Hi there, we’re the Barons. Welcome to Marley & Moose!

Marley & Moose is a sustainability focused children's store. We were founded in 2021 by Brittany Baron, an early childhood development and education expert of 20+ years and mother of four. Our parenting and development philosophy are influenced by Maria Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia, but we don't pretend one method is right for everyone. At the store and at home we are inspired by nature and learning more about different cultures.

The purpose of our blog is to share some of our tips and tricks, lessons learned, and to share any exciting news at the store. We started our digital journey as a travel blog so you may find content inspired by nature and culture ranging from child development to education to lifestyle including travel tips or info on places we've been and love. You can also follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see where we are headed next!

Lifestyle

Sustainability Guide for New Parents: What to Buy New, Used, & DIY

It is no surprise that parenthood brings a floodgate of marketing and a whole tidal wave pushing the “stuff” you need to navigate this new world of raising a tiny human. And while we won’t pretend there isn’t indeed a big list of “stuff” that makes navigating parenting a bit easier, it can be done more sustainably, cheaper, and with a whole lot less stress than the big box stores and large baby brands would like you to believe. Sustainable parenting is no doubt another level of challenging, but the payoffs can certainly make the work worth it! Sustainable items are often the ones that last longer, are more durable, and can be later passed down or resold.

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Open Ended Play
Child Development, Lifestyle

7 Examples of Open Ended Toys: Sparking Creativity and Imagination

Unlike their single-purpose counterparts, open ended toys are the chameleons of the playroom, morphing into any object a child’s mind can dream up. They are the unsung heroes of imagination, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills without an instruction manual bogging them down.

Open ended toys support play that’s inspired by the child, not the product, leading to deeper engagement and richer learning experiences. This post aims to explore seven examples of these magical playmates, each with its own unique way of encouraging endless play possibilities.

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Child Development, Education, Gift Guides

Share your love of books this Valentine’s Day

Celebrating a day of love sharing a love of books with the little ones in your life? Absolutely! Books are an easy answer to filling in your love-themed gift basket, an alternative to plastic toys and candy, and won’t end up in the trash in a week. Just a few reasons we love books as gifts.

As a former early literacy program director and mom of four, I’ve hand-picked our absolute favorite board books and picture books for celebrating love and kindness with babies, toddlers, and little kids. Check them out below!

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Child Development, Lifestyle

How to get your toddler to play independently (without screens!)

If you are struggling to finish basic tasks, take a moment to breathe, or even shower alone because your toddler just cannot seem to entertain themselves independently for any length of time, you my friend are not alone. While some young toddlers and young children are naturally inclined to play, tinker, and read independently for long stretches, some kids need a bit more support to learn how to play independently.

Maybe your toddler has dropped naps and needs quiet time, or maybe you need a few minutes of quiet time to sip a cup of coffee while it’s still hot. Whatever your reason, we know that kids who can play independently are more resilient problem solvers as they grow and it is an essential skill to teach and nurture.

After years of education and working with toddlers in preschool classrooms and raising my own four very unique toddlers, I’ve come up with these tips to support your toddler to increase their ability to play independently. The goal is to find joy and confidence in a short burst of time alone that will stretch into longer windows of time. The results will be a happier and more confident kid.

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Lifestyle

Stack, Learn, Grow: Educational Magic of Alphabet Blocks

When do you think children begin to acquire language? 12 months? 18 months? 3 years old?

Are you shocked to learn that language acquisition actually begins right at birth and even before? Babies’ first cries are their earliest verbal communication to their caregivers and they have been listening and reacting to sound for many months before inside the womb. Those early cries will faster than your tired eyes can blink turn into babbles and words. And before you know it, you have a fully conversing little one who can tell stories well beyond bedtime. The best preschooler stories come about 15 minutes after bedtime in our experience as parents of four little ones.

But back to our topic at hand, if you have landed here likely you know have curiosity about alphabet blocks, educational toys, and generally giving that little cuddle bug the very best start at learning and growing. Creating an environment where your little one is organically surrounded by words and letters is a wonderful. It creates an opportunity to maximize their natural exposure to early literacy foundations. And in turn will jumpstart a long and impactful journey of learning. A home library of books is a great place to start. A few of our very favorites can be found here, alphabet blocks are a complementary and rather powerful tool for learning and development as well.

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Lifestyle

Colorado Baby Registry Guide

Congratulations! Your little rocky mountain baby is one the way! Now begins the fun of planning and repairing and setting up your baby registry. While there is fun in getting out to actually see and touch all of that adorable tiny baby gear, the overwhelming bright lights of visiting big box store after big box store to set up 4 different registries are a thing of the past! Here are the days where expecting parents can use a one-stop multi-store baby registry. One that pulls from large box stores AND supports small and local businesses and makers (like us!).

Keep reading for our quick overview on how to choose a platform for your baby registry and getting started adding items. If you are looking for a more detailed guide on what to add you your registry, check back for our soon to be published “Complete Baby Registry Guide”.

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Child Development, Lifestyle

The Future of Fun: Sustainable and Educational Toys

From plastic dolls to battery-powered gadgets, up to 80 percent of plastic toys end up in landfills and contribute to pollution and climate change. As parents become more environmentally conscious, they are seeking alternative options for their children’s playtime. They also want toys that go beyond occupying their children and contribute to child development as well.

This is where sustainable and educational toys come into play. Most sustainable toys toys are designed with the environment as well as children’s development in mind, making them a more responsible and beneficial choice for playtime. But what exactly are sustainable toys? And why do they matter? This article will explore the importance of sustainable and educational toys in today’s world, and how they can make a positive impact on our children and the planet.

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Child Development, Gift Guides, Lifestyle

Cherishing Tradition: Heirloom Baby’s First Christmas Gifts

The holiday season is a magical time for families, and it becomes even more enchanting when celebrating your baby’s first Christmas. While your little one might not fully grasp the festivities, the joy and heart warming feeling of giving and receiving gifts will be cherished for years to come. When choosing the perfect presents for your baby’s first Christmas, we are here to help you select items that are not only adorable but also enriching. And of course, built to last. Here are our best loved gift ideas to make this special occasion even more memorable. If your little one is a bit older we also have a guide for toddler Christmas gifts.

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Open-Ended Play
Child Development, Education

Sustainable Open-Ended Play Activities for Toddlers

Nurturing Sustainable Practices from the Start

As parents, we play a pivotal role in shaping our children’s lives. The early years are especially crucial, as they set the foundation for a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Integrating open-ended play activities into your toddler’s routine not only promotes their growth but also aligns with the values of sustainable and green parenting. In this article, we’ll explore open-ended play activities for toddlers that not only foster your child’s development but also contribute to a more eco-friendly future.

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Eco-Friendly Parenting
Child Development, Education

Eco-Friendly Toys: A Parent’s Guide to Greener Living

As parents, we want the best for our children, including toys that are safe, durable, and fun to play with. But have you ever thought about the impact that toys have on the environment? From the materials used to make them to the packaging they come in, toys can have a significant environmental impact. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of eco-friendly toys and offer tips on how you can make more sustainable choices for your family.

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