plastic - ugly, cold<br><br>
natural wood/wool toys - warm, soft<br><br>
It took me a while to get sold on this whole thing. But now that we are transitioned over, man I will never go back! The wood and wool toys along with the playsilks we have now are so much better than anything we ever had that was plastic (and we spoiled out kids BAD, so they had the "cool" plastic junk lol).<br><br>
Just to demonstrate pick up a plastic toy and a wood toy. Put them both in your hands. You will feel the grain of the wood, it warms in your hands. The plastic feels cold, sterile. But the wood is completely different.<br><br>
Then theres the silks (our favorite toys!) they are so soft, the colors change in the sun, they make peekaboo tents, skirts, capes, tug of war ropes (lol I have all boys!), they swing them around and watch how the wind carries them, they wrap their babies in them, and on and on. The possibilites are endless.<br><br>
Its something you have to try to fully appriciate. But really it is SO worth it. I would take a handful of nice natural toys over a whole room of plastic (which is what we have done). The boys are so much happier and play so much more now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
edited to add this article, its what totally sold me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> she makes some great points:<br><a href="http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/toysteach.htm" target="_blank">http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/toysteach.htm</a><br><br>
oh and my almost 3 year olds favorite toys are, silks, wood blocks (all natural), and this little people mover vehicle <a href="http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=906" target="_blank">http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?...Product_ID=906</a>
Yes we are also transitioning. I was ignorant and weak and did not specify for Christmas what would be acceptable. And what toys does he have from Christmas? Plastic Fisher Price, loud colors, loud sounding electronic toys ... bebe is 11 months old!<br>
We are moving back to the West Coast and only traveling with organic, renewable materials.<br>
Live and learn. Give birth and grow. We're growing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
We have a blend of toys...when dd was smaller and more prone to chewing on things I was much more careful about having things for her that were "okay" to chew/taste. Now that she is older we tend towards natural products but don't restrict her to those if the toy in question has some sort of "play value".<br><br>
For example, she has some plastic "weeble people" and "little people" from when I was a child. My feeling is that these do encourage imaginative play so while I wouldn't buy them myself, I don't worry about her having them. But a plastic toy that "played itself" (say, something with a battery or something that could only be used in one way for one activity) would be unwelcome in our home.<br><br>
For us it's less an aesthetic concern or even an environmental concern (though those are two things we keep in mind) but mostly a question of use/creativity/purpose. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
Wooden toys don't make noise ( unless banged repeatedly against a coffee table )<br>
Wooden toys last longer<br><br>
I loathe noisy, obnoxious plastic toys and make them disappear or take the batteries out. We do have some plastic toys, but mostly just small things like stacking toys and rattles. Someone got my 6 month old this plastic puppy that plays songs when you push his nose- mind you this was at Christmas and he was 4 months old. He cried in terror when presented with the puppy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> He has a stuffed puppy he likes much better, and a wooden, rainbow colored caterpillar named Wormie. We don't go anywhere without Wormie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
I hate loud, plastic light-up toys with a passion. Unfortunately, my mom thinks it's somewhere between funny and obnoxious that I hate them and she and my sisters get Julia a fair amount of plastic stuff-- not TOO much, though. She's got two or three sets of Little People (House, Train, Noah's Ark) over my mom's house, a Fisher Price "play wall" that we use as a safety gate, a plastic shape sorter, and a set of magnetic letters on the fridge.<br><br>
We have lots and LOTS of books. The year I got pregnant I did a book count meme on my blog and logged in around 3500; that number has grown since then. Julia easily has 200-300 of her own books at this point.<br><br>
We have lots of stuffed animals and dolls, mostly wooden and fabric.<br><br>
We have lots of wooden puzzles, mainly from Hearthsong and Melissa and Doug.<br><br>
We have the Melissa and Doug stacking shapes, several balls (fabric and rubber), one of those wire-and-beads contraptions (got ours at IKEA), some wooden cars and trains, several sets of wooden blocks, play kitchen ware from IKEA, and some brightly-colored ribbon streamers from Hearthsong. For the tub, I washed out a Honey Bear container that she uses to squirt, and we have a rubber dolphin and whale with tiny blow holes in the top through which bubbles come out.<br><br>
But mainly she plays with the puzzles, books and stuffed animals.
