These days its hard not to get funny looks when I tell people that I don’t own a tablet, have cable or even listen to the radio. Although I know in my heart where I stand in the community of like minded folk, I still struggle with explaining to others around me that think differently than I do.
More often I get questioned on why I don’t desire to have them things for ourselves or for our children.
There is no doubt that sometimes I may feel like an outcast when set next to our modern society, but sometimes being the outcast doesn’t feel so bad to me.
My husband and I agreed that we both desire our children to learn hands on skills through their life. My husband and I were both raised very, very differently and as we got older we realized how our experiences had shaped us and our desires.
When it comes to a child and the stimulation of their intellect and intuitive decision making, I think we have almost made things too easy for them in this day. Alot of us have lost touch with our intuitive decision making and survival skills. And not to say that we should all be struggling and going out and chopping firewood to warm our houses every single day. (As this life is a bit much for most.) But what if our lives depended on it? What if our homes were shattered into pieces and all access to the internet and “how to videos” were gone? Would we know how to build shelter? Gather or hunt for food? Purify water? Or for some…even simply pitching a tent can be challenging.
Anyways, before getting off topic. Upon realizing this with my own children it was obvious to me how important it is to engage a child in intellectual thinking and basic problem solving..but most of the toys and electronics out on the market fail to get us physically involved in something. We have a handful of toys that our son enjoys playing with every single day. He rarley has interest in the television unless were watching bushcrafters or hikers on YouTube and occasionally he watches animated videos on YouTube about cars, and really.. that’s it. We read, color, play outside and create things indoors with his toys.
There are many great wooden toy marketers out there that have the same vision for our children and one of them is Melissa and Doug. They are one of the more popular companies out there that make children’s toys and they have a wide range of things that you can choose from.
My son has a love for cars, and anything with wheels for that matter so we have purchased him a few wooden cars and car haulers as well as a garbage truck from Melissa and Doug. He also has a puzzle board with animals and a toy that has wooden planks with slots for letters spelling words for the pictures on the boards. I absolutely love these toys because they slow him down and make him think about what he is doing. Especially while he is learning about animals and sea creatures as well as spelling!
A few other wooden toys we got from family and friends are from local toy makers and from people we found at craft shows. Not everyone has access to local toy makers but I do know of a few others who make wonderfully educational and eco-friendly toys!
Plan toys is a wonderful company to get toys from. They use water based dyes and they never finish their toys with toxic chemicals. They have toys and rattles for young infants and for older children alike and personally they are my favorite toy making company.
Another great company to order from is “The Small Folk”. They are a little more pricey but you can purchase their toys knowing your supporting a small family business and their toys are absolutely amazing. Again, they are eco-friendly and they never use chemicals to treat their toys.
Although I do have many wooden toys, we try to avoid purchasing as many plastic toys as we can as we all know, plastic never, ever goes anywhere and it will always remain here on the earth. Wooden toys and good quality toys can be passed down through generations, and we can be at peace knowing that once it gets too old and weathered we can throw it to the wind and it will decompose with the earth. 🙂
So if your looking to stay more eco-consious and looking for toys you can feel good about knowing that your child is learning I would highly recommend looking into these three toy companies.