It is November and many are starting to think about the holidays. We know it can be overwhelming trying to puzzle together the best gifts to give, so today, Sarah Baldwin, Bella Luna's president, trained and experienced Waldorf early childhood teacher, and mother of two, shares some of her favorite gifts for children according to age and why she loves them. We hope this helps guide you and give you ideas for the children in your lives!
"My mission at Bella Luna Toys has always been to offer families the highest quality natural playthings inspired by Waldorf education that will nourish a child's senses, ignite their imaginations, and provide hours of creative play." -Sarah
Sarah's Favorites for Babies
Eight colorful rainbow balls twist and turn on a heavy-duty elastic band. Grasping and clutching toys are ideal for developing a baby's hand-eye coordination and hand strength. The bright colors and changing shapes of the beads will provide endless fascination and stimulate a baby's tactile sense.
This set of five brightly colored wooden nesting bowls from Grimm's Spiel & Holz from Germany is another perennial best seller at Bella Luna Toys. I love this toy for babies and toddlers because they can be nested or stacked, providing hours of creative play. Babies like to stack them up and knock them down, learning about cause and effect. This is a toy that grows with a child and as their skills develop, can be played with in different open-ended ways.
These are the smaller version of standard size play silks from Sarah's Silks, sized just right for little hands! The quality of the 100% silk makes the colors glow so they give babies a rich color experience, and the soft and cool smoothness feels so good against a baby's tender skin.
Sarah's Favorites for Toddlers
Push and pull toys are wonderful for toddlers who are early walkers. What makes this pull toy unique is the up-and-down motion it makes when it is pulled, as well as the rhythmic click-clacking sound as its bright green body bobs up and down. This is another toy that offers visual and auditory stimulation to nourish a child's senses.
This is another great open-ended toy that can be played with in so many ways. Each of the seven rainbow peg dolls in this adorable set comes nestled in a matching cup of the same color, all of which fit on the included wooden tray for easy transport and storage. The peg dolls have so many uses, like sorting and color matching games, creating puppet shows, and pairing them with other wooden nesting toys. And children will come up with many more ideas on their own!
Stacking and nesting toys are ideal for toddlers and this Natural Pyramid Stacker is one of Sarah's absolute favorites. It is both a stacking toy and a puzzle for young minds. The youngest children will get creative and mix and match the squares in various ways, but as their logic develops, they will learning sequencing by stacking the squares from the largest on the bottom to the smallest on the top to create a neat pyramid.
Sarah's Favorites for Preschoolers
This is our number one best selling toy at Bella Luna, and has been for many years. It's not surprising that it is one of Sarah's favorite gifts for children of all ages. The best toys can be played with in a multitude of ways, this wooden rainbow can be used as a stacking and nesting toy, the pieces can be used as a tunnel for cars, houses for dolls, a cozy hideaway for fairies or gnomes, or to create anything your child can imagine! It can be stacked in an endless variety of creative ways to create abstract sculptures. This is another toy that can be enjoyed equally by children and adults.
Add another layer of creative building by combining the 12 Piece Rainbow with the Semi-Circles Building Set. These versatile platforms can be used by themselves, stacked to create sweeping staircases, or used as semi-circular floors for doll houses. Kids have no trouble dreaming up creative ways to introduce circular shapes to their construction play.
The 12 Piece Rainbow and Semi-Circles come in three finishes. Pictured here is the Rainbow, but they also come in soft Pastel colors, and undyed Natural wood.
"A basket full of playsilks is the quintessential Waldorf toy." -Sarah Baldwin.
Play silks are beautiful, they nourish the senses, and encourage endless hours of open-ended creative play, as unlimited as a child's imagination! The beautiful and lustrous play silks we carry at Bella Luna Toys come from our friends at Sarah's Silks, and come in a wide variety of solid jewel tones and pastel colors.
Play silks can be used for dress up as a fairy skirt, a veil, a cape, or a belt to hold a pirate sword. They can be used to create scenes and landscapes for small world play, make puppet theaters, or to add lovely seasonal colors to a nature table.
Sarah's Favorites for Grade Schoolers
Learning to use a slingshot responsibly through practice and play is an important skill and developmental milestone. We recommend this toy for kids aged 7 years and older. Practice with this toy encourages hand eye coordination, manual dexterity, and concentration.
At Bella Luna Toys, we are all about getting kids outdoors, so here is another great choice to encourage the whole family to play outside. The unique wand in Far Bar Out Bubbles allows kids to blow bubbles bigger than themselves! The kit includes two 18 inch long wooden wands, wick, and a bottle of concentrated bubble solution. All it takes is a gentle breeze to create huge, amazing bubbles.
These kits, created by professional artists and made in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, include everything needed to create a soapstone carving from start to finish. Older children, aged 8 and up, and adults alike will enjoy creating these beautiful carved figures with the easy step-by-step guide. A very satisfying activity that keeps kids hands busy and is a great antidote to screen time.
Last, but not least, Sarah wanted to include a musical instrument we carry at Bella Luna Toys, and this is one her favorites. A kalimba, or thumb piano, can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of musical ability. It comes with a little song book of familiar melodies. Each note is numbered and the songbook notes the numbers, so a player need not be able to read music to play. It is a wonderful little instrument with a marimba-like sound that is great for developing a child's musical ear.
These are just but a few of the beautiful, natural playthings we carry at Bella Luna Toys. Our customer care team know the entire product line and LOVE making suggestions and helping parents, grandparents and others to find the perfect toy, and can answer all of your questions, so don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can connect with us using the live chat feature on our website: Bella Luna Toys or by emailing, calling us, or reaching out on any of social media channels.