A Hands-On Christmas

If there's one thing I want my daughter to always know growing up, it's that Jesus loves her. And we love learning about the real Christmas story every Christmas, because nothing proves just how much Jesus love us than by the story of how God sent his Son to earth for us. Yes, all the other stuff is fun, Santa and his elves are cute, the reindeer are adorable too... But that's just it really, only fun. The Christmas story that is always our favorite, is the one of Jesus' Birth. So this year we thought it would be fun to not only just tell her the story of Jesus birth, but let her have some hands on learning and playing as well! And with the help of one of our new favorite shops, The Wooden Wagon, we can do just that, with these perfect handmade wooden Ostheimer Nativity Figures.

The Wooden Wagon was founded by a stay at home dad in 2003, and they continue to be a family business, which is one of the things we love most about them. They seek only the highest quality natural toys, mostly from Europe and the USA and they pay the closest attention to the play value, safety, workmanship and materials used in the creation of each timeless piece they sell. They sell only items that they would want in their own home and only sell items that they would love their own children to play with, so you know you're getting good products.

Most of the manufacturers they source their products from are also family owned, and all share the same values of using only the best materials in their products, whether it be FSC wood, or organic cotton, wool or fabric, or non toxic paints, stains and finishes, they oversee every single step of the production of their toys. Most toys that The Wooden Wagon offers are hand made, whether it be cut by hand, carefully turned on a lathe or artfully sewn and detailed by hand. The manufacturers that The Wooden Wagon works with are of the utmost quality and the best, safest, earth friendly work environments.

The Wooden Wagon prides themselves on not only the selection of items they offer, but also the play value of each and every toy. Open ended toys that spark a child's imagination, toys that lead children to become their own individual selves and styles of play, toys that a child can play with many different ways and toys that children will not only get hours of play with, but years. Toys that can be passed down to your children's children. Another reason to love them is that the Ostheimer Toys they sell can basically be reinvented every time a child plays with them. Paired with other toys or more Ostheimer Toys the imagination can change and the story is different each day they play, which extends the value of these toys and the creative play they conjure even more.

Ostheimer is such a unique company because they handmake every single toy by hand and oversee every step involved in making their wooden toys. Choosing, stamping, carving, sanding, painting, wrapping and boxing them up... Each toy goes through 15 steps total before being ready for sale and shipment. As they like to say over at Ostheimer Toys, "every person who touches the figures gives a little bit of their heart to the figure as it goes on its way" which is a lot of love and heart, especially considering how many steps each little wooden toy makes before they get to you!

Simple toys, the ones without flashing lights or noise or batteries that always seem to need replacing can sometimes be the most inspiring toys for a child, the ones they'll go back to again and again. Sometimes less is more, ya know? Slower play, quieter play, all fostered by the natural, simple quiet beauty of wooden toys, perfect for  further developing a child's imagination, creativity and originality in the fast paced and noisy world that we live in. At the end of the day, The Wooden Wagon strives to offer the toys that children of all ages (what's that again, children from 1 to 92?) will enjoy bringing out again and again. The toys that bring the most joy to a child's eyes and sparks the best kind of laughter. That is what The Wooden Wagon is all about.

So this Christmas, we'll be getting hands on, learning more about the real reason for the season now that she's getting old enough to really understand, and we'll have a blast wit these Ostheimer Nativity Figures from over at The Wooden Wagon. The lovely thing about these figures is that you have so many options! You can purchase sets already put together, or you can purchase one or a few at a time to mix and match and create your very own personalized collection!

Right now we have this Mary, this Joseph, this Baby Jesus In The Manger, this Nativity Ox, this Nativity Donkey, this Standing Shepherd, this Sheep Eating, the Open Palm Tree as a setting and of course this lovely Angel with A Star. The cool thing about purchasing them separately is that you can collect them over the years instead of having to buy a lot at once. Many customers of the Wooden Wagon (especially Grandparents) start giving Ostheimer figures as gifts to their (grand)children at a young age, and by the time the child has grown up and is an adult, ready to move out on their own, they have quite a nice collection of Ostheimer Nativity Figures for their apartment or home! They're perfect for Advent gifts, as birthday gifts if your child is born around Christmas or even as stocking stuffers. I'm seriously loving this tradition and I'm think we may have to start this as well! I know I definitely want to keep adding to our little collection and plan on purchasing at least one new piece each year from now on.

Don't forget that they make more than just nativity figures though! They have so many other figures perfect for everyday play too! People and families, castles, knights and princesses, farm animals, exotic animals, forest animals, and even fairy tale figures! They're all so fun and perfectly unique! Head over to The Wooden Wagon to check them all out and start your own Ostheimer collection! 

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