When my daughter was little, her favorite toys always seemed to be the simplest ones - rag dolls, chunky puzzles and blocks. She could spend hours creating her own little word, building magical cities, caring for her baby and fitting pieces together. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom for the first three years of her life, and I have many wonderful memories of sitting on the floor with Brit when she was a toddler, helping her put puzzles together, having a tea party, and building crazy towers as high as we could. She had several block sets of various materials (plastic, cardboard and wood). I'd always hoped to find a wooden block set like I had when I was a kid, but nothing I found in the stores compared to that set. My grandfather was a carpenter, and he sanded all the odds and ends left from his projects down to random sizes and shapes for all of us grandkids to build with.
Brit is 14 now, and the dolls and blocks have been replaced with guitars, cell phones and lip gloss, but I still keep a well-stocked toy box in my house for my younger nieces and nephews who delight in visiting with me (ok, actually I think they come for the toys and sugar, but hey, I still feel loved :).
I recently stumbled on Oompa, a fantastic company that carries a wonderful, ever expanding mix of wooden toys, baby toys, soft dolls, play food, ball tracks, play mats and other beautiful, high quality wooden toys. No licensed characters, no electronic sounds or lights - Oompa toys are crafted to engage a child's imagination. Oompa also carries furniture and decor, backpacks and diaperbags, strollers and much more.
I had the chance to review the Bajo Train to Build, Multicolored. I love this train set! The pieces are brightly colored wood, and have the same chunky feel and weight as the set I played with when I was little. The train goes together simply - bases have pegs, pieces have holes, and they simply stack together. As the pieces are such a good size, it's easy for even the smallest hands to put this together. I also like that this set is versatile - while you can create a fantastic train, pieces can also be stacked for a house, bridge, etc., and I know my nieces will enjoy this as much as the nephews :) This train is going to be a very well loved toy, and will last for years.
You can follow Oompa on Twitter, fan Oompa on Facebook, or check them out on YouTube. You can also sign up for their newsletter for new products and savings.
Oompa Toys and other Oompa merchandise can be purchased online or in their retail store.
Oompa is generously offering one SSF&G reader a Bajo Train to Build - Multicolored set of their own! Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 1/25. Winner selected via random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. Train provided, and shipped directly by, Oompa or their affiliate.
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