Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A wooden Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!  1 year ago in the beginning of December I first put my toys online. I have been impressed with the results it has become a full grown hobby, even a regular part of my day. It began when I made toys for just our kids, then for our friends. Now I regularly ship toys to  foreign countries like Canada, Australia, England, Singapore, to name a few. What an amazing tool the internet is. According to my the analytics site since December 1st three weeks ago I have had over 5,500 visits to my site from 67 different countries.

This year  my most popular item by far has been this toy phone.

    The phone has been featured on various blogs, and promotional emails.  As a result it has outsold everything else hands down.
    For a few days during the peak of christmas shopping it looked like Santa's workshop around here. There were  toys in all stages of production and packages by the dozens destined to bring smiles to little faces literally all around the world. I had several late nights in a row but it was a lot of fun.
   Thank you to every one who bought from Dads Wooden Toys and to those who told others. Together we will bring a lot smiles on Christmas morning.

And remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season !


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nativity Sets

To honor the birth of our Lord
I made this nativity of maple board

I made it to be intricate
Yet not to be too delicate

It looks refined as a display
But it won't dent if the kids play

I recall a set my mother had
Putting it out made her so glad

But my siblings and my self
Just could not leave it on the shelf

Each year we broke another part
But that need not be with this fine art

Made of gorgeous natural wood
It's hard to break but still looks good

There are no chemicals paints or dyes
Just beauty of wood with no disguise

This work of art is all hand made
Six times thicker than laser cut grade

This means your set will last for years
A witness to the joy and tears

That come each Christmas to your home
A tiny token of Christ's Shalom

     I am offering several different sized Nativity scenes to fit any budget. Go to my Etsy shop to see them. 
And don't forget about the Curly Maple I still have some available but it is going fast.  It makes a beautiful nativity Scene.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finding the toys on the internet

  Until recently my toys were available online only on Etsy at 
The first new thing is that it is no longer necessary to remember the etsy part of the address. I acquired the domain name and have directed it to my etsy store. Now it is easy to remember. And easier to tell others

   I have also placed my toys on a few new venues.  Artfire and 1000markets are two smaller but somewhat similar venues for handmade goods.  For now the largest selection of my toys is still found on Etsy. If I ever determine that one of those venues is better I will direct traffic from  there.  The toys are priced the same on all the shops. Artfire charges me the least comission so if the item you want is there already please buy from there. However in order to increase my number of listing there I have to pay a monthly fee and I am watching to see how much traffic that site generates to determine it if is worth it.

  For now I thought I would share the links to those new shops in case you prefer those venues, and to give you something to do in case you were board.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Exotic wood for the Toys

I am so excited I just acquired a bunch of "curly maple". Normally my toys are made with hard maple. Curly maple is sometimes referred to as Tiger maple, or flame maple. No matter which name is used it is considered an exotic wood. It is a rare phenomenon that occurs during the growth of a hard maple tree. The result is that there are beautiful iridescent lines in the wood.

This wood is usually used to make fancy guitars, violins, or very fine furniture. A friend who runs a lumber mill about an hour from here gave me the wood otherwise I couldn't have afforded to use this wood without significantly raising my toy prices.
Most of my clients will not be familiar enough with lumber to realize how rare it is but I think everyone will enjoy the beautiful iridescent look.
I also received a single board of "bird's eye Maple" an even more rare phenomenon where little circles are found scattered through out the grain. I have yet to decide what to to make with that board.
So if you are ordering toys in the near future, It is very likely that you will get "curly maple" animals. I am very excited.

Here are some of the first toys made from the Curly maple.
In the lighting of these pictures the animals whose stripes are running vertically are very noticeable, the pieces whose stripes run horizontal were not as visible in the pictures. Interestingly enough when handling them they looked about the same.
Here is a wolverine in honor of Wolverine hardwoods where the lumber came from:

If you would like to purchase toys made of the Curly maple just mention your preference in the note to seller when purchasing from my Etsy shop. Remember the exact striping will be unique to each piece. As always there are no chemicals, dyes or finish on any of the toys I sell. The toys you see are just 100% wood.

To visit my toy store click here

Monday, October 5, 2009

Interview for the natural kids store

I am a part of a group of natural toy sellers on etsy a blog wanted to interview some of the members here are the questions. I thought you might find my rhyming responses interesting

Question1: The Toys in the Natural Kids Store seem to be throwbacks to a simpler more natural time of the human existence. Do you agree? Do you try to instill “old school” values and a way of life in your kids and family life and if so why?

