Ensuring your home is a safe place for your children to learn and grow is at the top of every parent’s list of priorities. From baby-proofing to straining organic peas by hand, no task is too tedious if it’s proven to be the safest for our children. Why then, when it comes to their toy shelf, do people tend to be less vigilant?
Children’s toys are important tools for play and learning that they interact with each day. These toys are sometimes chewed on by infants and toddlers, snuggled with at bedtime, and even worn on their bodies as they dress up or put on a play. That’s why the materials they’re made of matter.
What Makes a Toy Organic?
Organic has become a buzzword in recent years. Grocery stores are full of organic produce and trendy apparel brands pride themselves on their organic cotton range. But what does it really mean to produce organic products, and most specifically, organic toys? Organic toys are usually made of natural materials like wood or organically grown fibers like cotton and wool.
In order to be labeled organic, toymakers are required to meet USDA organic standards regarding how the fiber was grown. This doesn’t account for the processes used in manufacturing, so we recommend always doing your research or looking for additional certifications by groups like the Forest Stewardship Council or Oeko-Tex.
Ditch the Plastic and Toxins
Petroleum-based plastics can contain dangerous toxins and have a larger ecological impact than organic toys made with natural materials. Here are some things to look for when selecting safe organic toys:
Sustainable and Renewable Materials: From wood to cotton fibers, choosing sustainably harvested materials makes a huge difference for the environment and your child. Look for brands that are concious of their ecological impact and take steps to minimize it.
- Water-based or Natural Finishes: If a toy may be mouthed by children it’s important that it doesn’t contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or other potentially harmful chemicals like polyurethane, which isn’t safe to be ingested. Look for toys sealed with cold-pressed Linseed oil or beeswax instead.
- Vegetable Dyes and Food Safe Colorants- Like finishes, the dyes used for organic toys must be free of toxins. Dyes are often preferred to paints because they soak into the wood and can’t chip off when they encounter little teeth.
There are seemingly endless amounts of information about the best materials and practices for safe toy manufacturing. It can be overwhelming to wade through the articles and scour the internet for answers. That’s why every brand we carry at Oompa Toys has been researched and vetted. We ensure the toys you choose for your children are made of safe organic materials using the best practices possible. Organic is more than a buzzword to us, it’s our ethos.