February 28th, 2011 | green toys | Permalink | Comments (28)

I am over-the-top excited to announce that this month Bella Luna Toys was awarded the Green America Business Seal of Approval!

The seal is presented to businesses that go beyond product and service quality to set the highest standards in environmental sustainability and social justice, and work to solve, rather than create, environmental and social problems.

In order to be considered, I was required to fill out an extensive questionnaire documenting Bella Luna Toys’ eco-friendly practices and listing the countries of origin and fair trade and/or fair labor practices of all the toy companies whose products we carry.

Once this application was reviewed by Green America, I was sent a list of further questions and requests for documentation and certifications for our Fair Trade toys and documentation of sustainable forestry for our wooden toys.

After a months-long process, I was delighted to finally receive the news that Bella Luna Toys had been granted the prestigious Seal of Approval and permission to display Green America’s logo on our website!

Reader’s Digest Names Bella Luna Toys ”Best Website for Fair Trade Toys”

And if that wasn’t enough good news for one month, last week  Reader’s Digest named Bella Luna Toys as one of  the “Best Websites for Fair Trade Toys.”

The article was posted in February on the magazine’s website. The editors wrote: “Fair Trade is a social movement trying to reduce poverty in developing countries by encouraging fair global trade practices and ensuring an equal and fair partnership between marketers and producers.”

Fair Trade Toys

Sarah's Silks Workers in China

What This Means For You

  • It means that when you shop for Waldorf toys at Bella Luna Toys, you are assured that all the toys we carry are made in the USA, Europe and Canada, or are Fair Trade made in other parts of the world using Fair Labor practices.
  • All of our wooden toys are made from certified sustainable forests, or from salvaged and recycled wood.
  • That in mindfulness of the earth’s limited resources, we use recycled gift wrapping paper, eco-friendly ribbon, and reuse boxes and packing materials, and recycle our own paper waste. In addition, Bella Luna Toys purchases credits to heat our office and warehouse space with renewable energy.

Hope you’ll join me and the thousands of individual members of Green America by choosing to shop with businesses who are committed to supporting the environment and social justice.

Are there any new green, eco-friendly or fair trade toys that you think should be offered at Bella Luna Toys? Leave your suggestions here.

One commenter will be chosen at random to win a FREE set of Eco-Eggs natural egg dyeing kit from Eco-Kids! (Winner will be chosen Friday, March 4 at 9:00 a.m.)

Congratulations to Krista H., winner of a free set of Eco-Eggs natural egg dyeing kit from Eco-Kids!

And many thanks to all of you who left your comments and great suggestions. Many of your ideas were already on the list of new products to add this year, and others gave me some terrific new ideas.

Keep your eyes peeled for many new Waldorf toys, all natural toys, and wooden toys to be added in the coming weeks and months at Bella Luna Toys.



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February 4th, 2011 | Archives | Permalink | Comments (13)

Waldorf-kindergarten

As part of SimpleHomeschool’s ”A Day in the Life” series, I have contributed another guest post which appears today: “A Day in the Life of a Waldorf Kindergarten.”  I describe the “Rhythm of the Day” in a Waldorf kindergarten classroom. Or more specifically, a day in my Waldorf classroom. The picture I give is of a typical “Soup Day,” as the children would fondly refer to Tuesday.

Cooking in a Waldorf Kindergarten

© Sarah Baldwin

Names of the days of the week are a meaningless abstraction for young children, but the children in my class knew that Rice Day was always followed by Soup Day, and then in turn comes Bread Day, Millet Day and Oatmeal Day.

The children also knew that on Rice Day we painted, on Soup Day we chopped vegetables, on Bread Day we kneaded dough, on Millet Day we colored with beeswax crayons, and on Fridays we polished and cleaned our classroom. It was all part of the “Rhythm of the Week.”

Seasonally, the children would experience the “Rhythm of the Year” by preparing for and celebrating the festivals of the year—Michaelmas in September, All Hallow’s Eve, Martinmas, Advent, St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and May Day. Festivals are a much more meaningful way for a child to mark the passage of a year than dates on a calendar.

Waldorf May Day Festival

© Sarah Baldwin

As human beings, we are creatures of rhythm—from the moment we are born, our hearts beat, our blood pulses, and our lungs beat to a steady rhythm. We give children a gift and nourish their healthy development by being mindful of a young child’s need for rhythm, and offering them consistency, and the comfort of knowing what comes next, as we move through our days, weeks, and years together with them.

How do you find ways to honor the rhythm of the days, weeks and years with your children? Do you find it challenging to be consistent? Please share your suggestions and struggles!

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