This post is on behalf of our sponsor, Giggle Monster Toy Co. ALL opinions are 110% mine, and we truly believe in American-made toys!
When I had my first son six years ago, I researched everything I could about toys. The amount of worry surrounding plastic toys and its chemical issues like BPA, phlatates, and other hormone-disrupting components had me, as a new mom, on a mad hunt for safe playthings. Sourcing American-made wooden toys was nearly impossible back then, save for a small handful of manufacturers. A quick glance around any toy store or local Target will show you 9 times out of 10, MADE IN CHINA.
A few years back, two old friends of mine, Nick and Meg Folker, mentioned they wanted to start a handmade wooden toy company here in Chicago called Giggle Monster Toys.
I was all ears. I only wish they would have been around when my first was born, especially after their latest product releases. Now, I have an easy go-to when new little ones have birthdays, Christmas, and Easter baskets.
My four year old was all too eager to bust in the boxes. My husband, a union pipefitter, is beyond thrilled to have not only USA made toys, but CHICAGO made toys here at our house.
Seriously, Nick and Meg’s latest collection of letters are perfect. Thick, perfectly cut, and safe for even the youngest on your shopping list. Clearly, Giggle Monster Toy Co. understands child-development, because each letter has an inlay for developing the sensory understanding of each letter. Which, given HOW our children learn, using that kinesthetic and tactile components of learning letters is often overlooked.
Simply, brillant, and unlike anything I’ve seen at big box stores, or even indie craft fairs. These are perfect for kids 6 months to at least age 8!
Here’s my Monkey’s nubby fingers tracing the letter S.
Ideas for using these wooden letters:
- ornaments for an alphabet tree
- wall decor (hang with ribbon or adhere with velcro)
- spell favorite words or children’s names as gifts
- spell read or play for kids’ rooms
- learning manipulatives for letter and sound recognition
- craft materials- paint, glue, and decorate
- spelling aids as my young Monkey is showing…spelling out basic words from his favorite program Word World!
In addition to the wooden alphabet line, Nick and Meg have introduced two simple, but beautifully constructed animals puzzles: Puzzling Pup and Turtle Teaser.
My 6 year old son Moose immediately took to them.
The puzzles kept my Monkey busy for quite a while, and of course, the dog barked and the turtle crawled slowly…
Nick and Meg also have quite a few toy cars and tugboats to choose from on their site.
So, if you have any last-minute gifts for little ones on your list, please consider supporting a new American-made, Chicago-based toy company this holiday. These beautifully constructed toys are truly heirlooms, and are toys I look forward to passing onto my grandchildren one day. One day, when I am MUCH older.
We are huge proponents of the local movement here in Chicago, and are thrilled to be spreading the word about Nick and Meg’s company: Giggle Monster Toys. I look forward to seeing what else Giggle Monster dreams up in the coming years!
Connect with Nick & Meg of Giggle Monster Toy Co.
Stay connected with us at The Classroom Creative: