Toys are one of those things that can excite and frustrate a mama. You can become excited over finding the perfect toy that your child just loves and then you can become frustrated at all of the toys lining about among your house and scattered about in your living room.
I go at a cross roads with toys as in the fact that I don't want my kid to have too many toys but like many mamas, there are certain toys that I get so excited about and would love for my child to have. When it comes to toys, I love simplicity. I love toys that last, toys that teach and toys that require imagination. Even a simple baby doll requires the imagination of a two year old to play "mommy." Whereas on the other hand, an electronic toy doesn't always hold attention or isn't easily understood by a young toddler and just becomes a blinking object that sings fun songs and eventually dies in toy heaven because the batteries don't work or because your kiddo dropped it one too many times (the case here).
So what are some toy favorites around our home?
Our toys consist of primarily books, puzzles and kitchen items. Most toys we have are wooden or eco friendly, but believe me, there are plastic toys in the mix and it's simply something that I can't quite refrain from (she loves her little Daniel Tiger figurines). We have a few electronic toys and some have captured her attention here and there (a VTech vacuum cleaner was a hit) but many of them don't hold her attention for long.
There are several toy lines that I always turn to when I want or need a gift for my daughter or other kids, so let's check them out. While I wish they were all American made, they are not unfortunately. There ARE awesome American made wooden toy companies out there, but since we don't really own many of those I didn't include them in the list.
pictured here: pot from Green Toys, play food and stacking ring from Plan Toys, xylophone from Voila, puzzle from Hape, eggs from Haba and doll from Apple Park
I can't rave about these toys enough. They are USA made and made from recycled milk jugs, making them pretty dang eco friendly and awesome. We have several pieces from Green Toys and hope to expand on those as we get older!
Plan Toys, Hape Toys and Voila Toys.
This is perhaps my favorite lines because there are some amazing toys for great prices among these three lines. They all pride themselves in being sustainable wooden toy companies that use safe toys, water based paints and are all environmentally friendly. However the one downfall to these companies is that they are not American made and are manufactured in Asia.
Very similar to the above companies in terms of being eco-conscious, but the toys are manufactured in Germany rather than in Asia like the above two companies (that's a bonus in my book). We actually only own one or two Haba toys but it's definitely a company to go to in search of good, wooden toys. They also have a line of unique dolls!
We only have one Janod puzzle, but I love that like the above companies they produce safe, eco-conscious wooden toys but they do this in FRANCE. Woohoo for not being China made!
Melissa and Doug.
Melissa and Doug isn't necessarily any sort of environmentally friendly company, but their products do go through rigorous testing and I love many of their wooden toys. However on an upside, many M&D puzzles are USA made.
We don't currently own any of these adorable soft, organic cotton toys simply because she is a little too big for them, but for my next one she'll have a full stock considering we sell them in the
! They have some of the sweetest looking stuffed friends and dolls.
One of my favorite organic toy companies! I just simply love the designs and colors of their lovies and stuffed friends! We truly hope to get them in the shop one day as well as a few of the above lines. They make the perfect organic, and inexpensive baby presents. I just love them!
So here is my list of those awesome go to toys for when I'm searching for gifts for my little one. I just have a love for wooden toys like you wouldn't believe and simply oogle all things simple and wooden!
What are some of your favorite baby toys?