online audio stories for children and families
Yes, storytelling is still alive! And of course, coming to you from Vermont. Surprised? We’re not.
Every week Sparkle Stories releases a new audio story to subscribers. It’s simple – you subscribe or purchase audiobooks and get access to fun, inspiring and entertaining stories for the whole family.
In our crazy, connected world, Sparkle Stories is using technology to bring you back to a screen-free time. Partially unplug, give eyes a rest and let imaginations flourish allowing listeners to create scenes and images for themselves.
Interested? Listen to a story here.
Still not convinced? Read these testimonials. Buy for your own family or as a great green gift for others. Have travel plans? Sparkle Stories also has accompanying printables for the Martin & Sylvia stories.
They were voted iTunes Best of 2013 by Apple for a reason!
K.D. Hill Knitwear
hand loomed knitwear made in vermont
Looking for an original hat no one else has? And one that’s made in Vermont? Well, look no further than K.D. Hill Knitwear.
With colorful designs and a variety of styles, there will be one for you! You’ll find:
- cuff hats
- flat top hats
- round top hats
Even a line for babies and children ranging from adorable, cozy, colorful hats and mittens to sweaters. You can have a Danforth Pewter button added to a hat if you’d like – making them great made in Vermont baby gifts.
Worth noting is that this is a one woman show! K.D. Hill herself makes every single item! You can buy directly on her website or at any of these retailers.
Jamie Two Coats’ Toy Shop
Jamie Two Coats’ in Shelburne is Vermont’s better version of FAO Schwarz. Imagine walking into treasure chest full of amazing, beautiful, well made toys, games, dolls and dress up all in one place. That’s Jamie Two Coats’.
Here are just a few of the lines they carry:
- Angel Dear – blankies and baby clothes
- Floras books – indie publisher including international stories in translation & nostalgic classics
- Haba – beautiful heirloom quality toys and games
- Käthe Kruse dolls – unique and original dolls with hand painted eyes
- Lyra colored pencils and crayons
- Maple landmark – toys made in Middelbury
- Melissa & Doug – educational and classic toys
- Ostheimer – handmade wooden animals and figures
- Playmobil – plastic figures and themes with great attention to detail
- Zutano – Vermont children’s clothing
Every nook and cranny is full of color, imagination and creativity. The wall of art supplies may even bring out the artist in you! And the dress up room is like being in a dream surrounded by fairies, unicorns and knights in not-so shining armor and felt swords. We know people who come all the way from Manhattan to Vermont do their shopping for the little people in their lives.
If you have a child in your life, you should make a point of visiting Jamie Two Coats’. In fact, we’re sure you’ll find something not only for the young but also for the young at heart in this magical, hidden gem of a toy store.
Go. You have to see it to believe it.
Inspired by nature and made from Kraft paper, FLXIT is a simple new toy that will spark imagination at any age.
Pull it, twist it, wave it, slink it, sculpt it, stretch it, flex it and tag it. Wait? tag it? what’s that mean? find out here! Tagging it is part of the creativity!
Intrigued? FLXIT currently has a kickstarter campaign. Help them streamline production of this back to basics toy and bring this Vermont toy nationwide!
You’re never too old to play.
Find some fun with FLXIT.
Hand-crafting the world’s finest wooden puzzles since 1974
So you think you’re good at puzzles? Have you tried a Stave? You just might not be as good as you think you are!
In our fast-paced-high-tech-plugged-in world, these puzzles are a welcome distraction. Made in Norwich, Vermont, Stave Puzzles are works of art that will challenge you in ways you didn’t think was possible from a puzzle. As each piece is hand cut (yes, hand cut), by one cutter with one saw, it’s so rewarding as two pieces slide perfectly together. Not to mention that even getting two pieces that fit is such satisfaction!
Stave Puzzles are not your ordinary puzzles either. Not only are they made from wood (they’ll last), you’ll find:
- adjacent edges*
- empty spaces
- phony corners
- no photograph to help you
Take a look at their Teaser, Trick and Troublemaker puzzles! No wonder Stave’s boss calls himself the Chief Tormentor!
Every home needs at least one Stave Puzzle.
* “adjacent edges are whammy edge pieces which are two abutting edge pieces that look like corner pieces held together by a third piece.”
