Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Eco-Friendly Toys & Games from Tree Hopper Toys

For awhile now, the hubby and I have been pretty good about decluttering our home. We have been setting aside clothes, books, knick knacks, toys, kitchen stuff, etc. for a garage sale that we're hoping to have in the very near future. We've also been telling family and friends that if they want to get anything for the kids' birthdays, which have all been during the summer, to either get them craft activities, books, or handmade wooden or recycled toys that do not, I repeat DO NOT, require batteries. Okay, some people didn't take us seriously or could care less about our requests, and others will always be hailed as our favorites, because they actually made our lives easier by adhering to what we asked for. Thank you!!!

So, whenever I get a chance to review toys that are not only sustainable, but also made in the USA and do not require any batteries, I'm all for it! When Eric Siegel from Tree Hopper Toys contacted me to review his wooden games and toys, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. I just wasn't prepared to receive so many items at once. Eric sent the kids a jalopy, 2 yo-yos, a Match Stacks game, and a Hopper Horse. Talk about hitting the jackpot!

Tree Hopper Toys offers 7 different jalopies, including the "Coach" jalopy that we received. Don't you just love how that sounds? Jalopy. So vintage, so cute. Although this toy can be enjoyed by anyone of any age, Little Peanut has pretty much claimed it as his own. Lightweight and comfortably sized for little hands, these all-natural wooden fun-shaped toys can easily become your child's favorite rattles and teethers. Durable and beautifully constructed with simple pieces sans metal, plastic, or glue connectors, our jalopy has been thrown and dropped, and it is still runnin'. Priced at $15.99 each, plus free shipping, or $80 for a set of 6, you'll find yourself wanting to buy these toys for every child in your life.

Growing up, I recall playing with plastic yo-yos but remembering never really achieving the art of wowing people, let alone myself. Wooden and unadorned with lights or brightly colored graphics, Eric sent the family 2 yo-yos, styled with the company name on one side and an adorable design on the other side. For less than $10 a yo-yo, these classic gems will keep young kids mesmerized and entertained for hours while giving adults a chance to relive their childhood memories, because let's face it, in a generation of technology, yo-yos are not exactly at the top of anyone's "want list." But they should be! And when they are not being played with or thrown around, they can add a little extra to your decor. I just love how the natural aspect of all these toys work so well with my organic, natural, and vintage motif that I'm going for in my home. Usually, I'm trying to hide all of the kids' toys, but with Tree Hopper Toys, I can't help but display them - which, of course, don't stay put for very long as they are always in the hands of my children.

Are you familiar with the game where you lay out paper or plastic pieces, then flip them over to find the correct matching pictures? These days, there are tons of phone apps that offer that kind of game. Well, Tree Hopper Toys' version is called Match Stacks. 16 wooden pieces with 8 attractive and colorful designs on long-wearing discs that fit neatly in a small cylinder case that sits perfectly in a child's backpack or, in my case, a diaper bag. Our "Transportation" Match Stacks have quickly become a "must have" item whenever we make it out of the house to actually sit down somewhere and eat. I love how even though the kids are given crayons and coloring pages to keep them occupied while waiting for our food, we are all playing our game instead. I have caught people staring over at our table with the "where did they get that?" look or even the "why didn't I think of that?" face when their child has lost interest in scribbling on their menu. Each Match Stacks set is priced at $19.99 each, and with 5 different design themes, including "The Garden" and "Monster Match," you are sure to find one that is perfect for any kid.

