Toys. Toys. Toys.
If you have children you can probably relate to the above statement,
. My child isn't even quite one yet, and while I don't feel like we're anywhere near having a "ridiculous amount of toys," there are still days where I feel like I can say
(as I try to walk across the living room accidentally stepping on them).
Recently I published a post about my love for wooden toys and my battle with wooden toys versus plastics toys. To sum it up, plastic toys emit all sorts of harmful chemicals particularly PVC and in some awful cases, lead. It really sucks as an eco conscious mother to walk into a store and find primarily plastic toys. Rarely can you find a good wooden toy and almost never can you find any eco friendly toys in your big box stores.
Hello online shopping.
It may seem pointless to search for healthy, eco friendly toys to some and to others it's extremely important. I fall in the middle of these two categories, but I lean more towards the extremely important category. After this past Christmas we accumulated our fair share of plastic toys, some that we purchased, but most were gifts. As I looked around one day at the several plastic toys we had, I faced that dreadful decision of what to do (this came after learning more about plastic toys).
Basically there is no decision to ban plastic toys in my home; I just limit them. However, as an eco conscious mom I can still do my part to purchase as much wooden and eco friendly toys as possible. We already have a growing collection of wooden toys, and many that are eco friendly! When you consider the manufacturing and toxins emitted from plants and warehouses that produce plastic toys, it is much more comforting to purchase an item that is eco friendly and where the company strives to leave a good impact on this planet.
There are many, many wonderful brands out there that are eco friendly! We have toys made of wood, some out of natural rubber and many out of recycled milk jugs! I often find that wooden and eco friendly toys are much more unique and much more engaging. They are the type of toys that can often last a lifetime. Sometimes they may cost a few dollars more, but I often find that it's worth it.
It's not only important to think about the health impact of a toy, but also the possibilities within it. Some toys spark much more imagination and creative abilities in children, while others just sit there and sing forever and
. Frequently, I see toys that I simply can't wait to enjoy with my daughter as she gets older; toys that are so unique and crafty!
Another important thing to consider when shopping for your baby is to think about all of the toys that can go into their mouth. I did a pretty great job with all of our teethers with my daughter. After learning about not just toxins in many, but also the choking hazard involved, I brought back all of my teethers that were shower presents and invested in a few safe ones. I also made sure that all of the toys I purchased her that were likely to end up in the mouth were not plastic. I still follow this rule as my near one year old still puts everything into her mouth. Basically, all of the plastic toys that we do have are bigger toys that she can't eat (this gives me some comfort).
So what are some safe teethers?
- Natural Rubber
- Organic Cotton (or really I'd say cotton in general)
- Silicone and products that are PVC, Phthalate, BPA and Lead Free
What are some good ideas for toys?
- Wooden Toys
- Toys preferably not made in China (hard yes, impossible no)
- Organic and Cotton Toys
- USA made toys
- Creative Toys
- Eco Friendly Toys (there are MANY out there, most online)
Am I saying that I follow all of these guidelines myself? Nope, I don't, but I try to. I wish I did better and I wish I knew so much more before I had my daughter, but I didn't. Some eco mothers tell their family and friends that they have a "no plastic toy" rule and strive hard to have a house with healthy toys. I admire these mamas, but for now, that is not me. I strive hard to do what I can, but for now I don't have any requests for what others do.
So where can you find all of these toys that I'm talking about? Well, good question! Most of the toys that I purchase my daughter come from online. If you search and start getting familiar with brands and eco stores online, you'll soon be a pro at shopping for your child. One of the newest sites around for green living and eco goodies is
. I promise that when you visit her site, you'll find something that you want! I can name about 50 things!
And remember those toys that I mentioned that I can't wait to enjoy one day with my daughter? Well, I am actually giving away two of them today from
! Are you excited? I sure am!
Learn more about the prizes -- non toxic,
and non toxic
Do you have any rules for toys in your home?