Friday, December 26, 2008

Tiny People Big Adventures

The Etsy community is filled with artists and crafters selling beautiful and unique pretend play items that help parents preserve the magic of childhood. This post is part of my weekly writing series, "Imagination at Play". Stay tuned for more next Friday!

Once again, Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye. After wading through a sea of torn wrapping paper and stepping over shiny new toys, most parents are exhausted from the day's excitement and looking for a little quiet time. 

But what if you didn't plan ahead and buy your little ones a few "quiet toys" like coloring books, dolls or building blocks? Take a deep, cleansing breath. There's a place you can go to find a special after-Christmas gift that will transport your little one on fantastic adventures, while at the same time give yourself the gift of a little "mommy" or "daddy" time.

Etsy shop PsAndQs is well stocked with hand painted playsets that are sure to inspire grand fairytale adventures and daring journeys around the world. Shop owner Bonnie breathes life into each wooden doll and playscape, employing an artistic touch and adding a bit of love to each element.

Bonnie's playsets were originally inspired by her son. When he was younger, they'd drop by the local recycling center where they'd pick out a large piece of wood. After heading home, Bonnie would clean up the board, then paper mache a landscape onto it. Her son loved playing with his moonscape and today enjoys driving his tiny off-road vehicles on a desert landscape that Bonnie dreamed up just for him.

Like many artists, Bonnie finds inspiration in everyday objects. "The inspiration for my designs mainly come from seeing that single part and wondering, 'Hmmmm, what could that be?' And before I know it I am rummaging through my craft supplies accumulating items to create a new playset or robot."

Bonnie works as a counselor for children who are struggling in one way or another. Her tiny office is packed with her playsets for use in therapeutic play. At the end of the day, creating these tiny worlds is its own kind of therapy for Bonnie: "Coming home and making playsets helps to keep me grounded. It reminds me what childhood is all about and how wonderfully healing our imaginations can be."

Whether your little peanut loves dreaming up fairy tales or more realistic adventures to exotic locales, I encourage you to take a look in PsAndQs. You're sure to find a tiny fairy, rainbow girl grandpa or grandma designed to make your child's dreams come alive.


  1. Those play sets are too cute!

    Props to the makers of a silent toy!

  2. Great play sets! They are so cute.. I think they will make perfect gifts for kids & adults!