Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peapods December Newsletter: New Gift Ideas + Winter Music Together + Holiday Cloth Diaper Drive

Happy Holiday! We've been super busy lately, but we managed to put our monthly newsletter with new gift ideas and info about our cloth diaper drive and winter Music Together classes. Enjoy!

New Holiday Gift Ideas

Zither Heaven Kids Ukuleles
Our hardwood kids' ukuleles are now available in red or blue in addition to natural maple, cherry and walnut. We love these little guitars because they're perfect for young musicians and super sturdy. 

Made in USA by Zither Heaven, who also make our new Thumb Pianos.
Tula Toddler Carriers
By popular demand, we now stock Tula Toddler Carriers! With a wide seat and well-padded straps, the Tula Toddler can carry kids up to 50 pounds. 

Of course, we also stock the original Ergonomic Tula Carrier, which can carry up to 45 pounds. Comfort for everyone!


Dundry Hill Hot Air Balloon Mobile
We've added a new wool felt mobile from Minnesota's own Dundry Hill. The Hot Air Balloon mobile offers a rainbow of bright colors dancing around a happy little cloud. 

Also: Congratulations to Dundry Hill for being named a 2014 Top Toy Pick by Mothering Magazine!
 Panda Wheely Bug                                                                   

Wheely Panda
It's a Panda Wheely Bug! What more can we say? A perfect ride-on toy for ages 14 months to 3 years old. Also available in ladybug and bee. 

Holiday Used Diaper Drive Gently Used Cloth Diaper Drive

Once again this year, we're joining with BabyLove to collect gently used cloth diapers for families in need via Cotton Babies' Share the Love program. We'll be accepting donations through 12/22, so check your closets soon for any extra fluff!

Music Together Classes @ PeapodsMusic Together Winter Classes

Classes begin January 5th. 

FREE Demo Classes! 
December 29 & December 30 at 10:30am and January 2 at 10:45am. Stop in and see why we love Music Together so much!

Once again, we'll be hosting Music Together for Babies and Mixed Ages Classes in our Community Room.

Music Together is a wonderful way to introduce your baby, toddler, or child, to music. Each class teaches about melody, rhythm, instruments, dancing, and open-ended play. Music Together classes are truly wonderful! 

Free Cloth Diaper ClassPeapods FREE Cloth Diaper Class

Last class of the year:  December 11th @ 6pm
Want to learn more about cloth diapers? Attend one of our FREE Cloth Diapering Class! Held one the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month, we'll teach you just about everything there is to know! No need to pre-register.
Finally...Thank you for your support this year. Have a Happy Holidays!                         

Monday, November 24, 2014

Announcing the Peapods Plaid Friday Sale. Let's Make Black Friday Plaid!

Peapods Black Friday Sale Black Friday at Peapods Natural Toys
Chain stores want you to spend Thanksgiving & Black Friday fighting crowds and shuffling through freezing cold parking lots. Phooey on that! 

Let's Make Black Friday Plaid!

Friday, November 28, 10am-6pm

Celebrate Thanksgiving with your family, sleep in on Friday, and then shop your locally-owned indie stores in plaid style. We'll have doorbuster deals, prizes, free hot cider & cookies, and even live bagpipes! At Peapods, we say let's make Black Friday fun--let's make it  P  L  A  I   D 


(*Actually, please don't hurt our doors!)
Plaid Friday Doorbuster Deals @ Peapods
  • 40% off a gigantic selection of KicKee Pants bamboo baby clothes (Plus, buy 6 outfits and get one free!)
  • 40% off a huge selection of Haba baby & toddler toys (over $4500 worth at retail)
  • 40% off select Kathe Kruse soft baby toys
  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE Crocodile Creek stainless steel water bottles
  • Rockin' Green Detergent's brand new SECRET HOLIDAY SCENT in Classic Rock will be $13.99 (Normally $17.95)
  • 40% off select Douglas fairy wings, kids' purses, & stuffed animals
  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE a huge selection of durable Nylon Wind 'n Sun Kites
  • Free Holiday dot to dot book with any KEVA or Mindware purchase
  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE Crocodile Creek placemats, sandwich keepers, and ice packs
  • 50% off Crocodile Creek kids' back packs
  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE select Ceaco jigsaw puzzles
  • BUY 1 GET 1 FREE eeboo craft & art supplies
  • 40% off select Klutz Activity Books
  • 25% off our remaining inventory of bumGenius Marie & Martin prints
  • 40% off our remaining stock of Boba 4G Baby Carriers
  • 40% off our remaining stock of Super Undies training pants
  • 40% off our remaining stock of Undercover Mama nursingwear 
  • 40% off a Hape wooden play kitchen (already assembled!)
Plus, wear plaid and save an extra 5% off your entire purchase!