From the moment I opened our box of goodies, I had already decided that these toys will always be in our family and hopefully be passed down from my children to their children and so on.
Tree Hopper Toys is a tiny company based outside of Chicago, Illinois. Using sustainable Midwestern hardwoods, we handcraft our line of distinctive toys that curious kids love. All of our toys are 100% kid and earth friendly, safe, and most importantly, fun!  As a family owned and operated business, we are proud to say that our products are lovingly made in a small shop on the outskirts of Chicago.
Eric surprised the kids with the Tree Hopper Toys version of a hobby horse and even had our last name engraved on the horse's head. Billy, as the kids have decided to call their Hopper Horse, is measured at about 23.5 inches long from the tips of the ears to to the end of the stick and can be moved from room to room, indoors to outdoors, and all over any open area, easily and quickly. I do wish the stick was just a tad bit longer, as both of my older kids are always wanting to ride the horse at the same time ALL THE TIME! Made with wood from cherry and poplar trees and fringed with green felt for the mane, this handsome toy has become a front-runner among the kids' pretend and outdoor play toys. I absolutely love the quality and attention to detail that was put into Billy. I never had a hobby horse growing up, but I sure am glad we now have one that I think the kids will still love to play with years from now. At $65 a horse, it is the most expensive product in the Tree Hopper Toys line, but the price is nothing compared to the durability and endless fun your kids will have. By the time your kids "think" they are over their horse, all of the other battery-powered toys they have now will have been long forgotten, broken, and have already lost their oohs and aahs.

Source:  Tree Hopper Toys
Our horse has our last name on it, but since I don't share real names on this blog,
I decided to use the photo from the Tree Hopper Toys website instead.
The engraving looks as clean and smooth as seen in the picture.

Tree Hopper Toys is one of those companies that I can't talk enough about. I admire the fact that all the toys are made sustainably and without any toxic materials and that none of them had to be made for mere pennies at sweatshops, or imported from other countries. I love that they don't need to be plugged in or require batteries to make my kids smile and laugh. I am ecstatic that the only noises made are from my children playing with them. Thank you, Eric and fam, for saving my sanity and my hearing!

With Tree Hopper Toys, there is no guessing as to what the products are made from. If you look at the "About Us" section of the website, you'll see a very short explanation as to what they do and why they decided to go the eco route. They wanted to give children fun toys to enjoy and appreciate without having parents worried for their safety. Simple designs, clean lines, and uncomplicated constructions make for effortless and instruction-less play. What more can a parent ask for?

Another product that Tree Hopper Toys offers that I hope to get for my kiddos very soon are the Hopper Blocks. Sold in sets of 38 pieces for $40 and 49 pieces for $55, boredom will soon be cured when children are given a chance to let their imaginations and creativities run wild.

Source:  Tree Hopper Toys

We are definitely taking our Tree Hopper Toys with us on our eco vacation to California next month. Eric and his fam are sponsoring their "Camping Trip" Match Stacks game, so I'm excited to have the kids entertained during the long plane ride. These sustainable toys are definitely on our "must bring" list!

BUY:  You can purchase any of the Earth-friendly, non-toxic Tree Hopper Toys on their website and bring them on your next vacation or trip to your favorite restaurant. Use the promo code THEGREENHOUSE to receive 25% off and free shipping! Think birthday gifts or early holiday shopping. Your kids will love you for it!

WIN:  Tree Hopper Toys is giving one (1) lucky The Green House follower one (1) Match Stacks game, one (1) jalopy, and one (1) Yo! The Yo-Yo!

This giveaway is open to all residents WORLDWIDE!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! You must complete the mandatory task first, then complete the other tasks to get as many entries as you'd like.  Good luck!  **If the Rafflecopter form does not show up, please refresh your screen, or click on the post title!

The Green House Disclosure:  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.  The products(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Andrea said...

My kids would love the Hopper Blocks! :)

Lifeonprint said...

I would love to have the Hopper Horse

Anonymous said...

We would love the 'In the Garden' match stacks.

Anonymous said...

We would love the 'In the Garden' match stacks.

Sara Pearsall said...

I think the monsters match stacks are cute!

Maria said...

hopper horse! thanks!

Chelsea @ said...

I would love the blocks!

Chelsea @ said...

I would love the blocks!

Jennifer Barata Allen said...

I would love to have the Hopper blocks 49 piece set

dewijoshin said...

I would love jalopies and hopper horse.

dewijoshin said...

i lovw jalopies and hopper horse.

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