Tedx Talks: Susan Linn “Children Play Less Creatively with Media Linked Toys”

Open-Ended Play: The 5 Best Wood Building Toys

bamboo blocksYippeeee!  It’s summer vacation!  Now that my kids are home from school, they have had more time to play.  No matter their age, the traditional wooden building block toys are the ones that sustain play for hours and days.  Given their enthusiasm for building drum sets, houses, airplanes, spaceships, etc., I was inspired to write this list of the most popular wooden building block toys in our home that inspire open-ended, creative play.

1.  Contina Blocks

Contina blocks are similar to Kapla blocks, in that they are more like planks than standard unit blocks; however, Contina blocks are made from sustainable bamboo. These planks come in eight different natural colored finishes and can be combined to build many structures, given that you get 100 blocks in a set. You can stack them or line them up, and I am not sure if Eco Dad or my children had more fun when we first opened our Contina blocks.

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5 Green Products: Greenwashed Recycled Paper Products to Natural Paint Colors Made From Organic Plant Extracts

Screen shot 2010-01-30 at 8.02.10 AMGREENWASH ALERT!

1.  Small Steps Recycled Paper Products

Marcal Small Steps motto is “Paper from paper, not from trees”.

For over five decades, Marcal has been saving trees and reducing landfill by making its paper products from recycled paper.  Marcal uses paper collected from curbs in residential neighborhoods in cities and towns across America; from the small blue baskets in office buildings, unwanted junk mail, and waste from printers; all in an effort to do something good.

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Green Toys: Recycled Cardboard Paintable Schoolhouse Promotes Creativity

green toy schoolhouseAny parent knows that children love cardboard boxes.  Often, the box a present comes in encourages more creative play than the toy it once contained.  Imagination Box Co. was born out of this cardboard creativity.

After raising three kids and seeing how much waste there was in the toy industry, we said, “NO MORE,” and began making many of our children’s toys. An old box became a way to stimulate their creativity and recycle at the same time. They loved them and so did the neighborhood kids. It took about 17 years, but…voila…Imagination Box Co was born!

Made in the USA, Imagination Box Co. toys are completely recyclable and made from 45% post consumer materials.  Each set comes with watercolors, so that your child may decorate and assemble their own toy. For my eight-year-old daughter, it has provided hours of entertainment and excitement. [Read more...]