Best Picks for Older Kids: Mothering’s Natural Toy Guide 2012

 

 

Discover More: Dolls | Arts & Crafts | Blocks & Puzzles | Books & Games | Imaginative Play | Teethers & Rattles | Vehicles & Rollers | For Older Kids | 20 Toys Under $20 | Top 20 Favorites 

 

 

Child’s 5 String Banjo

 

Why We Love It: This fully functional banjo will take music play to a new level. Small children will adore simply strumming the strings and singing along while older kids can learn songs from the included song booklet. It is a great way to introduce a child to this instrument. Beautifully made of sustainable maple in the USA. 

 

Price: $74.95

 

Where to Buy: Down to Earth Toys

 

 

 

 

Gentle Colors Rainbow Silk

 

Why We Love It: What’s not to love about play silks! This one is huge–a full 9 feet in length. It is beautifully hand-dyed in the USA to create a soft, elegant silk perfect for forts, dress up, ball tosses, backdrops, tea parties, picnics and so much more.The possibilities for play are endless. 

 

Price: $59.95 (other sizes and prices available)

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

What Do Roots Do?

 

Why We Love It: You’ll love digging into this delightful, rhyming storybook about the importance of roots. What Do Roots Do is deeply informative while still being fun to read. Perfect for nature lovers of all ages. 

 

Price: $8.95

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

 

Treasure Chest of Activities

 

Why We Love It: This fun set includes everything an older child needs to keep themselves entertained for hours–including the paper, scissors and glue. Watch as they make 

everything from paper balloons to origami and feel great knowing it is made in the USA. 

 

Price: $14.95

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

Know Your Knots Fundana

 

Why We Love It: This is an incredibly simple and yet completely engrossing game that can be played with kids of all ages. It is especially perfect for little ones who love to try out and show off new skills. A lovely idea for family game night and a great way to keep those little minds turning. Made in the USA. 

 

Price: $7.95

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

Kaleidograph Crystal Pattern Game

 

Why We Love It: This educational children’s toy and adult design tool was created in the tradition of the original Kindergarten to teach the most fundamental lessons of pattern, rhythm, association, interconnectedness, and unity through symmetry and color combinations. Made in USA from sturdy, non-toxic paperboard.

 

Price: $12.00

 

Where to Buy: The Wooden Wagon

 

 

 

Finger Knitting Yarn

 

Why We Love It: Made in the USA this set of finger yarn provides more than 90 feet of pure colorful fun. Even little kids can easily learn to create jump ropes, reins, rugs and more. Plus the yarn can be used to help tie up forts, as belts for play silk dress up, as decoration in imaginative games and for simple jewelry. 

 

Price: $15.95 (3 balls)

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumi-e Ink Painting Kit

 

Why We Love It: Every one of Eye Can Art’s wonderful art cans is packed full of creative and educational play. Includes everything your child needs to make Japanese-style brush paintings that you’ll treasure for years to come.

 

Price: $28.00

 

Where to Buy: Rosie Hippo

 

 

 

Tegu Dart

 

Why We Love It: Tegu has one of the coolest natural toy items on the market with its magnetic wooden block sets–now this special Dart combo is putting a whole new twist on the fun! Everything you need to make this sleek car, from the cool topper to the stylish wheels, is included. Plus, you can take it apart and easily dream up other magnetic creations. Tegu is not only an eco-friendly company it is also socially conscious. Check out their mission to positively impact the Honduran community they work in.

 

Price: $38.00

 

Where to Buy: Tegu

 

 

 

 

Earthopoly

 

Why We Love It: This Monopoly inspired game provides all of the fun as the original–with an earth friendly twist. Instead of attempting to take over and develop as much property as possible, players work to save the earth by protecting and cleaning up habitats. It is truly a blast to play and great way to teach eco-values. Printed on recyclable paper with vegetable-based inks. 

 

Price: $24.95

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

Thumb Piano

 

Why We Love It: This unique instrument is simple to play and sounds great–the kids will be making music on it in no time! Constructed in the USA from sustainably and locally grown walnut. 

 

Price:  $22.95

 

Where to Buy: Down to Earth Toys

 

 

 

 

Beeswax Candle Making Kit

 

Why We Love It: There are few things better than watching your child enjoy countless hours of entertainment all while learning a new skill they can be proud of. This beeswax kit contains everything you need to make a wide variety of different candle designs and is made in the USA. 

 

Price: $19.95 (different variations available) 

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Tangram Puzzle

 

Why We Love It: Inspire curious minds with this creative puzzle modeled after an ancient Chinese design. An instruction book with various suggestions for challenging arrangements make it perfect for Waldorf education in mathematics. A great stocking stuffer that’s made in the USA. 

 

Price: $10.95

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

 

 

 

 

Four Elements Building Blocks

 

Why We Love It: This colorful set can be used as a puzzle or as blocks. The original shapes put a whole new spin on homemade block towers and castles. With endless possible arrangements the kids will find all sort of uses for this delightful toy.

 

Price: $129.95

 

Where to Buy: Rosie Hippo

 

 

 

 

 

Pick-Up Sticks in Sun Colors

 

Why We Love It: These long, sturdy, colorful pick-up sticks invite you to play with them. Beautiful new, stylish interpretation of a classic. Made in Italy of Milaniwood.

 

Price: $40.00

 

Where to Buy: The Wooden Wagon

 

 

 

 

Complete Book of Flower Fairies

 

Why We Love It: This hardcover book will be treasured for years to come. It includes 192 pages of beautiful fairy illustrations and poems that are sure to enchant the whole family. Perfect with the Flower Fairy Alphabet CD (see the books & games category). 

 

Price: $24.95 

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden

Giant Colored Pencils

 

Why We Love It: These colored pencils are another perfect fit for small hands–as well as for older kids. With a rounded triangular design and thick leads they won’t easily break, and the colors are amazing. This set also comes with a special colorless pencil to facilitate shading and blending! With proper care they could easily last for years. 

 

Price: $25.95 

 

Where to Buy: A Toy Garden