Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 Top 10 (Mostly) Natural Holiday Toy List

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I have been looking for a fabulous toy list containing mostly natural or eco-friendly toys, or at the very least toys that aren’t covered with licensed characters and full of chintzy bendable plastic that I’m afraid will melt on a warm day. I have yet to find one I like, especially for the under 3 crowd. So in the spirit of giving this year, I am giving anyone else out there a list of what (mostly) natural toys we have found and loved and would recommend to other families. So I will keep my whining about my children aside (except my god she still does not sleep through the night at 15 months, when will this stop, puhhhleaze) ok that aside, no more whining, here are my top (mostly) natural toy recommendations for the cute little ones in your life:

2012 TOP (MOSTLY) NATURAL TOY LIST FOR THE HOLIDAYS

1.  THE WHEELY PIG (OR OTHER WHEELY ANIMAL)

Wheely Pig

We bought this fantastic little scooter from amazon.com and made by Prince Lionheart in a size large for Brecken’s 2nd Birthday.

Pippa is now starting to play with it as well, and it has gotten tons of use and is a favorite around here, I would recommend getting the large between the two sizes to ensure the most use!

2. PLAN TOYS DELUXE TRAIN SET

Deluxe Train Set

This is a great starter train set and has tons of additional pieces that can be added to it.

We really love Plan Toys although I wish they would make more toys that are focused on girls, they have a lot more available for little boys if you ask me.

I don’t remember where I bought it from but it is available on amazon.com and anywhere they sell Plan Toys.

3. RADIO FLYER PUSH WAGON

Wagon

This wagon is made from wood except the wheels and is the perfect size for a new walker to push around.

My son received this Radio Flyer cart as a gift his first Christmas at 10 months old and was quickly pushing it around before he could walk without it.

Both my daughter and my son (now almost 3) still play with it, pushing Pippa around in it or loading it with toys. It is available at Target.com, Amazon and lots of other places!

4. BABY STELLA DOLL

Baby Stella Doll

Pippa adores here Baby Stella Doll and has recently (at 14 almost 15 months) grown quite attached to it.

She loves to carry it on and give the “behbee” her pacifier. She has chosen this doll over her Waldorf doll, which while a Waldorf doll is an amazing but spendy natural choice, this doll is much softer

and I can understand the appeal. There are also a lot of options for soft accessories for this Baby including a doll carrier which she will be getting for Christmas. This doll comes in other ethnicities as well and  is available at Barnes and Noble and other great retailers!

5.  MELISSA AND DOUG TOOL KIT

Tool Kit

 

Brecken received this as a gift last year and at 22 1/2 months had no problem using it although he could not do all of the intended uses without help. Not at 34 1/2 months he

has really blossomed as a little tool master, creating and building things. He also loves that it reminds him of Papa’s tools! This can be bought at most department/toy stores and

wherever Melissa and Doug is sold.

6. PINKY VANITY by WONDERWORLD

Pinky Vanity

This is a super cute wooden vanity that is just perfect for storing all those hair bows and accessories for the little girl in your life!

While Pippa doesn’t actually play with it since I store her hair accessories in it, it is super cute and you could let them play with it. It’s strong wooden construction and has soft easily accessible drawers!

It can be purchased on amazon.com or at wonderworldtoys.com

7. KNIGHTS AND DRAGON PLAY SET BY THE ORIGINAL TREE SWING

Knights & Dragon Play Set

What an adorable little set made entirely out of reclaimed wood and finished in beeswax or mineral oil. This little set, especially the Dragon is very popular in our house.

Brecken loves to make the Dragon roar and ride around the playroom. It is also a great accessory to some of the larger sets available including the Castle Block Set or Knight & Horses Play Set.

These can be purchased at The Original Tree Swing and are made in the great state of Minnesota!!! Also check out their AMAZING tree swings, which I’ve discussed here when we were luck enough to win one!

8. BLOCKS BY GREEN TOYS

Blocks

 

These super fun and super lightweight blocks are made from 100% recycled milk cartons. Even better they are made in the USA and contain none of that icky chemical junk normally found in

plastic toys (no PVC, BPA phthalates or external coating). We’ve had lots of fun building castles and such with these easy stackable blocks!

