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The Whole House!

by Ellie
(Wilsonville, Oregon)

Max on his

Max on his "daddy made" rocking horse

Our son is two, sleeps in with us, and doesn't have a specific bedroom or playroom... the whole house is his playroom!

We have a very open floor plan downstairs, which is nice. We have always tried to buy only natural, good quality toys for him, although convincing grandparents to do the same hasn't been easy! There are many reasons we choose wooden or fabric toys over plastic, aside from the obvious recall issue. They are more durable, and the simplicity often encourages more creative play. We also like to buy handmade, and last holiday season bought all our gifts off Etsy. That was fun!

Of course, we do have some plastic toys. I just can't get rid of the musical instruments that my grandma got him for his birthday, and he's got quite a collection of hot wheel cars. But everything in moderation, right?

My husband and I are both crafty- I sew and my husband is a woodworker. He recently finished a train table with storage underneath- it's gorgous! He's also made a ride on toy, and a beautiful rocking horse. I have made him felt play food, and dress up clothes. I have a shop on Etsy selling supercapes (Panjo) but wouldn't you know it he won't wear even the coolest of capes! He does like the felt crowns, though.

We also like to make ordinary things like play doh. I think this helps our son to learn that things don't just appear out of nothing- he's learning that time and effort go into making things that most people just grab off a shelf and pay for.

We get a lot of stuff at garage sales, most reacently we scored a big wooden Melissa and Doug parking garage that is set up on his train table- for $10! We love to reuse old boxes for things like forts and makeshift cars, or slides. He also has helped me stencil hand-me-down shirts, and wrap presents in his art- both things that will teach him that it's fun to reuse.

Thank you guys for this great giveaway. I didn't realize there was a Natural Kids Etsy Street team, I'm glad I found it! Hooray for Etsy.

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Aug 17, 2008
rocking horse
by: Nicole

i love your rocking horse! do you happen to have the plans to make one??? id love to try making it!

Jul 28, 2008
by: Ellie

Well, I guess that's what I get for not looking at the other entries before adding mine. I thought that the contest was based on our descriptions, not the photograph. I figured the photo was extra, so i just uploaded one that I had on hand. Since I said in the description, we don't have a set play area, but instead have various items in different rooms, it would've been impossible to show in one picture. Hopefully people will be interested in reading the entry and not just vote based on the photo! Sorry if I misunderstood the contest.

Jul 28, 2008
Where is the entry?
by: Anonymous

All I see is a cute child playing but I thought the contest was for play spaces? It would be nice to see more toys...

Jul 23, 2008
Great horse
by: Anonymous

We love handmade too and that is a great horse. Would have been great to see the other stuff you mentioned though.

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