This post is brought to you by HABA USA and written by guest blogger Eleni Glader.
As 2015 approached, I identified three personal goals that would benefit my family in the New Year and “tools” for success, which is where HABA entered into the picture…
Goal #1: Play More My daughter, “Beans” is almost 3, which means she is still young enough to believe I am cool enough to play with her. But--apartment-hunting, enrolling in a nutrition class and writing a children’s book manuscript got in the way our playtime together. Beans got less of me and more screen-time on YouTube and Nick Jr. than I would have liked. With the colder weather, more time spent in-doors (often at home), I needed to make a change.
For 2015, I decided Taking Time To Play with Beans is a priority (in addition to settling into our new home and making progress on my children’s book manuscript)—so no classes for me this semester. Something had to give.
Much thanks to HABA, we are starting off the New Year right. We have a solid play-repertoire of imaginary play, board games, arts and crafts and story time. The Princess Rosalina play tent takes center-stage (usually as shelter from a “storm” during a tea party in the “forest” or a camping tent).
To take it down a notch, we switch to board games. First Orchard never gets played-out. Beans loves setting it up—she lays out the path and arranges the orchard. While in other games we’re competitors, in this one we get to be on the same team, which makes Beans a better sport. She is even sympathetic to the crow when we beat him! For more variety, I do want to add more games like Pizzeria Allegro and Lucky Carrots Green Market to the mix this winter.
When Beans is not making pirates and snakes, we make props out of paper or play dough to use with the play tent—mostly “logs,” “flames,” and “marshmallows on sticks” for our indoor camping adventures.
We top off playtime with story time, which takes place on King Marbleball, who at the very least is a HABA beanbag chair we fit on comfortably together. King M. also watches over all the dolls, is a distinguished tea party guest and gives good hugs. HABA offers a few large beanbags that are all far more than a place to sit—they are a celebration of childhood and a cozy place to imagine and play.
Goal #2: Stay Active Dance parties, marching bands and bear-hunts are great ways to stay active at home. A HABA Doll Pram keeps it going (only more quietly) and is just so much fun to push and maneuver with its amazingly smooth and quiet wheels. Beans gets on the pretend subway and gets out at the park (the dining room) and goes for a very long stroll for a very long time.
The pram comes with two beautiful cushions so that passengers are comfy. The height adjustable handle can accommodate a handbag or a shopping bag. Like other wooden doll prams, this one is super sturdy but what makes it a real gem is its sweet silhouette; metal axels (instead of wooden dowels); and large wooden wheels lined with rubber that doesn’t fall off (instead of plastic)—I challenge anyone to find all three features in one pram available in the US other than HABA’s! Beans is 37” tall and will be able to put on serious mileage before she outgrows it.
Goal #3: Spend Less We don’t have a heap of toys, but a thoughtful selection of built-to-last toys with great play value, which is what I call “HABAnomics.” Many HABA toys are also multi-use—sand toys can be used in kitchen play, game pieces can be used with blocks or to play grocer.
Sometimes toys have small parts that get lost or eaten by a dog. As a general toy-buying rule, I try to stick to companies like HABA that care about sustainability not only in production but after sales too by offering replacement parts so that a toy can continue to be treasured. It makes me sad to see newish toys rendered unsuitable for donation, waiting on a curb to be taken to a landfill.
Using HABA’s wish list as a planning tool prevents me from making impulse buys. I can step away, go back to it, reassess and prioritize my future purchases. And let’s be honest—more efficiently obsess over everything I want to buy because it’s all on one page!
About The Author
Eleni Glader is a wife, mother, toy-lover (to the extent that she designed her own indoor/outdoor sensory play table-play kitchen), aspiring children’s book writer and occasional blogger on Wired Academic (an education and tech news site). Eleni has a blog called BebaChic, featuring toddler girl fashion (another passion). She hopes to complete her nursing prerequisites before they change the requirements! While living in Berlin, Germany Eleni discovered HABA, which quickly became a favorite toy brand and source of inspiration.