In generations past, children had fewer toys and their playland was the back yard and surrounding community. Families had less disposable income, and gifts were often handmade. Today, many children actually have their own playroom full of toys, gadgets, dolls and vehicles. Between birthdays and holidays, gift receiving and giving can be overwhelming. If you don’t enjoy making handmade toys, there are many toy options that engage a child’s imagination (tip: look for simple, open-ended toys that don’t require batteries).
Here are five suggestions from two local toy stores that are fun for kids and easy on the planet.
– The Plan Toys Dancing Alligator is a perfect first birthday presentâ€”little walkers will love chasing it as it clicks, wobbles, and clacks. Made from recycled rubber wood in Thailand by one of the world’s greenest toymakers.
– Made in the USA from reclaimed maple, KEVA planks are the perfect gift for older kids. Precisely cut, KEVA planks can make complex structures just by stacking. They’re smooth to the touch, fantastic to build with, and they mix in well with other blocks. A great gift for ages 5+.
– Also for older kids, look for the Totem recycled cardboard building set. Made in Holland, this toy has 120 interlocking pieces printed with funky images. Build them into a rocket, a boat, a house, or whatever you can imagine. Ages 5+.
– Green Toys has created a line of products made in the USA out of 100% recycled milk jugs. The tea set has a sturdy, smooth feel and kids can actually use liquids to have a great tea party! Best of all, it is BPA- and phthalate-free.
– Also made from recycled milk bottles are the Sprig Eco Trucksâ€”great little sandbox digging and hauling toys. They are an affordable and plant-friendly alternative to run-of-the-mill plastic toys. Perfect for 3-5 year olds.
The Green Goober Minneapolis, MN 612-823-2222 TheGreenGoober.com