Vermont Independent Bookshops
Today is Black Friday and the eve of Small Business Saturday. Instead of heading to the big box stores, check out one of our very own independent booksellers:
bartleby’s books & music – wilmington
bear pond books – montpelier & stowe
bennington bookshop – bennington
better planet books – st. albans & bristol
book nook – ludlow
boxcar and caboose – st. johnsbury
bridgeside books – waterbury
briggs carriage bookshop – brandon
brown dog books & gifts – hinesburg
cover to cover ltd – randolph
crow bookshop – burlington
ebenezer books – johnson
everyone’s books – brattleboro
flying pig bookstore – shelburne
galaxy bookshop – hard wick
green mountain books & prints – lyndonville
hopkins bookshop – burlington
misty valley books – chester
next chapter bookstore – barre
northshire books – manchester center
norwich bookstore – norwich
phoenix books – burlington & essex
rivendell books – montpelier
ryan books inc – johnson
shiretown books – woodstock
stardust books & cafe – craftsbury
tempest bookshop – waitsfield
vermont bookshop – middlebury
woodknot bookshop – newport
village square booksellers – bellows falls
yankee bookshop – woodstock
We are so lucky to have so many to choose from.
Buy Local. Support our indie booksellers!
(know of one that’s missing? please let us know)
set in the future, when there is no more internet, “the expeditioners” has everything a young adventure reader wants in a book:
- wild riches
just read chapter one and you’ll see – you’ll want to read what happens next.
“Full of kid power, clues, codes and maps, this will appeal to sophisticated readers who appreciate their adventure served with heaping helpings of cleverness.” -kirkus reviews
with wonderful illustrations by center for cartoon studies (which is in vermont, btw) graduate katherine roy, young readers will find her visual interpretation of the characters and scenes quite compelling.
want a copy? order here or better yet, come meet sarah at these book signings this weekend:
inlu for parents
inviting common cents
parents – listen up! how many birthday parties have your organized? how many gifts did your child get when maybe what they really wanted was one special gift? what if you could send out invitations with a link for party goers to donate towards one gift or even a charity? sounds great right? well it exists and it’s called inlu.
how many coaches gifts have you collected for? carrying around an envelope asking parents as you see them to donate? same goes with teachers gifts? plenty, right? well, what if you could email out a link that would bring people to a page where they could donate online. ahh yes. so convenient.
what about donating to a charity instead of sending flowers? or collecting for a gift certificate for a spa day inlu (get it? “in lieu”) of flowers for a friend who needs a lift?
what if your child has a passion and wants to fundraise for a community cause? or even raise some funds to make a dream come true? and all they would have to do is create an inlu, email around the link and let people know why they are collecting.
with the holidays around the corner why not set up an inlu for:
- a collection for that one gift your mother, father, child really wants!
- a collection for a teachers gift
- or even a holiday party invite and instead of having people bring gifts, ask them to donate to your favorite charity
think of all the possibilities you can use inlu to streamline your parties and gift giving.
yes. inlu. it does invite common cents, doesn’t it?
p.s. inlu isn’t just for parents, look for future posts on more ways to use inlu
custom letterpress + design
elegant. sophisticated. clever. beautiful. these are just a few of the words that come to mind as you look at zoë ink’s designs.
specializing in letterpress and silk-screen printing, zoë papas combines her passion for innovative design and old world techniques to create unique graphics for :
take a look at the logos and branding created by zoë ink – they’re all aesthetically pleasing and effectively communicate the feel of each company.
she’s even designed cards for that very-famous-stationery-company-that-we-know-you’ve-heard-of called crane & co. yes. it’s true take a look at these cards. maybe you recognize one or two? well, now you know they were designed by zoë ink from right here in burlington, vermont.
there’s a great selection of her cards you can buy directly from her website. 3 modern designs, queen anne’s lace and the retro trailer are just a few of our favorites.
whether you’re a startup looking for an identity, or needing a new web design, or a newly engaged couple looking for wedding invitations or just like beautiful letterpress cards, zoë ink offers a wide range of graphic design. it’s not just the high quality of the letterpress that leaves a lasting impression, it’s the designs themselves that stay with you.
our favorite quote from her site, “satisfying customers is only part of her goal. she wants them to be thrilled with their final product.”