Posts Tagged ‘toys’


painting by Chittra Singh

We’ve been seeing a lot of rainbows lately.  With the official start of spring and last week’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration at school, suddenly rainbows are everywhere.  (We also featured them in our March Newsletter as part of our Holi special).

So our latest Telugu letter is i for indradhanussu (or indradhanush in Hindi and Gujarati).  It’s a mouthful to say, but its derivation is simply divine:  dhanussu or dhanush means “bow” – so the word literally translates to “Lord Indra’s bow.”  How perfect:  as we stated in our newsletter, the word is a “linguistic affirmation of a rainbow’s ethereal link between the heavens and the Earth.”

Featured above is a gorgeous painting entitled Rainbow Dream by UP artist Chittra Singh (you can see more of her works at – she ships worldwide).  And here are a few more examples of rainbows-done-right (from the left):  rainbow animal alphabet by Katy Holmes, sophisticated rainbow girl’s room featured at ohdeedoh, and Nova Natural’s Four Elements Blocks.


My kids have been really into airplanes lately – probably due to all the flying we’ve been doing.  So our Telugu letter of the week is Va for vimanamu (or viman in Hindi) – the word for “airplane”.  We’ve been using our Telugu Alphabet Blocks of course, and the display in our play area includes other “va” obects – vankaya (“eggplant”), velugu (“light”), and vishnu (as in “Lord Vishnu”).  And since my 3-year-old is working on his writing technique at preschool, I made an outline of the letter Va so he could practice – a great way to keep him occupied on the…yes… airplane.  The outlines have been such a big hit with him, we may just decide to offer a complete set as a future gnaana product!

And I found some fabulous modern kids airplane decor for a bedroom or playroom.  Picture above is a stunning room featured in House Beautiful and laser cut paper airlpanes from Etsy seller owlyshadowpuppets ($20 for a set of eight and loads of possibilities).  Other cool kids airplane gear:  Hape International’s eco bamboo airplane and Fred and Friends Air Fork One.

Girly Toys
Author: Gnaana

My poor daughter has been engulfed in her older brother’s world of trains and spaceships since her birth.  So I decided it was high time that I girl-ify our toy chest.  And I’m starting with the fundamentals:  dolls

Here are a few uber-cute – and eco-friendly – finds (for ages 3+):

Global Green Pal’s Pani Rani spreads the message that conserving water can make you feel like a queen!  Made with certified organic cotton and stuffed with 100% post-consumer recycled material, this Indian girl hob-nobs with the likes of Clean Air Kate, Recycle Kyle and Carbon Offset Chet.  $29.95

Momiji’s gorgeous Love doll is almost too chic to take off the shelf.  Part of a collection of 3″ handpainted resin dolls, each one has a slot on the underside for a tiny folded card with secret message.  $15.00

Isas7ada’s Amrita doll is also a hand-painted beauty.  Her tea party would include Jewish Jacob, Captain Pirate Looney and Artist Annette.  $5.00

And for some serious role-playing, check out play food India style:  Pewter Goblet’s Mini Jalebi’s, Laddoos and Masala Meals$5.00 – $15.00

Baby bangles
Author: Gnaana

Baby Bangles

I finally got around to buying my little girl some playful baby bangles (the plastic/resin type – not the you-can-never-wear-these-because-you-will-lose-them-22k gold bangles).  She loves them!  They jingle oh-so-cutely when she shakes her arm.  I have no idea whether they are compliant with the new US safety regulations for childrens’ products, (the CPSIA of 2008), but, hey, I’m pretty sure I wore these when I was a baby in India – and I turned out fine.  Makes me think:  the original baby wrist rattle toy!