Friday, January 9, 2009

Save the Toys!

In our house, we make a concerted effort to maintain a certain balance.  We emphasize God, health, creativity, natural learning environments, care for our fellow humans, care for the natural world, and a certain consciousness in our decision-making.  One conscious decision we have made as a family is to buy toys that spark imagination and creativity and are made of natural materials whenever possible.  The federal government, in an effort to heighten the safety standards of toys following the recent rash of lead problems in toys, passed a law (the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) to, among other things. ban lead and phthalates in children's products, mandate third party testing and certification, and require manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number.  All of these changes are fairly easy and probably necessary for large toy companies to comply with, but small businesses, artisan crafters, and local handimen would be driven out of business if forced to comply with changes that would cost them upward to $4000 per toy style to test.  There is a clear disconnect since the companies that caused the problems that warranted this law are NOT the small business, artisan crafters, and local handimen, they are the large corporations that will have no trouble heading this new requirement.  There are a few places listed at the bottom of this post that you can go to stop this law from negatively impacting the people who are the heart and soul of the toy industry.

Some toys our family would never be able to purchase under the new law:

Puzzle truck
from our local farmer's market

Puzzle dinosaurs
from a local downtown artisan

Mitten and Animals from Any Room for Me?
from mamaroots on

Tree Blocks

Finn's favorite turkey friends
from ZooLooNaturals on


  1. Those are some of the cutest toys your kids have! I love the mitten with the carved animals. I'm concerned about these upcoming changes to the law as well. I wrote to my congressman (Doc Hastings) and I got a form letter back explaining what the new law was about. I felt mildly annoyed about that since it appeared to me that nobody even read what I wrote. But I still feel better about putting my two cents in. ;)

  2. I have been signing petitions when I come across them. I have read that the government has taken the "little guys" into consideration and are going to look at the law again. Fingers crossed on that one. My mother and I wanted to start making dolls for children to teach them learning skills like how to tie their shoes, button buttons, and stuff like that. I have been looking into an all natural way to do that when it comes to fabric and dyes, but now with this law I am starting to think "Why bother?" Although this is something I really want to do. I don't have kids yet, but hope to within a year or so and your blog has turned me on to natural toys for children and I found that so interesting and want those for my future children instead of the mass plastic ones. I also wanted to try my hand at making toys for children to add to the growing community of natural toy makers. What better combination is all natural toys that teach a skill or two. :-) But with that new law, who knows any more. I hope they exempt the "little guys". Sorry about the long post. :-)

  3. Oh I LOVE that first puzzle truck! My son is too old for it now but I wonder if my hubby could make something like that for my neice.


  4. Thanks for the mention.

    You know how we fell. *wink*

    Handmade, Love!


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