Through my journey of time in childcare I had the opportunity to interact with many different brands, styles and types of toys. At the beginning when I was working in more “typical” childcare centres we used lots of bright materials, plastic in abundance and sought out toys that were designed to “teach” children a specific lesson. Think bright duplo, counting bears, leap frogs, colourful play dough toys (you know, the rollers and squisher things), alphabet puzzles and the like. While there is nothing inherently wrong with those toys (except leapfrog. no leapfrogs will be allowed in our house), they are all very set in their ways.
When I started working for a company that was more Montessori focused my eyes were opened to a whole new species of toys – the wooden ones, the orderly ones, the beautiful ones. If you’ve ever spent time in a (true) Montessori style classroom you’ll know that they have such gorgeous and inviting looking materials to use. Eyes opened.
Eyes further widened when I began teaching my own preschool class at a Reggio-Inspired childcare center. Loose parts galore, on going art projects, glass, ceramic, child-led investigations, a focus on natural materials, the environment as the “third teacher”. Be still my heart!
I realized that simple materials like wine corks, pine cones, scraps of fabric, or even those little gems people put at the bottom of their beta fish bowls have so much to offer children. When children are given the opportunity to play, without the toys shouting out premeditated uses, amazing things happen.
All of that is a really rambly way of saying that I have a great respect and appreciation for simple, natural, beautiful toys.
A few months ago Ben and I were browsing around in Fort Langley and stumbled into Maven. We perused the store admiring all the beautiful things. This little bunny teether caught my eye. Elenor was like… 3 weeks old? Teether was not needed. Alicia sad but proud of her restraint.
I still remembered the teether and when I saw the From The Seeds table at a market a few months later I thought it was the perfect time to grab one. One for Elenor, one for a friends baby.
I love the simplicity. I love the wooden ring. I love the fabric selections. I also love that it’s handmade by another mama who lives locally. Win. Oh, and the price, I thought that was reasonable as well.
In the last few weeks Elenor has started to discover her hands. Just a few days ago I realized that she is now starting to hold onto things. We learned this when she started grabbing my hair while nursing. So it begins. She pulls up her blanket to chew on, she’ll hold her soother while she sucks on it and she’s been using her bunny rattle a little. I thought now was the perfect time to introduce her to the little teething ring. She’s not as excited about it as I am, yet. But she has been gripping it, gnawing on it a teeny bit as well.
When it starts to get stinky from the inevitable spit up, I’ll pull off the fabric, throw it in the wash, give the wood a nice coating of coconut oil and call it a day.
Thank you Amber, I don’t know you but I like your stuff! Maybe when baby gets a bit bigger we’ll get a matching heirloom bunny to go along with the little teether.
I did have a little laugh when I went to find a picture of baby girl holding onto it and realized I only had one… and she was juuuuuuust barely holding onto it. Still cute as can be though!