Imaginative Play: Mothering’s Natural Toy Guide 2012


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Large Felt Mushrooms


Why We Love It: This has to be one of the most unique items we have seen yet. These huge felt mushrooms with matching mat instantly make one want to dive into a world of pixies, fairies and gnomes. Available in red or green these delights could be coupled with any number of small or large figures to make a truly mystical habitat for play. 


Price: $39.95


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden






Child’s 5 String Banjo


Why We Love It: This fully functional banjo will take music play to a new level. Small children will adore simply strumming the strings and singing along while older kids can learn songs from the included song booklet. It is a great way to introduce a child to this instrument. Beautifully made of sustainable maple in the USA. 


Price:  $74.95


Where to Buy: Down to Earth Toys



Tea Time Set


Why We Love It: This whimiscal tea set is made made from sustainably harvested wood by Plan Toys. Includes two place settings: teapot, sugar bowl, milk pitcher, 2 tea cups, 2 saucers, 2 tea spoons, 2 tea bags, and 2 cubes of sugar for realistic tea parties.


Price: $25.00


Where to Buy: Rosie Hippo




Sarah’s Silks Silk Streamers


Why We Love It: Indoors or outdoors these flowing silk streamers are a uniquely joyful play item. Children will have hours of fun running and watching the silk flow behind them, twirling the colors around their little bodies and using the wands as props in dress up. 


Price: $7.95 (mini) or $10.95 (regular)


Where to Buy: Sarah’s Silks





Wooden Toy Ironing Board and Iron


Why We Love It: This tabletop ironing board is lightweight and portable and the iron has realistic steam holes on the bottom. These well-made pieces of white pine are great for imaginative play and will last for generations. Non-toxic. Made in USA.


Price: $24.95


Where to Buy: Bella Luna Toys






Jamtown Jingle Drum


Why We Love It: This handmade percussion instrument is both a drum and a tambourine in one and can be worn on the wrist or the arm. 6” in diameter. Fair Trade made in Peru.


Price: $26.95


Where to Buy: Bella Luna Toys







Wooden Toy Sewing Machine


Why We Love It: This beautiful sewing machine, custom-crafted of white pine, has a moveable hand wheel, and a spool that carries thread to a needle that bobs up and down. 11.5” X 4” X 10”.


Price: $39.95


Where to Buy: Bella Luna Toys






Hobby Horse and Hobby Unicorn


Why We Love It: These beautiful, hand stitched hobby-horses took my breath away when I first saw them. Tiny and sturdy, they are made of recycled, up-cycled material. The unicorn comes in shades of purple, pink and mauve with button eyes and yarn hair. The horse has an owl print with blue, green and yellow hair. Many color and pattern choices are available.


Price: $42.00


Where to Buy: Amy Bryan








Why We Love It: Xylophones are a classic children’s instrument for a reason: they are easy to play and are so much fun for even the littlest hands. This one is very well made in the USA and will provide years of enjoyment.  


Price: $24.95


Where to Buy: Down to Earth Toys




Flower Fairy Toddler Serving Set


Why We Love It: An absolutely adorable and magical porcelain set that is lead and cadmium free–making it safe for little ones to eat from. What a unique way to make mealtime a little more special. 


Price: $39.95


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden







Gentle Colors Rainbow Silk


Why We Love It: What’s not to love about play silks! This one is huge–a full 9 feet in length. It is beautifully hand-dyed in the USA to create a soft, elegant silk perfect for forts, dress up, ball tosses, backdrops, tea parties, picnics and so much more.The possibilities for play are endless. 


Price: $59.95 (other sizes and prices available)


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden





Winter Play Silks


Why We Love It:  In holly green, berry red, navy blue and wintry white: these hand-dyed silks are the perfect way to create a winter wonderland right in your own living room. Add a winter gnome or two and you have a delightful scene ready for magical adventures. Perfect for play of many kinds.


Price: $35.00


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden


Wood Play Clips


Why We Love It: These big 5″ clips are perfect when paired with play silks or other fabrics for forts, tunnels and other secret hiding places. The no pinch design is safe and easy to use. Made in the USA. 


Price:  $24.95


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden




Thumb Piano


Why We Love It: This unique instrument is simple to play and sounds great–the kids will be making music on it in no time! Constructed in the USA from sustainably and locally grown walnut. 


Price: $22.95


Where to Buy: Down to Earth Toys





Child’s Bolga Basket


Why We Love It: These fair trade baskets are handcrafted by artists out of Kinkanhe, a naturally occurring grass from Northern Gahna where they are created. They are perfect to store small toys, use in all sorts of imaginative play or fill with treasures and display. They are surprisingly durable and versatile. 


Price: $15.95 (medium size)


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden






Animal Bank


Why We Love It: A simple yet lovely take on the classic piggy bank that will provide little ones with a special place to store their treasured coins. A hatch on the belly lets the coins free so it can be used over and over again, and those old enough to safely play with pennies and quarters will love putting them in the slot and taking them out again. 


Price: $19.95


Where to Buy: A Toy Garden






Sarah’s Silks Rainbow Silk Scape


Why We Love It: This silk scape is absolutely gorgeous–and at 9 feet in length the uses are truly endless. Hang it over a couple of chairs to to build a fort, drape it on a box for a colorful tea party tablecloth, or use it for dress up. Dyed in the USA. 


Price: $49.95


Where to Buy: Sarah’s Silks





Sarah’s Silks Play Silks


Why We Love It: These 35″ play silks can be used for any number of fun adventures around the house. They easily become a cape or skirt in dress up, a colorful backdrop for a puppet show or a flowing flag on top of an impromptu fort. Dyed in the USA. 


Price: $14.95 (each)


Where to Buy: Sarah’s Silks


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