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Classic European Toys

European toys have a reputation for being safe, durable, and educational. Toy experts agree that Europe has the highest safety standards for toy manufacturers. With many parents dreaming of a China-free Christmas, the trend for the past few years has been toward more classic toys that stand the test of time. Toys from Europe tend to be more costly, yet …

Bikes For Kids

There are important factors when choosing a bike for kids. See also our Girls Bikes: Best of 2010. With the way kids grow, parents can be attracted to cheaper price tags or to buying big with the idea of growing into it, but this can actually turn out to be more costly in the long run. A bike made with …

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Best Child Bike Seats

Every parent loves to bring their kids along with them for bike rides, and child bike seats allow them to do this easily. Today, child bike seats are fitted with suspension systems to keep your child from rattling. Also, the locking mechanisms are more capable of attaching these child bike seats to any style of bicycle. They are also more …

Trailerbikes: A Review and Buying Guide

A trailer bike is a one-wheeled bike extension that attaches to the back of your bike. They are an efficient way to bring your child on a longer bike ride. Your smaller companion can assist you with pedaling, while you control the steering and speed. This allows your child to become familiar with the process of riding a bike, and …

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Optimal: Natural Rubber Pacifiers

Pacifiers that do not contain toxic materials are efficient. Infants are much more susceptible to chemical contamination that adults. A company from Denmark, Natursutten, makes 100% rubber pacifiers using natural latex from the tree Hevea brasiliensi. These pacifiers have no artificial colors, chemical softeners, parabens, PVC, or phthalates. They are softer than pacifiers made of silicone or plastic.

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Optimal: European Toys

This post has been updated and expanded here: Classic European Toys. Toys that are well-designed and made with renewable materials are optimal. European toys often fit this description. This durable block set, for example, is made in Germany by Haba using solid, natural, untreated beech wood that is harvested from sustainable forests. Toys like this are known for their longevity …

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Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Sippy Cups

Klean Kanteen has just introduced this non-toxic Sippy Cup for toddlers. It is made with stainless steel, and it does not have epoxy coating in the inside. It’s coupled with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. This cup does not contain the Bishphenol-A chemical, a potent hormone disruptor found to leach from hard, plastic (particularly #7 …

Crayons Made With Soybean Oil

Today, virtually all crayons are made with petroleum wax. An optimal alternative, however, is to make crayons with pure soybean oil. One company, Prang, manufactures the soy crayons seen here. They are much less toxic, and they also write smoother and brighter without waxy flaking. Available from Blick Art Materials or eBay

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A Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Lunchbox

Here’s an interesting alternative to those regular old vinyl lunchboxes which have a tendency to leach phlatates and lead into your food. It’s a stainless steel lunchbox that will probably garner attention from your co-workers, fellow students or curious passers-by. Based on the idea of the Japanese Bento Box, the lightweight “To Go Ware” has two stainless bowls that sit …

Handmade Toys

This Baby Elephant toy is handmade by artisans in rural Kenya. The octopus is created with natural wool yarn treated with natural vegetable-based dyes. It’s filled with acrylic (kapok would haven been better). The price is $22 from Branch. The also have a number of other non-toxic toys available.

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LIKEaBIKE: A Cool and Efficient Learning Bike

The LIKEaBIKE is a unique toy vehicle for children between the ages of two and five. It’s a learning bike with no pedals — children can push themselves along with their feet. It allows them to gain the confidence and coordination to ride a real bike. It can be used indoors and out. With its inflated tires, it can be …

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The World’s First Flushable Diapers: gDiapers

gDiapers are innovative diapers invented by a husband and wife team from Australia. They are being billed as the first flushable diapers, and will soon be available in the U.S. The system consists of an outer shell (similar to a diaper wrap), an absorbent flushable insert, and a nylon snap-in liner. The whole ensemble comes with a “swishstick” for breaking …

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Non-Toxic Sippy Cups

These cups by SIGG are Swiss designed and are a bit different from regular sippy cups. They have a totally inert inner lining that won’t leach chemicals. This is important because kid’s cups receive a lot of washing and wear and tear, thus the plastic inside degrades quite a bit. The cups are extruded from a single piece of pure …

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Eco-Disposable Diapers

Nobody makes eco-disposable diapers in the U.S. — Seventh Generation diapers come close, but according to a company representative, they are not fully biodegradable. The trouble is the outer liner of disposables is always some kind of plastic. The only commercially available, fully biodegradable, disposable diaper is the Swedish “Nature Boy & Girl” diaper which, instead of a using plastic …

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Non-Toxic Infant Toys and Teethers

Infants absorb chemicals more easily than adults — their bodies run at a higher metabolic rate, and their skin is ten times thinner. Infant toys and teether made of PVC plastic often leak phthalates (pronounced “thay-lates”) and other toxic substances (see more details in this report on 2003 PVC Report Card on Kid’s Toys Manufacturers).