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December 11, 2007



Wonderful...I get it! And you likening it to higher consciousness, that's true. A toy is simply an inanimate object, when we craft it we pour our love into it, it comes alive, it's that energy exchange that the children sense-that is true giving...from the heart.

Thank you for this.


Truly beautiful sentiments, absolutely freeing and inspiring. I love the respect for children these ideas hold! You mentioned a "higher consciousness" ---so true.


I wonder if toys and activities add an unnecessary degree of separation between me an dmy children sometimes in that we concentrate on something other than each other. I find we are happiest when playing without props - imitating dinosaurs - acting out situations we have been in recently. Just a thought!

Mary Beth

Very inspiring. Thank you Amanda.


What a wonderful post! You have made me feel special for all the things I have "hand-made" in the past--even though, at the time, I did it for financial (and my own enjoyment!) reasons, not the beautiful and inspiring thoughts written here.

I, too, shudder at many of the available toys and the ads on TV. My wish is that everyone could read your blog, and we return to a more simple Christmas, with wonderful hand-made toys, containing no lead, no sharp corners, no pieces to choke on, and so on. It is clear to me that many of your readers and the other bloggers you list have already returned to a better way of life.

Thank you for being my daughter--I love you!

Love, Hugs, and Simple Made From the Heart Kisses for my sweet boy~



Very encouraging. I agree, some of my children's favorite toys are the simple, handmade ones.


I love what you said about the higher consciousness! I've noticed similarities between Montessori and Waldorf too, and they almost seem opposite at first glance. I found what Libby Jane said about being paralyzed because she's an artist fascinating, because I often feel like that too, only because I'm NOT an artist (or even remotely crafty at all). Great food for thought!


We are working towards this in our house. I am trying to get the hang of knitting before I take on anything more challenging! I do know that Ella seems to enjoy the food we make from scratch more than she enjoys something quick that I heat up. She loves watching for birds on the pine cone and pb bird feeders that we made more than she ever watches the regular old bird feeder. It is the process of creating and seeing simple things turn into something beautiful when blended together. So in that way I can see how this same attachment would be present in handmade toys.

(P.S. - I made some of the clothes pins from an earlier post of yours and it was really fun and easy. Thanks for a great stocking stuffer idea!)

libby jane

In response to Gwyn, yes! I've also noticed that the fewer toys we have, the more free-form the kids' play is. Most toys have such an obvious "function", I think it can distract them from real play.
I've started noticing my kids' friends identify our house as the one with "just several toys"! My two year old plays for hours with almost nothing but words and blankets as props.
Similarly, as an artist, who has a bit of a problem with hoarding, sometimes beautiful materials distract me from concentrating. Right now I have a mountain of stuff waiting to be sorted in my front room, and I have found, that with very little in my studio but paper, ink, and pencils, I am drawing again!
Amanda, clothespins are an awesome toy! Nice work and thanks.


nice post. thanks to you and libby jane for your insights.


that is so freeing. i want to read this over and over and over again. it sinks down in me and speaks some really great truth for our world. i often get some ideas for making things and then just get overwhelmed with the idea of the finished product and then i lose the motivation to even begin!
these words really make sense to me...and they inspire and encourage the simple minded parent that i want to be!


Thank you for taking the time to share these thoughts! I really enjoy your blog Amanda!


Thank you for for sharing this. These are some great thoughts.


Amanda, I've had to read this a few times to really let it sink in with all its ideas. I think what Gywn said is right, many toys do separate parent from child or friend from friend, they are the ones that do the thinking for you. But when the toy itself gives room for creativity and interaction it is different. These interactive toys are not the "interactive" toys you see on television but things like a pile of lids to stack or old links from a baby chair recently rediscovered to be put on and off as bracelets.

Wow this could go on, but this is your blog. You've given me so much to think about, thanks.


Your blog makes me want to be a better parent. I want to quit my job and go make toys. If you think I'm being sarcastic, you're wrong.

Very moving and insightful, Rowdy Pea

Kate NJ

Great post..I'm not crafty, but I like to make things for my daughter to use in her homeschooling,or that she eats because I want her to "feel" me and my love.
We made the clothespins too, mine are not as pretty as yours, but I love them. I still have to get the correct clothesline to use them in our schoolroom.


Oh this is awesome. So it's okay if I go with the rag dolls that turned out with sticks for arms and legs? :)

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