Yes in times gone by, these toys were the norm
You could say in a way we try not to conform

When my wife and I went searching to find
toys that were natural and good for the mind

The toys every where made noise and light
but I think the kids not the toys should be bright

I like that these toys say "life is what you make it"
not "whatever you find in the box, you must take it"

I enjoy the assurance that these toys won't conflict
with the values my family and I want to depict

when buying the latest of a cartoon craze
a parent is tied to the values they praise

if that character lies or sasses its dad
then I promote that to my little lad

The toys in our store don't come from a script
you can rest easy no values are shipped

Our toys come to you, a perfect blank slate
the lessons to learn are yours to create

Question 2: Why types of natural materials are used in your craft and why is that so important?

I know natural things are generally good
that is why everything I make is wood

It's natural and nontoxic you see
Like I think more things should be

No chemicals paints or dyes
just wood without any disguise

I also enjoy the comforting fact
that my toys left anywhere long enough stacked

will eventually return into the ground
leaving nothing unhealthy that could be found

many new toys are destined to fill
a garbage dump somewhere disguised as a hill

even when thousands of years have past
those broken toys will continue to last

Question 3. How do these toys compare in terms of fun and creative use to mainstream toys?

New toys it seems have one use intended
Very few are made to be open ended

I want my kids to actively play
so I avoid toys they would just watch most the day

When you give kids a toy that's hand made
it changes slightly how it gets played.

The toy is a toy but also a reminder
their mind is the actual toy and fun finder

the toy teaches kids that the things they may need
aren't always bought on a treadmill of greed

instead one must give their thinker a chance
to find the solution for their circumstance

Question 4. What is it that you want to accomplish with your store?

The goals for this store are many yet one
ultimately we want kids to have fun

but also we want to be kind to the trees
not filling up landfills way up past our knees

Each of us too hopes to earn extra money
a store that didn't now that would be funny

But profits are not our only concern
for happy bright kids we also yearn

Friday, October 2, 2009

Toys or art?

A local children's boutique Hopscotch has been carrying my toys . They sent me an email inviting me to attend a evening open house. This event was in coordination with several other stores on that street. There would be free food and a lot of the local art would be showcased.
I thought it sounded interesting and decided to check it out. When I got there it turns out the event involved showcasing the work of 30 local "Artists" throughout the various stores. Visitors to the shops were encouraged to see visit all the shops by getting their fliers signed by as many "Artists" as possible. I was one of the artists :)

The owners of Hopscotch had set up a wonderful display of my toys right in the front of the store. I am so appreciative of their promotion of the toys.

I had never really considered the toys to be art before, at least not to that degree. But it was fun. I suppose if paint dribbled on a canvas can be worth millions my hand drawn and hand cut toys can be considered art as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sets for Popular stories, and Fairy Tales

I am going to try making sets that coincide with popular fairy tales. Here is Goldilocks and the three bears. I am planning to do Little red riding hood, as well as Peter and the wolf soon.

If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment. The ideal suggestion would be popular enough to have wide appeal and include 3-8 characters / animals. Fairy tales are exceptional since there are no copyright issues

Goldilocks and the three bears
is a story every parent shares

Why not add to your kid's fun
with natural toys for everyone

as you read aloud the famous tale
your kids will pose these toys I mail

no chemicals, or paints, or dyes
just wood without any disguise

the set includes young Goldilocks
and the three bears who are wooden blocks

Friday, August 21, 2009

New toy families

I have had some fun new toys lately, thanks to some custom orders. Here are a few of my most recent additions. As always if you want to see additional pictures or to buy anything visit Dadswoodentoys shop . This family of cats came as a request from a buyer and I like the idea so I am now offering it.
A customer who obviously had a soft spot for great danes ordered this dog. I would love to make more for anyone who is interested.I have been considering a crocodile / alligator for some time. Now I have one. My dilema is should it be in the American animals section or the african section of my shop? Of course both places have them. If you have an opinion post a comment.

This cell phone has been a hit with my kids. They each have one and Jazmin and Gabe have both colored theirs. Benji our one year old even likes to find it and pretend to make phone calls

My kid's favorite game is imitation
because of their limitless imagination
When I use my phone to speak with a friend
my kids want my phone, and then “oops” they push send
My contact list would get calls day and night
this was a problem, it just wasn't right.
So I made these phones for my little guys
solving this problem made me feel wise
Now if you have someone whose nagging won't end
to pick up your phone and eventually press send
buy them this phone, because it is wood
I guarantee the calls made will all be good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back from vacation

We had a wonderful trip visiting family and friends. And relaxing as a family. We are back now. I have taken my Etsy shop off of vacation mode and I am ready for some orders

Thanks for you patience.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going on vacation

It is vacation time!! I so enjoy making toys I would probably choose to continue even during vacation however all my tools are too cumbersome to take with us.

