"Like junk food, junk toys can be fun but are devoid of nutrition. Buying them requires little forethought. They are excessively commercial, and are often linked to cross-marketing schemes. They excite children at first, but that initial flicker doesn’t endure. Also like junk food, junk toys have hidden environmental and social costs for which the consumers pay." - Judith RubinIt's hard to imagine that ubiquitous and innocent gifts as plastic toys or stuffed animals made from synthetic materials could have such a negative impact on a child, a family, and their world. It's even harder to raise a healthy child when society wants you to raise a good consumer. The toys that we provide children have a part to play in that. Plastic toys give off chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system, do not degrade in landfills, are petroleum by-products, are often made in sweatshops, are often made in China, use excessive resources to make and transport, do not last more than one generation, and many are overly commercial. Life Magazine reports, "Except for the small amount that has been incinerated — and it’s a very small amount — every bit of plastic made still exists." YUCK! This isn't the world we want to leave Anjali and her friends.
How can you tell a junk toy from a good toy? Here are some great questions to ask yourself when selecting toys:
- Will this toy eventually turn into dirt-i.e., could I compost it?
- Do I know who made this toy?
- Is this toy beautiful? Have human hands bestowed an awkward grace, a uniqueness lacking in toys cranked out effortlessly by machine?
- Will this toy capture a child’s imagination?
AsherJasper on etsy.com)
Some things that we liked can be found on Anjali's Wishlist at Amazon.com. There are such beautiful crafts out there and the artists are worthy of support. It's much nicer to have one good toy then twenty junk ones.