Trying to keep your house free from toys that have dubious origins and unhealthy materials can be tough sometimes, especially when well-meaning relatives send gifts that they think your kids will enjoy (but that come from mainstream toymakers).
So when Vermont Teddy Bear offered to let me review a couple of their eco-conscious bears, I was jazzed to check them out and to see what my older kids (ages 11 and 4) thought about them.
The company sent me a Go Green Bear and a Woolen Bear to review, and as soon as I handed them to my girls, it was love at first sight. They got named, dressed, and put to work in the play kitchen immediately. My kids are pretty picky about the toys they love, so as far as I’m concerned, that’s a great sign that the bears are a good choice for a natural toy gift for children.
The Go Green Bears have fur made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, dyed with natural dyes, and are stuffed with recycled PET stuffing. We got a blue one, promptly named Cloud by my daughter. The bear is soft (huggable, even), and the arms and legs are articulated, so it can be posed. The bear is also just the right size to fit baby clothes, so it was recruited as a ‘baby’ right away.
The Woolen Bear’s fur is made from all natural wool, with no dyes used to color it, and also stuffed with 100% recycled PET stuffing. Ours is brown, and received the name Brownie from our youngest. According to the company, wool is naturally flame resistant (we didn’t try to verify that with a flame test…) as well as being hypo-allergenic (making it a choice for children with allergies).
Vermont Teddy Bears are handmade in Vermont (where else?) and are shipped in cardboard box with a Vermont Wicked Good game printed on the inside, and the company says that the packaging is Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified. The bears are guaranteed for life – if damaged, you can send them to the teddy bear hospital to be repaired or replaced for free!
Would I buy this product? Yes, I would gladly buy or recommend the Go Green and Woolen Vermont Teddy Bears to friends looking for a natural toy as a gift. I think they’re a quality toy, and because they are handmade in the U.S., they get bonus points from me.