Friday, September 28, 2012

Peapods Favorite #5: Sophie La Giraffe

Peapods Favorites is our continuing series about our all-time favorite toys. Keep and an eye on facebook  and Pinterest for more favorites through the holiday season!  

Sophie the Giraffe, with her charming smile and beguiling squeak  is a longtime Peapods favorite. Made in France from natural rubber, Sophie keeps her poise no matter how much your baby chews on her ears and legs.

We've seen many young children who are fiercely attached to Sophie and bring her everywhere they go. She's such a great gift idea that she sometimes comes back to us because a family received more than one as a shower gift. That's alright, though, because Vulli also makes a number of other charming baby toys from natural rubber, including the Sophie So Pure Teether.

Last year, Sophie celebrated her 50th anniversary. Please join us in wishing Sophie another 50 years of making babies and children happy!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peapods Favorite #4: The Camden Rose Octagon Wood Stacking Toy

Peapods Favorites is our continuing series about our all-time favorite toys. Keep and an eye on facebook  and Pinterest for more favorites through the holiday season! 

In addition to Zingerman's Deli (vegetarian rubens!), and the University of Michigan marching band, Ann Arbor, Michigan should be proud of Camden Rose toys.

Camden Rose toys are simple yet refined, using beautiful woods that are sanded silky smooth and finished in an all-natural beeswax.

Camden Rose began in 2003 as an effort to produce in the USA the same kind of high quality wooden playthings that are made in Germany. We stock their rattles, wooden eggs, little wooden cars, and stacking blocks, all of which are made in Michigan by Amish craftsmen.

Our favorite, though, is one of their newer toys, the Octagon Stacking Toy. Finished only in beeswax, the Octagon Stacker uses natural maple, walnut, and cherry to add color and interest. The blocks can be arranged in any configuration on the column, encouraging children to develop creativity and pattern recognition. It's another great toy for ages 9 to 24 months. We often recommend this toy to customers who want to avoid paints and stains all together, but at only $19.99, it's a great addition to any child's toy box!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Green Toys Vehicles are on Sale!

Made in the USA from recycled milk bottles, Green Toys trucks are great toys for indoor and outdoor play. And, for a limited time, they're marked down from $27.99 to $19.99!

The Green Toys dump truck, pink dump truck, school bus, fire truck, and recycling truck are some of our most popular toys. Safe for ages one and up, they have enduring play value for kids of all ages. They're tough, sturdy, and environmentally friendly.

This sale is for a limited time only while supplies last, so stock up now for the holidays!

Green Toys on sale!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Peapods Favorite #3: The Punch and Drop Wooden Ball Pounding Toy by Plan Toys

Peapods Favorites is our continuing series about our all-time favorite toys. Keep and an eye on facebook and Pinterest for more favorites through the holiday season! 

The Plan Toys Punch and Drop is a very simple yet satisfying wood toy. Just push or hammer the large wooden balls on top and they drop down with a hearty clunk and roll out the side. We've found that for a one year old, no other toy is this compelling.

The Punch and Drop stimulates a one year old in several ways. First, it plays on their newfound sense of object permanence, similar to a game of peek-a-boo, where the ball disappears and reappears in a new place. Wow!

Second, it build coordination through hitting and retrieving the balls and using the wooden hammer as a tool. (The hammer itself can also become a source of enduring fascination. What else can we pound on? Pots, pans, stairs, chairs, etc. It's an open-ended opportunity for further exploration.)

Finally, the Punch and Drop stimulates a toddler with colors and kinetic motion, which helps build a sense of cause and effect.

What this all adds up to is an enduring classic that we've been recommending to our customers for nearly 14 years.  In fact, the Punch and Drop is probably our all-time best selling toy.

Plan Toys is also one of the most respected brands in educational toys. They're extremely well designed, affordable, and durable. Plan toys are made in Thailand from kiln-dried recycled Rubber Tree wood using fair labor practices. We're proud to feature the Punch and Drop and all of Plan's other great toys for all ages.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Peapods Favorite #2: The Wood From the Hood Growth Chart

This fall, we're sharing our personal selection of our all-time favorite toys. These are classics that our store just wouldn't be the same without. Keep an eye on our blog and on facebook for new favorites up until the holiday season.

Today's favorite is the Wood from the Hood growth chart. These hyper-local growth charts have a lot of character and a lot of integrity.

Made in Minneapolis from locally-harvested reclaimed urban lumber, each growth chart is labelled with the zip code where it was harvested. Our selection often includes silver maple, elm, white pine, white oak, poplar, spruce, and linden. Each piece has its own unique grain pattern.

Wood from the Hood is part of Siewert Cabinet, a millwork and cabinet shop in Minneapolis. We've enjoyed working with them for many years now. Their first growth chart was made from baltic birch plywood and was also very popular in our store. But, when they started using reclaimed wood and developed Wood from the Hood, they created a truly wonderful product.

Wood from the Hood is Rick & Cindy Siewert
and Jon Buck.
This is one item that we don't usually ship because of its size, so it's available in-store only. Wood from the Hood growth charts make a great gift for a child of almost any age and are a heck of a lot better than marking heights on a door jamb!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Introducing Peapods Favorites, A Collection of Our All-time Favorite Toys

We are proud to introduce our new selection of our all-time favorite toys which we will be rolling out through the end of the year, one toy at a time. Called Peapods Favorites, these are the toys that our store just wouldn't be the same without.

Sure, we love finding new toys and posting them to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  But at the end of the day, our favorites are the ones our kids have grown up with. They're the toys that we've sold for years and years--some since the the first day we opened back in 1999. This year, we're giving some much-deserved attention to much-loved classic toys.

Our first Peapods Favorite can only be Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks. Indeed, these blocks reflect much our what our store is all about.Over the years, we've featured them in advertisements and displayed them prominently at the front of our store. They're a toy that truly exemplifies the art of American toymaking.

Made in Michigan, Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks are based on a 100 year old design. Sure, they're educational, but they're also fun to stack and tumble. They're not just in English, either. We have a full selection of languages from all around the world. We even have Elemental Blocks based on the periodic table. Each set is an enduring classic.

Update: Learn more about Uncle Goose Toys and see behind the scenes with this Michigan news report!

Watch for more Peapods Favorites posts in the coming weeks!