Magic Cabin, Plow & Hearth
Barbara Kane started HearthSong in 1983, partly to see if other parents were experiencing the difficulty she was in finding good, wholesome toys for her children. Mostly she was motivated by her strong conviction that childhood is a special time in each human lifetime, and she wanted to make the best of it for her children. In Kane's view, "Earlier is not necessarily better. It's important that children learn basic skills, but at the right developmental age. Most of all, children need time for creative, imaginative play. In fact, it is through play that children learn most readily." The best way to express this reverence for the human experience, she felt, was through quality products.
Like many kids' store owners, Barbara Kane began her business as a parent searching for quality products. She founded HearthSong on the belief that "children need time for imaginative play," and she focused on toys made of durable, safe materials.
Barbara no longer owns the company. In 2001, it was purchased by 1-800-FLOWERS (weird, we didn't know they owned a kids' toy store) and they moved the headquarters to Madison, Virginia. HearthSong's sister stores include Magic Cabin, another store we've profiled on Apartment Therapy, and Plow & Hearth.
They've retained Barbara's focus on classic toys, and 25 percent of their inventory is designed and developed in-house (click here to check out the HearthSong exclusives line). A few of our favorite pieces from the catalog are pictured above and linked below.
- Walk n Roll, on sale for $15
- Backyard Playhouse, $500
- Montana Stacking Puzzle, on sale for $15
- Nature-Inspired Tipi, $160
- Pretend Microwave, on sale for $30
- Firefly Lantern, on sale for $9
- Child's Garden Tools and Wheelbarrow, starting at $30
- Pretend Kitchen Furniture, starting at $70
- Geometric GelGems Dots, on sale for $15
- Toy Storage Organizer, $160
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