As I've written before, when we buy toys, we look for ones that our kids will want and be able to use for a long time. A part of this is choosing toys that inspire creativity and open-ended play. Another part of it is choosing toys that are high quality and made to last. We prefer toys that are made of natural materials, but we do own our fair share of brightly coloured plastic. (And to be honest, the kids enjoy the brightly coloured plastic, particularly if it makes a sound and/or lights up!)
We do a lot of shopping online. A nice thing about having Jen's parents live in the U.S. is that we're able to shop the American websites and have things shipped to them, which is often much more economical than having things shipped across the border.
Still, I like to support Canadian businesses, and get pretty excited when I find a Canadian website, or even better, a local shop, with the kinds of items we're looking for.
A month or so ago I was browsing and stumbled across Ava's Appletree, a Canadian retailer specializing in natural and organic baby and children's products. And they just opened up a shop in The Beach neighbourhood of Toronto! I reached out to the shop owner, Alexandra, and she offered me a discount on my purchase in exchange for a blog mention.
I easily could have filled up my online shopping cart, but I reined myself in and only picked out a beautiful set of enamel wear dishes for each of the kids --something that's been on my wish list for them for a long time.
I love enamel wear dishes for kids because they're super durable, yet so much nicer than a plastic plate. I originally envisioned these being used with our play kitchen, but now that we have them I think they'd make lovely everyday dishes. They're still hidden away in a cupboard waiting for the holidays, so I guess there's time to decide what purpose they'll end up serving, though I'm not quite sure that I'll be able to keep them tucked away for another 2+ months.
|Sprout chomping on a Finel enamel wear mug from a set we already owned. (This has been our go-to mug for The Bean since he was about a year old and really won me over to using enamel wear for children's everyday dishes.)|