Every time you turn on the evening news these days another toy has been recalled due to toxic ingredients. Have you started breaking into a cold sweat every time you see your toddler stick a random piece of colored plastic into her mouth? Then it's definitely time to go green. If you've been resisting because you thought the only eco-friendly toy options were so completely boring and lackluster that your kids would revolt, think again. These days, organic toys are just as colorful, creative and attention grabbing as the questionable ones found in the mall.
For years one of my favorite sites has been The Playstore. From doll houses to dress-up clothes, The Playstore prides itself on high quality, nontoxic toys that will light up your child's imagination. While you're there, check out the Ostheimer wooden animal toys . All of my kids love them and they come in just about every animal imaginable from dragons to ducks. Also look at the baby toys. I love the organic baby rattles, which make great additions to an eco-friendly gift basket for the mother-to-be in your life (the Peapod is my favorite, but they're all totally adorable). The Wooden Cone Sorting Toy is aesthetically pleasing to an adult-eye, yet holds the attention of a toddler for hours-which leaves you time to finally load the dishwasher.
My other favorite website is Moolka, which offers a huge range of European designed and manufactured toys that will delight even the most picky child. Why European? Unlike North America, Europe has very high safety standards that toy manufacturers have to abide by. So the toys are quality-controlled and guaranteed to be nontoxic and lead-free. It's possible to waste hours of time browsing the enormous selection, oohing and aahing over everything. Luckily you can narrow things down by age, price or category. One of the categories is Organic Toys, where you'll find an adorable array of soft, fuzzy and natural stuffed toys made with organic cotton. My kids received many of their holiday presents from Moolka, including colorful, girly and safe felted jewelry for Saffron.
So whether you're trying to fill up your children's toy chest after throwing everything they already had into the garbage in a fit of lead-induced panic, or if you're just looking for a special gift, environmentally-friendly toys are definitely the best option around.