The time has come, earlier than I would like it. But it is hear. The commercialism of Christmas. This is so unfortunate that it has come to:
How do our decorations compare to our neighbors
What do I buy for those on the list
Do we get a tree or not
How much do we spend
And there are so many more. I really wish we could keep it at this:
Today we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We recognize that without His supernatural birth we would not have eternal life.
However, I also realize that presents are a part of the season. I also know that the toy markets eat this time of year up. They advertise, bring out new items, advertise, advertise, and did I mention advertise. Almost like the politicians have been. After last years toy recall fiasco and the disappointment of "brand name" toys quality and lack of open end play, I thought it would be helpful to tell what I look for in a toy. We have a small house and I do not like the large toys. I also can not stand the battery operated toys. They drive me crazy! I love the open ended toys. Why? Here is a great series of posts as to why open ended play toys are so valuable. Also, this issue of Mothering: Natural Family Living has what to look for when shopping for healthy toys. I will pick my favorites.
- Is the toy reusable? Will Zane use it for something else? Is it something that can only have one way of being used or will it have uses outside the norm? I love the blocks, Lego's, play silks, Lincoln logs, and yes matchbox cars (or hot wheels).
- Can something we already have be used as a toy? This way no money is spent!!! Plus it requires the children to think outside the box! Which is not always encouraged in today's society.
- My FAVORITE! Will it last for several generations? Why is this my favorite? Because I love seeing Zane playing with the toys I had when I was a child. It reminds me of the fun I had with the toy. For example, Zane's rattle was my rattle. A ring with wooden washer like beads. No paint! When we go back to my parents, Zane rides in the wooden wagon that we (my brother and I) used as kids. We were not gentle with it either! So for Zane's second birthday his present was a wagon like the one we had. It has already brought many wonderful memories.
- Call the Consumer Product Safety Commission if you have questions about recalls or for tips on buying lead free toys 1-800-638-CPSC The world of toys is confusing and I don't understand it.
- I like to look for wooden toys. Mothering's Golden Rule: Select toys that are made from natural materials: Wood (unfinished or a nontoxic finish) fabric, or bamboo. I always had a concern with wooden toys because of their hardness and Zane's arm, but he is pretty good about not throwing them and loves them. Especially his Plan City cars and track. I am excited for Zane's birthday and for him to get his Plan City Pirate Ship. I don't know what to get him for Christmas yet, but that is coming. As for fabric, I love to make his toys. The most recent, which is not that recent is seen here.
So, where can you find these toys? I have some of my favorites.
There are so many out there, but these are my favorites. Yes, I know that the toys are more expensive, but they are worth it. If it is about how many presents under the tree. Some of them can be separated and wrapped individually. I love these because they will grow with your child, depending on what you get. They can use them with other toys to have more pretend play. I know that Zane is getting some Lincoln Logs. He also has LOTS of animals. I can't wait to play Zoo using the Lincoln Logs, Animals and his cars. How much fun.
Again, these are my thoughts and nothing else. But I have seen Zane have more fun with these toys than any others. Well, except for his daddy's tools!