The only plastic toys we have are several PLAYMOBIL kits that my DS loves ....He will be 3 in March and he's never had a problem with the intricate pieces. He loves too because he can create whole new stories with all of the pieces...<br><br>
He has several stuffed animals that he likes to cook for (my mom couldn't believe that a little boy has a kitchen) and he loves feeding them bottles! He would love a dollhouse but my DH has drawn the line there, so i guess he may be getting a knights castle, or pirate ship for his birthday.<br><br>
We don't really have that many wooden toys, and not because i don't like them but like i said my son really likes having tons of accessories to go with things and I haven't seen many wooden sets that rival playmobil( I could be wrong so if anyone does know any that would be great too)
Another great resource:<br><br><a href="http://www.truceteachers.org/toyactionguide.html" target="_blank">Toy action guide</a><br><br><a href="http://www.truceteachers.org/toyactionguide.html#choosing" target="_blank">Choosing Toys of Value</a><br><br>
I believe that my child's toys should be high quality (well made toys that last forever and can be passed down), interactive, and simple. I want my daughter to be able to interact with her toys, instead of just pressing a button and having it "play" for her. And we only buy toys that are made of natural materials. I do have a Doodlepro for non messy art work that is plastic, but that is about it now, everything else is either wooden or another natural material (fabrics, etc.). We do get the occasional obnoxious, cheap, loud plastic toy as a gift and they get donated. Luckily our family knows our preference for natural toys, and we usually get pretty great gifts from everyone.<br><br>
Like a previous poster we are book fanatics. Hundreds and hundreds of books. My baby girl could open her own small library with the books she has! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> And she adores them. We spend huge chunks of every day reading ... she can't get enough of them.<br><br>
She also has quite a few stuffed animals and natural material dolls. I really like the knitted animals and her Haba doll (her favorite). She has a couple play silks and ribbon streamers she likes a lot too.<br><br>
For the wooden toys we love our blocks, her play kitchen and food, ball track, cars, instruments (the biggest hit right now is her harmonica, which she adores), ring stacker, pull toy, puzzles, and a whole slew more ... the important thing is they all nurture her creativity.<br><br>
Open ended toys like these will be wonderful for her imagination and spirit ... after all, her most important work is her play! Everything we've gotten for her are primarily made of natural materials. Most importantly, it will be FUN for her and will nurture her mind and heart. There is also the fact that they are much kinder to our earth. And so much more beautiful!
The question in the tile was what toys do we have so ill answer that question.<br><br>
We have mega blocks, a large assortment of fisher price little people minus the batteries, wood blocks, wood train, couple puzzles, dolls, books, peek a blocks and roll arounds by fisher price. My dd doesn't think her plastic toys are cold or whatever the phrasing that is being used. Its a toy that she enjoys so she gets to keep it. I am starting to perfer buying her wood toys but im not going to go out and trash all her plastic ones especially since she is enjoying them.<br><br>
I wanted to add not all plastic toys ares loud and annoying...there is a line of basic first toys that don't make noise.
We have both. We have a giant plastic slide that get a lot of use. We just got him a wooden walking bike from target. I do think the wooden stuff looks nicer and is better quality sometimes, but my son has always preferred legos (duplo) to blocks. He likes the Go Tools! cars which are painted metal too. And wooden trains (with plsastic wheels<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">).
We have a small selection of wooden toys (including a doll house, kitchen, and train table/trains) and Legos. For me it is about 50% aesthetics, 40% health, and 10% environmentalist. I really think plastic toys are ugly. I prefer to watch my kids playing with blocks to legos. And I know that they aren't playing with anything that is bad for their health. The environmental problems with plastic toys can be lessened by buying/using secondhand toys, so that's why that isn't a huge factor for me.<br>
We're moving this summer and I don't think our Legos will move with us. I'd really like to have no plastic toys at all, and they rarely get played with anyway.
