Many families this year are like mine and on a budget for Christmas, but one thing I have learned is that quality is actually more important to me than price. When shopping for toys, I want something that is going to not only last through Christmas day, but possibly through several children or even become a keepsake. That is probably why I am drawn to wooden toys versus plastic. While searching for some natural wooden toys for my little one, I came across Smiling Tree Toys and you are going to love these handmade items!
Smiling Tree Toys was started by Justin & Kathleen in 2010, after they returned to the U.S. after serving two years with the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. They put down their roots in rural southwestern Minnesota where they enjoy “livin’ the good life” making toys, gardening, camping, spending family time with their little girl, and helping out on their family’s organic farm. They also give back to the Peace Corps with every toy purchased!
Smiling Tree Toys sent us a Classic Racer to review. First of all, the packaging was perfect. The toy came in its only little muslin bag, which is not only adorable, but completely reusable itself. The Classic Racer is gorgeous! This car is made from sustainably harvested Black Walnut, hand-sanded to ensure perfect smoothness, and then finished with a blend of beeswax and organic camelina oil, which is fresh from their family’s land. This is definitely a toy I’m not worried about finding its way into my little girl’s mouth…as all toys seem to do.
Not only is this toy gorgeous, but it is durable and functional as well. My daughter has not so nicely pounded this car all over our house and the hard wood doesn’t look roughed up at all. The car also rolls very smoothly and straight. It can travel much farther than other non-wooden cars we have and the little holes make it perfect for little hands to grasp. My little girl was much more interested in the wheels and I loved watching her mind work as she tried to figure out how they spun.
Smiling Tree toys also offers teethers, rattles, push toys, stackers, balancing toys, building blocks, discovery sets, organic playmates, fantabulous playground set, and lots more developmental free-play fun! I love the elephant teether pictured below (which would be perfect for baby #2) as décor for the nursery shelves and then later as a toy.
I also can’t wait to see my daughter try and figure out a balancing toy like the one below, which will challenge her mind in ways that I personally can’t.
Purchase: You can purchase the Classic Racer for $14 through etsy.
I received samples for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions are my own and/or my families and are not influenced by any form of compensation.