Children love toys and it’s sometimes difficult for a parent to say no to those bright eyes staring at something colourful in a toy store. However, bear in mind that it’s the kids’ right to ask for toys, and it’s yours to say yes or no to them. After all, they may want the toy now, but you know that there’s a good chance they’ll just get bored with it and forget all about it in a matter of days, and sometimes even hours.
So, which toys should you buy for your children? Fortunately, nowadays you can have your pick, no matter what your child’s interests or preferences are. Why not get them eco-friendly and ethical toys? Here is some toy-related guidance for the environmentally-conscious parents.
Choose educational toys
One of the biggest problems with toys is that some of them are only made to look nice. Aside from the fact that they don’t really do anything, your kids can’t learn anything from them and they don’t provide any benefits for their little owners. And as much as it’s true that your child’s imagination can often compensate for the toys’ lack of functionality, buying toys that don’t actually inspire your child isn’t a good idea, to begin with.
First of all, it’s most likely that a child won’t play with such a toy for a long time, and when that’s taken into account, then it’s a mere waste of the materials the toy was made of and your money. Plus, since the toy will probably end up on a landfill somewhere, investing in toys like that is bad for the environment.
Instead, make sure that the toys you buy encourage your kid’s development, enable them to learn new things, that their motor and other skills can advance and that the child will want to use the toy for a longer period of time. Toys that teach smaller kids about shapes, colours and spatial awareness, as well as exciting innovative STEM teaching tools for school children can now be found easily.
It’s exactly these toys you should get for your kids since they stimulate creativity and allow your little ones to express themselves through play.
Look for sustainability
As with everything else you purchase nowadays, you can make sure that your children’s toys are produced with sustainability in mind. This covers many aspects of manufacture, retail and use of toys. For instance, you can look for toys made of recycled, degradable and other kinds of eco-friendly materials.
Wooden, bamboo or cork blocks, animals, instruments or even dishes, as well as dolls made of organic cotton and colored using non-toxic dyes will also do the trick. Next, toys that are durable are a much better choice than those that can be easily damaged.
Take Lego blocks as an example. They’re made of long-lasting materials, they are often handed down to younger kids in the family, or even passed on from parent to children, and they are easily recycled. You’ll also want toys which, in case they get broken, can simply be repaired. One good example of these are plush toys, most of that can be sewn back together if need be.
And finally, we go back to what truly matters in the whole toy-picking process, which is the relevance and the design of the toys. Even if the toy is made of all the right materials and with minimal energy and environmental footprint, it won’t be sustainable unless your kid wants to play with it over and over again.
Give DIY toys a shot
If you’re one of those wonderful people whose hands can make anything they can imagine, your child is a lucky one. In that case, you can get some leftover wood pieces and shape them into toys, which your little one can color with you. Taking part in the making of a toy will surely have your kid appreciate it more.
Perhaps you can knit dolls, make paper animals or even take old tires and reuse them as a see-saw, a swing or a rocking horse for your kid. On the other hand, if you’re not really the creative type, there are still some simple toys you can make for and with your child. These include natural home-made playdough, sock or glove toys and various activity boards for kids of different ages.
Furthermore, if the holidays are near, you can make decorations out of paper, cardboard boxes, toilet paper roles, plastic bottles or felt. None of these materials are complicated to use for toys and you can go online to find detailed instructions for pretty much anything you want to make.
If you’re trying to lead a greener life and want your children to care for the environment as much as you do, then start at the earliest of their age. The type of toys described here can help you achieve your goal easily, so make sure that your kids enjoy their every day, playing with the best toys you can think of.