(You’ll find FAQ entries for the Toy Of The Month Club and Custom Work embedded in those pages.)
We favor a rustic minimalist design aesthetic that highlights the uniqueness of the materials. This means we try to highlight things like:
–Marks left in the wood by chainsaws, band saws, and table saws.
–Natural characteristics of each piece of wood–coloring, grain, texture, and even markings made by woodpeckers, insects, and the occasional beaver.
–Natural staining that can occur as some types of wood during drying.
Some would see these things as imperfections, but we feel they bring our pieces a unique look.
We feel our minimalist design aesthetic also supports children’s play. At Explorations Early Learning Toys, we believe the spark of play comes from within the child–not the toy. Our toys serve as blanks-slate variables that serve as props in the play, exploration, and discovery sparked by children’s interests, knowledge of the world, and curiosity.
Most of the wood we use is salvaged from local urban trees. This reclaimed lumber is saved from the landfill, where it would be burnt or turned into mulch.
We collect it, stack it, dry it, and eventually cut it into toys.
Some of our wood is purchased from local lumberyards.
We use most native Iowa woods–lots of Maple, Oak, Poplar, Locus, Hickory, Elm, Boxelder, Birch, Fir, Pine, and assorted fruit woods.
We recommend two general steps:
–Keep them dry—Moister and Wood are not friends. If items do get wet, dry them thoroughly before storing them.
–Apply a light coat of mineral oil twice a year–this protects the wood and highlights the grain.
We recommend wiping items down with a clean damp (not soaking wet!) cloth from time to time.
We use rip-stop because it is so durable and caring for it is simple.
You can wipe it clean with a damp cloth in most cases. If you need to wash it, we recommend either running it through a dishwasher (upper rack–stick the items in a lingerie bag) or hand washing. After washing, let the items air dry.
We ship all over the world, but most of our orders come from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK.
In most cases, we ship within 48 hours
We love to do custom builds. You can learn more here.
Sure we can. That’s exactly why we started our Toy Of The Month Club. It’s a fun way to surprise kids with a monthly box of play.
Tell us about it, and we will work together to fix it.
Not at all! Just follow this process.
When our schedule allows. We base our decision to do vending at an event on travel distance, type of event, and expected attendance. If you’d like to discuss having us come to your event, just contact us and we will see if we can work it into the schedule. Alternatively, we have a DIY Vending option that might interest you.
Sure, check out our DIY Vending program to learn more.
Sure. We can create a custom coupon code that you can share with your people. We’ve done this with many early learning organizations and support groups. Contact us for more information.
Sure. You can sign up here. We send out an Explorations Early Learning Toys newsletter once a month and an additional mailing occasionally. We promise not to overwhelm your inbox. You can also sign up for other mailings from Explorations Early Learning at the link.
Most items are based on things we made for use in our family child care program, ideas from one of our early learning books, or special requests we received from others.
We can work with you to make that happen. For example, we can add your agency logo to our posters or add names to our shirts. Contact us to discuss it.
We can make that happen. We are currently making a number of items made specifically for resale by others. Contact us to discuss it.
It’s simpler and more cost effective to let Amazon handle printing and shipping of the shirts. As for books, it is less expensive for shoppers to buy them at Amazon.
We can work with you to make that happen. Just contact us for more information.
We get more donation requests than we can accommodate and end up turning down about 90 % of requests, but you can contact us if you like.