Made in US with locally-harvested unfinished maple hardwood, $19.80
The Shape Sorter Bench has some lovely details. I like that the bench includes the shape names (etched, rather than painted or stained), which was of great interest to my 3 1/2-year-old budding reader. The dark interior of the openings on the bench makes it easier for my 18-month-old to place the block correctly. The Shape Sorter Bench also includes a little cloth bag to store the blocks in. Although I requested this toy with my toddler in mind, my 3 1/2-year-old insists on joining in whenever we take it out to play.
Some of my other favorite toys by Maple Landmark include the Mites and Scoots vehicles, the name trains, ABC Blocks, and the large-scale Classics Wooden Vehicles (Natural or Painted). To learn more about what makes Maple Landmark a green toy company, read my Q & A post with Heirloom Wooden Toy owner Kitty Morse.
These colorful beads are made of kiln-dried locally-harvested wood and painted with non-toxic paints. They have an old-fashioned handmade feel to them. The shapes are large (2 1/4" diameter) but thin, making it easier for a small child to thread the cord through the opening. Kids would have a wonderful time playing with this set in combination with the Holgate's Jumbo Lacing Beads. (We had fun playing with these beads in combination with our Melissa & Doug bead set). The cord, which looks like nylon to me, is stiff and large in diameter. My 18-month-old was able to thread some beads onto the thick cord by herself.
This is the first set of play food I have ever given to my kids. I threw in a few random kitchen items, and my 3 1/2-year-old was busy for more than an hour taking our orders and bringing us our food. I was amazed at how quickly his imagination took over: "No, Mommy, this is not ketchup, it is maple syrup for our french toast."
I really hate both plastic and cardboard play food, and am determined to bring only wood and fabric play food into my house. If I could afford it, I would buy their entire line of play food, which, to me, are much nicer than the Melissa & Doug play food. I also love Plan Toy's musical toys. To learn more about what makes Plan Toys a green toy company, read my Q & A post with Heirloom Wooden Toy owner Kitty Morse.
To enter the giveaway, simply visit Heirloom Wooden Toys, then leave a comment about a product that caught your eye.
Contest ends Friday, March 25, 2011 and is open only to US readers in the lower 48 states. Winner will be contacted the following day by email. (If I cannot deduce your email address from your commenting profile, leave it in your comment in non-spam form, like this: betsy at eco-novice dot com.)
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Disclosure: Heirloom Wooden Toys provided me with the 3 toys reviewed above (free of charge) in order to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own. I am also an affiliate of Heirloom Wooden Toys and will receive a small percentage of your purchase if you visit Heirloom Wooden Toys via one of the links in my post and buy something. I became an affiliate for Heirloom Wooden Toys after several years of buying and enjoying their products (long before I had a blog). Read my full disclosure policy here.