at first, but the benefits are really worth it. For more information on research into children's development and eletronic media, and for ideas to support your family in turning your TV off, I can highly recommend Set Free Childhood a parents survival guide for coping with computers and TV.

Your stories - Immy and her Treeblocks

This morning I received the second of our new stories - families sharing their play - I know I am really going to enjoy this new series of posts - I love seeing children at play - they have such a innate sense of wonder and joy, that should be cherished, nourished and protected. Thank you to Immy's mum for sharing this with us. I love the look of concentration on Immy's face.

There is nothing nicer than opening a big orange bag and finding it filled with...
Tree Blocks!

Last night, Immy had a lovely time unpacking her brand new, big bag of blocks and stacking and re-stacking them. They were a gift from her lovely Aunty Beef. As well as building, she banged them together, drummed on them and tried using the big rounds as stepping stones!
This morning, the first thing she went to was that lovely, bright orange bag. With a very little assistance from me, she did a great job of building with them. They are so divine... they smell good and have great texture and I love their irregularities. What fun we will have!
Find Treeblocks at Honeybee here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sarah's Silks

At our house we have baskets of beautiful playsilks, which are used endlessly for the dollhouse, dressing up, the seasonal table, and more recently...the toys dressing up for book week.

Brownie as Snow White...
Grey Rabbit as Little Red Riding Hood...

And Teddy as Dumbledorf (by the way this is the first toy I ever bought my daughter just before she was born 11 years ago and she still hugs him every day!)

Sarah's Silks who are responsible for making these beautiful playthings have just produced a wonderful new slideshow to show how their products are made ethically in China, it's really interesting. We are very careful about what we buy from China as conditions are often so poor there for workers, but it's a fine line because these families need to put food on the table too, so it's inspiring when I see that with a little extra effort change can happen.

You can view it here:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Liliana's play corner

A very special customer sent this photo in of her play corner and her lovely Ostheimer toys...

A new chapter...

In the next week or so you'll notice some changes to our toy shop blog. I've decided I would like to do things a little be honest I want to write from the heart, and share with you what I have witnessed and experienced as a mother of the last 11 years - how natural play, art, craft and music has enriched and nourished the lives of us and our children....

I've never been a marketing person, and nor do I ever want to be...the last thing I want to do is write endlessly about products all day, no matter how good they are. What I would love to do is have a rich collection here of the joys of imaginary play, craft ideas, ways to enjoy each season, ideas on how to celebrate children's birthdays and special moments in our lives. Our family has been inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, so you will find much here that draws on that tradition.

But we also want to hear your stories, there is no greater gift to us than seeing a child find joy in one of our toys - so please send your photos and stories to and we will post them on this blog.

As part of our story, you might also find here a little of why we do what we do too in our business. What motivates us and our suppliers...where people and the environment are respected.

May the stories flow...