Sunday, April 20, 2008

Safer Sand Toys

I am so happy that it's spring! FINALLY, the snow is gone and it's warm enough to play outside. Just today our leaves came out, and every day there is something new to see. The ground is still too cold to garden here, but last week we filled our sandbox.

Arielle and Linnea have been having lots of fun with sand (and water) toys.

Here are our top picks for SAFE (no phthalates and no PVC and not Made in China) sand toys. Sand toys tend to sell out fast. So if you are looking for sand toys, buy early.

Gowi makes sand toys in Austria. They come in bright bold colors and are decorated with fun animals. The largest selection is at Amazon (although they come from different sources) and they sell both individual pieces and sets. We have individual buckets, sieves and sand molds. This will be our second summer of playing with them.

Gowi Beach Bucket($7.99)

Sand Sieve($3.99)

and our favorite Watering Can($11.95)

Gowi Waterpump Set with Waterwheel ($22.95)

Happy George Play Set ($25.00)

Spielstabil Toys are made in Germany. There is a great selection at Maukilo. Maukilo also sells Haba sand toys, but we have no experience with these and Haba makes them in China.

Bucket Mill ($9.50)

Extra Sand Scoop ($1.95)

Sand Bucket ($4.30)

Sand And Water Mill ($15.50) This sold out very early last year, so we didn't get one.
It is on the list for this year.

Arielle played with the Water Pump ($10.50) in the wading pool last summer and in the bath tub all winter. It took a while for her to get the concept, but once she figured it out, she had a great time filling up buckets and then pouring them out.

And Linnea's absolute favorite is still the Spielstabil Baby Bucket($5.99). She loves to pretend it is a spoon and thinks it is a wonderful way to eat sand.

A new favorite are the sand toys from Green Toys. Green toys are a wonderful new company that makes toys (in the USA) out of recycled milk bottles. The plastic is sturdy and both phthalate and BPA free. What an Earth-friendly way to play!

Green Toys are available at KangarooBoo.

Recycled Palstic Sand Toy Set ($19.90)

Our large outdoor toys are from Little Tikes and Step 2. Both companies make most of their products in the USA,both companies are phthalate-free. Now if only they used recycled plastic like Green Toys...

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