back in my pre-baby-mama days, i majored in early childhood education and spent a handful of years teaching preschool at a multilingual ECEAP center. translated, that means i severely geek out over high quality toys + books that promote creativity, imagination and open ended play. i’ve completely fallen in love with these toddler years and being able to pull out all my old bags of preschool tricks with Zoey makes my heart beat fast. so when I come across a new toy that is both beautiful and developmentally appropriate for her age and stage? I’m sold!
I completely stumbled upon Ostheimer Wooden Toys one day a few months back and immediately knew that their wooden farm toys would be a key to Zoey’s heart. and mine, if i’m being honest. based in Germany, the Ostheimer company uses only natural, non-toxic colors, creative design and high quality manufacturing to make their products and they do an such an amazing job! check out this quote from their website:
“Do not wait for a “moo” when you press the cow on the tummy. And it can not walk by itself. None of the Ostheimer wooden farm animals can do that. But watch a child when it is alone and playing with the figures. See how the cows run across the field. It is the fantasy of our children alone that breathes life into the wooden figures.”
all the love! those are the memories I want for my babes. hear me when i say, we do own battery operated toys and the purple plastic Dora binoculars may always be Zoey’s tippy top favorite in the world. but after having these wooden figures in a sweet basking in our living room for a few months, i can honestly tell you, Zoey is so drawn to the creativity and imaginative play that comes from building fences out of blocks for her wooden horses and feeding raisins and pretzels to the wooden pigs.
each figurine is hand crafted and painted in its own unique way. check out this little family! Zoey instantly introduced them to me as her daddy, mommy, herself and her baby sister. “see how we all have blonde hair mommy? but not daddy.” heaven help me if this little sister is born looking all hawaiian like her dad. Zo is convince she’s going to be her mini twin.
if you look closely you can see that the tails of the animals are made out of natural materials! rope, natural twine and fibers give such a sweet, realistic feel to their play! friends, these toys are not cheap. but, they’re also not cheap. my point? there have been seasons of our life where i’ve felt like our house had been swallowed up in plastic blinking toys that everyone, including Zoey, was sick and tired of. about a year ago we made the switch to being super intentional with what toys and books we brought into our lives and donated the ones that play for you instead of with you. there are many less toys now, but the ones that are left are played with, loved and cherished. pause: let me bold, highlight and underline this real fast: no matter what kinds of toys are in your house, european or american, thrifted or brand new, talkative or silent, there is no right way to raise our babies and no wrong method to our motherhood. i’ll do me, and you do you and love and respect never takes a hit. but if you too are feeling like your playtime needs a breath of fresh air, take my suggestion for what it is. ditch the beeps + bells and the next holiday that rolls around, ask family and friends to purchase one or two pieces that breathe life back into playtime. and if you ask the Wakemans, these Ostheimer toys are an incredible place to start.
so! take a minute and browse through their endless selection of animals. they not only hand carve farm friends, there’s woodland creatures + exotic jungle animals too! or bring to life your little one’s fantasy’s with knights, pirates and fairies!
my friends at Ostheimer have so generously given me two Farm with Diorama Sets to giveaway to jump start your collection! these sweet starter sets include 8 gorgeous pieces, (7 wooden figures and a beautiful watercolor backdrop) an over $130 value, that i’m completely convinced you’ll want to wrestle your kids over to get your hands on at playtime. head over to my instagram for details on how to enter! the giveaway starts today and ends Saturday, 8/29 at 5pm PST.
you can learn more about their incredible company by following these links:
to shop Ostheimer Wooden Toys within the US, please visit Bella Luna Toys