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Toys Go Green!
Consumers are unsatisfied about the lack of adequate testing of many paints and plastic products being used to make conventional children's toys. The emerging green toys market has seen companies rise to the occasion, offering non-toxic and fair-trade toys made of natural and recycled materials. Here are some of the best green toys around - perfect for eco-conscious holiday gift-giving.
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Baby & Infant
The fun, friendly characters of Joobles toys from fairindigo.com are sure to become a best friend. Made from organic yarns and eco-friendly dyes by a family business in Peru, cuddle-buddies like Icy the Penguin and Bella the Bunny will comfort and delight. Also available are character-matching sweaters and hat and mitten sets.
All natural Rainbow Baby Teethers, available at rosiehippo.com, are a perfect first toy. An adorable soft cotton baby holding a beeswax beechwood teething ring gives baby something to chew on during fussy moments.
Cute, soft, and organic, the Organic Woolen Lamb is made from wool and cotton in Germany. It's machine washable, too, and also available at rosie hippo.
When little babies start to teethe, they desperately want something to chew on. Give them the cotton and wool teething doll, available at novanatural.com, and be sure what they are chewing on is safe and non-toxic.
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Kids often fall asleep in the car but have nowhere to rest their head. Give the cuddly Stuffed Lion Shoulder Rest to support their head and neck. Handmade in Kenya, this fair-trade toy is made of soft terrycloth and available at tenthousandvillages.com.
Toddlers love throwing tea parties with their friends and dolls. The pastel-colored 17-piece tea set from Green Toys is made in the USA from 100% recycled milk jugs and is BPA- and phthalate-free. Green, recycled, and unbreakable! The tea set is available from many online retailers, including amazon.com.
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The pedal- and training wheel-free Skuut toddler bike is designed to give toddlers a gentle first lesson in using their balance. Made of birchwood and coated with a non-toxic lacquer, the Skuut ensures toddlers can ride a two-wheeler from the start! Available at rei.com.
As their imagination grows toddlers spend much of their time playing pretend. Toddlers will love pretending to cook with the Elves & Angels Julianna's Wooden Kitchen. Made in Maine of solid white pine and oak, Julianna's kitchen comes complete with metal sink, opening oven, cabinet and shelving storage areas, and plenty of knobs for turning.
For future builders, ignite their imagination with all-natural wooden construction trucks, a fire station, parking garage and more from eco-friendly company Plan Toys. Find these toys at hazelnutkids.com.
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Challenge young minds while having fun with an animal matching game, also from Plan Toys. The Animal Memo set features colorful animal faces on flat wooden tiles and comes in a cloth carrying bag. The tiles are made in Thailand from eco-friendly and renewable rubber wood.
Give quality, eco-friendly dolls and accessories instead of those made from off-gassing petroleum products. Waldorf dolls and Sweetheart Dolls, available at rosie hippo, are made of all-natural fabrics and stuffed with wool. To complete her gift, give the cherry wood Doll Bed or beechwood Doll Pram, also available at rosie hippo. Gorgeous wooden doll houses (offered in architectural styles like Colonial and Victorian) are made by Plan Toys and available at hazelnutkids.com.
High-quality art supplies aren't just for the professionals. Give kids all-natural art supplies and let their creativity come alive. Artemis colored pencils, crayons, and modeling beeswax get their colors from 100% all-natural plant sources. Hemp-paper sketch books are easier on the environment than standard art paper. Items are available at ecoartworks.com.
Tieramid Blocks are brightly colored non-toxic wooden circular blocks that can be made into an incredible array of shapes. Sure to inspire creativity and improve motor skills, the 22-piece Tieramid Blocks set comes with 52 cards displaying creatures and objects kids can make with the blocks. Engaging and fun, these blocks keep kids busy exploring and creating. Available at rosie hippo.
Children love movement and music. Inspire creativity by giving unique musical instruments such as a Peruvian panflute or rainstick made in Chile, available at ten thousand villages. Each fair-trade instrument is handmade by local artisans.