Note: All doorbuster sale items are final sale. And, while we always offer free in-store giftwrap, we may not be able to giftwrap during our busiest times--you can always come back another day.

KickKee Pants on Sale
We've made a special purchase of bamboo KicKee Pants for Plaid Friday. Save 40% on each outfit, plus buy 6 and get one outfit free.


With any purchase over $30, you can draw an instant-win prize from our Plaid Friday fishbowl. You’ll draw one of the following fabulous prizes:
  • $5 Peapods Gift Card
  • $20 Peapods Gift Card (at least 4 available in the fish bowl!)
  • $50 Peapods Gift Card (one of these in the bowl)
  • bumGenius Freetime, Flip, and 4.0 diapers in the retired limited edition Chaplin print
  • Okee Dokee Brothers CD
  • Set of 200 Maple Keva Planks
  • Faber-Castell art supplies 
  • My Small World wooden toys by Hape
  • Quart of Allens + 4 wool dryer balls
  • Set of bath toys

Plaid Friday bagpipes @ PeapodsDid we mention bagpipes?

Our good friend Bob Lies from Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply will serenade us with bagpipes at noon on Plaid Friday. Because we're not gonna rebrand Black Friday as Plaid without bagpipes! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Joins Us Saturday @ the Mpls Green Gifts Fair. (Plus, Black Friday Goes Plaid @ Peapods!)

Minneapolis Green Gifts Fair
Peapods Natural Toys

November 22, 10am - 5 pm
Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis

Join us and over 80 other local green businesses for DoItGreen's annual Green Gifts Fair. Find something eco-friendly for everyone on your list. Plus, enjoy all the other amazing food and shops Midtown Global Market has to offer. We'll see you there!

Peapods Plaid Friday SaleBlack Friday's Gone Plaid!

For years, we've been on a quest to make Black Friday less blechy. Now, we're 
joining with dozens of other locally-owned indie stores across the Twin Cities to rebrand the day altogether--we're calling it Plaid Friday!

Forget waiting in cold parking lots outside big box stores! Plaid Friday is about fun, adventure, and locally-grown savings. Check out Plaid Friday's Facebook page for more details.

At Peapods, we'll have dozens of amazing door-busting deals at 40-50% off (stay tuned for more details!), super-cool door prizes, and, of course, hot cider. Plus, wear plaid and save an additional 5% off your entire purchase!

Seriously, this Plaid Friday will be bigger and better than any of our previous Black Fridays!

Music Together Winter Classes @ PeapodsMusic Together Winter Classes
Now open for registration.
Classes begin January 5th.

Once again, we'll be hosting Music Together for Babies and Mixed Ages Classes in our Community Room.

Music Together is a wonderful way to introduce your baby, toddler, or child, to music. Each class teaches about melody, rhythm, instruments, dancing, and open-ended play. Music Together classes are truly wonderful!

Free Cloth Diaper ClassPeapods FREE Cloth Diaper Class
2nd and 4th Thursday of Every Month 6pm
Want to learn more about cloth diapers? Attend one of our FREE Cloth Diapering Class! Held one the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month, we'll teach you just about everything there is to know! No need to pre-register. Next class: December 11, our last class of the year.

Here's What's New:

Grimm's Spiel und Holz Blocks from Germany
Grimm's Domino Rally
Grimm's Fabuto Stacking Rings
Handmade Clocks by Tree by Kerri Lee
Wooden Toy Train Made in USA
Whoa! Bots by Tree Hopper Toys

Monday, October 27, 2014

Celebrate Local Toymakers -- Join us for our 2nd Annual Minnesota Toy Fair!

Peapods Minnesota Toy Fair
Meet the Toymakers!
Join us to celebrate Minnesota's 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 8
It's a hyper-local kickoff to the holiday season!

This year's toymakers include Fairy FineryDundry HillMindwareYOXOBeka, dollmaker Donyelle Headington, and Sweet Pea & Co. We'll have play tables set up with Mindware's KEVA planks, YOXO toys, and Beka maple unit blocks.

We'll have free coffee and fresh donuts.  Plus, enter to win a locally-made prize basket with every $20 purchase and you'll earn double Peapods Rewards  points for each local toy purchased.

This year's event will coincide with ASTRA's Neighborhood Toy Store Day, which will be celebrating local toy stores all across the country and the unique roles they play in their communities. See you there! 

Now, Check out these Minnesota Toys:

Beka Solid Maple Unit Blocks
Dundry Hill Wool Mobiles
KEVA Planks by Mindware
Fairy Finery Dress Up
Onesies & Skirts by Sweet Pea & Co.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our October Newsletter: Rainbows, New Toys, and Tulas

Rainbows for Everyone!

