Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrate Local Toymakers -- Join us for our 1st Minnesota Toy Fair!

Help us celebrate Minnesota toymakers!

Minnesota Toy Fair @ Peapods
We're not quite the North Pole, but Minnesota is home to a growing community of unique toymakers and toy designers. These earth-friendly toymakers all focus on classic open-ended toys that inspire creativity without batteries.

Saturday, November 16 
12pm - 4pm

For the first time, we'll be hosting all of these local toymakers for a local toy fair.

Folks from Wood from the Hood, Doodletown, BEKA, Original Tree Swing, Mindware, and Play From Scratch will all be on hand to talk about how their toys are made and share their philosophies about the importance of toys and play. The Minnesota Toy Fair is an invitation to a hyper-local holiday season!

Each toymaker will be offering door prizes. And, we'll be offering double Peapods Rewards points for each local toy purchased all day long.

So, kick off the Holiday Season in style with unique toys from local toymakers!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When Toymakers Retire

It's no secret that we've always loved handmade toys. They have a kind of integrity that mass-produced toys lack. The personality and values of the toymaker shows through.

Part of that integrity is what happens when a toymaker retires. They don't sell out to a bigger toy company with a marketing plan to move production overseas and start selling to Walmart. No, when a toymaker retires, they just stop making toys.

Recently, two of our favorite toymakers have retired and we'd like to take a moment to say thanks for so many years of great toys.

Mike Spikes, owner of the American Toy Company in Oregon, has been making Ping Pong Catapults and Marble Shooter Toys for us since 1999.  We've always loved his toys for their simple design, durability, and incredible play value--all powered by rubber bands. Luckily, we were able to buy his remaining stock, but they'll soon be gone.

Soon to be gone: The Ping Pong Catapult by The American Toy Company
Also retiring are the toymakers at Mossy Creek Woodworks, makers of one of our all-time favorite baby rattles, which we've also carried since 1999.  Its crazy to think about how many hundreds of babies were welcomed into this world with a gift of a Mossy Creek rattle--all from a business in rural Arkansas that never had a website, Mossy Creek was old school, harvesting wood from their land and drying it in a solar kiln. We've got lots of other wonderful wooden rattles to choose from, but we're sadly all sold out of one-of-a-kind Mossy Creek Rattles.

All gone: Mossy Creek Woodworks
Thank you to American Toy Company and Mossy Creek Woodworks for so many years of wonderful toys. We've been proud to stock them in our store.

Do you have a child who's enjoyed these either of these toys? We'd love to hear your stories!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Announcing Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Rental Program

Cloth Diaper Right From the Start! Newborns deserve cloth diapers that fit well! But newborns grow so fast, buying well-fitting quality diapers can be expensive, especially when your baby will grow our of them within a few months. We're here to help cloth diapering right from the start with our newborn cloth diaper rental program.

Our Newborn Rental Program cost $12.50/week for a premium package of well-fitting cloth diapers.

For $150 plus a refundable deposit of $150, we will provide you with a full stash of 24 brand new, adorable newborn size cloth diapers.  Use and wash the diapers for 12 weeks after your baby's birth. Then, return all the diapers in good condition and get your $150 deposit back. Or better yet, use your deposit toward the next size up diapers and we’ll give you $175 store credit.

How it Works
Diaper rental plans must be pre-ordered at least 4 weeks before your due date. We'll have them ready by 1 week before your baby's due. Then, take your diapers home, wash them, and wait for your baby!

You will have 12 weeks of rental from the day your baby is born. Then, simply drop your clean diapers at the store.  We will process your package and contact you within 48 hours to refund your deposit or arrange for store credit.

The package

We'll set you up right with all the diapers you'll need for 48 hours of day and night use:
Contents of package will be subject to change. Choose a package of boy, girl, or gender-neutral colors and we'll pick out a selection of designs and colors.


Can I return my diapers early? The $150 rental fee is for any period up to 12 weeks.  You can return them any time after use, but we won't be able to issue a refund for unused rental time.

Will I get my full deposit back? We expect the diapers to be returned in very good used condition.  They should be  clean, dry, and hair and odor free.  Some light staining is ok.  If diapers are not sufficiently clean and we need to wash them their will be a $20 cleaning fee.  Diapers should not have any diaper cream residue.  Your deposit will not be refunded for any missing diapers.

What if I want to keep my diapers longer than 12 weeks? Some babies are tiny and newborn diapers still fit well at 12 weeks. No problem. You can continue to rent your newborn diapers as long as you need for an additional $14/week. Just email and let us know you’ll be keeping the diapers a little longer.
What if I want to keep some or all of the diapers? Again, no problem.  If you want to keep all the diapers, we will just keep your deposit and everything is even.  If you just want to keep some diapers we will adjust your deposit refund accordingly.  We can figure this out when your return your stash. Or email us and let us know what you would like to keep and we will let you know how that will affect your deposit.

What if I return the diapers late? We allot a three day leeway period on diaper returns.  After three days we will charge you the $14/week rental fee.  If you have not returned the diapers by 10 weeks after your rental period ends (22 weeks after your baby is born)  we will assume you want to keep the diapers.  At this point you will no longer be able to return the diaper for any portion of your deposit.

How do I care for my diapers? When you first pick up your new diapers, give everything a wash on warm water with an approved detergent. Do one extra rinse, then dry everything in the dryer on warm.  Your microfiber diapers are fully “prepped” at this point.  Your cotton diapers are totally OK to use at this point, but they will not reach their full absorbency till they’ve been washed a few more times. Store your soiled diapers in a DRY diaper pail—do not soak diapers.  Wash every two days, three at the most.  Breastfed poop is fine to go right in the diaper pail, if you have a formula fed baby you should use flushable liners or rinse diapers.   Dump the whole pail into the washer.  Run a complete wash with detergent on warm water.  Run a second complete wash with detergent on hot (120 degrees), add an extra rinse or two at the end until you no longer see stacking bubbles.  Hang dry or dry on warm.

Do not use chlorine bleach on diapers.  Do not use fabric softer or any detergent containing fabric softener, such as Ivory Snow or Dreft.

What about diaper cream? Use only a cloth diaper safe diaper cream—we can recommend several brands.  If you use a cream containing zinc oxide you must use flushable liners.

Any other restrictions? This program is available only to non-smoking households.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ellie's Favorite Toy of the Moment: The Boba Doll Carrier

Since she got it last week, Ellie's been wearing her Boba mini doll carrier everywhere. You never can tell which toy will connect with a child, but it's a true joy when one does. 
We also stock a similar doll carrier by Beco

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our October Special Returns! Free Canvas Shopping Bag with $50 Purchase

Free Reusable Canvas Bag @ Peapods
Begins today! Our canvas shopping bag is made by Plan Toys. And, like their toys, it's super sturdy. Perfect for the farmer's market, the library, groceries, or, of course, toys!

Our canvas bag giveaway is an October tradition. We've got a bunch all set to go, but they won't last long!

Offer continues while supplies last. Valid for in-store sales only.