Legos are the only plastic toys we have. Otherwise, we stick to wood and fabric toys (and some metal), for all the reasons stated above--health, environment, open-ended play, etc.<br><br>
Popular items in our house: blocks, tinker toys, dominos, games, dollhouse, play kitchen, trains/cars.<br><br>
Our book budget and library visits are admittedly out of this world. We read dozens upon dozens of books a day.<br><br>
What toys do I have, and why?<br><br>
We do have a mix of plastic and "natural" toys. The ones we buy now tend to be wooden or fabric, and even beyond that, we tend toward European wooden toys over domestic brands like Melissa & Doug. But that's after starting out with the M & D wooden ones, and finding problems with some of them (mostly chipping paint.) But that doesn't mean I would not buy anything made of plastic now. In fact, one thing I can think of that I probably <i>would</i> buy if I happened upon it is a set of Wedgits. Those are so cool and I know my husband would dig getting to play with those with her!<br><br>
We have just over a dozen wooden puzzles, and the majority of them are made by Melissa & Doug; they really are very nice. Her kitchen pieces (stove, sink & fridge) are wooden. The fridge is big but the stove and sink are tabletop models. Her play food is all wooden, and her dishes & cups are wooden. We started out with a plastic set of pots & pans, dishes, and tea kettle but quickly replaced it with wooden & metal/enameled pieces (and gave the plastic ones to her cousin, who had no kitchen stuff at all and really liked her gear when he visited.) The plastic ones were a nice set by Alex, and I thought they were fairly attractive. I'll admit that the wooden pans and skillet and kettle we have now are adorable, and I find them really appealing.<br><br>
About the plastic we have....I've definitely weeded some stuff that I decided was junky or else we just improved upon (like the kitchen stuff), but I didn't just purge all plastic.<br><br>
She has the Little People farm set and the school bus (I do rotate these out most of the time; I only bring them in when she asks for them--she has a wooden farm and beautiful wooden animals that I favor), and she has a <a href="http://www.fatbraintoys.com/cart/shopper.cfm?action=view&key=KO001" target="_blank">Bilibo seat</a> that is plastic. (That's a pretty <a href="http://www.fatbraintoys.com/cart/testimonials.cfm?sku=KO001" target="_blank">open-ended toy</a>, actually, plastic or not!) She has two plastic shape sorters (we bought her the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAmbi-Toys-AMBI-Lock-Block%2Fdp%2FB00005BHMA" target="_blank">Ambi Lock-A-Block</a>, and the other is a hand-me-down of the classic Tupperware sorter), a plastic set of stacking rings (Fisher-Price, but not the kind with the batteries and the light-up stem, just the classic colored rings), a very cool <a href="http://www.kidsurplus.com/intaw1250.html" target="_blank">big plastic dumptruck</a> (we just happened upon one in a toy store and I later saw them online; we have the one with the red cab), and a plastic doggie pull-toy (it's "Max," by Ambi Toys.) She also has the Tomy "Ball Party" roll-around tower, and that is plastic. (We were given a similar ball-drop toy with batteries and lights and an annoying song, and we gave it away. I liked having the balls, and what they do, be the focus & "reward" of the toy and the Ball Party toy is better, in my opinion. It's not often in the rotation, though, since she's gotten older.) She also has two sets of nesting cups (that are plastic.) Someone gave her a small set of MegaBlocks for her first birthday, and she has the starter set of Quatros (for younger kids than Duplos.) She also has a set of three nesting bowls for mixing and cooking; those are red plastic (melamine). We also have a set of Kaleidogears that we are waiting to give her when she's a little bit older. Those are the plastic toys we have that I can think of, and most of them I am pretty cool with her having/keeping.<br><br>
At my mom's house (which is a plane ride away), she has the Little People Noah's Ark set. The other big plastic/batteries thing she has at my mom's is the Fisher-Price Learning Home. It's interactive to a point, but I guess I'm glad it's not an everyday part of our lives. I think that's where she learned the alphabet song--I certainly didn't teach it to her.<br><br>
