Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lovely new friends...

Look who popped in for a teaparty this week!!! I'll be adding them to our website over the next week or so, if you have a little person in your life that would like a special doll.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book Review: I Think, I AM!

A few weeks ago, I came across this thoughtful children's book by Louise L Hay (metaphysical teacher and the author of the international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life). I Think, I Am introduces children to the idea that how they "think" and approach a situation can change the way they feel about it.

The book begins on opening to the title page where we see a little girl looking in the mirror and the words: Af*fir*ma*tion - Words that you think or say, and believe to be true.

Beautifully illustrated, there are many practical examples of how children can change their negative thoughts into positive ones, and how they have the power within themselves to change the way they see the world. "When waiting around is not what you planned, you may start to have negative thoughts...this line is so long. We will never get into the fair. Picture the fun you will have and say...I make today great."

I was recently disappointed with the release of Eckhart Tolle's book for children Milton's Secret, where the story is a little laboured and the wonderful idea of The Power of Now is somewhat muddled for a child. However, I like Louise Hay's straightforward and matter of fact approach to teaching children the power of affirmations, and the fact that she includes a section at the end to teach children how to make up their own affirmations, makes this book practical as well encouraging thoughtful discussion between you and your children.
To purchase this book please visit our stores or our website here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Russian Nesting Dolls a dying art!

It was with great sadness that I read in The Age newspaper a few days ago, that the future of the Russian Nesting doll, properly known as "matroyshka" and fondly known as "Babushka" is now uncertain.
Sergiyev Posad, 80 kilometres north of Moscow, is considered the birthplace of the matryoshka. But factories that have produced the dolls for decades are struggling to stay in business, and this distinctly Russian tradition — may soon be lost. The first matryoshka is said to have been made here in the 1890s, after a local craftsman saw a set of Japanese stacking dolls in the likeness of a Buddhist deity and created a Russian version in the form of a matronly peasant woman. "It's difficult to compete with the Chinese and these plastic toys," complained Aleksander Kurennoy, director of the Aofis factory, which has been making matryoshki since 1947. (photo above Washington Post)

At Honeybee Toys, we truly love the art of handcrafted toys, and would be very disappointed to see such a beautiful tradition die. We always ensure that our Russian Nesting Dolls are Made in Russia using local craftspeople; not cheap copies from Chinese factories (where the workers are most likely not paid properly in the first place). We have lots more Babushka's in our stores than we do on our website, but I will try to upload some more over the next few weeks, they are such a lovely toy - I kept my own fondly for 40 years and have now passed it on to my own daughters.
In the meantime, I hope consumers will support Russian craftspeople by buying the "real deal".

Thursday, June 4, 2009

World Environment Day 5 June 2009

Today is World Environment Day. Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED was formed by the United Nations to assist worldwide awareness of the environment.

The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change'. For activities around Australia celebrating WED click here.

To celebrate World Environment Day, I would like to share some of our favourite products for encouraging a love of our environment with our children.

Earth Game
A game of peace and co-operation! Players look after fictional nations, manage resources and solve the emerging problems. You have to be quick thinking and compassionate to deal with rapidly changing circumstances. What to do? Try Consultation, Trade Agreements, Economic Communities, training and deploying Peace Armies to cool out conflict, Planetary Meetings... For ages 10+. You can purchase this game on our website here.

Australian Menargerie
Australian Menagerie™ is one of our favourite games at our house!!! A fun and educational game that teaches you about Australia's wildlife and habitats. Created in Australia, Menagerie™ can be played at 3 levels starting with children aged 6. Purchase online here.

TreeBlocks - these blocks have been used for all sorts of imaginary play by our own two girls - from the dollhouse to the farmyard. They are made fromhand cut branches and encourage children to appreciate the forms and textures of natural timbers. Precision cut, they also support successful building and early math and metric system learning. We love them because they are made from reclaimed cherry wood, assisting European farmers to plant new trees when the old ones have stopped fruiting. Each piece is finished with flax oil. Click here for more info.