Breezy Mama Gift Guide: Green Toys

WIN!! InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) wants to share a few goodies with you that will make your holiday travel easier–see below for more details.

Although we don’t need one more thing to worry about, the reality of the situation is–toys can contain a multitude of toxic chemicals. After the Mattel fiasco in 2007 (where the ginormous toy manufacturer had to recall millions of toys due to them containing lead) regulations have come into affect, but they aren’t stringent enough–the chance that your child has a plaything which contains harmful substances is more real than not. Realizing that you’re short on time, Breezy Mama has done the work for you–below are a selection of toys that you can feel good about giving.

Creativity for Kids Recycled Cardboard Dollhouse

What’s so great about this dollhouse is that it comes as a blank slate, and encourages your kiddo to decorate it however they want. And, not only is the cardboard of this dollhouse recycled, but it teaches your child about recycling as well–for example, you can use egg cartons for chairs, or scraps of wrapping paper for pictures to be hung on the wall. The house also comes with decorative papers, color-in cut-outs, punch out furniture, stickers, markers, glue stick and foam squares. Such a deal and something to be sure to keep little hands busy for hours. Creativity for Kids Recycled Cardboard Dollhouse, $21.76. Click here to purchase.

Tegu Blocks

Not your average bag of blocks, Tegu blocks contain magnets, so the possibilities of what your child can create are endless. The magnets inside are fixed, requiring your child to learn manipulation—-some blocks won’t attach to the other, you’ll need to flip it around to have it attach (just like Thomas the Train sets). And speaking of Thomas, these blocks integrate well with the trains–Cranky, for example, can lift blocks up. To see Tegu blocks in action, check out their live builder at www.tegu.com. Tegu blocks, $55.00. Click here to purchase.

Apple Park Picnic Pal

Apple Park is a group of toys from San Fransisco who come together to play in “Apple Park.” Each of their products are organic and made from recycled and sustainable materials. For the stuffed lamb you see here, the eyes are recycled non-toxic plastic safety eyes, while the nose and ears are made from a natural silk and hemp blend and the lamb’s fur is 100% organic cotton. His filling is sustainable corn fiber, 100% organic cotton fiber and recycled non-toxic plastic pellets. The adorable box he comes in is 100% recycled paper printed with soy ink and finished with a natural silk and hemp blend leaf and grosgrain ribbon handle. Lamby comes holding an apple seed rattle which is to be removed and is his gift of love to his new friend. Apple Park Picnic Pal, $45.38. Click here to purchase.

Zoe B Biodegradable Beach Toys

If you’re worried about using more than your share of plastics, worry no more. These beach toys are made with “a biobased material that comes from corn sugar.” What does that mean? In layman’s terms, over time, if the toys are left underground or floating out at sea, that they will biodegrade. The set is great for use in the sand and during the off-season, the bucket and lid are designed to store toys at home, while the cups can hold crayons. Zoe B Biodegradable Beach Toys, $21.99 (for set). Click here to purchase.

Dandelion Toddler Doll

No hard plastic found on this baby doll–only 100% pure cuddling softness. Available as a blonde or brunette, this doll is made from certified organic cotton fibers, natural corn fiber filling and is free of harmful toxins. An added bonus is that a portion of the sales of the Toddler Doll support cures for childhood cancers. Toddler Doll also has a baby sister that loves to follow her anywhere–perfect as a follow-up present down the line, or for the younger sister of the gift recipient. Dandelion Toddler Doll, $24.99. Click here to purchase.

Tooko Stool

Want a table and set of chairs that isn’t bright plastic and it’s affordable? Even better, one that you won’t mind if some crayon or markers get on it? Look no further than this set from Tooko. Each stool (purchase an extra one to use as a table) is sturdy enough to have your child sit on and is made to be decorated. Made of 100% biodegradable cardboard, they are quick to assemble, light weight, easy-to-store and folds flat in box. Tooko Stool, $17.00 each. To order, contact Wilma Wabnitz at 614-818-1446 or via email at wilma@wabnitzeditions.com.

P’kolino Nesting Birds

Of course these caught my eye because Breezy Mama loves everything owl, but I think you’d agree this set is just too cute to ignore! Made from natural wood, these birds nest inside each other teaching the fundamentals of size and shape while strengthening fine motor skills. Not your average stacking or nesting toy, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind! P’kolino Nesting Birds, $28.02. Click here to purchase.

