Giveaway : : Original Tree Swing

Thanks for the beautiful response to yesterday's post. I appreciate all of your comments so much. As an aside, someone just emailed me with a question that they thought I hadn't replied too. It turns out when I respond to your comments some of you aren't notified. I hope you haven't felt ignored! If you post a comment peek the next day for my response. I try to respond to most comments within a day. Thanks for all the love. 

Onto one of our loveliest giveaways yet!


I met Bill, the craftsman and founder of Minnesota-based company The Original Tree Swing at
the Living Green Expo in St. Paul this spring. In a bustling hall
filled with splashy displays, plenty of noise, and so many distractions
his toys were an oasis of calm. We chatted at the show while my kids
played with the toys he had on display and then we connected again
early this summer.



Because he is such a small company, has such wonderful products, and a positive ethic I had to share him with you! Bill works with sustainable wood and simple organic designs. His work spoke to me – and to my children. I interviewed him last week.

Ash Castle Blocks for SS

Clean: What inspired you to go into this line of work?

OTS: We started The Original Tree Swing in late September of 2009. I had become recently unemployed like a of other people and had
decided to go back to school in the fall of last year.  One of my
transcripts did not get in on time and I was unable to attend the fall
semester.  I was beside myself, I had no idea what to do with myself
until the Spring semester started.  My partner (Joyce) told me quite
simply that she would give me two weeks to develop 4-5 wood toys, build
a website, launch a HTML email marketing campaign.  So i did.  By the
Spring of 2010 I was having so much fun I just kept going.

Knights on horses for ss

Clean: How do you believe you and your business are bringing good into the world?

OTS: We make toys for kids of all ages. What could be better? We try to
design toys that challenge children to use their imaginations,
encourage them to play outside, help them to develop gross and fine
motor skills, and stimulate the senses.  

There are a lot of
great toy companies out there creating amazing toys we try to
differentiate ourselves by:  designing and manufacturing our products
in the US, by only using wood that has been cut down due to damage,
construction, and disease, (NEVER is a tree cut down so we can make our
products.) reclaiming or recycling as much as possible, i.e. 95% of our
boxes and packaging material is recycled from our local independent toy
retailer and other local business.

Bowl spoon board

Clean: What else should we know?

love what we do and hope to be able to keep doing it in the future.  In
the last 10 months we have picked up over 50 retailers in the US,
Canada, and Europe.  If there is not a location near one of your
readers but they know of a great independent toy retailer let us know
and we will contact them.  If any of your readers have great ideas for
toys we would love to hear them.  Let us know what you feel is missing
in the natural toy market and we will look into making it.  

While The Original Tree Swing does not sell retail, they have an extensive list of retailers you can see here.

Bill has offered an amazingly generous giveaway – goodies for five winners! Three sets of Memory Stackers (the little people seen below, each with a number on their belly for matching games) are up for grabs, as are two Bowl, Spoon, and Board play sets (pictured above). Bill gave a set of each of these to us and the quality is fantastic. So gentle, open-ended, and magical. To be entered in the drawing simply leave a comment below. For a second (or third) entry become a fan of The Original Tree Swing and/or Clean on Facebook. (One entry for each). Five winners! Good odds, folks.

I will close the comments on Monday morning, August 9th.


Comments are now closed. I will announce the winner tomorrow morning!

143 thoughts on “Giveaway : : Original Tree Swing

  1. Casey says:

    What BEAUTIFUL toys… Thank you so much for sharing these with us in time for Christmas! (And my sons’ birthdays in October!)

  2. Pamela R says:

    Our family would love this! And, after seeing Bill’s stuff…I think there might be a few holiday gifts in our future. Thanks for the introduction!

  3. Amanda J says:

    What a great story. And I love the personal connections that both of you gained. AND beautiful playthings to boot!

  4. Natasha Wakefield says:

    Is there anything more wonderful than hopping on a swing, pushing & pulling your legs as hard as you can, while gripping your fingers tight. It’s exillerating! I sometimes get to the point where I am as high as i can go and still get butterflies in my stomach….I’m 31. But with my daughters watching, anticipating my jump off….I hope I always get a thrill from something so simple! Beautiful moments & wood work!! Would love to win that swing =)

  5. Sarita says:

    I “liked” The Original Tree Swing on fb.
    Thanks Rachel for introducing Bill and his work to us. they are just beautiful pieces.

