Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Down to Earth Toys

I asked Carrin from Down to Earth Toys, "What makes your site special?" It is the question that I always ask store owners.

She said "The thing that sets up apart from every other online toy shop, is that we are completely dedicated to supporting American toy makers and will NEVER carry anything that is Made in China. We are the only shop who's total focus is Natural and Wooden American Toys. We have been getting a lot of really great feedback from customers because of this, and I am very proud of our commitment. Ninety percent of the merchandise at Down to Earth Toys is made in the USA." One can specify "made-in-the USA" by clicking on the flag.

I don't usually review sites unless I've had experience with them. I have not actually purchased from this site, but I love that they feature well-made American toys. Some were familiar to me, and some were not; however, I look forward to browsing for treasures in the future. I especially like the "Under $20" section for finding gifts.

Felt Tea Bag ($3.99)

I will give a brief review of some of the companies that Down to Earth Toys features.

Holgate Toys are located in Kane, PA. This company has been making items out of wood since 1789, and toys since 1929.

Giant Lacing Beads ($12.00) This set of nine large (beads are 2" tall) beads on a cord is suggested for ages 18 months to four years. I could see Linnea really enjoying these beads. On the other hand, I could just as easily see her hitting her sister with them.

Willow Toys are Waldorf-inspired doll houses, play kitchens and play stands that are handmade in New Hampshire. Willow Toys are guaranteed for life and are just lovely. They have an optional lavender wood aroma-therapy finish.

Dollhouse ($180) I love the stairs! What a fun detail. If I can save up enough, I would love to get something like this for Arielle's birthday.

My Daddy Puzzles are made in Virginia of poplar grown and harvested in South Carolina. They are painted, or stained and sealed, with materials manufactured in Ohio. The puzzles were originally made for the designer's sons who wanted to build his children puzzles that would last.

Annie Alligator Puzzle ($25.00)

Whittle Shortline Railroad has been making The Little Engine That Could toy trains since 1930. All the items and components are made in the USA, and the trains are compatible with both Thomas Trains and Brio - and very cute.

The Little Engine That Could Set ($29.95)

Uncle Goose Toys makes beautiful, classic alphabet blocks out of basswood that can be used for both traditional block play and spelling.

Set of 27 ABC Blocks ($29.95)

Little Colorado makes lovely play kitchen items and play stands from knotty pine.

Play washing machine ($162.95)

Down to Earth Toys also features toys from favorites like Camden Rose and Maple Landmark; Amish-crafted toys; dolls and toys made by work at home moms; recordings by Smithsonian Folkways; fair trade toys from Yellow Label Kids and Jamtown; Putumayo Kids World Music, and toys and art supplies from European brands such as Bajo and Stockmar. Lots of great stuff!

Fair Trade Rebecca Doll ($19.00)

For the next 30 days, Down to Earth Toys is offering Free Shipping with the code MAMA08 on orders over $50. Otherwise, shipping is $4.95.

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