Earth Day Toy Picks

Earth Day Toy Picks

Being ‘green” gets you bonus points these days and toy manufacturers are eager to tap into the appeal. There certainly seem to be a variety of criteria to earn the green label – anything from using soy ink on recycled cardboard packaging to toys that will literally de-compost within 90 days. Here are some of our favourites and why we think they’re solid green.

Dandelion Organic Toys (0m+, Re-Think-It Toys)

Quality made and machine washable, these organic cotton toys are ideal for touching and teething. Even the filling is made from corn (rather than polyester fibre fill), which is why it machine washes so beautifully.

Bamboo Toys (Hape International)

Hape uses environmentally friendly, renewable bamboo to make a number of its toys including the e-Racer cars (3+) and the Bamboo Sunshine Dollhouse (3+) – which also features a functional solar panel to power miniature lights.

Recycled Materials (Green Toys & Spring Toys)

Green Toys and Sprig Toys are both companies that manufacture their toys from recycled materials. Green Toys uses recycled milk jugs, and Sprig makes their toys from Sprigwood, which is a mix of reclaimed sawdust and recycled plastic.

New this year for Green Toys is a line of play food – our favourite so far, The Pizza Parlor. Also popular are the new Race Cars and the Flatbed Truck to carry them.

Sprig Toys has re-designed and updated their popular Eco Trucks. All three toys are currently in testing homes, and early feedback is already posted.

Crayola Wood Free Coloured Pencils (3+, Crayola)

These lead-only pencil crayons were popular for many reasons – not the least of which was the positive environmental impact of making the wood-free.

Recycled Cardboard Doll House (3+, Creativity for Kids)

Constructed from recycled corrugated cardboard, this is a great crafty activity. But it’s also a terrific dollhouse with extra special appeal because kids can decorate the way they want. And it’ll get lots of use - parents appreciated that it remains functional and appealing even after months of play.

Überstix™ (8+, Überstix)

Uberstix is a construction system that is not only manufactured from recycled plastic, it also includes specialized components designed specifically to incorporate recycled items into your models. In fact, models like the popular Pirate Ship send kids on a scavenger hunt for recycled items before they even start to build.

Science Kits (8+, Thames & Kosmos)

Thames & Cosmos offers numerous science kits that give kids hands-on experience with environmental concerns. New this year, Global Water Quality (8+) gives kids the tools they need to participate in the largest ever chemistry experiment to test for global water quality by analyzing the water in their area and uploading the data to the Internet. Other fabulous kits include: Global Warming (10+), Sustainable Earth Lab (8+), and the Power House kit (10+).

Planet Earth DVD Board Game (8+, Imagination Games)

But perhaps the best way to celebrate Earth Day is to play this inspiring game. Even our testers who hadn’t seen the original BBC series/DVDs, say they learned a lot and felt new appreciation for the variety and abundance of life on our planet.