Meet the creative crafters, The Toy Maker of Lunenburg!
Keeping it old school and fun is something we love about The Toy Maker of Lunenburg – and they’ve been such great partners of ours here at White Point! They helped us create a few special pieces too, like our 90th Anniversary yo-yo – or ‘return top’ as they call it! We’ve had them here over March Break to host a fun afternoon with wooden toys, kids even had the chance to make their own and take them home!
As on of our more than 100 local artists, we wanted you to get to know more about the gang …
The Toy Maker of Lunenburg
Quality handmade wooden toys since 1979.
In 1979, Kevin Vickers started a small business making hand-crafted children’s toys and games. Each and every item was made by Kevin personally, and made with solid wood and non-toxic paints. While Kevin was operating the business he built a strong reputation for high-quality products. Most of which are still being sold in some of the trendiest retailers throughout Canada.
The “old warmth charm” of the toys made by the Toy Maker of Lunenburg continues!
In 2015, we (Ray Syvitski and Elke Uribe) purchased the Toy Maker of Lunenburg business. Kevin and his wife Peggy trained us with their production and quality control techniques, ensuring a smooth transition with continued high-quality products.
From the well-rounded corners (meaning no splinters or rough edges) to the vibrant certified non-toxic paints and finishes, we continue to deliver quality games and toys for kids of all ages. We also use domestically harvested wood from companies using sustainable wood practices.
Our toys are not only brilliant, they are built to last – the kind of toys you can feel good about passing down through generations!
Why we manufacture toys…
As parents, we want to spend quality time playing with our children and wish to make the most of it. We’re also concerned about their educational development and providing them with the tools necessary to succeed – like every parent. And like most parents, we want to purchase toys that are of value – how many times do you hear that the child was more interested in the box than the toy?
When we started looking for toys for our children, we became discerning parents who considered price, quality, fun-to-play-with, environmental friendliness, safety and educational value. However, we quickly realized that many toys were either not environmentally conscience (i.e. mass-produced plastic that caused us concern, especially for landfills) or were flashy “educational” toys designed to attract the attention of parents but only provided education through repetition and memorization. Finding truly age and developmental-appropriate, educational, fun-to-play-with toys that were manufactured in North America was also difficult.
As a research scientist and university educator who focused on the application of students knowledge to problem-solving, and designed early childhood development programs to teach science, I wanted to provide children with tools to become free thinkers. Thus, I began building quality, fun-to-play-with, wooden toys and woodcrafts with an edible bees-wax coating. These toys would teach a scientific concept, promote creativity, and encourage parents to get involved with and enjoy child’s play.
Before long our friends were asking for the toys. Then child care centres were inquiring about our larger outdoor play equipment like the teepee’s, teeter-totter, balance beam and loose parts.
Our passion for engaging our children’s curiosity and imagination grew to where we got excited about building a business around manufacturing toys. I entered CEED under the SEB program in 2014, about the same time we were looking at purchasing the Toy Maker of Lunenburg.
Children learn through creative play
My wife Elke and I are strong supporters of education and providing the means necessary to succeed. The Toy Maker of Lunenburg designs and manufactures safe, durable, eco-friendly, Canadian made toys, games and brainteasers that inspire imaginations and creativity. The line of products also inspires parents to spend quality time with their children, helping them learn and develop creative thinking skills.
– Ray PhD. (Physical Chemistry, University of British Columbia)
Our beliefs and values
Children are inherently curious and creative
Simple toys tend to be the most stimulating for developing creative thinking skills since children are using their own imagination instead of someone else’s
Keeping manufacturing jobs in Canada is the key to economic sustainability in Canada
Being involved with our children will help them build strong relationships
Toys should be engaging, fun-to-play-with and educational – not simply something to occupy a child with
Children should be allowed to discover and create – even if it means a bigger mess to clean up
Natural, eco-friendly, wooden toys over plastic, disposable toys for creative play
The environmental and economic welfare of Canada
The sustainability of Canadian resources
The quality, durability and safety of North American products
Truly educational toys – not pseudo education through memorization