  6. Em says:

    What beautiful toys! The knights and dragon are so imaginative. And what a great story about making the best of a situation!

  7. Brooke says:

    Wow! I love his stuff! I have seen the swing somewhere else and told my husband I would love it to take camping with us (we have no tree in our yard 🙁 ) Love, love, love!

  8. Sommer says:

    What beautiful craft-mans ship! I’d be delighted to win any of these handmade items for our daughter. Thanks for highlighting such a wonderful small business.

  9. Emily says:

    Those are brilliant! Open-ended toys are exactly what we’re aiming for with our baby. I’m also “fanning” both of you on FB! Thanks for sharing a great new line with me!

  10. Cheryl says:

    joined the Original Tree Swing on FB! Don’t have a tree that would work, but I realized Grandma and Grandpa do!

  11. Jordan says:

    My father has a tree swing, but my kids were too scared to go on it…but I did all by myself & enjoyed every second of it:) Bill’s toys are beautiful…I’m now a fan on FB too:)

  12. Emily says:

    extra comment #2!

    Have I mentioned that I’ve gotten Christmas present ideas already from both Lusa and Original Tree Swing? So excited!

  13. Brittany says:

    Such beautiful toys! I have a goal of buying mostly handmade toys for my daughter as she grows up. My father made a beautiful toybox out of walnut that came from my grandfather’s old barn. Lots of room in there for some Original Tree Swing toys!

  14. Brittany says:

    Such beautiful toys! I have made it a goal to try to only buy hand-made toys for my daughter. My father made a beautiful toy box out of walnut that was salvaged from my Grandfather’s barn–there’s lots of room in there for some Original Tree Swing toys!

  15. Lori Beske says:

    Hi there Rachel,
    Wonderful toys, just became a fan of the origional tree swing as well – and have been a fan of clean for a while. Would love to stock my little boys toy chest with some of these.
    Have a beautiful day.

  16. Angie Lemar says:

    I have seen Bills stuff before but couldn’t remember how to find it again. Thanks for the reminder!! Thanks as well for all your great thoughts and inspiration – not to mention the soap!!

  17. Mariah says:

    Oh man, I would love love love to win one of these prizes!!! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  18. Melanie says:

    What a neat company! I need to buy one of those swings…but would love to win any of his stuff 🙂

  19. Emandeli says:

    Would love to see more of the little puzzle toys. Was on the hunt today for some nice wooden toys for our boys!

  20. Emandeli says:

    My four year old boy loves to cook and bake and create. It is hard to find nice wooden (no pink 🙂 cooking utensils, spoons, etc. I would love to see a kids set with small cutting board, rolling pin, spoons and such. I like the neutral chef stuff and ds would love it a lot!

  21. Comella Nicholes says:

    Rachel thanks for sharing this with us… I work with kids on the autism spectrum and many families are asking for good quality toys that will stretch the mind and/or be a good toy to interact with others. These toys will be perfect to share with them. Also, if I win, I have 8 beautiful nieces and nephews…

  22. analouise says:

    What beautiful toys!
    (is it a little lame that we’re all posting just to win? I mean, what if we got entries for sending a paper letter to bill with a picture of our kids playing with his toys? Or posted a comment at one of his vendors saying what *great* toys he makes and how we really appreciate carrying his toys…)

    um, what beautiful toys!
    we love them.

  23. Jennie D says:

    How beautiful! My children would be thrilled to own such lovely toys. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the introduction, seems like a great company.

  24. Pipsqueak says:

    OK – third time lucky…
    Beautiful work – just frustrated with the technology of posting!

  25. Zaenna says:

    This would be perfect! We have a tree. We have a rope, but no swing. The kids would love this!

  26. myriam says:

    Such lovely, artistic wooden toys! My neice and nephew will be so happy if I win! Either way, I predict I’ll be back! Thanks!

  27. Laura Fisher says:

    I would be so excited to win something from this company for my curious almost six month old. a lot of otehr baby toys arent’ holding her attention and we got her a cute wooden car from the farners market and it fell apart! here’s hoping 🙂

  28. Kelli says:

    What wonderful toys!! My three kidlettes would love each and every one of these! Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. Kelli says:

    I can’t seem to find you on facebook! Can you send out a link? And then count this as an entry for liking your page??! Thanks.

  30. kari says:

    Those things looks so great. Wow! Now if only we had a tree…. Maybe we can hang a swing in our living room?

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