Yes, October is a spooky month (and we've got that covered, too!), but let's not forget about Rainbows! Yes, rainbows are visions and only illusions, but they make us happy. And so many great toys come in rainbow colors. So, let's ignore all the Halloween spookiness today and share some of our favorite rainbows.
Rainbow Wellies Rubber Children's Rain BootsRainbow Umbrella

For example, our new Rainbow Wellies just arrived from England, where they take rain boots seriously. These will be great for October and November rains and for stomping early and late winter slush. Available in sizes 4-8.

You could also, if you're feeling extra spectacular, pair the rainbow wellies with our longtime favorite rainbow kids umbrella. Grumpiness wouldn't stand a chance with that combo! Look at how much fun our son Duncan had with his rainbow umbrella. (Ellie likes hers, too!)

Rainbow Chewbeads
Our new Rainbow Chewbeads have been a big hit since they arrived this summer. Chewbeads, of course, are designed to be worn by mom or dad and are safe for baby to chew on. Chewbeads make a great distraction from grabbing at your hair or ears while nursing or babywearing.

Haba Rainbow Stacking Toy

Rainbows are very developmentally appropriate for toddler toys. The bright colors are attractive and easy learn. Haba's Rainbow Stacking Tower, for example, teaches colors, proportion, and counting skills as well as developing hand-eye coordination. Papa Don's Toys from Oregon also makes some wonderfully bright wooden toddler rainbow toys, including a stacker, a tumbler, and of course their rainbow lawnmower--another Peapods favorite.  

Rainbow Giant Cardboard Building Blocks Made USA
Made in Wisconsin from recycled paper, Smart Monkey Toys Rainbow Stacking Blocks are another great idea for ages 2-5. We love these because kids can build huge structures and no one gets hurt when they all come tumbling down. Plus, they're sturdy enough for an adult to stand on without crushing.

KEVA Rainbow Colors Building PlanksFor older kids, add some color to amazing architectural creations with the new KEVA colors set. We've said this many times, but KEVA may set the record for the most long term play value. Toddlers enjoy stacking KEVA planks and knocking them down while big kids, teenagers, and even grownups can create impressive structure like bridges, towers, and cathedrals.

Rainbow Birds Felt Mobile by Dundry HillWe also love Dundry Hill's rainbow birds and airplanes mobiles. Made in Minneapolis, these mobiles are made from brightly dyed wool felt and are a wonder to behold. They increase net happiness by 20% in any room they live in.

Rainbow Tie-Dye Prefold Cloth DiapersFinally, only you and your baby will know about her rainbow tie-dye prefold diapers, but no one else needs to. Because sometime rainbows are a state of mind. Or a state of diapering.

How many more rainbow items do we carry? See all our rainbows on our website.

Tula Baby Carriers

In today's non-rainbow news, we'd like to announce the addition of Tula Baby Carriers to our babywearing options. Tula structured baby carriers are comfortable, vesatile, and stylish. A great choice for any baby--from newborn to toddler.

Some extra features we like on the Tula carrier include padded leg openings for your child's comfort, a wider pouch, and handy waist belt storage pocket.


And now for our new arrivals:
Plan Toys Mini Golf Set
Rinseworks Diaper Sprayer
42 Piece Tegu Tints Set
Plan Toys My First Phone
Janod Counting Hedgehog Toy
New Indestructibles Book Titles

Friday, September 12, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Peapods Wins Green America's Summer 2014 People & Planet Award

(September 12, 2014, Washington, D.C) Green America, a national non-profit that promotes sustainable business practices, named St. Paul's Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care store as one of three winners of the Summer 2014 People & Planet Award.

The award, which includes a $5,000 prize, was given to three out of ten businesses across the country who were nominated. In addition to Peapods, Glee Gum of Providence, Rhode Island, and Green Beginning Community Preschool of Los Angeles, California were also named as winners.

Peapods, which is celebrating 15 years in business this month, offers wood toys, cloth diapers, baby carriers, and other green goods for kids at its store on Como Avenue. 

Millie Adelsheim, the founder and co-owner of Peapods, said "We're incredibly honored to receive Green America's People & Planet Award. As long-time supporters of Green America, we greatly appreciate their commitment to promoting sustainable businesses. 

"Our goal at Peapods has always been two-fold: to offer the safest and greenest goods and to build community in our city. We believe that a locally-owned store benefits a neighborhood in dozens of ways that chain stores or ecommerce sites do not. Today, we are thankful to our community for helping us achieve this award. 

"We will be using this award to invest in more energy-efficient light fixtures and to improve our selection of sustainably made toys for the coming Holiday season. 

