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Handmade Kids: Natural Kids Team Nurtures Naturally

Aug 2, 2008

by woolcomesalive handmade and vintage goods

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.

[Appreciation Photo above by decembergirl. Baby Sheep Toy by woodmouse.]

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?

[Appreciation Photo above by purplepetunia. Waldorf Inspired Dolls by auntboosbabies.]


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.

[Appreciation photograph by toyfoto, Waldorf Doll by auntboosbabies.]

NaturalKids Banner designed by OrangeInk.

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.

[Felted Earth Ball by cozycottagecreations.]

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.

Nushkie, one of our frequent blog authors, speaks on behalf of our toymakers:

“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.

[Appreciation Photo by BellaWinter, Plush Manatee by freedomRainbow.]

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.”

Further Resources:
Natural Kids Blog
Make Baby Stuff
Living Crafts Magazine
Why Waldorf Works

Handmade Kids Series  | Baby Gift Guide | Children Gift Guide


  • chalkydoodles

    chalkydoodles said 12 years ago

    I just love the wooly world! This article makes me feel cozy.

  • dmollison

    dmollison said 12 years ago

    So many of my favorite people in one place!! You have outdone yourselves, ladies ;)

  • freedomRainbow

    freedomRainbow said 12 years ago

    ah! the appreciation photos are tooo cute! i might have to have 6 more children now!

  • oritdotandolls

    oritdotandolls said 12 years ago

    Thank you woolcomesalive for this beautiful article

  • FaerieRebecca

    FaerieRebecca said 12 years ago

    A wonderful article with so many terrific pictures! I love the one of the little one gumming her sheep ;D

  • yaelfran

    yaelfran said 12 years ago

    shelleycaskey... wow... adorable photo!!!!!

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 12 years ago

    I need a waldorf baby doll for MYSELF!!! (teenage boys in this house, just no appreciation for dollies). Great article!!!

  • Thinkoutsidethebox

    Thinkoutsidethebox said 12 years ago

    It's really fantastic to see so many imaginative kid's toys in one place. Each and every seller here is multi-talented. I have the pleasure of knowing a few from etsy's needle felting team (NFEST) and you really won't find a better, nicer and more talented group of sellers! I dream of the day when these toys and needle felting will replace all of the more complex toys we inundate our kids with..BTW..those math gnomes are ingenious!

  • TheSingingBird

    TheSingingBird said 12 years ago

    Lively thank you for this terrific article! As a buyer I have to say that this is a group of wonderful artists who put their hearts into everything they do and I love these gals!

  • BeneathTheRowanTree

    BeneathTheRowanTree said 12 years ago

    Bravo! Thank you for bringing together our shared passion and joy in such a lovely article, with so many inspired and inspiring photos!

  • cozycottagecreations

    cozycottagecreations said 12 years ago

    Thank you so much for this incredibly sweet article, Lively! My own children love their natural toys and I know they will long be treasured. This is such a gem of a team with such inspiring work from always inspiring gals!

  • spiralstone

    spiralstone said 12 years ago

    So many beautiful creations and photos! I love all the gorgeous natural toys I find here on Etsy, I've managed to add some more favourites today after reading this great article :)

  • Unwaveringfaith

    Unwaveringfaith said 12 years ago

    Really great article, great pictures...everything I hoped it would be and more. I am so proud to be a part of this group, you have all been so supportive and wonderful. Thank you for your friendship!

  • woodmouse

    woodmouse said 12 years ago

    What a GREAT article, Lively! Such fun and the photos, my goodness they are beautiful. Ditto what everyone already said, so happy to be a part of this group of conscientious artisans.

  • peezandques

    peezandques said 12 years ago

    Would have loved to have all these goodies as a kid!

  • cloud9designstudio

    cloud9designstudio said 12 years ago

    wonderful article. beautiful items!!!

  • brendaml

    brendaml said 12 years ago

    A really great eye catching article, with great pictures and VERY talented crafters. Well done!

  • littleloveblue

    littleloveblue said 12 years ago

    what a wonderful article and such beautiful pictures! great work!

  • kiddyup

    kiddyup said 12 years ago


  • shelleycaskey

    shelleycaskey said 12 years ago

    fantastic article, lively! wow, what an honor it is to be a part of this wonderful naturalkids team!

  • LittleElfsToyshop

    LittleElfsToyshop said 12 years ago

    Wonderful article, I am so happy to be a part of this awesome team! ^_^

  • mamakopp

    mamakopp said 12 years ago

    Just wonderful wonderful wonderful!

  • Nushkie

    Nushkie said 12 years ago

    Woolcomesalive, Thank you for this insightful article. What a supportive, creative and dedicated group of artists...I'm so glad to be a part of it!..and we do it naturally!

  • chimera

    chimera said 12 years ago

    Great article and absolutely beautiful creations....and those babies in the pictures.... SO cute they make my womb hurt lol.

  • FishBulb500

    FishBulb500 said 12 years ago

    Hey, look what I found in the Storque! Great job on this article and the sweet creations contained within. Congratulations everyone! I'll also second the value of natural toys; I bought several dolls from dmollison's shop for my 7 year old son; he has never stopped playing with them. His drum set -- lasted for a week of fun. His dolls -- much longer.

  • mangopeachwalnut

    mangopeachwalnut said 12 years ago

    hey - great stuff! i love this team - all my daughter's special toys are all from this team. its really amazing how as a 2 year old she very clearly chooses these natural toys again and again with so much enthusiasm!!

  • woolcomesalive

    woolcomesalive said 12 years ago

    I am so delighted to see this artcile in the virtual flesh! A big THANK YOU to Vanessa and Etsy for giving the Natural Kids team a chance to shine!

  • MrLively

    MrLively said 12 years ago

    Well said and well pictured! We need more of this in our world. The toys are even cuter in person! I agree that adults like them too!

  • Mwilson

    Mwilson said 12 years ago

    Outstanding products and feature!! Well done!

  • huesofnature

    huesofnature said 12 years ago

    Wonderful job! Well-written and I loved the photos!!!

  • FairyPrincessShoppe

    FairyPrincessShoppe said 12 years ago

    This is just the most wonderful article.... the photos are beautiful! I will be looking through all the shops!

  • BellaWinter

    BellaWinter said 12 years ago

    Lively, you've outdone yourself. I wish I could send you to the spa now! You worked so hard! Thank you so much for the inspiring article. I heart NaturalKids Team!

  • sailingbystarlight

    sailingbystarlight said 12 years ago

    This was just lovely! So much sweet stuff, for little ones :0)

  • MaDauCreations

    MaDauCreations said 12 years ago

    Awesome article. Great job!

  • fairiesnest

    fairiesnest said 12 years ago

    Wonderful article I especially love the pictures of kids playing with their natural toys. Those smiles say it all!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 12 years ago

    Wonderful! Love it!

  • haddy2dogs

    haddy2dogs said 12 years ago

    I love this article! the pictures are so beautiful. My children also have toys from this team and on a recent trip to a big store they called the plastic toys boring.

  • DoSiDough

    DoSiDough said 12 years ago

    This is wonderful!

  • WhimsicalMom

    WhimsicalMom said 12 years ago

    Wonderful article! Nice to see all those smiley little faces:)

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival said 12 years ago

    Too precious! Keep up the excellent work! We need more children in the world to experience all of your greatness!!!

  • RaeGun

    RaeGun said 12 years ago

    love it all

  • mosey

    mosey said 12 years ago

    wonderful wonderful!

  • frostingcouture

    frostingcouture said 12 years ago

    Adorable pics!

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