For the past few years, Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, also known as Dr. Toy, has issued a list of the year’s top green toys and children’s products. Dr. Toy acknowledges in a press release that these green products represent just “a small number among all the choices of play products available, but we need to start somewhere. “ I like the idea that every little bit helps, because otherwise the struggle to be green can seem too ominous. These toys can help families try to stay on the green side.
We broke the list down into age groups (which conveniently match the ages of my kids) – and this week we’ll tell you about what made the list for babies, 12 months and under. You can also find toys for toddlers and bigger kids on her website.
Good Earth Girl Ballerina by Hosung New York
Age Range: Birth – 5 years
This smiling rag doll is made of unbleached, unprocessed cotton and colored with low-impact, non-toxic plant and mineral dyes. The ballerina is stuffed with recycled fiber and packaged in a gift box made with recycled materials. I particularly like the company’s Jane Goodall collection!
Rubbablox Building Blocks by Rubbabu Inc.
Age Range: 3months – 5 years
I think 9 blocks and 14 connectors for $50 sounds a little pricey, but these blocks look great for the baby I’m about to have. Apparently these are so soft that they won’t hurt even if baby (or his tired mother) falls on them. Made out of the sap of rubber trees, they are very eco-friendly as the sap can be collected from the same tree for 25 years.
Sprig Conestacker by Sprig Toys, Inc.
Age Range: 6 – 18 months
This is reminiscent of the stacker we all grew up with, except these are made
of “Sprigwood,” a composite of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic, so part of this toy is made from a renewable resource. Unlike the plastic version we once knew, Sprig’s Conestacker uses an average of 20% less energy when it is molded. And in spite of the bright colors, no paint is used in this product as the Sprigwood is dyed (non-toxic dyes, of course) during production.
Wee Can Too Edible Finger Paint by Wee Can Too Edible Art Supply
Age Range: 6 months – 5 years
You gotta’ love a product made by a mom! These finger paints are made with infant-safe, edible, mostly organic ingredients and are available in 5 vibrant, organic colors. The company’s founder sought out safer art supplies for her young daughter and when she could find only “non-toxic” paint, she made her own, edible version. Dr. Toy notes that these are nutritious and pleasant tasting, which seems to me to be a little confusing for the kids, since I imagine we would ultimately prefer out toddlers not eat paint. That being said, I fondly remember finger painting with chocolate pudding when I was in pre-school, though that was clearly not paint.
Once employed in tv production, Jill Austin now uses those management skills to boss around her husband, son, daughter and dog, with minimal success. When she’s not turning daily life into a production, Jill is a free-lance writer, a middle-of-the-pack triathlete and an optimist. She blogs at lamemom.