Shop Small: Quality Toys and Books from Chinaberry

I was first introduced to Chinaberry about 4 years ago, when my friend gave me their catalog to find good books for kids. As I looked through the catalog I saw that they also carried really cool, “non-junky” toys. We don’t buy our kids a lot of toys. If we do buy toys we find toys that last (even the test of time) and can give them quality play. Chinaberry introduced me to a variety of toys and books and I was so happy to see that their warehouse/headquarters was not too far from where I live.

Whenever a kid’s birthday comes up, I usually go to Chinaberry first. Their website has great suggestions for books by age group and toys that have been personally tested by their employees. Below are products that I’ve purchased from Chinaberry and have gotten great response to.

Kick Flipper

I got this for a 7-year-old boy who just moved into a house located on a steep hill. Since he’s not likely going to skateboard in his neighborhood, this allows him to practice some moves indoors and even in his backyard. You can go down grass in this thing! The moment he opened it all the kids wanted to play with it. He almost forgot to open the rest of his gifts… almost.

Sports Disks

I forgot who I bought this for, but I’m pretty sure it was for a 6-year old. The toy looks pretty simple but it keeps kids active and they can find creative ways to play with the disks. I love the fact that you can throw the disks, use the ball that comes with it to rally back and forth, and even use it in a pool (the disks won’t sink).

Makedo 

If you know me, you know my love for cardboard. I’ve instilled that love in my children as well. I bought this Makedo kit two years ago and we still use it today. It gives you the tools you to create objects by connecting pieces of cardboard or pretty much anything you can poke a hole through. Again, it’s simple— little pegs and hinges and a multi-tool. The multi-tool will safely saw cardboard and the pieces are reusable. When we’re done enjoying our “creations” or wanting to reclaim space, we just take apart the pieces and store it back in the tube. The cardboard goes in recycling and we didn’t have to use up ungodly amounts of glue or duct tape to play with cardboard. Unfortunately, this product is no longer available on Chinaberry’s website but I’ve spotted it in their outlet store at the warehouse for a great deal. So San Diego locals, go get one before it’s all gone!

Solar Print Kit

Do you have a kid who likes to explore and pick up rocks and objects whenever you’re out and about? I know I do—two of them, in fact. I got a solar print kit two years ago as an activity for my daughter’s birthday party. It was so fun to do. We used shells from the beach and found rocks and leaves to make the prints. You basically lay the objects on the paper, set it out in the sun for a few minutes and then dunk the paper in water to let the image set. You can get creative and even make artwork out of it. The results are beautiful.

Great Books for all Ages!

Chinaberry also has great books. The best part of shopping at the outlet located in their warehouse is that they give you a free gift, usually a book, with your purchase. Here are a few books that I’ve purchased or received.

In My Flower

I bought a few of these types of books for my niece. They are ADORABLE. A little finger puppet sits in the middle while you turn the pages. You can engage the baby while reading the book with its colorful pages and by moving the puppet. Chinaberry carries seven different board books in this series.

Sylvie & True

Sylvie and True are unlikely roommates in a one-bedroom apartment. This book shares mini stories about their friendship and antics. It’s a very sweet book and gives a great lesson on how friendships complement each other even though it seems that the friends are complete opposites. Hmm… sounds like me and my husband.

I haven’t purchased the following book yet, but here’s a suggestion for Christmas…

The Christmas Alphabet

I’m quite excited that they’ve started to carry Robert Sabuda pop up books. I buy one or two Sabuda pop-ups for the girls every Christmas. They are masterfully engineered. The Christmas Alphabet is a simpler pop up book compared to the story-based ones. But the kids will still find the same excitement of the pages coming to life.

I have purchased quite a few more cool toys and books but they no longer carry them on their site. So if you see something that you like you better buy it.

If you “like” Chinaberry on their Facebook page, you can get the latest news on their special offers and giveaways. Every Tuesday they have a “Mystery Item” for sale and it’s usually an awesome deal.

Chinaberry also carries unique gifts and books for adults. I’m sure you’ll be able to find that “something special” for yourself or someone in your life. So next time you need to find something unique, think small and shop a small business like Chinaberry.

Disclaimer: The photos above were used by permission from Chinaberry. I was not compensated to write this review—I just want to support a small business like many of you should! All opinions expressed are my own.