Wooden Toy Rhino

Most animals are better admired from the far.  The rhinoceros, weighing “a million pounds” and armed with “giant sword horns” is certainly an animal better admired from afar.  Even without the exaggerated quotes from small children.

This rhino toy was one of Happy Bugnalow’s first animal toys and still one of our most popular.  We craft our rhino from red oak, carefully sand all corners smooth, and finish it off with a beeswax polish we make ourselves.  As with all our toys, it’s made to be passed along to another generation.

Take home your own wooden toy rhino from our online toy shop today!wooden toy rhino

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One Simple Trick to Happiness

You can’t flip through a family magazine, play a parenting podcast, or tune into a talkshow without being bombarded with advice, tips, tricks, and strategies to spend more time with your family and lead a happier life.

Want to spend more time with your children?  Have more quality family time, happiness, and all that?  Forget all the articles and books you’ve seen.  When it comes to spending more time with your family there is only ONE SIMPLE TRICK you need to know.

And honestly, feel free to substitute anything you’d like in place of spending time with your family.  This simple trick is fairly universal.

And unlike all those silly internet advertisements, this simple trick is real.

Looking for a way to spend more time with your children?  It’s easy:  JUST SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

But before the spade of “buts” come, there is one simple catch that accompanies this one simple trick:  YOU’LL ALMOST CERTAINLY EARN LESS MONEY AND HAVE LESS TIME FOR YOURSELF.

My wife, Liz, and I have been testing this trick since the day our oldest child was born.  We work(ed) very hard to spend a lot of time with our children.  On workdays we have breakfast at home, some days we even make pancakes or waffles from scratch.  We hunt for bugs under rocks or blow bubbles on the porch.  At a time when most people are still working at their desks, we’re sitting down to dinner.

The best of all, with few exceptions either Liz or I, if not both, have spent Fridays with our children.  For us three day weekends are the norm.  For us Fridays aren’t that slackadasical last day of the work week, instead they’re trips to the less-crowded zoos and museums, picnics in the park, hikes in the woods, puzzle-building in the dining room, block building in the living room, and all around fun-having.

Though we didn’t take up this grand experiment so willingly.  Initially we had no choice in the lifestyle.  I was laid off from my job as an architect when our oldest child was just four months old.  I made due with part time and odd jobs for a few years and in doing so Liz and I came to cherish all the time we had together with our growing family.  It’s nice to be up every morning before the sun is.

I had time to make some playthings for the Kids and heard a few too many “you should sell these” comments.  So I did.  Thus Happy Bungalow (famous wooden toy company) was born in our basement.  It has been a tremendous amount of work, but has allowed me to earn enough money while working from home and spending more time with my family.

Now every morning isn’t berry topped oatmeal for breakfast.  And every Friday isn’t a Mary Poppins inspired romp through the chalk drawings.  We have to leave early or work late sometimes.  Fridays see sick or grouchy kids (or parents).  And now that our oldest is in school, mornings have become much tighter (and funny enough, the school doesn’t subscribe to our three-day weekend schedule).

The catch though?  Working less to spend more time with our children means earning less money.  This means we’ve become even handier at fixing lawn-mowers, repairing leaky gutters and toilets, and getting by with clothing that’s more worn than we’d like.  We make pancakes from scratch, because it’s so much cheaper (they taste pretty darn good too).  We eat in more because we can’t afford to eat out as often as we did pre-children.

Then there’s the stress, the worry, the anxiety, and the occasional fight.  Liz has had a full time (though flexible) job throughout our children’s lives, but I’ve largely had unpredictable work.  Initially as a part time architect, then as a newbie professional toy-maker.  So for several years the burden of supporting the family financially fell on Liz.  Again, very stressful for everyone.

BUT WE’VE MADE IT WORK

Sticking with this lifestyle hasn’t been easy on the accounting end, but it’s been wonderful on the personal side.  Our children will only be young for so long.  We’ll play catch-up on the monetary side in a few more years when the Kids aren’t so into spending an afternoon playing made-up adventure games in the park.

I know, this isn’t easy, and it may not be possible for you.  Though I will say that before we were put into the situation, we wouldn’t have thought it possible for us.

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Disposable Stuff – Enough!

The world has enough cheap disposable stuff.  The world needs more hand-me downs – furniture, books, and toys that come with a history.  An object that conjures up a half-dozen stories from grandma.  We craft these memory-holding objects every day.  We call them wooden toys.

Old time? Maybe, but it’s certainly a fun time.

Lost art?  We don’t think so.  At least not while we’re around.

We make quality wooden toys.  Think heirloom without all the overused and ill-applied marketing gimmicks.  Our toys won’t break after a few afternoons of play.  They won’t run out of batteries (because they don’t need them in the first place).  Happy Bungalow’s toys are made to be passed down to the kids, then to the grandkids.

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Happy Bungalow Makes Fun!

Happy Bungalow makes fun.  We’re not crafters, makers and, even though we work with wood all day, we don’t describe ourselves as wood-workers.  We’re artisans crafting clean, honest toys.  Wooden toys, literally for all ages.  But when you think of wooden toys, don’t think grandpa whittling on the back porch, rather – roaring dinosaurs, zooming fast cars, flittering fairies, and the most awesome robots you’ll find.

We use only natural wood (no stains) and only make toys we want our kids to play with (and yes, that we have fun playing with as well).  We’re an old-fashioned family business – our woodshop is part of our house and holds a number of tools, but no lasers.  Every piece is cut by hand, sanded silky smooth, and finished with love.  Well, linseed oil and beeswax actually – it turns out love doesn’t adhere to wood very well.

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Circus in Town – All This Week

Smell the popcorn, taste the cotton candy, and hear the calliope music filling the air! It’s a Three Ring Circus! – right in your home. The circus will always be in town with this fantastic wood play set. The children in your life will love the lions, tigers, elephants, dogs, ponies, and people. And become a kid again as you relive your own circus memories.

Take home the excitement of the circus with Happy Bungalow’s 70+ piece wooden circus toy set.  (click here to purchase)

threee ring circus advertisement

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