Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Footprints Top Eco Friendly Cottage Toys

There's nothing my family likes more every summer than finding a sweet cottage and hanging out by the lake. We can spend hours playing in nature but we also like to bring a small selection of cottage play favorites with us when we go.

Here's our Little Footprints family favorites, 5 things you can be sure will be in our cottage toy box this summer...

We love blowing bubbles at the cottage. New to us this year is this Artterro Bubble Wand kit and with it we plan to have an even better time! Made in the States by a company big on sustainable fun just like us and filled with enough for a pair of wands, complete with how-to's, fun shaped patterns and even a recipe for home made bubble solution - all in one wee recycled content box. Ages 8 and up.

For years now this is my little guys 'go to' take along toy - ask him to pick something to bring and it will be this - a  Zoom to the Moon play set perfect for the kid who loves imaginary play and as a mom I love that when the fun is done every thing stores in the spaceship. Ideal to keep track of everything when your away from home. Made from renewable rubber wood and child safe paints. I can honestly say after years of play I'm impressed with how well the paints hold up.  Ages 3 and up

Shut The Box is a true favorite in our house. Sometimes played alone but best against each other - we've even make it a tournament - we race to turn our tiles down before the other can. One of those games that gets you to enjoy doing maths even without realizing it. I discovered it at a family friends when I was little and am now thrilled to have this sustainably produced one available. Perfect sitting by the dock or on a chilly rainy day. Ages 5 and up
My son playing with the families Shut the Box.

We started family quizzes by playing 20 questions and now that my kid is starting to read she loves to play them. Betting on Nature, an animal card game, is the perfect go anywhere challenge for us all. Skills, laughs and learning, what more can you ask from fun you can fit in your pocket? Perfect for ages 7 to 107

Paints at a cottage are a must have. No matter if it's painted rocks, pictures, fairy houses or found art - it all benefits from a splash of paint! And the cottage benefits when its all natural. Nothings better for that than Clementine Art's natural paints. The colours are fabulous and they're perfect for the artistry of any age.

These are our faves for this year. We love to hear if you have others you think are great. In the mean time thanks for stopping by and I hope your enjoying your Spring day!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fun While it Rains.

While one of my kids might actually be getting sick and tired of rain the other is beginning to muse aloud that it might be nice it it *always* rained. Course she does see the problem that presents to dream #1: to live somewhere where she can swim outside all year round.

So while the sun struggles to make an appearance today we look back at the past 11 out of 18 days where it rained and find lots and lots of opportunities for fun indoors.

You can only get so soggy after all.

Here to help with some indoor inspiration is Little Footprints Top 10 Rainy Day Things for Fun.

Get your Boom Boom on! This ultimate deck of Family trading cards inspires to do good in meaningful and achievable ways and calls on you to pass on the goodness online. From planting flowers for others to enjoy, to telling old stories to younger generations these cards make random acts of kindness fun for the whole family.

Brand new to the shop this 51 piece Tyrannosaurus 3D Dino puzzle can strike about 20 different poses keeping Dinosaur Aficionados busy for hours! Made sustainable and responsibly by French eco fun maker Bioviva, a company committed to the environment since they started making fun in the mid-90's.
Ages 6 & up

Create masterpieces on a rainy afternoon with is Paint With Wool kit. A box full of wool canvases, lots of brightly coloured roving and even 3 felter's needles! Everything you need to make 4 amazing works of art, you just bring a suitable surface to work on. Once your done turn the box into a frame. Full instructions and inspiration included.
Ages 8 & up

More a sculptor than a painter? Clementine Art's Modeling Dough is just the ticket to bring cheery colour to a drab overcast day. They look lovely, smell lovely and feel lovely - what more to you need to sculpt the next masterpiece?

Get active indoors and no batteries required with this Balance Board. Made in the USA from sustainably forested materials, this formaldehyde free plywood board has a challenging maze to keep you coordinated and on your toes. Try the rolling the balls inward for a beginners challenge but if Daddies think rolling the balls out is just as easy they just might loose the family bet! Available in 2 sizes. Perfect for 3 to 93

A bit of drizzle can make examining nature even more fun. Grab a pair of galoshes and head out with this Naturebag full of ways to look at nature around you and record what you find. There's even a blindfold for a all natural guessing game. Canadian made this eco friendly award winner is full of wonderful stuff. Ages 3 - 12

Outside in the puddles or inside in the bath this tug boat is totally fun. Made from recycled milk jugs by Green Toys it's a fantastic water toy, available in 3 colours and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Ages: 6m & up

Stuck inside with the wee one? Enjoy a game of eye spy wildlife right outside your window with this set of Backyard Buddy Blocks. Perfect size for little hands. Learn basic colours and animals with this set made from responsibly harvested rubber wood and child safe paints.

At under $10 this game leaves you change to get something yummy at your own Farmers Market. A game about looking out for each other and problem solving to make the market a success. A wonderful game made in Perth Ontario perfect for ages 6 to 12 with two sets of rules for basic and more complex play.

I always think the funnest things to keep you busy on a rainy day are things with more than one thing going for it which is why I love these puzzles you get colour yourself. Made from plantation rubber wood they are available as a Sea Turtle, Butterfly or Train paint them up then try to put them back together again!
Ages 3 and up.

Course it's easy to beat the rainy day blues so long as your having fun so I hope you get a chance to have some fun today!