Why I love Felt Toys – lets hear it for handmade!

6 Mar
Homemade, handmade toys

This handmade stuffed dog (or is it a bear) has been in my family for generations.

After the sixth or seventh time my daughter turned to me and said ‘We gotta get that!’ while watching cartoons this morning I had enough and suggested we head to the play kitchen.  Spending the next hour or so playing with her large collection of felt food I realized what a respite homemade toys really are.  In a world dominated by advertising where children are viewed as simple marketing opportunities, handmade toys don’t ask you to collect the whole set or sing along to their jazzy theme songs, all they ask is that you use some imagination and leave the batteries behind.

I feel comforted in knowing that my grandchildren will not have to ask “what’s that?” when they play with the wool felt carrots I have created as they will with the Teletubbies, Sponge Bobs, and Dora the Explorers.  Don’t get me wrong these toys have their place but not every toy needs to have a logo or Television programs’ name slapped on its side.

In a world of mass machine production where our childrens’ toys are made thousands of miles away in foreign countries by unknown people under unknown conditions with unknown materials there is something wonderful about a handmade toy.  A link to the past and a promise for the future.  Well make playthings with lasting value that transcend fads and corporate marketing schemes.

Handmade toys have a unique character and story that can’t be said of mass-produced hunks of plastic.  Each detail is a choice lovingly made, each stitch an act of love.  I can’t promise that my daughter will treasure or even keep her handmade toys forever but I can be certain that looking at pictures of her childhood she will have a story to tell about the toys her mama made her.
These toys don’t come with stories they create them, they quietly sit back and let your child be the star of playtime, they don’t suggest you memorize all their names, instead they become part of lifelong memories.
I just thought I would share a little of my rumination with you in hopes that you all feel the same.
Lets hear it for handmade!

Margaux napping with the felt toy her older brother made years ago...a slug.

9 Responses to “Why I love Felt Toys – lets hear it for handmade!”

  1. pollyw March 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    Yay! I love handmade toys, too! I really want to try my hand at the felt food when I get a chance, my little chefs will have a ball!

  2. Jane March 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Gorgeous post! I’ve been making felt food for my girls lately, and they love it. It’s so nice to see them playing creatively rather than by the prescribed rules that are marketed to them by mass producers.

  3. Patricia March 10, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    You make some very good points, wish there were more blogs like yours.

  4. Connie March 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Great post – I couldn’t agree more!

  5. rabbit cages for sale March 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

    • americanfeltandcraft March 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

      No I’m sorry we do not currently have a newsletter, we do try to update the blog on a regular basis as well as having a facebook page you can subscribe to.

  6. Handmade toys July 12, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Hear hear! I’m not against mass produced toys as such (love LEGO for example) but there is something about handmade toys that factory made toys just dont have.

    I am a toy maker myself and many people I sell toys to will email me and tell me how much they and their kids love the toys – that is very rewarding.


  7. Childrens Toys August 27, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    I agree totally, hand made toys are wonderful things! They are so much more personal and as you say less demanding on the environment.

  8. gia@ bean bags for kids May 19, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Yes, I definitely agree with you, felt fabric and even felt papers are my favorite materials to use for my projects.

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