Who else still needs to finish their holiday shopping? Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, every parent’s best friend, that will will get those last minute gifts to us in the saint nick of time. Here, I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite eco-friendly, nontoxic toys I personally bought this year as well as in years passed. You can feel good knowing that these toys aren’t harming the Earth we will leave to future generations, that they won’t poision our children (yes, we really have to worry about that these days) and that they are durable and will stand the test of time. Oh, and they are actually fun, too!
- balance bike
- classic VW beetle walker
- high seas toddler rocker
- musical band
- hammer pound
- green dollhouse with furniture
- wooden kids slide
- kids easel
- gourmet kitchen and refrigerator
- tea set
- farm play set
- car carrier
- rubber blocks
Hape makes excellent wooden toys for young children. This company is dedicated to sustainability, quality and nontoxic finishes. Two years ago, we bought Annabel the Gourmet Kitchen and Refrigerator, and she hasn’t stopped cooking or baking since. Perfect gift for ages two and up, play kitchens are NOT just for girls; I love that this one is gender-neutral-looking. They also make adorable kitchen accessory toys, like pots and pans (get the wooden ones if you want to preserve your hearing), toasters, sushi sets, waffle irons, etc. Other favorites from Hape include their Walk-a-Long Puppy, the Wooden Cosmetic Kit (she is my daughter), and the Wooden Shopping Cart.
For more than 30 years, Plan Toys has dedicated themselves to quality, sustainable toys, and they are another favorite for wooden toys that kids actually want to play with. Last year for Christmas, Annabel’s big gift was the ultra-mod Chalet Dollhouse with Furniture; that and the Golf Set are great for both boys and girls. When she was little, one of her favorites was this Wooden Toy Drum, (Woody has since claimed it as his own) and she’s been playing with her shape sorter for what seems like forever.
Green Toys makes their products in the USA from recycled plastic and they are BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free. Our favorites include the Farm Set, Tool Set and Recycling Truck (it’s never too early to start teaching them, right?). I also like the looks of their cupcake set.
Eco-Kids is a small, family-run company in the US that makes great nontoxic art supplies for little ones. We have loved their nontoxic finger paints, eco-dough, and natural crayons. They are all perfect for little ones who don’t understand how to keep things out of their mouths!
I might be online a lot, but when it comes to books, I like the real thing in my hands and on my shelves. I love to give and receive them, and wellness is my favorite subject (duh). Here are a few of my favorites from the past year.
- If you love making a good cocktail, but you loathe chemical-laden mixers, Zen and Tonic will be your drink bible.
- Danielle Walker of Against All Grain does it again with the book I’ve been waiting for for ages. Celebrations is a guide on how to make all the holiday family favorites the gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo way. The Christmas cookie chapter is one of my favorites.
- My friend, Jessica Murnane, of One Part Plant Podcast fame has written a One Part Plant cookbook. The recipes are delicious, easy to make and make me look like an allstar in the kitchen. Also, she is so funny, so it’s the perfect antidote to all the serious cookbooks out there.
- The Clean Eating Slow Cooker answered my prayers. I cannot tell you how many crockpot cookbooks I’ve wasted my money on, only to realize all the recipes are heavy, fattening and not even close to clean. This book will do everything but cook the dinner for you.
- The Big Book of Organic Baby Food is a great resource, and I refer to it often these days. No kid wants to eat apple sauce or sweet potatoes three meals a day, seven days a week. This will help you mix it up and prevent a picky eater from being created.
- If you want to get into crystals, but don’t know where to begin, Crystals for Healing is a good place to start.
- Greenterior is the Interior Design coffee table book that you don’t have, they don’t have, but we all need. It’s beautiful and very chic.
- Once you’ve read The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, you’ll want to give a copy to everyone you love.
What is the best gift you’ve given or received lately?