It’s not often that I shop on Etsy without a goal, I’m distracted pretty easily so it’s usually for birthday decorations or outfits for a celebration. I never really thought to explore the eco-friendly side of toys on Etsy and was so grateful when Kristen – the owner and work from home mom behind Mouse & Moose contacted me. All of us firmly believe in and stand behind companies that support and encourage pretend play. We live in a society full of distraction and electronics which can hinder your children’s ability to exercise their imagination. Did you know that pretend play helps to foster new language skills, emotional and social ques (including conflict resolution), problem solving, nurturing (just watch your little with a dolly!), empathy, fine motor skills and so much more. Children from a very young age learn most of their life skills from hands on play. And how much fun is it watching them play pretend?
Mouse & Moose aims to create educational and inspirational toys that will encourage little ones to use their creativity and imaginations – to recapture what has been lost in contemporary culture. Using only the finest wool felt, Mouse & Moose creates a wide variety of handmade toys from pretend play food, to dress up crowns and accessories, masks, and stuffed animals. Stuffed items are also stuffed with wool from a local farm in Alberta, Canada.
It took me all of about 2 minutes to get hooked by her Etsy store. I had visions of Alivia playing with her dolls having a pretend breakfast with the Mouse & Moose 100% wool Grand Slam Ultimate Breakfast & Sandwich Set. With bright vibrant colors and realistic stitching it’s not hard to want to collect the entire set. With everything from pieces of bread, sunny side up eggs and tomatoes your little one can create their perfect pretend meal for their dolls – or mom and dad! It’s easy to see the incredible workmanship that goes into each and every single piece she creates. Double stitched, no loose threads and life-like detail – these are truly collectible interactive toys.
Mouse & Moose isn’t just about play food though and that was what really impressed me about their store. They really have pretend play covered for everyone. From wool play food and sets, fun fuzzy animal masks, prince and princess crowns, stuffed animals and more. I even spied some adorable certain popular pony show inspired toys on her facebook page. I was so impressed with the variety and knowing that everything was sourced out locally and was made with sustainable products. If you can imagine it, Kristin seems to be able to create it beautifully out of wool.
Much like Kristin, I’ve longed to fill Alivia’s toy box with toys that would grow with her. That would seem more valuable the more worn they became. Ones that become treasured and carried through the different stages of growth with her. Ones that would warm my heart when she would ask me to play with her – creating new stories and new adventures together.
When we were asked to choose a product to review, we decided to go with a best seller – the Woodland Wolf Cowl – a beautiful wool blend hooded cowl that is available in sizes 12-18m to adult. Alivia has always loved pretending to be a kitty and can often times be found meowing throughout the house chasing the cat – so choosing something she could use to transform into a kitty whenever she wanted seemed like a no brainer for us.
We were asked to measure Alivia’s little head and shoulders and forwarded the measurements via email to Kristin, within a week it was delivered to my house and it was stunning! It is a little bit on the heavier side made with lusciously soft chunky wool in our chosen colors. In fact, I was a little bit jealous that it wasn’t going to fit me! The cowl is designed to go down over the shoulders and can be made to accommodate the bulk of a coat underneath – we opted to have it made a little bit bigger to have a bit of room to grow.
For everyday use it’s perfect for pretend dress up and sillies and makes the perfect accompaniment to a halloween costume. And for all the moms out there – on the practical side it’s warm, cozy and the perfect way to keep littles heads warm in the winter time without having to argue over what hat they are going to wear (or else they aren’t going outside!).
What immediately impressed me about the cowl was how it instantly transformed Alivia into a wolf (or a kitty, depending on who you ask) – she put it on and was suddenly growling around the house pretending to chase us and giggling away. We had originally thought this might end up only being a dress up item – but it’s certainly become a bit more of a staple in her wardrobe. It wasn’t just Alivia who was hooked on being a woodland animal either, my niece Scarlett was transformed into a grrr’ing animal when she was running around wearing it at our house! We’ve been enjoying our cowl for some time now and I have to say that it looks and feels more beautiful as time goes on, the wool holds up so well against toddler spills and pulls and seems to get softer and softer each day!
If you’d love to see (and feel, snuggle with, pine over… all of the above) some of Kristin’s amazing creations, you can catch her at the Baby & Tot show October 24 & 25 at the Abbotsford Tradex! She’ll be featuring some of her top selling products and some must-haves alongside a full venue of vendors specializing in baby, children and mom.
Exciting news – One lucky reader is going to win a $35 Etsy Shop credit from Mouse & Moose! Enter below. Open to residents of Canada.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do your littles love to play dress up? Do they have a favorite outfit?