With online shopping, the number of options available to parents looking for the best toys for their kids has skyrocketed… There are so many kinds of toys – all just a click away. Many parents are now using this to their advantage and opting for non-plastic, natural toys for their babies and toddlers. The journey to phasing out plastic toys is different for everyone and parents have many reasons for embarking on it. Moms and dads are striving to be more conscious about what their children are playing with and putting in their mouths, as well as the impact these toys are having on the environment. Below are some of our favorite stories of the parents who made the decision to switch to natural toys.
Erin, a mother of three, implemented a no-plastic-toys policy before she even had her first baby. It was clear to her that she didn’t want to contribute to the growing number of sea creatures being poisoned to painful deaths by discarded plastic in any way. The environmental pollution of the plastic industry, and the mountains of waste choking our planet is what was her main concern when she made the decision not to purchase plastic toys. As she started researching the topic further, she also became aware of the very real health-related repercussions of using plastic toys, which are often toxic. The health risks of babies putting plastic toys in their mouths when teething are numerous. So the health aspect made her even more confident in her decision to stir clear from plastic playthings.
The decision to embrace natural toys came differently to Matthew. “It wasn’t until I had my first child that I ever really thought about the ingredients used to make many common household objects or their potential dangers”. Once he had his baby, he really started thinking about what was inside the toys he was buying, and whether they were really safe. Watching the documentary Unacceptable Levels was a turning point for him, as it confirmed what he suspected all along: there are many harmful ingredients in plastic toys. He is now a firm believer in the benefits of natural toys the kids can play with inside when the weather is not good for going outdoors to explore. Matthew believes these kinds of toys encourage his kids’ creative play, unleash their imagination. His kids also seem to value their toys more - to them they are not just disposable items; they have a generational value to them, can be passed along and have a timeless feel.
Megan, mum of two, also started to make the switch but explains that for her it was hard to completely get rid of the plastic toys her kids already owned. However she started being more conscious with what she was purchasing for her children. “We have far fewer plastic toys now than just a year ago and we also spend a lot more time outside!”, she says. Some were given away and replaced with new ones made out of sustainable and recyclable materials and yet are still fun and creative. “Kids can come up with far more different play-scenarios with the toys that are more open-ended”, she says.
When Sarah’s first son was born, she was given lots of plastic toys as presents. “That’s just what babies play with, right?” she thought. For a while she didn’t question or consider this matter any further, until she spoke with a friend of hers who introduced her to the policy she followed with her daughter: no plastic toys. Sarah started thinking about it and started doing some research which led her to the conclusion that she didn't want plastic toys for her son. "I realized plastic toys can be very harmful for his health, specially since he puts everything in his mouth!"
While it might seem overwhelming to move away from plastic, there are actually lots of alternatives! Which was a moment in your life that made you move away from plastic? Comment below! We would love to hear from you!
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