By Christine Hill
Shop locally for for Earth-friendly toys, and put more green gifts under your tree.
Searching for the perfect toys while being an eco-conscious shopper can sometimes be a challenge. With this list of locally sold and sustainably made toys, we’ve found some safe, environmentally friendly gifts for kids of all ages.
1. Chef Set by Green Toys
- Ages 6 – 7
- $16 at The Learning Tree, 4004 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, KS, & 11536 Ash St., Leawood, KS
Give your young aspiring cooks hours of imaginative playtime with this chef set by Green Toys. Each piece is made from recycled plastic milk containers and meets Food and Drug Administration standards for food contact. Share holiday cookies or pretend treats on these eco-friendly, dishwasher safe dishes.
2. Block Set by Green Toys
- Ages 1+
- $24.99 at Toys R’ Us, 8 metro locations
This classic set of 18 multicolor blocks is a great addition to any toy box. Kids can stack and build towers, skyscrapers and castles with unique shapes and sizes. These blocks are also made in the USA from recycled plastic milk containers and contain no harmful ingredients such as BPA, phthalates or lead paint. Green Toys uses recyclable and recycled materials for packaging and soy ink printing.
3. Galimoto Girl
- Ages 3+
- $12 at Ten Thousand Villages, 7947 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS
A galimoto is a Kenyan artisanal toy made from various scraps such as cornstalks, sticks, cloth or wire. This wire and cloth crafted galimoto girl push toy rides a bicycle and wears colorful clothes as her legs pedal. The purchase of a galimoto girl at Ten Thousand Villages helps the artisans of the Chuma Wires workshop in Nairobi, Kenya where employment opportunities are scarce.
4. Solar Car Science Kit by Thames & Kosmos
- Ages 8+
- $24.99 at Brookside Toy & Science, 330 West 63rd St., Kansas City, MO
Teach children about solar-powered electricity by letting them build their own solar-electric car. This kit has pieces to create a miniature racecar, windmill, helicopter, jet plan or gyrocopter powered by batteries or solar cell. Kids will enjoy the satisfaction of building a toy themselves while learning about renewable energy.
5. Dig & Discover Set by Green Toys
- Ages 18 months+
- $24.99 at Brookside Toy & Science, 330 W. 63rd St., Kansas City, MO
Dig and explore the depths of nature with the Dig & Discover set by Green Toys. Each set includes a shovel, bucket, rake and a copy of the activity book, Dig and Discover! Outdoor Activities for Kids. This set benefits an environmental literacy organization called NatureBridge that promotes hands-on learning experiences with nature. Both the packaging and contents of this set are made from toxin-free recycled materials.
6. Tea Set by Green Toys
- Ages 2 – 7
- $27.99 at The Learning Tree, 4004 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, KS, & 11536 Ash St., Leawood, KS
Help your child host the most eco-friendly tea party in the neighborhood with this 17-piece tea set by Green Toys. The 100-percent recycled plastic set comes with a teapot, sugar bowl, saucers, four cups and all the essentials for a perfectly green tea party. The set comes in soft pastel colors and is packaged in recyclable materials.
7. Jeep by Three Trees Workshop
- Ages 3+
- $17.00 at www.ThreeTreesWorkshop.com
Made from solid Missouri wood in Warrensburg, MO, the jeep toy car is a kid-friendly wood car made with windows that provide an easy-to-grab handle for little hands and the wheels spin freely. The cars can be personalized with a child’s name. Three Trees Workshop is a husband and wife team that uses non-toxic shellac and oil, and local woods for toys, cutting boards and more. The products can be purchased at Treasured Blessings at Whimsey Lane in downtown Warrensburg, MO, or online.