From our reviewer, Melissa at The New Mommy Files:
I love the Etsy shop Beneath the Rowan Tree. It’s chock full of playthings I’d love to have for my daughter and adorable, functional clothing I could really feel good about dressing her in! The shop’s tagline is “For Wonder Full People,” which is delightfully apt. The toys in Beneath the Rowan Tree are the natural, open-ended, imagination-stimulating sort.
These are just two examples of the gorgeous yet functional clothing Lori creates for little girls. Not only does she have a number of unique skirts and dresses in stock, but she creates custom items as well, making it easy to choose one that will do a perfect job of “reflecting the bright spirit of the little girl who turns it.” If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can even purchase the patterns for Lori’s skirts and dresses in her shop. I would just love to get some of these as a special gift for my little girl!
Natural Toys and Play Sets
The charming and whimscal toys in Beneath the Rowan Tree are handmade in the Waldorf tradition using truly natural materials. The first to stick out to me were the adorable, pocket size “Gnomes to Go” pictured here. These seem like such a fun idea for the child who may have graduated from the “lovey,” but would still enjoy keeping a special friend nearby for company. I also love the open-ended playscapes and play sets that Lori makes using natural materials like wood, felted wool and her beautiful, hand-dyed playsilks.
Needlefelted Wool Sculptures
Browsing Beneath the Rowan Tree, I thought I was shopping for my daughter until I happened upon these beautiful, needlefelted wool sculptures. They are works of art that I would love to have for myself, though I know every member of my family would admire them and enjoy their rich textures. What I love about these sculptures is that, while they aren’t toys, they truly show the creativity that quality toy making requires. They establish Lori in my mind as an artist – the sort of inspired, creative soul I would be honored to have making my child’s playthings. Her skill as an artist makes every item in her shop full of wonder.
We asked Lori some questions over email and were happy to learn more about her shop and her goals for natural toys. Here’s what she told us:
Why did you start your shop?
“…After making more clothing than one toddler could wear, I decided to give Etsy a whirl as an excuse to keep dyeing things pretty colours. It turned out that this was a creative outlet I didn’t know I needed in my life, and there was no turning back!”
Why do you believe in natural toys and playthings? Why should we value them still?
“Because imagination and wonder are becoming scarce resources in our world. Children are treated as consumers and bombarded with technology, images and marketing inappropriate to their development as empathetic, conscientious people.
“Natural toys are simple, slow and decidedly not targeted at any particular age, gender, culture or skill.
“They are most often made by hand, with an eye towards responsible consumption and use of resources. They will be in use for years by the same child and then potentially by their children and grandchildren. Plastic toys geared to one age or stage and made with non-renewable resources encourage consumption and rarely allow the child to lead the play.
“At the end of the day, children are incredible. Their imaginations are limitless and their capacity for wonder is astonishing. These are things they will need in life, and we can learn from them – so why not give them great tools for the child’s work of play?”
What are your favorite products in your shop?
“Playsilks. I love to experiment and enjoy working with a variety of natural materials, but for me, hands down, it is the 35″ playsilk: each one uniquely dyed, so durable yet soft and full of potential in the hands of any child.”
Treasures from Beneath the Rowan Tree would make wonderful (and wonder full) holiday gifts for those little ones special to you. Order soon to allow shipping time from Canada. Lori ships worldwide!
Just for our readers, receive 10% off any order with code NPN10.
Get 10% off any order!
Enter code NPN10 at checkout.
You can connect with Beneath the Rowan Tree to keep in touch about news, deals, and tips for raising wonder full children:
- Subscribe to the Beneath the Rowan Tree blog
- Heart the shop on Etsy
- Join the weekly Playdate linkup
- Like Beneath the Rowan Tree on Facebook
- Follow Lori on Pinterest
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Melissa started blogging at The New Mommy Files when her firstborn was just three months old, but has found that no matter how familiar the mommy label becomes there is always something new to discover. She shares stories, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration from her journey on facebook and twitter as well as on her blog. In addition to mothering, topics that come up often include Montessori philosophy, elimination communication and cloth diapering, veganism, and finding a rhythm and balance in everyday life.