By Tracy M
These days, I’m feeling a little skittish in the kids’ aisles of Target and Toys R Us (I skip Voldemart) with all the heavy metals and lead that have caused Chinese toys to be recalled. ( And good luck trying to find a mass-market toy NOT made in China) For an updated list, check here, to see what toys are recalled- and it’s not just dollar-store toys, folks.
(Am I the only one who finds this unacceptable? Do you worry about this? Does it bother you that your kid has been slurping on a Thomas engine in church that has been recalled for lead toxicity? Frankly, I’m ticked about it. These toy companies have known for a long, long time that China doesn’t adhere to our standards, and they haven’t cared enough to put our kids above their profit.)
For me, that answer is simple: Support local toymakers, buy wooden toys, and buy European toys when I can. Yes, I know, just because a toy is wood doesn’t mean it’s safe- but if you avoid cheap wooden knock-off’s that are made in China, you can be certain of safety. Also, and I cannot stress this enough: Wooden toys last longer. A LOT longer. They can be repaired, unlike plastic, in the even they do break, and as wooden toys age, they often become heirlooms, rather than landfill. The initial cost may be slightly more, but trust me when I say, it pays off in the longrun.
Here are some links to toys and toy suppliers that are safe, natural, strong, imaginative. In full disclosure, I used to work in the toy industry before becomming a mama, so I know a lot these people, and have worked with more than a few of them. That only makes me more certain of my recommendations.
I hope you like some of these links, and that you might consider, just for a moment, if these toys might be a better option for your family. I also would be delighted to answer any questions anyone might have about wooden toys, thier safetly, the dyes and finishes, the manufactueres, cost concerns- I am the OZ of toys, bring me your questions!