What is an Heirloom Toy?

Posted by Mandy Abel on

"An object with "heirloom design" is something that will not only last through your lifetime and into the next generation, but that you also desire to keep that long because it's beautiful, functional, and timeless." Saul Griffith

Heirloom toys are made thoughtfully, like they were back in the good old days! Unlike fast industry, our makers do not cut corners to save money or time. They use quality materials and thoughtful design, ensuring multi-purpose and durability. This is key - if our toys don't last, they are not sustainable no matter how ethical the production process is. It is our desire to provide options that help people move away from the 'throwaway' society that we live in, which is hurting both people and the planet.  

We aren't about the latest trends - toys that are fashionable one season only to be discarded the next. We want your children to get countless hours of beautiful, imaginative play from our pieces and for them to be shared amongst siblings, cousins or friends; and then one day be handed down to the next generation. 

This wooden farm set has a whimsical, nostalgic feel and is handcrafted to last. 
Open Ended Play 
The beautiful thing about heirloom toys is that they are often more natural and therefore open ended. This allows children's imaginations to take flight and creativity to flourish. When we remove the pre-defined characters, flashing lights and distracting noises of modern (often plastic) toys, we encourage a calmer and more creative type of play.

This means that not only will children play for longer periods of time in a more engaged and meaningful way - you can actually have LESS toys. Boredom won't be a problem, because the toys can be used in many different ways and little ones will be utilising their imaginations to power their play. Open ended toys are designed to last through multiple ages and stages - heuristic play pieces placed into a basket to be explored by your baby will turn into accessories for small world and imaginative play later on.

Investing in fewer toys that are of a higher quality means less clutter in our homes, less overwhelm in our play spaces and less pressure on our finances as we let go of the need to keep up with the latest fads.

This also helps kids become intentional consumers - discovering ways to repurpose what they already have. If I have learned anything in the past few years as a mum (and even as an owner of a toy store!) - it's that less is definitely more!
 
Natural Wooden Truck Toy
This vintage style truck is being used as an ice cream van - but in our own play at home it has also been an ambulance, farm ute, construction vehicle and more!
Going the Distance
While our heirloom toys have been handcrafted with the utmost care and attention to detail, it is important that you care for them correctly to ensure they can go the distance. 

As with any wooden toys, throwing or rough play could compromise the strength of the wood, which may result undesirable breakages. Our toys have been tested to meet NZ/AU/US/EU standards, but we do ask that you look for the age recommendation and take care with what you choose to provide if your little ones are prone to rougher forms of play. 
 
Wooden toys, even heirloom ones, are not indestructible - but the good news is that unlike plastic toys that become redundant when broken, wood can be fixed. All you need is a fine tipped paintbrush, an all purpose PVA or wood glue and a few moments to lovingly repair when needed. We also recommend using mineral oil or beeswax to rejuvenate dry looking wood on a regular basis.

Buying pieces we love enough to repair has become a thing of the past, but it really is as simple as some quality glue and a fine tip paint brush!
"Buy less, choose well. Make it last."
While Vivienne Westwood was talking about free enterprise and the need to address consumer culture and issues within the fashion industry here, this can apply to anything in our lives. 

Considered purchasing is the philosophy behind sustainable fashion and the 'Slow made' movement. Things we bring into our homes should not be considered disposable. Choose open ended pieces that will last through different ages and stages and can be played with in many different ways. Repair and take good care of your items so that they last longer.

"Quality rather than quantity - that is true sustainability." 

← Older Post



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published