I am so happy to review another toy that is made in the USA. North Star Toys are made by the wonderful Long Family, who have been creating beautiful wooden toys in New Mexico since 1979. I've seen quite a few of their toys lately, and have mentioned some in my blog like Three Men in a Tub ($10.00) and the Little Rollies ($6 each).
I'm also excited that North Star Toys is a green company. They use only American hard woods and their saw dust is used to supplement compost and for chickens and wood-scraps are donated to schools for art projects or used for kindling. The toys are finished with food grade mineral oil to finish our toys. And 100 percent of electricity that runs their shop comes from wind and/or solar energy. So, aside from making high quality toys, they make toys that help preserve the Earth for the children that play with them.
North Star makes rattles and pull toys, toy telephones, rolling dinosaurs, play sets, magic wands and all sorts of vehicles. I'd been debating buying the People Mover ($24.95), but was concerned that the little people would be a choking hazard. I also had my eye on the Bath Boat ($15.95) as an alternative to plastic bath toys. This week, the Longs gave me a chance to try both these toys out.
First of all, no choking hazard. The colorful people are large enough (2 1/2 inches tall) to be mouthed safely. Surprisingly, Arielle immediately decided that the boat was hers and that Linnea could play with the People Mover. Linnea had a wonderful time. She pulled the little people out and rolled them on the floor. She tried to fit them back in. She moved the vehicle back and forth and said brmm... brmm.... I can see that at 1 year, she is just growing into the toy and will enjoy it for a long long time. It is also available with natural wood people.
Later on, Arielle took the People Mover. She had fun naming the people after family members, and she made them go on a fantastic adventure to visit giant mushrooms and unicorn palaces.
The boat was also a hit. Arielle tried it out on both a blue play silk and in a shallow tub of water. The little men sailed the sea until a giant octopus (Linnea) reached in and dumped them out. The boat floats nicely, but does absorb water and needs to air dry. When Linnea finally got her turn, she pulled the pegs out, rolled them, and tried to put them back in. Great fun for a one year old.
These toys are safe, well made (in the USA), very cute, and lots of fun. We totally recommend them. They are available at A Toy Garden, and you can still use the discount code.