Friday, February 8, 2008

Leaded or Unleaded?

Toys, that is. "Leaded" and "unleaded" were the signs above two toy aisles in a cartoon I saw around Christmas. After what seemed like the millionth lead toy recall last fall, I spent a lot of time at the CSPC's site looking up all our current toys, brand by brand.

My Christmas shopping then was limited to companies with no recalls for lead paint. Lots of Internet surfing led me to our new favorite toy company, Plan Toys. Not only are Plan Toys products painted with water-based, non-toxic dyes, they're also made from renewable rubberwood, as I learned from their letter posted on

Moolka became our new favorite site for Christmas shopping for their quality brands like Plan Toys and Haba. (Haba's "The Orchard" has quickly become a favorite game for our 2 and 4 yo.) Our 2 favorite things about this site (besides the safe toy brands) are the reviews by parents (which earn you $1 credit at the site for each one you post) and the fact that we can keep a wishlist to share with relatives.

So what did my 2 kids get for Christmas? Well my 2 yo daughter got this fold-up toy kitchen by Alex and this set of play food by Melissa and Doug. My 4.5 yo son got this parking garage by Plan Toys and this wooden constructor set by Baufix. As easy as online shopping has become and as difficult as it is to find some of these brands in local stores, I may never wander into Target's toy aisles again!

Of course, being the cheap (make that "thrifty") shopper that I am, a lot of my online shopping still happens at Amazon since I can get free shipping if I spend $25 if it's something sold by Amazon (only the Alex and Melissa & Doug toys this round). We also did some of our Christmas shopping at KidSurplus this year, as they discount toy prices and had free shipping for purchases over $75. Like I said, goodbye Target!

This post would be incomplete if I didn't give a shout-out to The Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide of 2007, as that list is what got me started in my search. I also have to link up here to The Not Quite Crunchy Parent's post on her favorite shopping sites, as reading that today got me to post this here.

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