How do you play with Uncle Goose Blocks?
We don't need to tell you how to play with blocks. You already know.
If you can't figure it out: give them to a child. They'll show you. Children often think of things to do that you've long since forgotten. Let a child show you the path back to yourself.
Uncle Goose toys are the building blocks of creativity. In a child's hands, Uncle Goose blocks can become anything. Use them to inspire your imagination.
Why are Uncle Goose products so pretty?
What does Made in the USA mean?
Uncle Goose toys are hand-manufactured in Michigan. We don’t use any non-USA materials or labor.
The wood, the ink, the packaging? It’s all Made in the USA. We support USA businesses and employees.This means Uncle Goose pays a living wage, right here in Michigan. The people who work here are highly skilled. Some have families here who have been in woodworking for generations. Many are designers or craftspeople. And all of us can feel good about the work we do.
Other than our foreign language blocks, there’s absolutely nothing foreign about our blocks. When we say Made in the USA -- we mean it in a hand-crafted and artisan kind of way.Oh -- the wheels on our wagons? They’re lathed in Maine. That means you can still own a vehicle that’s 100% Made in the USA, as well. Fancy that.
How eco-friendly is Uncle Goose?
Renewable resources. Eco-friendly. All natural. For us, these aren’t buzzwords. It’s who we are and how we work.
At Uncle Goose, we make our toys out of fast-growing American basswood trees that grow in the Great Lakes area. These trees are a renewable resource.
Environmentalists call it sustainability when we re-purpose our scrap and wood dust. Our customers seem to get a kick when they learn that real-live horses bed on our wood curls. Or that our wood salvage is used to heat homes. We produce little waste.
Our packaging? We use recycled paper for most of it. Our brochures and letterhead? Same deal.Doing right by the environment is embedded in our processes and products. It’s the only way we know.
Our home state of Michigan is filled with trees. So why did we choose to make our toys out of the American Basswood or Linden Tree?
So many reasons. Linden is a hardwood, so it’s sturdy. And yet, it feels soft and pleasant to touch. The light color makes it easy to read the words and see the images we print on the blocks. Basswood grain is more delicate than other woods -- you can see it, but it often fades into the background.
Some say the American Basswood is odorless, but take a whiff. It’s a light, pleasant, and unobtrusive smell.
Further, basswood is a renewable resource. It grows fast. Its often harvested along with other trees like maple and oak -- without being as dense or heavy for small hands.
If you’re in the Midwest or Great Lakes region, you’ll often see basswood growing in yards as a shade tree. Some of your favorite musicians may have guitars made out of basswood.
Ah, the American Basswood. Tillia Americana. The Linden Tree. It goes by quite a few names, but it’s the tree we know and love.
Why no coatings?
Uncle Goose toys are untreated. No varnish, no polish, no sheen, no gloss.
In part, this is for your safety. If a curious child licks or chews a block - the child will discover that plain basswood tastes bland and uninteresting. Since Uncle Goose blocks are not coated, they’re literally dull to put in the mouth. A child is likely to discover that licking our blocks isn’t nearly as fun as playing with them.
Further, the lack of coating actually contains a little bit of magic. As you play with your blocks, the oils in your hands will slowly penetrate the wood. Over time, you’ll create your own soft sheen, with your own DNA. We like to think that when you pass these heirloom toys down to the next generation, your unique DNA will be passed down to the next generation, too.
Over time, you may see and feel-worn sides on your untreated toy. You may even see scratches and dents. This is evidence of love. We hope you’ll use generational wear and tear as an opportunity to create a story that will help preserve your unique family history.
What is - and isn’t - a defect?
If you look closely at your block set, you’ll see wood grain. You might even see pinholes or mineral streaks.
These aren’t defects. They show the unique nature of wood. Blocks provide you with a wonderful way to talk with children about nature and the beauty of individual differences.
Grain, pinholes, and streaks make your block set truly one-of-a-kind. Unlike plastic toys, no two wood block sets will ever be identical.
Wood has a naturally imperfect and beautiful character. We wouldn’t dream of replacing a perfectly imperfect wood block.
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