Woolcomesalive, a member of the Natural Kids Team, shares some of the smiles her team members have gotten — literally — from happy customers. Through Etsy’s Appreciation Photo tool, buyers can give back to sellers and show their new items in action. And what is cuter than really cute kids?
Whether it’s your niece, neighbor, or your very own bundle of joy, you want the best for the next generation. What do you look for then, in a children’s product? When I buy a gift for a child, my #2 intention is to evoke a big bright smile. I love to see a little one’s eyes light up (or drool begin to flow) as they grasp, cuddle, and explore the new toy, doll, piece of clothing, or whatever the gift may be. Here, some members of the Natural Kids Team share this bliss through Appreciation Photos they have received, along with the product images.
There is something so contagious about a kid’s joy, fun, and comfort that I can’t help but encourage it.
In fact, I strive for the exceptional kid gift—one that becomes a favorite and is enjoyed again and again. First time wowers are wonderful, but it is pure magic when something finds its way into a child’s precious circle of friends. Remember your blankie, dollie, or big stuffed dog named Snowy who protected you while you slept and had a permanent hug indentation around his belly?
With that said, my #1 intention for kid gift-giving is making a purchase that is safe and healthy, both for the child and for the world he or she is growing up in. Who doesn’t want the children they love to be happy and safe? To inherit a world that supports their boundless potential? The Natural Kids Etsy Street Team has these intentions close at heart when we handmake our natural children’s items. Those are the gifts that keep on giving.
When this group of artisans says “natural,” we mean materials that come from the earth and can go back to the earth (with a whole lot of lovin’ in between). We make heirloom quality kids’ items that can be enjoyed not only by the younger siblings, but by their children too. However, we still make sure that when the life of the product is over it will not be sitting in a landfill unchanged for hundreds of years. Not only would that be a poor legacy to leave for future generations, but it would be a dismal fate for a once-loved toy, shirt, doll, etc. So, we choose wood over plastic, and cotton, wool or silk over polyester and acrylics when we lovingly create by hand. There are no toxic chemicals off-gassing in our one-woman or man, at-home “factories.” Plus, our unique items don’t come twist-tied in a box with lots of plastic packaging to throw away. They are instantly huggable, healthy, and wholesome.
Since most Natural Kids artists are parents ourselves, we witness daily the delightful way that children respond to natural materials. The items smell good, wear well, and simply feel more alive. This effortlessly fosters a healthy connection between the children and the living world.
“Our toys are ‘open-ended,’ meaning they are not so detailed as to make the toy one thing and one thing only; a child can bring the toy to life with his or her imagination. Further, because there are no buttons to press and no lights and music, the toy doesn’t play for the child. The child must actively engage with the toy, thereby engaging her or his senses and developing his or her verbal skills and leadership qualities.”
Unwaveringfaith, homeschooling mother of six, who, like many of us, grew up on television and Happy Meals toys, adds:
“I think adults have just as much fun buying and playing with the toys as the children do…maybe more so…because we didn’t have these wonderful things as children, and we are re-living our childhood, growing back part of our imagination that has been lost. We are retaining the warmth and comfort that these toys give us and hoping so much that by having these toys, in some way, it will make our children happier and more peaceful children than they would’ve been otherwise.”
In our high-tech fast-paced world, the value of toys that stimulate creativity and preserve innocence is immeasurable.
[Photo by BeneathTheRowanTree, featuring her Felted Raccoon Babe.]
This is what Natural Kids is about. We are an international community of independent artists that pour our hearts into our natural creations because we love our precious children and our beautiful world.
We rest easier at night knowing our babies and children, and your babies and children, have clothes and toys that contain living properties and can enhance the health, happiness, and development of these little miracles.
In commitment to making natural children’s products more available for families, this summer we are sponsoring Make Baby Stuff’s Natural Baby Nursery & Playroom Contest. Just look at some of the beautiful prizes from the Natural Kids team! If you love natural materials for your family, clean up your nursery or playspace, snap a photo and come on over and enter.
You just might win a prize lot like the one pictured. Three prize lots and two honorable mention prizes will be awarded. Contest ends August 15th, 2008. To find Natural Kids treasures available on Etsy anytime, search “naturalkids team.”