"While most of our products are also available on our website,, we strongly encourage folks across the country to seek out local toy and baby stores in their own neighborhoods. Your local merchants deserve your support!" 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dispatch from the 2014 ABC Kids Expo

Dan & Ellie trying out new
Sakura Bloom linen slings
Well, once again we have journeyed to the temporary epicenter of the Juvenile Products Industry, a million square foot gathering in Las Vegas of over 3,000 baby products manufacturers and distributors.

Even more than past years, the global nature of the baby products marketplace was evident. We saw more products than ever that were developed elsewhere in the world, a trend that speaks both to the continuing globalization of the industry and to a growing consumer class in countries like China.

This year, Ellie trekked with us and got to try out lots of new products. (Yes, we brought a two year old to a trade show...yikes!) We met with many of the wonderful companies who supply our store, including Sakura Bloom, bumGenius, Thirsties, Haba, Tegu, and many more.

Warning: not to scale.
We found lots of great new products, and we'll be posting all of them to our facebook page, instagram, etc. as they all arrive over the next couple of months.

But, as usual, we also found a lot of bad ideas, too. Some were just kinda goofy, others we think are plainly ill-considered.

So, without further ado, here's our update on the activities of the Bad Idea Fairy

(For past years' reports on the bad idea fairy, simply search our blog for the keyword "expo".)

Part 1: The Goofy

The Dozin Buddy: Ok, this is a pool noodle. It attaches to your car's seat so that when your kid falls asleep she'll have something to lean against. The rest of the time I guess she'll feel like she's on a roller coaster. Did I mention this is a pool noodle?

The Saddle Baby: It's a saddle. For your toddler. Because carrying a kid on your shoulders is so difficult, right? Granted, this design does claim to allow mom or dad to do other stuff with their hands while carrying a child, but any decent structured baby carrier will do the same. Now, if the Saddle Baby could somehow prevent your kid from sticking his fingers in your ears, then we might be sold...

The HipNGo: At least Saddle Baby looks comfy. The HipNGo, which seems to combine a fanny pack with a baby carrier, does not. My neck kinda hurts to look at it.

The Binxy Baby Grocery Cart Hammock: Again, a good baby carrier would be easier and much more versatile than this odd invention. The manufacturer also recommends setting a car seat in this fabric pouch, which doesn't look shaky, no not at all...

Seriously, tho, this might be a really great solution for peaches and bananas.

The Slumber Sleeper: Why buy crib sheets and a sleep sack or jammies when you can just zip your baby right in to the sheet? Be careful--take a deep breath and disconnect your crying baby from the sheets before attempting to remove him from the crib or the whole mattress will come with him.

Part 2: Be Afraid!

The Pack 'n Potty: This portable potty seat comes with a plastic shroud that prevents your toddler from ever coming into contact with a germ-ridden public toilet. Instead, you can collect a bunch of those germs on the inside of the shroud and carry them around with you in a handy tote bag.

Seriously, babies and toddlers are on a germ collecting mission. Hopefully with the support of extended breastfeeding, they're building their immune systems one germ at a time. But that idea doesn't really sell any products, so let's get back to fearing germs...
The UVI Cube: The UVI Cube markets itself as a home autoclave that should be used not just on baby bottles, but also on toys, TV remotes, smart phones (of course!), and anything else that a baby might touch (though not hamsters, the website warns).

The UVI Cube goes on to explain that its ultra-violet radiation kills 99.9% of all bacteria. This leaves only 0.1% of surviving UV-resistant pissed-off superbugs to continue the microbial colonization of your home. Only $249. The germ phobia is free.

Then, there was the Security Seat Cushion Alarm: We're not sure what to say about this. We're hoping that an electronic pad that sounds an alarm whenever baby gets up from his stroller or car seat isn't the next must-have product. We can't imagine the level of anxiety that would make this product seem worthwhile.

Unfortunately, the fact that this idea seems ridiculous to us probably speaks more to our privilege as Americans. This was a strong reminder that human trafficking is a very real concern in many places. We certainly hope that this device might someday seem ridiculous everywhere.

Last but not least, we'd like to mention Milk Sense, a device which can electromagnetically measure the amount of breastmilk available in a mother's milk ducts before and after nursing. Paired with a sensitive digital scale (which hooks on to the handle of a car seat...) and tracking software, the Milk Sense is designed to assure women that their babies are getting enough milk. The goal, according to the Milk Sense representative, is to give mothers the confidence to continue breastfeeding.

While a device like this might make sense in a clinical setting (which would require FDA approval), Milk Sense is offering this device as a consumer product. As such, it's just one more gizmo that makes women believe that they cannot successfully breastfeed their babies without technological assistance. Yes, anxiety about whether a baby is getting enough to eat can be very real. But the solution isn't a $200 sensing device. Doulas, lactation consultants, and La Leche League can help immensely with this issue while at the same time giving mothers so much more support than a gizmo ever could. Another example of how we forgo community and embrace technology at our peril.