Her dolls are mostly cotton and wool, with the exception of two small "baby" dolls that have cloth bodies but (I'm assuming) vinyl heads, hands and feet. One of those is a bath doll. She has a collection of playsilks, dress-up clothes (hand-me-down type things and hats), wooden dollhouse & furniture, wooden bendy dolls for the dollhouse, wooden vehicles that fit the bendy dolls, wooden construction vehicles (also fit the bendy dolls), wooden doll furniture (cradle, high chair, stroller), wooden blocks, tree blocks (wooden), little wooden gnomes and cloth fairies for the "tree houses" she makes from the tree blocks, a set of wooden (Brio) track and trains (and as someone pointed out, the Brio trains do have plastic wheels!), a wooden ironing board & iron, a wooden "clothesline" frame, wooden clothespins, a wooden teaset, a tin teaset, wooden plates/bowls/utensils, and wooden appliances (toaster, blender.) We're getting her the Plan Toys Trike Rider (I think it's a combination of wood, metal, and some plastic accents; not sure about that.)<br><br>
She has a wooden table and chairs, and another (lower) wooden table that we bought on sale (no accompanying chairs) and paired with a small wooden chair from a garage sale and a plastic stool from Ikea.<br><br>
As far as the "whys" in your question....<br><br>
In general, I agree about the plastic = petroleum. Better to give our business to companies that are making a more environmentally responsible product (I love the fact that several companies are following the lead of Plan Toys and using the wood leftover from rubber trees that are no longer needed for rubber....) It's also a matter of quality ("heirloom" products that last) and of aesthetics. Sometimes those two go hand-in-hand. And I wouldn't buy "natural" toys if I thought they were ugly or cheap-looking. (I love the LOOK of the dolls I've chosen, as well as the quality of their materials, etc.) I think about my daughter's health, too. Her full-body contact with some things, what goes (went) into her mouth. I regret the teething toys I bought when she was little; I just didn't know about Haba or Selecta teethers, or Sophie the rubber giraffe, etc. She did have organic cotton dolls to chew....<br><br>
So I also favor more natural toys because I believe they're better for her, just like I dress her in organic cotton pjs and dipes for that overnight long-haul.
Like many others I prefer wood and natural toys to plastic ones. Mostly for environmental reasons but also because my husband is a carpenter/cabinetmaker and is a wood-o-phile who abhors plastic. We received some plastic toys as gifts but I have systematically replaced them with wood toys. Luckily I have found many wooden toys at my local thrift shop including several nice Melissa and Doug items.<br><br>
To answer your question re: my dd who is 17 mos old she has a large tin full of multi-shaped wood blocks, puzzles, a ring tower, a small Melissa and Doug wood piano and some other music makers and rattles, a tin top, lots of board books, some stuffed animals (she's not that drawn to them at this point), a couple of push toys, a little foot-powered tricycle, and a little wagon. One of my more successful thrift store finds is a handmade rocking horse. The thing is mostly made out of 2x4's with a horse's head and tail but what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in function. My dd is a climber and this thing is bottom-heavy and extremely stable. She can grab the bar sticking out of the horse's head and climb onto this thing and rock and it doesn't tip over. She climbs on it all throughout the day.<br><br>
Those are the toys. She also has lots of fun in the magic cupboard -- the one kitchen cupboard that doesn't have a child-proofing lock on it. Inside is some pots and pan and wooden spoons and other kitchen items. I put things like ribbons in the pots or tupperware containers (yes -- some plastic!) and she goes into the cupboard throughout the day and plays with those items. Lately she's discovered that hitting a lid with a wooden spoon makes the most wonderful sound!<br><br>
It all depends on your definition "toy." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
What a great thread. I have been feeling my daughter could use some new toys in her rotation. She is really bored with the rotation now and so am I. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Great ideas and thoughts from everyone who posted.<br><br>
Thanks for reminding me not to get her those noisy plastic toys. She doesn't really like them anyway.<br><br>
I guess I could share what toys she does have. Lots of dolls and stuffed animals, bags and play silks, Playmobil 123 (she loves these), wooden puzzles, a water table and dolly bath. We do lots of pouring with beans and marbles and stuff around the house.
Thanks for the input everyone!<br><br>
AmyC - DD was never into teethers really, but I'm preggo and am wondering about the teethers you mentioned, where can I find them? "I just didn't know about Haba or Selecta teethers, or Sophie the rubber giraffe, etc. She did have organic cotton dolls to chew...." I've seen Haba, but wondered if it was any safer for them to chew on paint than plastic? What are the other ones? Thanks!<br><br>
Christi- does your DD give her baby a bath? Lucy would LOVE that! Where can I get a bathtime baby? I guess it would be plastic.... lol. How/ when do you let her play with the water table?
