I have a new favorite Toy Website! It is called
It is a site based in the States and sells all sorts of European toys. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE STUFF THEY CARRY!!!!
I think I am going to make a purchase once a year and buy all my presents for christmas and birthdays and keep them around.
Friends and Family....looking for a special gift for my kids????
PLEASE SHOP HERE!!!!! OR I'll take a gift certificate so I can shop for my kids :)
On that note, I am starting to look for wonderful quality presents for my kids for christmas. I just love toys that help the imagination. Toys that last and nurture my kids sense of innocence and creativity. I find this usually means spending more money for good toys. We are on a tight budget being on a single military income but I would much rather buy my children one quality toy than a bunch of stuff they will discard in a day or two.
Last year I caved and bought a big purple monstrocity of a plastic princess castle and have regretted it ever since. They play with it but half the parts fell off and they just don't appreciate it...it is also way too big and ugly.
I pray this year I can stick to my budget as well as my values. That is so difficult sometimes in this society when we are bombarded with crap that is told will make our children 'happy' and 'smarter'.
I guess I don't measure my kids 'happiness' by how much they squeal when opening a present only to discard it two days later. For me 'happiness' involves nurture, love, confidence, security and being able to remain in their imaginary world for a little longer. Being 'smart' for me involves creativity and the ability to figure things out.
These toys are also peddled as intellectually stimulating. I beg to differ. A toy that is bright and flashy and is made only to do a specific thing is not stimulating. (I won't even go into the mass production of cheap stuff that is well....cheap)
Toys that do the very basics turn into so many other things and force the child to be creative on their own. I am always amazed at what rocks and silks turn into, or some simple wooden blocks. Why does the toy phone have to ring? Are our children incapable of saying...ring ring??? Do we have that little faith in our children's ability to create and imagine??
I don't know why this is such a foreign concept these days.