For more info on what toxic chemicals to avoid (and what toys contain them) click here.

WIN!! While families across the country are gearing up for the holiday travel season, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) wants to share a few goodies with you that will make your holiday travel easier. They are giving away a “Travel Made Easy” gift basket which includes: a new carry-on bag, decorative cosmetic bags, a travel pillow, headphones and a $25 Visa gift card! To enter, tell us your tip for easy holiday travel in the comments section below.

Want the gift that keeps on giving? Subscribe to receive Breezy Mama via email — it’s free! Plus, be entered to win a $699 Valco Baby Double Stroller! Click here to enter your email.

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Comments

  1. My best holiday travel tips are just to be flexible! If weather turns bad, then plans change and you have no control over it. If you stress about it then your kids pick up on that as well! Organize & plan as much as possible, and I also like to travel early in the morning! Happy Holidays!

  2. relax! the stress you feel is picked up by your baby (even more so than by the TSA agents!) so if you relax and chill out, so will your child. i know, easier said than done, but worth a try!

  3. My best travel tip is to mail your clothes and gifts and only carry on the plane what is absolutely necessary. I FedEx everything to my parents’ house 3-4 days before we leave and then I don’t have to worry about anything but getting myself, my husband, and my toddler on to the plane. I just take an extra large diaper bag and my husband carries a small backpack. It makes things so much simpler.

  4. If we are in the car, out of state license plate hunting is a big hit in our family!

  5. Pack little snack packs with you in case of holiday traffic or delays at the airport. That way you will have something to munch on that is healthy and convenient!

  6. Bring out some favorite DVD’s that the kiddos have not watched in a long time. They will be interested and entertained.

  7. If you can afford an iPod Touch get one. They work wonders for all ages of children (and adults) and the cost of games (ie Apps) generally are 1/25 to 1/5 of the cost of a Nintendo DS games. Even my non verbal 9 year old with Autism has games that he can play. Buy the one with the most amount of memory you can afford because it will double as a dvd player and is a 1/4 of the size.

    Have a child who is dangerous with expensive devices pick up an Otterbox Defender case (available on Amazon) note the word Defender, it is the only case I am recommending.

    If you have the ultimate gamer, look into the iPod Touch rechargable cases also.

  8. Travel at night while the children sleep if possible!

  9. Bring an extra outfit for the kids AND mom!! You never know when you will get thrown up on! I did it to my mom…and my daughter did it to me!

    I also bring lots of different snacks, lots of small toys (so that when they are thrown on the ground, you can just pull out a new one and pick them all up at the end of the flight) and a dvd with a SPLITTER so they can both wear headphones and watch the same movie!

  10. Holiday travel tips that I reccommend are
    1. to set out early, depending on how far the travel trip is- the earlier the BETTER! If traveling out of state, pack a day or more ahead and leave in the early morning hours to avoid traffic
    2. bring healthy snacks in a mini cooler. apple slices, celery with peanut butter, pretzels, grapes, any fruit works miracles for quiet times in my ride. Juice boxes but limit to one an hour, or else your stopping too often!
    3. have activity packs prepared in a small sack that includes crayons, coloring books, car games, and a deck of cards. You can make up so many different games with cards, great to stir the imagination!

    These are a few great tips to help you through holiday travels. Enjoy!

  11. I’ve found that my iPad has captured my 3year old twins attention by downloading several age appropriate games on it. I also subscribed to netflix and downloaded the app onto my iPad and my kids can watch their favorite cartoons or movies! I always over pack for the just in case moments but lord knows things don’t always run smoothly or go according to plan so I think my best advice is to stay flexible and if all else fails having a cocktail when you get to your travel destination surely doesn’t hurt!

  12. I try to limit television watching at home, but when we are stuck on a plane going across country, it is a video free for all. I bring other toys too, but the kids get to choose what they want to do and for how long.

  13. I went to Hawaii with my 3 1/2 year old daughter and did all these things and it kept her occupied. We had the DVD, but interesting enough we only watched two short Dora shows. We colored. We read books. We played I Spy. We ate (brought snacks on board). We changed activity every 20-30 minutes so it all seemed new. These activities all worked in the hotel room too. And yes, a glass of wine or margarita when you’re not driving HELPS!

  14. The iPhone has saved us on long car loads. Between episodes of our daughter’s favorite show, Babyfirst hide and seek game and Montessorium flash card app, we’re able to make 4+ hour trips more comfortable and bearable for everyone.

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