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Archives, Family, Natural Toys, Play, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys

Indoor Play: Ideas for Keeping Kids Active and Screen-Free During Winter

Now that the holidays are behind us, in many parts of the country long winter months still loom ahead with bitterly cold days when kids are home from school,  spending less time playing outside.

On such days, it can be difficult to keep their children away from the TV or off electronic devices, which can lead kids to be inactive and unstimulated for long periods of time.

To minimize the stress that can ensue from unplanned “snow days” or days when it’s too cold to play outside, here are a few ideas for keeping children screen-free and active indoors:

1. Keep a variety of board games that appeal to different age groups: not too advanced for younger players, yet challenging enough for older children. Play a different game each day to prevent boredom.

2. Encourage children to build a fort or tent using furniture and playsilks or cotton play cloths. Children love creating their own cozy play spaces, in which to read or play with dolls and stuffed animals.

3. Encourage dress-up play by providing a basket of dress-ups and costumes and invite children put on a play for you and an audience, even if the audience consists of their stuffed animals!

4. Traditional games like hide-and-seek can be played indoors; or hide a little gnome or fairy doll and have children try to find it.

5. Keep children engaged by introducing a new craft kit such as knitting (e.g. Quick-to-Knit Scarf Kit), origami, or baking a new cookie recipe.

6. Keep a box of art supplies that only comes out on special days. Your box could include a variety of different kinds of paper for making collages, glue sticks, glitter, crayons, watercolor paints, markers, and so on. Keeping the box neat and organized will encourage a child’s creativity!

7. Don’t keep all of a child’s toys out all the time. Most children have too many toys. Bringing out certain toys—like wooden building blocks or Lego bricks–only on rainy or snowy days make it a special occasion.

8. Here are some of my favorite toys that encourage indoor movement across different age groups:

Happy Winter Play!

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What are some of your family’s favorite indoor activities? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

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Making Peg Dolls & More by Margaret Bloom
Crafts

Making Peg Dolls with Margaret Bloom

Today I am excited to introduce you to Margaret Bloom, the author of Making Peg Dolls, one of our bestselling books at Bella Luna Toys, and one of my very favorite crafting books!

Margaret Bloom, Making Peg Dolls & More

Margaret Bloom

Margaret has just published her second book, Making Peg Dolls & More. In introducing this enchanting new book, I thought it would be fun to interview Margaret, and learn more about her.

And to celebrate the launch of the book, Bella Luna Toys is happy to offer readers 10% off on both Peg Dolls books, as well as on our wooden peg forms, wool felt sheets, and opaque watercolor paints, everything you need to start creating your own collection of peg dolls! (Use code PEGDOLLS through February 28, 2015.)

For now, I invite you to pour a cup of tea and take a few minutes to get to know Margaret. I hope she inspires you to try your hand at this simple craft! If you have your own question for Margaret, leave a comment and she’ll answer as soon as she can. Continue Reading

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Making Peg Dolls - Bluebirds for Spring
Crafts, Handmade Toys, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys

How to Make Wooden Peg Dolls

This spring, we have had a lot of fun new products coming through our doors here at Bella Luna Toys, but I’m not sure that any has caused as much excitement around here as our new book Making Peg Dolls.

Its author, Margaret Bloom, had contacted me recently about carrying it. Since I’ve been interested in adding more doll-making crafts so that parents can make their own Waldorf toys, I didn’t hesitate to say yes, but I was unprepared for just how excited I would be once I got the book in my hands and was able to look between its covers.

How to Make Wooden Peg People Dolls

My assistant Amy and I probably lost an hour of work time as we ooh-ed and ah-ed over Margaret’s adorable creations, and our hands started itching to get busy making families of these sweet little dolls!

Continue Reading

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