Simple Toys Last, Electronic Toys Die

Toys. Toys. Toys. 

Our living room floors are full of them and our play rooms look like they threw them up. Let's face it...having children means also having and owning a million freaking toys.

A million.blinking.talking.singing.Spanish 

Prior to really educating myself on the the chemicals within our homes, I knew little about plastics and decided that my daughter wouldn't have small plastic toys and teethers. Everything she had to play with was mostly soft things or silicone teethers.

Then came that day -

you know, the day where your four month old is doing tummy time and you realize that you don't really have much for them to "play" with, so you hop into your car excitedly to go and pick up a few engaging toys for your little one. 

I sat there standing down the infant toy aisle for what seemed like an hour. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was indeed an hour (+). I debated and debated over plastic toys because I didn't want them in my home. However, I then decided that if the toy was large enough to avoid being placed in her mouth (like a talking book or small piano) that it was okay. I made my purchase and from there decided that these plastic, blinking toys were okay. 

And let's face it. These talking, blinking toys are okay because they do in fact teach important things. Heck, now you can learn Spanish just by simply switching the toy's settings (red = 


). I quickly found a love for all Vtech toys and while I didn't purchase many, I did eventually pick up a couple more. Then Christmas came and she was blessed with a few more awesome toys, many that she still loves today. 

As a health conscious mama, I've debated long and hard about the plastic toy dilemma. Truthfully we don't have a lot, but we do have a good bit. While these toys may not seem like a big deal, in fact they really are. Plastic toys, synthetic fibers, carpets, and certain furniture all slowly "off gas" into your home. The chemicals that are used to make these products slowly make their way into your home and affect your health and air quality. Think of how many times you've heard of a popular toy being recalled because of lead.

That. IS. A. BIG. Deal.

Lead = poison. 

{Side note: the best way to handle this situation is to obviously search for non toxic items, real wooden furniture and/or hand-me down items that you get for free or score at a garage sale. Second hand items are likely finished off gassing by the time they reach the second owner. You can also always leave a new piece of furniture or a new rug outdoors for a few days for it to release some of the new chemicals. To have a better understanding of off gassing, think of the smell of a new shower curtain. That smell is actually the product off gassing toxins into your home.}

Yet here is my problem. Aside from the fact that these plastic toys are toxic, they eventually die. These toys that are full of chemicals that "off gas" into our homes daily are battery operated and eventually those damn batteries die. Eventually the toy that you paid $20 for becomes pointless and less fun. And we all know that these toys are not made up of your typical AA and AAA batteries, but rather made up of these fancy little discs and crap that you have to search high and low for. 

And that you have to spend more money on.

So now that toy cost roughly $6 more than the original price. 

Nice, right?

But to not get ahead of ourselves here, I'm not going around getting rid of our plastic, electronic toys. Toys aren't cheap and when someone takes the time to give my child a gift, I'm fully grateful. I strive to purchase non plastic items, but I know there will likely never be a day that we'll never, ever have plastic toys (kudos to those that ban them). However, as stated previously my problem now lies in the fact that out of the handful of awesome toys we have, I now have two that are possessed by a robotic devil and never shut off and mysteriously come on; and I also have two that no longer work. 

So my love for simple toys continues to grow. While yes some of those talking, blinking toys are educational, the truth of the matter is that kids learned back in the day before fancy toys ever existed. In fact, out of all of the toys my child has, the ones that she can "complete the task" are not electronic. In my opinion, those toys are the ones helping to teach her, rather than just entertaining her.  

Most of us don't want to completely ban plastic or electronic toys from our house, nor do we want to limit the gifts people give our children. I say though that as a mama, we should strive to purchase our child the items that will last a lifetime. If our children desire a toy at the store we should purchase a book instead (not that you have to give in to your child's begging) and if we feel like our child may need a few new items for play time (really who needs more these days) we should remember the wooden toys of yesteryear. We should consider the puzzles, the days of clay and play dough and the days of watercolor paint fun. Heck even plastic Barbie Dolls and Ninja Turtles inspire more imagination than iPads and video games. 

Play time should really be simple, imaginative, educational and fun. We don't need expensive toys that are made by massive manufacturing companies who could care a less what's in the toy. A quick search on Etsy, Amazon or a quick walk into a small business boutique, can likely provide you with handmade toys or simple ones that don't require a set of batteries six months later. Not to to mention that there are numerous companies producing eco friendly and non toxic toys (we love

Green Toys


Plan Toys






Electronic toys are fun at times and


provide your child with fun play time, but the truth of the matter is that nothing beats play time when the child has to use their imagination themselves. Give them some pots, wooden food and maybe some stuffed friends. All of the blinking crap can take a break and rest their batteries for later.

What are your thoughts on toys for toddlers and 

young children today?

Thanks for reading, Sasha

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