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Sparkle Stories Logo

Sparkle Stories
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!

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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
  • mittens
  • headbands

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.

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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.

INLU for the Holidays - in lieu of excess, hassle and waste

INLU for the Holidays

Yes, we’ve already moogled INLU for parents. But did you know that there are so many other useful ways to use INLU?

Are you or anyone you know saving up/asking for that one bigger gift? Come on, we all have that special something on our list! Why not create an INLU? Let your friends and family know what you really want this holiday season and allow them to contribute to your dream gift. Hey, do you really need another set of wine charms? or does your child need another cheap plastic toy?

Make gift giving more meaningful and create an INLU. As they say,

“in lieu of excess, hassle and waste, pitch in for a happier planet” and YOU!

Create an INLU today – it’s not too late!

FLXIT - flexible fun from Vermont!

FLXIT
flexible fun!

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.

Stave Puzzles - hand-crafting the world's finest wooden puzzles since 1974

Stave Puzzles
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.”

the expeditioners and the treasure of drowned man’s canyon
by s.s. taylor

vermont is more than beautiful views and amazing startups. it’s also home to many authors!

sarah stewart taylor’s (writing as s. s. taylor)  new book “the expeditioners and the treasure of drowned man’s canyon” is being released this weekend.

set in the future, when there is no more internet, “the expeditioners” has everything a young adventure reader wants in a book:

  • maps
  • mystery
  • disappearances
  • secrets
  • fame
  • wild riches
  • smuggling
  • exploration
  • intrigue

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.

sarah has a fun website too – readers can design their own maps of the world as well as their own explorers vests.

want a copy? order here or better yet, come meet sarah at these book signings this weekend:

check here for more events.

buy local. read local.