Think before you buy: your kids’ toys are killing the planet. 90% of all toys sold is made of plastics, and there are very few toys that are able to be recycled or repurposed.
When my children were tiny, I caused some bad feelings amongst family members because I banned plastic toys: I politely refused to accept those noisy, battery-operated, garish plastic monstrosity, especially those with flashing lights!
My parents-in-law used to make toys for my children: almost 30 years later, we still have some of those precious toys (Photo: Harry Helium, made by my mother-in-law based on a story I wrote).
My parents, who weren’t so good with the sewing machine or hammer, nails and saw, entertained the children with nature (Photo: drawing from 30 years ago!)
No, they did not suffer not owning any plastic toys. They made their own with discarded packaging and stuff they find around the house (Photo: the two sisters making something).
When my children got older, I softened my stance a bit and allowed Legos into the house. But by then, they had gotten over the idea that toys are fun. They much preferred pets, and at one stage, we had two dogs, two cats and eleven rabbits. That rather large menagerie did not leave them much time for gadgets either!
Recently, I visited my children’s father’s classroom (he teaches Design & Technology) and saw these Chinese puzzles that his Year 8 students made:
This can be made environmentally friendly by suing softwood. The design is from MYP Design & Technology textbook published by IBID Press.
Here is something you can make simply at home with your children, using paper or even flour tortilla! A hexaflaxagon that my daughter made:
The instructions are here. Have fun!
Related reading: There’s A Huge Problem With Kids’ Toys That No One’s Talking About
Here’s an innovative company repurposing plastic toys:
First published in www.raisinghappystrongkids.com