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A Few of our Favorite Things – 2017

We are often asked about our favorite products, toys, supplies, brands and more.  I’ve been thinking for awhile about putting together another list of favorite things and figured with the holidays approaching, it’s the perfect time to share links and discount codes. Many of these links (in the blue font) are affiliate or associate links, and purchases made through them help to support our family and allow us to continue to inspire and connect with all of you. So, I want to say ‘thank you’ for the support, love and kindness you all show us.

ART SUPPLIES

STICKERS – Have you heard of Pipsticks? It’s a super fun monthly sticker subscription. It brightens my day when I find the envelope in my mailbox and we all love the fun, silly, shiny, sparkly and unique stickers. My boys use them to decorate their notebooks, make cards and collages.  I’ve decorated my computer, my phone, my planner and more for some daily cheer. This would make a great gift for a teen or a crafty friend or even yourself 🙂

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METALLIC PAINT – I got so many questions on this Instagram post about what kind of paint we used. Well, this beautiful piece was created with the classic brand – CRAYOLA! I love the little paint tubs and we have most of the colors but the metallic set is really something special. The tubs are the perfect size for little hands to open and close, move around, and to get to the bottom with a paint brush.

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WATERCOLOR TRAVEL SET – This past summer we travelled to California and I put together a travel journal kit for my boys and myself.  I was really impressed with the watercolor set that I purchased to go along with our kit. It’s super compact but the quality of the paint is high and the colors are so vibrant. We loved having a paint set with us to document our travels.

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OOLY – We recently received a big box of amazing art supplies from OOLY and while we loved everything that we’ve tried so far, my 4.5 year has fallen in love with  the Mumbo Jumbo Markers paired with the Oh My Ombre Mini Journals.  He loves that the markers come in a box with a little handle and he carries it around from our art shelf to his desk to the floor to the table. And maybe it’s because he’s somewhat ‘mini’ himself, but he just loves these little journals and fills up the pages one by one with his drawings and observations of the day. We bring both of these items to his big brother’s soccer games and out to restaurants.

 

Even Mama got something in the box of goodies from OOLY – a Filpside Notebook!  And I usually carry around the Color Luxe Gel Pens in the Pencil Pouch for both myself and my kids to use.

***OOLY has a great incentive going on where you get Free Shipping on any order over $30 AND you get 20% off your first order when you sign up for their email list. They also have lots of holiday sales coming up!***

 

CLAY – You all know we love our Clay Play. I’ve been asked so many times about the brand that we use that we share so often. Well, we love the Sargent Art Plastilina Modeling Clay for many reasons. First of all, it’s non-hardening. So much so that you can forget that you have it in an open bowl in the trunk of your car for a week and it still won’t harden. Just a for instance…

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So, that means children can continue to add to their creations for days and it saves money because you don’t have to continue to replace hardened clay or play doh if (when…) it gets left out accidentally. I also love that it is hard and encourages both fine AND gross motor development (that’s how hard it is!). You might, in fact, think I’m completely crazy when you first open the package because of how hard it is but, trust me, once your kid gets going, it loosens up a bit. It is also a great material for those that need some sensory input.

 

 

SPIN ART – For some reason, we just discovered salad spinner spin art this year.  I purchased a salad spinner, squeeze paint bottles and placemats from IKEA and we all fell in love with this super fun art project. I love the products from IKEA but if you can’t get there or don’t like shopping there, I found some similar products on Amazon for you.  This salad spinner looks comparable in size and these squeeze bottles can be filled with paints you already have. There are loads of tutorials, hacks and endless ideas on how to take your salad spinner spin art to the next level, just search on Pinterest!

 

TRAVEL EASEL – During one of my many thrifting sprees, I found this amazing portable wooden easel. I found the same one on Amazon to share with you all after getting so many inquiries about where to purchase. I got mine for $5 at the thrift store, but I’d absolutely pay the $15 they’re asking on Amazon.  It’s a great piece to have to bring to the park or the beach and it makes my kids feel quite official. Pair this with the travel water color set for a great gift!

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SEWING – Another new favorite activity is sewing. We’ve started off slow and easy by using burlap, yarn, plastic needles and embroidery hoops.

