Nurturing Vocations through Play: Jacob's Toy Box {Coupon Code}

My thoughts on play and toys have changed over the years. In my early days of motherhood, I honestly didn't think much about toys at all. They were just toys... Nothing more, nothing less. I now see play time as an extension of a child's purpose in life... to know, love, and serve God forever. Does this mean play must be dull? Hardly! What it does mean is that I am more aware that all play becomes a part of the child's formation and I can now better direct it to that end.

Who will our children be when they step out of our homes into the big world beyond? Only God knows. In the meantime, I hope to encourage my children to include God in their dreams... and to incorporate those dreams into their play.

I first stumbled across Jacob's Toy Box when I was searching for toys depicting the priesthood in a positive way. When little Father Martin popped up on my screen, I fell head over heels. Discovering that he was handmade by a Catholic mama was the icing on the cake! A couple weeks ago, he showed up on my doorstep (thank you, Christine!) and I had the honor of introducing him to my family...

Little Cub's first words after we opened the package were: Can I keep him? Is he mine?
I told him he had to give him back to me and he was so disappointed... but I can't wait to see his face when he sees Fr. Martin peeking out of his Christmas stocking!

Father Martin arrived in a cassock with his own storybook and we added a set of traditional vestments that are easy for little fingers to take on and off. He's adorable and fits in perfectly in our home where children talk about the religious life openly and comfortably. This huggable little toy will now be a playful extension of their early thoughts and dreams. He'll sit next to the firemen and soldiers and knights when the little ones play. One day, Cub will learn that he can't actually be an armored knight, but the priesthood will continue to be real to him as he discerns his future.

Christine Henderson is the heart and soul of Jacob's Toy Box. The business was born out of a treasure of love and grief when her unborn son, Jacob, died unexpectedly shortly before birth. He was her second late term loss and her toys are filled with the love that she longed to shower on those two precious souls. She is also blessed with six living children whom she homeschools. Her oldest just  graduated this past Summer. Christine first started sewing stuffed animals in high school and now creates on  her 10 acre property surrounded by family and egg laying chickens!

Brother Hubert, Friar Seraphin, Fr. Martin, Sr. Marie
Aren't they adorable???
Fr. Martin is not the only religious in Christine's shop. She has created a whole family of joyful religious dolls (a sister, a brother, and a friar) and several "child of God" dolls who come with their own little blankets. I love that each doll will look slightly different than the others... another little perk of buying handmade!

Christine's work is wonderful. I love the quality craftsmanship combined with a sweet simplicity. If you're looking for even more resources for purposeful play, Jacob's Toy Box features Quiet Books with optional add-on pages. Wouldn't it be wonderful to fill our Christmas stockings with the beautiful work of a Catholic mother rather than plastic junk from a box store?

You can find Jacob's Toy Box on Facebook as well. Spread the word! Nurture vocations and purposeful play within our families and communities!

Now for the coupon code....

I honestly think that Christine's prices are already very fair since handcrafted dolls are very time consuming, but she has agreed to offer my readers a 10% off coupon this week only on purchases of $25 or more. Just enter the following code at her Etsy shop for your discount:

Good through Saturday, November 16th
at Jacob's Toy Box

One more thing...
If you purchase any item from Jacob's Toy Box before Thanksgiving, drop me a line here in the comments or via email and I'll add your name to my Surprise Giveaway hopper. After Thanksgiving, I'll draw a name and the winner will receive a fun package from ME. I say "surprise" because I don't know what will be in it yet... but I promise you'll love it... just in time for Advent. 

Posted on November 11, 2013 and filed under "Catholic toys", "Jacob's Toy box".