Lately I've been trying to find the time to sort through items around our house to sell in a garage sale. The random extra furniture, the tiny baby clothes and infant gear that we no longer have a use for and the knickknacks that don't have anywhere to be displayed due to Little Sister B's tendency to touch and grab absolutely everything. It all just needs to go.
Along with that, I've spent a good deal of time reevaluating the collection of toys that my daughters have amassed over the years. And what I've found is this: we have a lot of junk. Flimsy, plastic things that require a lot of batteries, break at the first sign of being dropped or bent and have an educational value of... well, not much. I want my kids to be surrounded with items that spark their imagination, inspire them to learn and play and are crafted well enough that they'll last forever.
As it turns out, what I want is just what the creators of the award-winning Maukilo want as well.
Owned by the well-known and loved German toy company HABA (we are big fans, you can check out our HABA review from back in March), Maukilo.com is able to offer the full 1,500 items that HABA sells in the United States, more than any other site out there. In total, however, Maukilo carries more than 40 brands that meet their high standards for quality and fun and live up to their motto: "Buy once. Play forever."
And forever is truly how long my daughters have been playing with the beautiful, creative and unique toys that we were fortunate to review.
Beginning with the fact that no time outside is complete now without our HABA Bucket with valve, both Big Sister E and Little Sister B are head-over-heels for this simple yet innovative item.
An easy-to-carry nylon bag, the HABA Bucket with valve is perfect for kids of all ages for multiple reasons. First, the three strong handles make carrying this extremely easy no matter what size hands are grasping it. Second, the bucket itself holds quite a bit of water, meaning it isn't going to have to be refilled over and over all the time. Third, it is easily collapsed for storage or to put in a beach bag to bring along to the ocean, lake or pool.
However, the best feature is, of course, the inclusion of the uncomplicated valve to let the water slowly run out. Big Sister E has no problem turning the knob to start and stop the stream and the small amount of water that is let out is enough to satisfy them but isn't so much that it drains the bucket out right away. In fact, I couldn't be happier sitting on my porch swing for at least an hour as my girls fill up cups or scoops (Big Sister E's favorite is the Spielstabil Ice Cream Scoop, it's adorable!) over and over with water.
For added fun, we have also been having a great time with the HABA Spilling Funnel, an item that would be perfect to bring along the next time we head to the beach. Simply fill one side with sand and one side with water and it drains out the bottom in a thick mixture that can be used to decorate, build, draw and more. Creating a sand castle will never be the same again!
When I do manage to tear the girls away from the entertainment HABA provides with sand and water, another of Big Sister E's favorite things to do outside is to be a star explorer with her Terra Kids Binoculars by HABA.
Made out of a synthetic rubber, these binoculars are just the right size for little hands and really do work with the twist of a button. Complete with their own neoprene carrying case that clips right on, these binoculars can be taken along for any adventure!
But who wants to go on a journey on an empty stomach? Even though both of my daughters have always enjoyed role playing with pretend food, they were both even more excited to do so with the HABA Biofino Fish and the HABA Shopping Net Fruits.
Having never seen anything like the HABA Biofino Fish before, both of my girls were amazed by it from the moment they saw it. Where else would they have played with a soft, cushy fabric fish that has removable bones? They each love reaching in and out of the Velcro closure to play with the plastic skeleton inside and this unique fish has definitely been caught and "cleaned" many times since its arrival.
I don't know who liked the HABA Shopping Net Fruits more - me (due to the beautiful wood, non-toxic colors and finishes and adorable cotton bag) or my kids (the apples, pears, strawberries and plums are just the right size). This bag and its high quality contents are welcome in our kitchen for play shopping, cooking or eating anytime!
Finally, when it is time to pack to leave for our next adventure or just to clean up when we're through playing, both Big Sister E and Little Sister B can't get enough of the Paulina Suitcase Set of 3.
Nesting right inside one another, these three roomy suitcases can be used for transport (Big Sister E already determined that for our next vacation she will use the large blue one, my husband and I will use the medium pink one and Little Sister B is left with the small green one) or storage.
Instead of another boring bin on our shelf, anything from doll clothes to magnetic letters has gone inside these suitcases and had a good home. Constructed out of laminated board and metal, these suitcases have proven to be very durable and strong no matter how many times they have been swung around or opened and closed. On top of that, their bright colors and horse-themed designs are just too cute to not bring a smile every time!
Whether purchasing classic wooden building blocks or toys, safe and stimulating baby toys, beautiful children's furniture and room decor or much, much more, Maukilo has nothing but the absolute highest quality. Children of all ages will be entertained and inspired with the open-ended possibilities and any parent would be happy with the non-toxic, natural woods and PVC-free plastic materials.
With such an amazing selection that will endure playtime for years to come, Maukilo even has a full 100% satisfaction guarantee that you will love their products as much as we do. The hardest part really is narrowing down your favorites - the choices seem endless! However, thanks to the extreme generosity of Maukilo, one person will get to do just that, because...
One lucky person will win a $75 gift certificate to Maukilo.com!
To enter to win: Visit Maukilo and tell me one of their amazing items that you might like to purchase with this gift certificate.
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
1 Extra Entry (per method) if you follow Maukilo on Twitter, sign up for their e-newsletter and/or Like them on Facebook. 1 more Extra Entry if you leave the following message on their wall: Maukilo means high quality and fun! I just entered to win a $75 gift certificate at Thanks, Mail Carrier! http://bit.ly/csdC7R
1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
Anniversary Bash #9: WIN a $75 Maukilo Toys gift card for high quality playthings! @thxmailcarrier http://bit.ly/csdC7R #win #giveaway
2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect, subscribe to my RSS feed, subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email or become a fan on Facebook.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
1 Extra Entry if you put my Anniversary Bash button up on your blog. And, for the people who put it up BEFORE the event started (I have a list), 3 more extra entries on top of that.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and Maukilo.com. Please leave an address where it can be found.
Giveaway will end on August 19th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to Maukilo for providing the aforementioned toys for review as well as a $75 gift certificate for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.