DD's water table comes in the kitchen pretty much anytime she brings me the towel and asks to play. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> She dumps and pours with cups and spoons. A dish pan also works, but I find if DD is standing at a table she is less likely to dump the whole basin. Her clothes will be soaked but she wants to get out of them right away. We also use it for rice and beans pouring.<br><br>
Her doll is a Tidoo by Corolle. It is plastic with a soft body stuffed with plastic beans of some kind. She does have a lot of fun giving her a bath it is a nice small size doll.<br><br>
Her favorite doll is a simple flannel rag doll that her Great Grandmother gave her when she was just a baby. It is the funniest looking little doll but it gets the most hugs and kisses. Must be true about the plastic stuff. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Hope that helps.
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mercy589</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7384705"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the input everyone!<br><br>
AmyC - DD was never into teethers really, but I'm preggo and am wondering about the teethers you mentioned, where can I find them? "I just didn't know about Haba or Selecta teethers, or Sophie the rubber giraffe, etc. She did have organic cotton dolls to chew...." I've seen Haba, but wondered if it was any safer for them to chew on paint than plastic? What are the other ones? Thanks!</div>
Sorry I didn't see your questions sooner.<br><br>
I think you're dealing with a wood stain versus paint. If you read the info that Haba (and Plan Toys, etc.) offers about the dyes they use, you'll find out a lot more about it.<br><br>
As for where to look....The Magic Cabin catalog has several wooden teethers, and they're made by Haba. Oompa also carries baby items (both by Haba & Selecta) and I've never looked specifically for teethers there, but I'm pretty sure you'd find them. Sophie the rubber giraffe is available at Magic Cabin (she's a French toy), and I recently saw her in a "mainstream" catalog--I'm thinking either Land of Nod or Pottery Barn Kids. Seriously.<br><br>
I know a friend has found a lot of Selecta & Haba items discounted on <a href="http://www.kidsurplus.com" target="_blank">www.kidsurplus.com</a> I'm assuming these were baby toys (I haven't seen Selecta dollhouses or "older" toys on that site, for example.) I've used that site for other things but haven't searched specifically for teethers or infant rattles, etc.<br><br>
I did buy one Haba teething ring when my daughter was teething as an older toddler, and was suddenly putting everything in her mouth again and wanting to bite. She never could get "into" the wooden one, and wanted her old frozen/refrigerated plastics. Kathe Kruse makes small cloth dolls (the knotted kind) that hold a simple, natural wood ring as well. Combining both "worlds," sort of. I also offered her one of those (again, as an older toddler getting her 2 year molars, or maybe it was her canines....) and she liked the idea of it but it seemed she just couldn't get into biting the wood. (Though she never had any problem biting a painted piece of Melissa & Doug wooden food....)<br><br><br>
I'll look for a couple of links for you to give you some idea of what's out there....<br><br><a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin/product.do?section_id=1&bc=1004&pgc=412&sv=333358&cmvalue=MCD|1" target="_blank">Sophie the Giraffe</a><br><br><a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin/product.do?section_id=1&bc=1004&pgc=963&sv=333346&cmvalue=MCD|1" target="_blank">Haba teethers/rattles</a><br><br>
Here's a <a href="http://www.parentingbynature.com/haba-102.htm" target="_blank">long writeup</a> on the features of the Haba teethers, dyes used, wood used, etc.<br><br>
Here's a link to the <a href="http://www.oompa.com/cgi-bin/category/Baby_Toys_FIR" target="_blank">first of seven</a> pages of infant rattles and teethers. Lots of Selecta and Haba toys on this page. I'm sure the Kathe Kruse dolls I mentioned are on subsequent pages, but I don't have time to check. I know they're also in the doll section, and they have them in tons of colors....<br><br>
Here they are; they're called <a href="http://www.oompa.com/cgi-bin/category/teething_dolls" target="_blank">Rainbow Babies</a> (we have the orange one)<br><br>
We had great success with my daughter (as an infant and young toddler) loving her organic cotton dolls. She had the Minimo doll by Under the Nile, and later she got the stripey "elf" doll. She named him Bartleby. He's taller and more "definite" or developed (more of a definite face, longer legs, bigger doll), but still small and cuddly, good for a baby, and relatively inexpensive. I've seen him at Dandelionbaby.com, at Rosie Hippo's Wooden Toys, and a few other places online. <a href="http://www.sumboshine.com/Under-The-Nile-Organic-Toys-C1425.htm" target="_blank">Here's</a> a page that shows both dolls at once.<br><br>
Hope this helps!