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September 22nd, 2013 | Archives | Permalink | Comments (0)
Grandmother, granddaughters, kissing

"My Daughters only get to see their Beppe (Grandma) once or twice a year when she comes to visit from the Netherlands. They joy is unbounded every time she visits. They love they share is so precious!"

Congratulations to Kait De Luna Sea who submitted the winning photograph in Bella Luna ToysGrandparents Love Photo Contest on Facebook!

Kait’s photo of her children kissing their grandmother received the most votes and Facebook likes by a wide margin, and was chosen by our judges as the winner. Kait will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to Bella Luna Toys.

Thank you to all who submitted such beautiful and cherished photographs. Together they created quite a moving tribute to the love of grandparents.

Warmly,

 

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September 8th, 2013 | Childhood, Family, Giveaway | Permalink | Comments (1)

 

I want to share a little secret with you.  I can’t wait to be a grandmother.

Not that I want to rush my kids into having children! They are only 18 and 21. But I AM very much looking forward to the birth, someday, of my first grandchild.

So many of our customers at Bella Luna Toys are grandparents and I LOVE talking with them when they call. When I share my secret with them, they tell me that being a grandparent is more rewarding than they ever could have imagined, and that it’s different from a mother’s love for her child.

They describe an unconditional love, and an overwhelming desire to shower their grandchildren with gifts and affection, and that tell me that it should be a grandparent’s right to spoil their grandchildren!

Below is a childhood picture of my grandmother — born Sarah Laird, who later became Sarah Baldwin when she married my grandfather, and for whom I was named.

Grandparent's Day

My grandmother was one of the most special people in my life. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of summers spent at my grandparents’ house, in the country on the eastern shore of Maryland.

As I got older, my grandmother was someone in whom I could always confide, without fear of judgment. I felt her unconditional love, and could share things with her that I would never tell my parents.

Well, today is Grandparents Day, and while many have complained that it is a made-up holiday, created by the greeting card industry, I think it’s a lovely reminder to take time to reflect with gratitude on our relationships with our own grandparents, and to appreciate the special bond that our parents share with our children.

Grandparent's Day

While I was reflecting on the topic of this week’s blog post, I started looking through family photos and came across this favorite (above) of my dad, who was a banjo player, singing and playing for my one-month-old son, William.

Then I started thinking about how much fun it would be to see YOUR cherished photos of your children with their grandparents.

So I decided to host our first ever photo contest at Bella Luna Toys!

Our contest is hosted on Bella Luna Toys’ Facebook page. You can enter and find all the details there. We are accepting photo submissions through September 14, 20013 at noon, when the voting will begin. The winning photograph will be announced on Sunday September 22 and the winner will receive a $100.00 gift certificate from Bella Luna Toys!

If you are not on Facebook, no worries! Simply e-mail your photo to support@bellalunatoys.com and will will enter your photo in the contest.

So, Happy Grandparent’s Day to all you loving grandmas and grandpas! 

And to all you mamas and papas, be sure to let your parents know how much you appreciate them—not just on Grandparent’s Day, but all year round.

 

 

What are some favorite memories of  YOUR grandparents? What do you most appreciate about your parents’ relationship with your children? Share your reflections and stories here!

 

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August 25th, 2013 | bella luna toys, Giveaway, Play | Permalink

 

Waldorf Rocker Board - Curvy Board - Balance Board

GIVEAWAY!

If you watched last week’s video on my top five favorite Waldorf toys, or read my blog post “In Praise of Rocker Boards,” then you know why I love this open-ended toy and recommend it so highly.

Not only do rocker boards invite imaginative and active play, but they also help develop a child’s sense of balance (which aids brain development) and strengthen core muscles.

Our rocker boards are made in the U.S.A. by a young Waldorf family in California who were inspired to create the “Curvy Board” after seeing rocker boards in use in their children’s kindergarten classroom.

Rocker Boards can be used indoors or out.

Each Curvy Board is handcrafted in the U.S.A. from nine layers of poplar plywood. The corners have been rounded for safety, the wood sanded smooth, and each has been finished with child-safe varnish for durability.

Click here to watch Mama Natural’s video review of our rocker boards and watch one in action!

For our end-of-summer giveaway, Bella Luna Toys is pleased to offer the following gift to ONE winner:

* * * One Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board * * *

This prize ($139.95 value) includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States. The giveaway is open to open to all readers, but a winner outside the continental U.S. will be responsible for the cost of shipping.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know what you like best about this toy. Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 31.

And the winner is:

I am delighted to announce the winner of a Curvy Board – Waldorf rocker board, chosen through a Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to Kim Corrigan-Oliver who commented:

“Thanks for the chance, my little man would love this!”

Many thanks to all of you who entered and for your words of enthusiasm for one of my favorite toys!

 

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August 18th, 2013 | Natural Toys, Play, Sarah's Silks, Sunday With Sarah, Waldorf Dolls, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (28)

I am often asked by parents who are waiting to transform their child’s playthings from commercial plastic toys to more natural Waldorf toys for my recommendations of the most essential Waldorf toys. This week on “Sunday with Sarah” I share five of my top picks and discuss the play value of each.

Keep in mind that if you are limited by budget some of these toys can be handmade or built oneself!

Video Highlights: 

1:00  Heavy Baby Waldorf Dolls
2:30  Play Silks (Playsilks)
4:00  Ostheimer Wooden Toys
5:16   Waldorf Play Stands (Playstands)
6:35   Wooden Play Kitchens
7:23   Waldorf Rocker Board
10:09 Upcoming Giveaway – Win a Waldorf Rocker Board!

Giveaway!

Mark your calendar and be sure to come back next Sunday (August 25, 2013) for a chance to win a Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board from Bella Luna Toys.

Do you or your child have a favorite Waldorf toy? What would be on your top five list? Anything you think I’ve omitted? Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions here!

 

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August 11th, 2013 | Education, Music | Permalink | Comments (2)

Last time on “Sunday With Sarah” I shared my observations of my visit to a Waldorf school for Samburu children in the African bush.

This week, I describe a very different visit — this time to an urban school in the slums of Nairobi. The Gatoto Primary School is not a Waldorf school, but the joy, love and beauty I experienced here moved me in deep and profound ways.

After listening to my story, please click on the link below to hear the children of Gatoto sing!

And click the video below to listen to the children recite poetry under the direction of their elocution teacher.

You can find more video recordings of the children of Gatoto by searching YouTube for “Gatoto School.”

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. If you have any ideas on how I might be able to bring these children to the U.S. to sing for American audiences to raise money for the school and awareness of life in the slums, please drop be a line!

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parenting presents mothers fathers I’m Sarah Baldwin, a Waldorf early childhood teacher, mama to two Waldorf grads, author, and owner of Bella Luna Toys. Here I share my thoughts on childhood, play, parenting and what’s going on at Bella Luna Toys. More

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