A house overrun by disposable plastic toys that beep, squeak, flash, and sing a migrant-inducing jingle, are one of the lesser joys of parenthood. Their tendency to pile up is no doubt a battle for many parents. Some even consider them a one-way ticket to insanity – not to mention horrible for the environment. They often contain harmful chemicals and tend to create bad play habits.
We live in a world of overstimulation, where children and adults look for products to entertain rather than tools to engage with. Video games and many battery powered toys encourage a singular, highly structured style of play. On the other hand, simplistic, high-quality toys foster open-ended and imaginative play that stimulates creative thinking.
Often times the price tags on high-quality toys can be intimidating. But one long-lasting toy with great play value is a far better investment than an array of short-lived ‘junk toys.’ In the toy world, quality trumps quantity, and fewer toys means more meaningful interactions.
Fortunately, there loads of talented toy makers around the globe who are creating simple, thoughtful tools that inspire creativity and spark the imagination.
Tall enough for little hands to reach and hold, it’s a cute way to balance early steps. Even after walking, this cart’s large storage area makes it a great way to tote around much-loved toys.
Make bath time more fun for baby with these sweet organic cotton terry washcloths.
This adorable set of hand-sewn rattles will inspire stories of adventure.
This lovable hippo comes with many early-learning activities. Its head is a rattle, the coral fish contains crinkly paper, and two teething plates make up the feet.
This charming wooden pull-along dog toy has been designed by renowned Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara. Superior quality allows the dog to glide effortlessly behind your little citizen, and a spring neck and tail brings it unique character.
This stacking toy is made with alder wood in rainbow colors created with non-toxic stains – great for learning color recognition. Beyond rebuilding the straight, tall tower on the spindle, watch them roll…or spin like a top…or come tumbling down!
Babies love black and white. This set of high-contrast cards can engage and entertain baby right from day one.
These handcrafted stacking toys, disguised as animals, help babies develop hand eye coordination. Each stacking toy has a removable head, which allows for each ring to be played with separately. Three rings can be removed from the base and re-arranged.
Let the stories flow with theses fun finger puppets, perfect for creative play. Set includes five finger puppets knit from 100 percent cotton.
Tractor and Wagon Ride On
This high design, heirloom quality tractor provides a smooth ride for toddlers. This piece looks great in any room, so consider getting it for a new baby as a lasting gift that they can grow into.
This retro pick may be nostalgic for parents, but little citizens are sure to enjoy the pull back motor and functioning doors.
Each block illustrates a planet’s symbol, name, diameter, location, number of moons and distance from the sun. This nine-block set honors all eight planets in our solar system – plus a bonus dwarf planet, Pluto.
Learn about the solar system while mixing and matching the embroidered planet patches. Turn the cape over to attach the rocket ship and felt flames, then lift off into outer space for out of this world fun!
These handmade backpacks are constructed out of french terry, making them as comfortable as they are fun.
These colorful cushioned hockey sticks are fun for both little and big citizens. The soft felt ‘puck’ ball makes it a little less risky when it comes to indoor play.
A classic wooden toy cameras encourage children to get outside and toy with nature. Each is made from solid cherry wood with movable knobs, pushable buttons, a rotating view-finder, and a genuine leather strap.
Deceptively simple yet surprisingly creative construction blocks. Challenge yourself with architectural structures, designer compositions, sculptural expressions.
This culinary-inspired apron is perfect for encouraging little citizens in the kitchen. Dust off the flour, and its ready for some crafting or pretend play.
Parents will love this roadmap play mat because, in a simple pull, the mat converts to storage, and toys are quickly cleared away.
It’s all about strategy! The player that can build and balance the cactus without making it fall is the winner.
You can find everything you need for fishing in this bag. Kids will develop manual skills by learning to fix the string, the hook, the float, the lead and the bait onto the fishing rod. Put the fishing bag on your shoulder and you are ready to go fishing!
By safely embedding magnets into wooden shapes, Tegu has revolutionized the block set. This 42-piece set is a builder’s dream with endless possibilities!
Discover and travel the globe while coloring: the Pyramids in Egypt, the Statue of Liberty, the North Pole, Brazil, Easter Island, and many more! Hundreds of tiny details, and a huge sense of humor for the entire family to enjoy.
Release your inner sculptor with these faceted wooden shapes that can be balanced into all kinds of configurations.
Create your own sculptures and scenes using your homemade dough. Then bring them to life with LED eyes, buzzing bodies, and silly switches. Take a hands-on approach to learning circuitry by building structures and scenery using electro dough and electric components.
Fifty wood pieces of various shapes and sizes align side-by-side so you can track the progress of five differently colored marbles.
You may not live on the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t gain the skills to surf. Made completely of maple, this board trains riders for the open ocean and replicates the soulful feel of longboard riding.
This Netherlands-based brand creates one of the wittiest ways to get some zzz’s.This style is perfect for the kid who’s a fan of anything space.
Be the coolest little citizen on the playground with this playful necklace designed for kids – BY A KID!
Weave your own masterpieces with this easy to make DIY kit. Complete with soft yarn, wooden arrow, loom, and more, you can create a retro-inspired wall weaving to hang in any room of the house.
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