Okay, I'll admit it: I'm a 30-year-old grown woman and I absolutely love toys.
I go gaga over adorable Melissa & Doug food sets, get misty-eyed during precious Lego commercials, and leap at the chance to try my hand at any DIY toy tutorial that I find on Pinterest.
However, many of the new toys that are currently being marketed leave me less than inspired. So ugly, so plastic, so stupid, with no potential for long-term play and true creativity!
I feel the need to honor some of the toy companies that are going in the other direction, who are making beautiful and engaging toys for children while using all-natural dyes and eco-friendly materials.
1. Anamalz Wooden Toys
These adorable dinos are my new favorites! Anamalz makes their toys from organic, sustainable maple wood and hand-paints them with safe, water-based paint. They are designed to be easy to hold for little hands. They have a whole prehistoric collection of Anamalz, as well as farm and zoo collections. So cute!
2. Just Rocks in an Eco Box by Crayon Rocks
These beautiful rock-shaped crayons are made with non-toxic soybean wax and colored with natural minerals. They are designed to help children develop the tripod grip for writing (That's how we hold our pencils.)
3. Good Earth Dolls
These sweet and simple dolls are made from organic cotton and colored with dyes made from plants and minerals.
I love these dolls for children because they look like children. I prefer for kids to play with dolls that are age-appropraite, and I really dislike for children to be playing with dolls that are hyper-sexualized adults wearing massive amounts of make-up-- Bratz dolls are the WORST.
4. Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit
This indoor planting kit is made from collected, recycled milk containers and is BPA-free. Children can plant the organic zinnia, basil and sunflower seeds that are provided.
5. Glob Paint Color (Natural Botanical Paints)
These scented paints are made from organic fruits, flowers and spices. They are eco-friendly and non-toxic, and have yummy scents like Lemon Verbena, Tangerine, Basil and Pomegranate.
6. Haba Toy Foods
These beautiful dramatic play food toys are crafted in Germany with solid hardwoods and finished with a safe, water-based stain. They are not recommended for kiddos under the age of 3, as they contain small parts that may cause choking.
7. Green Creativity
Green Creativity kits help children recycle old papers and magazines into beautiful art! There is a Recycled Paper Bead-Making Kit and a Recycled Paper-Making Kit.
8. Mama K's Play Clay
This play clay is made from gluten free flour, organic essential oils and is colored with fruit and veggie dyes. Features yummy scents like Bergamot, Sweet Orange and Lemongrass.
9. Edible Veggie Sidewalk Chalk by We Can Too Art
Organic and plant-based, this chalk is made from real veggies! It's wheat-free, dairy-free and non-toxic.
10. Soopsori All Natural Wooden Blocks
I love a good set of blocks, and these Soopsori blocks are GORGEOUS. They are crafted from 11 different types of hardwood and finished with non-toxic linseed oil. Blocks are arguable the most important toy for a child to play with. In fact, if you were to tell me that you could only afford to buy one toy for your child for them to play with for their entire childhood, I would say, "Get Blocks!" They are so versatile! They build creative problem solving skills, encourage dramatic play and strengthen dexterity.
The famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright credited his design skills to the Froebel Kindergarten blocks he played with as a child. "The maple-wood blocks...are in my fingers to this day"-- Frank Lloyd Wright, from An Autobiography.
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