 

TOYS

FAT BRAIN TOYS – We recently partnered with Fat Brain Toys to share some of their amazing products but we have loved a number of them for years. In particular, we have had and used their Twig Block Set for about six years now. My kids use them to stack and build but also label and sort colors, practice balance, use fine motor skills, work on hand eye coordination, play with geometry, symmetry and other general math concepts. Their unique design allows for added levels of imaginative play, including storytelling.

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***Get $5 off any $25 purchase at Fat Brain Toys with CODE: OE-2929 now through December 15th!***

 

BELLALUNA TOYS – We recently received an amazing set of Grimm’s wooden blocks from Bella Luna Toys. The blocks are superb quality, gorgeous, bright colors and my boys just love them. Bella Luna carries so many wooden and Waldorf inspired toys.

***Bella Luna is offering Naturally Curious Children followers 10% off your purchase now through November 15th with CODE: CURIOUS10. Enjoy!***

 

LITTLE MISS WORKBENCH – My friend Michele, the owner/designer/builder and all around toy making genius, is offering Naturally Curious Children followers an amazing holiday discount. But, first, I need to share some of our favorites. Our first LMW toy were the Mali cameras and they have become a staple. They come with us on adventures at the beach, occupy bored passengers on long car rides and are just beautiful to look at when just lying around on a table or hanging up ready for the next journey. The fishing pole set has also been consistently played with since it landed on our doorstep. I keep a chalkboard phone in my purse at all times. And know that when you purchase something from Michele you are buying a lovingly, hand crafted toy and helping to support a lovely family.

***Use CODE: Naturaljoy for 40% off your purchase from Little Miss Workbench!! Do not pass up this incredible deal. Just make sure to follow LMW on Instagram and get shopping!***

MIRUS TOYS – Another super sweet, small business owner recently sent us some of her amazing toys and I am blown away by their beauty and craftsmanship. It’s clear that Suba makes each piece with love. Her shop has educational materials and fun toys for all age levels.

SUMMER FUN

KAYAK – One of the best gifts we’ve ever received was this kayak. My oldest got it for his 6th birthday and took to it immediately. Every kid who’s tried it has been able to learn quickly how to manage it and has a blast. If you spend any time by the water, I recommend getting one.

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BEACH WAGON – And one of the best items I’ve purchased for myself is my beach wagon. I have used this guy SOOO much. It maneuvers well in the sand and holds so much.  It’s also easy to pull, my 7 year old pulls it the long walk from the car to where we park ourselves for the day. The best part though is that it folds up easily and slips right in the trunk. We’ve even mastered carrying the kayak on top of the wagon for the walk to the water by using a bungee cord over the top.

 

WATER BOTTLES – Not necessarily a summer only item, but we particularly love these Contigo water bottles because they keep our drinks ice cold all day at the beach, even when sitting in the hot sun. I feel like I’ve been searching for the perfect water bottle forever and I *think* we finally found the one that works best for our family. For me, they are easy to clean, you can randomly grab them for cheap on Amazon (always check all the colors, some get marked way down), and they keep drinks super cold all day. For my 7 year old, there is no plastic or silicone straw or spout to chew on. I’ve had to throw away so many water bottles that have been ruined by his sensory seeking chewing habit but this one eliminates any of that from happening. For my 4 year old, the 16oz size bottle works great for his littler hands AND he’s able to use it easily (some similar bottles have been difficult for him to maneuver). So, this one is a win for us all, hopefully it will be for you, too!

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MISC.

BOLGA BASKETS – These beautiful, hand crafted baskets are just my favorite thing for storage and carrying things from here to there. We’ve used them for blocks, books, art supplies, picnics, beach collecting (you can bring in the water!), traveling and more.

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LUNCH BAG – I found these amazing lunch bags this summer and immediately fell in love with how gorgeous they are. Finding out that the images are created by artists from all over the world was a huge bonus. When we received the bags there was a card with a description of the artist and their work. We also got the elephant bag for my sister and learned that proceeds go to The Davide Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, another bonus! The bags are machine washable, lightweight and fit a ton. Pick one up for your kids and yourself!

 

That’s it for now, friends! Check back again soon, we may be adding more coupon codes 🙂

 

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