One of my favourite places in the world is Sandpoint, Idaho, and one of my favourite things about Sandpoint is that when I shop there, for food, fabric, clothes, and canning jars from the local hardware store, I know who I'm buying from. I buy milk from Rhiannon, I get my fabric at Ben Franklin's and the same ornery old lady has cut it for years, Mr. Merwin, who owns Merwin's True Value, lives two doors down from our cabin, the local grocery store lets me take my groceries home when I forget my credit card because they trust I'll come back the next morning to pay. There is something to be said for small town America!
Not many of us have the pleasure of living in a town of 6000. However, each of us can do our part to support our local shop owners, farmers and small businesses. We can put our money into the homes of real people who provide real service and quality goods, rather than padding the pockets of large corporations with shady business practices and substandard products.
One of my favourite 'local' toy shops is Down To Earth Toys. I say 'local' because while I lived in Michigan, Down To Earth Toys was local. It is run by my good friend Carrin, from her home, and I can vouch for her being one of the most socially conscious people I know. She hand picks each of her items, ensuring that they are quality, safe and built through fair labor practices. Her quality control board consists of her sweet four-year old boy and his friends, who do a fine job of making sure each of the toys she supplies is kid worthy!
First of all, let me talk about her baby toys. Last year for Chirstmas we bought Silas this wonderful wooden bell rattle. Made in Illinois of natural wood, it is absolutely beautiful. The bell in it provides a simple melodic chime without it being a noise maker. Silas's tiny fingers could grasp it at four months through the rungs around the bell, and now he can firmly hold the base. It is an absolute constant in our diaper bag!
For older children Down To Earth Toys has a myriad of natural and organic toys that are not only fun and promote creativity, but will also be around long enough to be played with by your grandchildren. We purchased this sorting block for Eli last year, and while I knew it would be fun for him, I was blown away by how beautiful it is. It is one toy I don't feel I have to hide away in a toy chest to have my room look good.
There are millions of toys out there you could choose to buy this season, but why not choose to be responsible in your choices? Every item from Down To Earth Toys is safe, non-toxic and provided through fair labour practices. While she could be looking for ways to make the most possible money, regardless of the impact, Carrin instead is looking for ways to improve the future for our children. Check out her website
and read about the choices she is making and decide what choices you can make this year for your children, your country and your world!
This week marks the middle of my Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving giveaways. Carrin, from Down To Earth Toys, has generously agreed to sponsor this week's giveaway! She has offered a great little item from her shop, showing that you don't have to spend a fortune to buy quality, responsible toys this season, a wonderful elastic powered paddle boat.
1. You MUST be a PUBLIC FOLLOWER.
2. You must comment on this post to enter.
And, there are a few things you can do to earn extra entries this week (leave a separate comment for each):
3. Comment on any other posts during the week of the giveaway (Monday to Sunday.)
4. Commenting on this post letting me know that you "Like" Down To Earth Toys on Facebook
5. Comment on Down To Earth Toys on Facebook thanking Carrin for the giveaway.
6. Visit Down To Earth Toys, and come back here to tell me which item you like best or something about her shop that you LOVE!
Good luck, all, and happy commenting!!!