We will be driving from Michigan to California to be with Nancy's family and returning by car shortly after the 4th of July. In all we will gone a little over 2 weeks.

I put my Etsy shop on vacation mode because I didn't want to disappoint anyone with a two week wait who might place an order in a hurry. However if you would like to buy something and don't mind waiting until the second or third week of July to recieve it, please place an order by email.

I plan to check my email as often as possible.

And because I don't like writing posts without pictures here are a few pictures from previous trips or vacations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

People are spreading the word!

It has been only about 6 months since I started selling these toys online. We started with this blog and then quickly found Etsy which has been fantastic for helping people find the toys. A few of the people who bought the toys have mentioned them in their own blogs I even got mentioned by an apparently well known product critiquing site. So here are a few of the places that I am aware of that have shown my toys online.

The most traffic has come from this mention of my toys as a good alternative to the main stream toy that was being reviewed in this article at Zrecommends my toys are mentioned a little below the picture of the bunnies.

Happy Customer Blogs:

4 I don't know if the owner of this blog ever bought any toys but they took the time tell others.

5 This lady is starting a day care and bought several toys and then put us on her website as a recommended business

If you have a blog or facebook or any place you would like to mention Dad's Wooden Toys it would be greatly appreciated. I can send you fancy click to shop buttons to my etsy shop like the one on the side of this page if you ask. Or you can just send them to

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Large orders welcome

I just thought I would let it be known that I welcome large orders. If you know of someone with a shop or who may want a bunch for party favors. Pass my name along.

Here is an order I recently sent to a buffalo farm.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some new toys

I keep getting requests for different animals. Each time I get nervous as if this is the animal that somehow won't turn out but they always do.
Here are a few of the latest creations:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where the magic is made

I have been staying pretty busy making lots of toys and really enjoying myself. I recently made a buffalo and recieved a request for 36 of them from a buffalo farmer that wants to sell them in their gift shop.

I also spoke with a local store who sell natural children's items such as diapers, slings and of course toys. So soon I will be in wholesale business. How much fun is that? I am pretty excited.

I thought I would show you what my workshop consists of. Really it is just a work spot.

most evenings as soon as the kids go to sleep I slip downstairs and make some toys. so if you are reading this post between 8-10:30pm there is probably a good chance that I am standing there now, or seated at my desk sanding the toys.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Teethers for tiny toddlers

I have a lot of interesting requests lately for various toys and have had a lot of fun making "new" toys. My favorite and most popular new thing have been these baby teethers. because they involve a good bit more work than the other toys. I am charging a little bit more than the standard animals but they are still a bargain at only 7 dollars each!

here is the prose that I posted with the turtle

If tiny toothless toddlers could talk they'ld tell you this totally natural toy turtle is terrific for teething.this turtle teething toy is made totally of maple tree. No added trimmings or toppings at all.So toss a teething turtle toy into your cart today if you tend to any toothless toddlers .

Details: made of meticulously sanded maple it is 2.25 inches tall, and 4 inches long.

Let me know what you think of them

Monday, February 16, 2009

A new kind of Toy

If your kids are at all like mine
they see you often while online

their favorite thing is immitation
with just a chair and imagination

they have a desk and make phone calls
no matter where the idea falls

So I made this wood computer
it was a "Hit" a perfect suitor

I kept it simple there are no keys
but you could paint them if you please

That is the rhyme I put up with my latest toy. So far I have sold only animals and people figures. Some time back I made the kids a laptop since they wanted one. I decided to see if anyone else might like one. It has been viewed more times in 3 days than most of my toys that have been up over a month! It appears that it is popular item, or perhaps people are just very curious to see what a wooden computer looks like. I haven't sold one yet but it as only been 3 days.

Let me know your thoughts.

Here is the link to the item on Etsy

Monday, February 2, 2009

The most updated toy info

I have had quite a bit of traffic on where I placed my toys. I am finding that is the best use of my energy when it comes to keeping things up to date. I will continue make updates here but not nearly as frequently. So I suggest that you check out that site as well if you are interested in buying any toys.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interchangeable Toys

look here and see my latest creation
toys that will swap per your kids imagination

These animals can all trade their legs
if a giraffe wants legs like an ape he just begs

your kid will exercise their imagination
inventing each minute a new combination

many animals I find wish they were taller
so switch with another who may wish to be smaller

the combos are endless and so is the fun
each switchable animal isn't just one

each of these animals is carefully cut
all the way from the front to the you know what

to split into two halves a bottom and top
so the switching and trading won't ever stop

every changeable animal here
will fit any other there is no need to fear

each is the same width where they come apart
so feel free to put several into your cart

Currently available interechangeable animals





pig, (not pictured)






cow, (not pictured)