Traditional Toys this Christmas
We meet Katie Jones from Weasel and The Bug and hear about traditional toys for Christmas.
Weasel and the Bug, came to fruition when my littlest (Bug) was around 18 months old when I spotted that when she was playing with plastic, flashing toys that just played for her. Dolls were telling her how they felt, cars singing, musical instruments playing for her. It left NOTHING for her imagination to discover. I then began my search for toys that encouraged her to interact with as well as develop her creativity. I wanted toys that where powered by children, not batteries (now our motto!!). I quickly discovered that no high street shops were catering to my needs.
I decided that I was going to bring open-ended, traditional toys to the high street. I started selling on our facebook page, then quickly moved to Chester’s indoor and farmers market. Christmas 2015 we had a stall at Chesters Christmas markets, which pretty much funded the shop we have on Watergate Street in Chester.
We opened the doors on Weasel Towers, July 2016, filling it with beautiful toys from across the world that spark imagination and joy in children and adults alike. We take care and pride in the Toys and clothing we stock. We ensure all our toys are FSC and GOTS certificated as well as organic (where appropriate). All of our brands we carry are people and planet friendly.
With Christmas around the corner, we at Bug HQ are VERY excited! I start planning Christmas in January, I attend trade shows from London to Germany and see all the new exciting toys. However, the real planning begins in August, where we meet with toy companies to ensure we get all the best sellers like Plan Toys Beehives.
KATIES TOP FIVE CHRISTMAS TOYS
5 - Brio train track
Brio has to be the number one in wooden trains. We would love to pick a set, but we can help but feel that “All of it” would be the best way to describe the Brio best selling range.
Each set includes beechwood interlocking track and trains. Every layout will create a new adventure allowing the child to use their manipulative skills, connecting tracks and trains, exploration skills creating different layouts and fires their imagination.
4 - Le toy Van London Bus
A big red wooden traditional London bus, with Boris the Budkin bus driver to check the tickets and get his passengers to their destination! It features beautiful authentic detailing and with solid rubber wheels. This stunning bus has room for up to 11 passengers and features an opening roof and top floor to allow easy access for little (and big) hands to enjoy hours of fun!!!
3 - Plan Bees
The Beehive toy is really simple and very effective. The set includes different coloured bees and hives and a pair of wooden tweezers. Children can sort the bees and place them in the matching hive. It is great for developing coordination skills, teaching children about the natural world and fuelling their curiosity for bees and the environment.
2 - Lanka Kade Deluxe Ark
The Ark is beautifully handcrafted in Sri Lanka and is a fantastic addition to any children’s toy collection. This Noah’s ark toy is the largest in its range and is supplied with 24 chunky characters. Each ark and animal are unique, made sustainability sourced rubberwood. A fantastic christening, Christmas or birthday gift, this deluxe ark will be treasured for years to come and passed down generations.
1 - Grimms 12 piece Rainbow
A stunning and versatile toy. The pieces can be used as bridges, tunnels, fences, marble run or even a dolls cradle. Children will be wonderfully inventive and help define their imaginations.
Cut from a solid piece of bass wood and finished with non-toxic water-based stains, this gives a stunning depth of colour.
Varnished wooden stacking toys are likely to slip and slide, the unvarnished nature of this Rainbow Tunnel makes it ideal for building, these pieces stay put for hours of stacking play.
About Grimms Toys
Grimm’s Toys are inspired by the Waldorf Steiner education movement which advocates learning through thoughtful, creative play at an unhurried pace. Toys play an important part of the learning experience and Waldorf toys are made with natural materials, beautiful and simplistic – the lack of details allow children to fill in the blanks with their imaginations. They can be used in multiple ways in creative play scenarios, rather than being prescriptive. Waldorf toys are wonderfully tactile and call on children to play with them.
Grimm’s educational wooden toys are made in Europe from alder, lime, beech and maple, all sourced from sustainably managed European forests. They are made in handpicked workshops across Europe and coated with natural colours and oils by the Grimm’s team in Germany. All of the paints and lacquer used to finish your lovingly made Grimm’s toy are harmless and enhance the natural beauty of the wood, allowing the grain to shine through.