Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Toys

Lately I have been drooling over toys that are handmade out of natural, non-toxic materials. Unfinished wood, organic cloth, etc. I could sit on Etsy for hours just staring at all the adorable and educational natural toys.

It seems like  a no brainer to me. Toys hand made out of natural materials are:

1. Better for baby-they're not coated with potentially toxic paint and they don't contain BPA and other toxins found in plastics. 

2. Better for the environment- things found in nature can easily return to nature.

3. Built to last- I can't count the number of plastic, battery-operated toys I only played with for a week before they bit the dust. The toys that I would like to pass on to my kids are the simple basics - a wooden doll bed and accompanying doll, for instance. Such things rarely go out of style. 

4. Better for the economy- buying handmade, I'm often forced to buy locally or at least nearby in order to avoid shipping. This supports the American economy, and not some sweat shop in China somewhere. It also supports small businesses where people are often working honest trades to earn a living and not large corporations where the higher-ups pocket all the revenue. 

5. No media characters- I hate when a child's likes and dislikes are dictated by a cartoon or television show. When a cheap product is plastered with the face of Mickey Mouse or Dora The Explorer, people buy it, even if it is cheaply made and has no educational value. When the child outgrows Mickey Mouse or Dora, they will outgrow the toy. This may happen long before they're technically too old to play with it. 

6. They just look better. There is something so stylish about a home filled with natural toys. Wood, for instance, can complement any decor. Kids toys can collect in the living room without the living room looking like Walt Disney puked plastic sunshine all over it. 

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