Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another awesome store - Natural Pod

Natural Pod is a Canadian store (although they do ship to the U.S. - the rates depend on order size) located in British Columbia. I first became familiar with Natural Pod while I was looking for information about Bamboletta Dolls. Natural Pod is one of only a few sites that stocks these amazing Waldorf-style dolls.

Bamboletta Doll - Apple ($135 CAD)

As far as I'm concerned, these are the most beautiful dolls out there(although very pricey and probably worth every penny). Each doll is individually handmade using 100% cotton interlock fabric from Holland and stuffed with Romley lamb’s wool. Safely tucked inside the tummy of each one of the dolls are three crystals – quartz, fluorite and carnelian – minerals that are thought by some to help produce a calming and grounding effect upon children. The dolls have serenely neutral facial expressions that encourage children to engage in open play, reflecting back to the child whatever emotion is timely and appropriate, whether happy, sad, or somewhere between. Obviously, a lot of time and care goes into each doll.

But, I can't afford one yet. Fortunately Natural Pod has many wonderful and affordable toys as well :) Arielle reviewed a few of these.

Yesteryear Clothespin Set ($8.99 CAD)

Organic Everyday Apron ($29.95 CAD)

The Clothespin set includes ten very sturdy wooden clothespins and a 9' line in a little fabric bag. The apron is adjustable to fit ages 3-5, made of sturdy organic cotton with a gender neutral trim.

Arielle spent a few hours busily washing her doll clothes and hanging them up to dry. You'll love this -- I came by with my camera and she said "I am busy and have a lot of work to do now, Mommy. I don't have time for you to take any pictures." Hmmm... have I been spending too much time on housework?

If you are a nice mom with a waterproof floor, you might consider giving your child a few bowls of water and letting her really wash the clothes. Put down a lot of old towels -- we tried this today and had wonderful time, but it was messy. While Arielle washed clothes, Linnea scooped water with a ladel and measuring cups.

What a fun way to role play and work on motor skills.

Olden Days Iron ($13.99 CAD)

After the doll's clothes are washed, they must be ironed. A few weeks ago, I was ironing a few things and the girls were watching me like it was the most interesting thing they had ever seen. I don't iron very often. This iron is made of walnut and maple and runs on imagination, so it never burns little fingers. Natural Pod also offers a child-sized wooden ironing board ($26.99 CAD) although Arielle quite happily ironed on her table. The set would make an excellent gift for a three to five year old.

Crocheted Market Bag ($14.95 CAD)

Linnea got to help review this bag. She took it while Arielle was ironing and had a great time putting blocks in and taking them out. Arielle loves shopping bags. This one is 8"x8" and just the right size for shopping at the pretend market. It also holds plenty of pretend cupcakes (rocking horses love cupcakes).

Natural Pod specializes in well made natural toys that promote creative play. Other treasures available include Fagus trucks, art supplies, stacking toys and blocks, play silks, dress up clothes and many other wonderful things that inspire imaginations. A few of my favorites (on my wish list) are:

Fairy House Kit ($11.95 CAD) and Fairy Doors or windows ($14.95-$24.95 CAD)

Now that the flowers are coming out, you may want to attract a fairy to your garden. These kits have everything you need to make a tree or old stump into a perfect home for fairies or elves.

Cardboard Rocket ($73.00 CAD)

When Arielle was two, every bedtime story had to begin with "One day Arielle found a rocket ship..." and then she and I would make up an adventure for her. Imagine where a rocket ship like this could take you....

Wooden tool set ($28.00 CAD)

We live in a wonderful 19th century farmhouse, but it is forever needing fixing-up and repairs. In the fall when work was being done on the outside of our house, Arielle and Linnea dragged their play tools to the window and hammered along with the workers. This sturdy little toolbox has everything a little carpenter needs to get the job done and is much better priced than a similar set I saw elsewhere.

Thank you Bridgitte and Natural Pod! Natural Pod is offering our readers 10% off their first purchase at Natural Pod with code "sarastoybox10" until 4/30/2008.

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