At Heartfelt, we believe that simple, age appropriate toys that encourage deep, imaginative play are the most enriching for children. For ages birth to seven, open ended toys that can be used in many different ways are very important. For younger children especially, less is more. We suggest a few, well chosen toys of exceptional quality. A cuddly doll or soft snuggly animal toy is a perfect place to start. Little ones learn through all their senses, so the material a toy is made from matters a great deal. We offer playthings of silk, wool, cotton, and wood for our youngest friends.
As children grow, many families find themselves immersed in a culture of computer screens and all manner of electronic media. At Heartfelt, we strive to offer healthier alternatives, encouraging kids to be kids while they are kids. Dress up costumes (a cape, a crown, a sash) can open a door to imaginative worlds. Historic weaponry and costumes encourage dramatic role play. Games and toys that allow children to play with the properties of water, wind, and earth encourage engagement with the natural world as well as with friends and family. Just think of how much negotiation, skill, and creativity are required by jumping rope, playing marbles, or challenging a friend to a game of mancala! High quality art materials aid in the development of artistry and self expression through art and craft. For the older child, we suggest materials or kits that develop a skill, not just produce a finished project. Thus, the kits offer a springboard to further creativity.
Children who know how to really play have a sense of self-sufficiency in our world. Though boredom may strike occasionally, children who are encouraged to play will soon imagine their way out of boredom. And who says play is just for children? Adults can and should play too -- play is the foundation of creative problem solving, resilience, and joy.
Crafts are at the center of our business, and of our play. Little children love to play with wool and clay; the finished "craft" is only the by-product of the rich sensory experience of its creation. School-age kids and teenagers find great satisfaction in learning new crafting skills and in creating their own toys as well as useful objects. And parents are often surprised and delighted to see how much pleasure their children take in simple playthings they've made for them.
Come play with us!