They can be found at greentoys.com along with lots of other fun recycled toys.

9. IMAGINARIUM WOODEN MUSIC TABLE

Wooden Music Table

We have the prior version of this and it has provided lots of musical entertainment, especially with the drum portion. It is made almost entirely of wood and has withstood

both of my children crawling on and all over it. Available through Amazon.com and Toys R Us.

10. LUKAS DOLL BY HABA

Lukas Doll

YES-BOYS CAN PLAY WITH DOLLS TOO. Get over it. We bought Brecken a Lukas doll for his very 1st Christmas and SADLY we took him to Colorado on vacation and

somewhere along the way he found a new home and didn’t make it back with us. I am considering buying him another because he is very into dolls now, especially with his baby sister’s new-found interest in

“behbees.” These dolls are hand washable, modern and very adorable. They are softer but still very structured so as to hold up well when dragged around. I just noticed that they  also have a Philippa doll which I can

see in Pippa’s future, given her name. They can be purchased through haba.com or retailers that carry Haba products.

So there you have it, my top 10 recommendations for (mostly) green toys for 2012. Now can someone please tell me what to buy my kids?

Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own, these toys were purchased by myself, friends or relatives for the benefit of my children and none of these products were given to us. We have been in no way compensated for these reviews but am really just sick of how few suggested holidays toys lists contain green/non plastic/non licensed/ semi or totally natural toys! Rant DONE. Enjoy. If you have suggestions for the list please leave them in the comments, I would love to add to this list or provide another next year. Hopefully you’ve already gotten your Holiday shopping complete and don’t even need these.

Happy Holidays from My Cracked Pot to yours!

 

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Underwhelmed by the Man with the Bag

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Do we enthusiastically drag our wee little children to see the man with the red suit and hat because they WANT to see Santa or do we want them to see Santa so that we can memorialize the moment in a crappy picture that we’ll share with the world and then not look at for another year? I don’t even need to dignify my own question with a response, the crappy picture below says it all. We have this amazing light display in our local park that we walk through each year with the kids and then wait in line to see the infamous man with the bag. This year the line with infinitely less long than last and the majority of it was inside thanks to the snazzy new Santa shack they built. However, picture it from a 2 going on 3 year old’s perspective. Enthusiastic parents talk up visiting Santa to ensure said toddler doesn’t throw a freaking tantrum upon actually seeing Santa and to pass time in line, quiz small child on what they will tell Santa they want for Christmas. Small child becomes super excited to see Santa, wait in what seems like endless line for toddler (really like 20 minutes) only to be presented in front of the man with the bag who is facing such a daunting line that he slaps a Santa button on you and your baby sister who he picks up due to size, forgets to even ask you what you want for Christmas, Mom snaps a photo with her iphone and out the exit you’re shoved. A lifetime of waiting for 30 seconds of what? I’d be underwhelmed too, which is clearly the theme of  this year’s photo with Santa. Meanwhile Baby Sister notorious for her honest expressions is looking at everyone like really people, WTF was that about.

 

So no cute/funny screaming Baby pictures,no happy faces, just one awful iphone photo that took 20 minutes of our time and will likely result in years of therapy later in life after we repeat this tradition each year in search of that one photo that captures the joy of seeing Santa, should there ever be one. I mean really, how sitting on some complete stranger’s lap whose covered in how many germs from all the other small children, sweaty and smelling like candy canes is not representative of the joy of Christmas I have no idea.

Perhaps next year will be better, when I’ll have my fancy shmancy camera that I’m getting for Christmas this year. Or perhaps it will be an equally underwhelmed photo and just be of significantly better quality. I’d settle for the removal of the glowing possessed eyes. Seems like the least I can ask for.

Did you drag  take your wee ones to see Santa? How was your trip?

SANTA!!!!!

“If you’ve done everything you should extra special good
He’ll make this December the one you’ll remember
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag
‘Cause Christmas is coming again”

 

Know Your a Mommy When; Superhuman Smell

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