I know it's been a while since I last posted. My schedule has been hectic. I'm balancing two different part-time jobs, homeschooling my kids, cooking most meals from scratch, working hard trying to heal a cavity...naturally, and working on building up my teacher resume so that hopefully in the near future I'll find an on-line teaching gig and be able to drop my current jobs. I've also been de-cluttering my house! Woohoo! This is what I do to unwind. Plus, my kids had too many toxic toys that needed to go. We're really trying to get away from plastic toys as much as possible, switching over to wood and cloth. I wish we would have done this when they were younger, before they became attached to their toys. It's a challenge now...but I love a challange!
We're going to keep their Legos because they are made from ABS plastic rather than the commonly used PVC which is a carcinogen that especially targets the central nervous system and liver. Please don't tell me anything bad about ABS because there's no way they're giving up the Legos. Lego also a good track record of placing a high priority on customer safety. Plus they're a fun, educational toy. I'm also letting them keep their Schleich animals for now. Although they're made of PVC, they are free of phthalates, which mimic the body's hormones, creating reproductive and neurological problems. But the Fisher Price Little People had to go. At first this was somewhat sad because they have loved their Little People since they were babies. But they are made from PVC, contain phthalates, and the paint chips easily. The company has had numerous recalls for their lead paint, and their ratings on healthystuff.org were not great. Now, I know you might be thinking, It's not like their eating the toys. I thought this too, until I made it a point to watch how often my kids put toys in their mouths. And even though they are 5 and 3 they are constantly walking around with toys in their mouths. It was actually a lot easier to convince them to give up the Little People than I thought. I told the kids that we would buy new toys with the money that we get from selling the Little People. So in exchange for these two castle sets.....
...we bought a Melissa and Doug Royal Family Wooden Doll Set. We already had wooden blocks and Lego Duplos so I just taught them how to build a castle with those. I don't know what kind of paint Melissa & Doug uses, but I don't trust it. Vegetable dye is the only kind of paint that should be used on children's toys. However, these dolls are mostly covered up by clothes and hair which prevent the kiddos from putting them in their mouths. They love these dolls, and I'm glad we bought them because they take up so much less space than the two castle sets we had.
And in exchange for this house and family...
...we bought this KidKraft doll family. And once again, I taught them how to build a house with their blocks. They loved it!
We also sold this nativity set. I haven't decided what to replace it with just yet.
I thought about purchasing this plush Tales of Glory nativity set. But I'm thinking it's probably treated with toxic flame retardants, as most plush toys are. Anyone have any ideas on a non-toxic nativity set? I would really love to find a hand-carved unfinished wood nativity set and then finish it myself with beeswax polish and jojoba oil.
We had some other Little People and plastic figures that the kids really wanted to hang on to. I showed them pictures of many different kinds of wooden toys and they still wouldn't budge. Then I showed them Wow Toys! These are definitely the closest thing you can find to Little People. The people fit inside the vehicles (just like Little People) and there are no small pieces. They are made of plastic, but not PVC, and are phthalate and BPA-free. The company claims that they do not use any toxic materials. They are also measured by European safety standards, which are higher than U.S. standards. We ended up buying some Wow Toys farm sets as well as Arctic Archie. I don't plan to buy any more, because from now on I'd like to stick with wood and cloth. But I'm glad we were at least able to trade out our Little People for some comparable, yet safer, plastic toys.
Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the toys that we have now. I would still like to trade out our Melissa & Doug wooden food (because of the paint) for some Camden Rose knitted food, but there's no way we can get enough money for new food by selling the old. Too bad I can't knit... My goal is to at least break even in this toy exchanging process. So maybe this could be a Christmas gift. Isn't it adorable? I love all of their products.
Tomorrow I'll show you our playroom/classroom!