Archive for March, 2010

This Green Toy Stack’s Up Quite Nicely

If creativity, learning, and fun are characteristics you look for in a toy, then I have a recommendation for you.  We recently had an opportunity to try out a toy by the Green company, Plan Toys.  We have enjoyed Plan Toys long before this opportunity came about.  I love their durability.  I can tell you Plan toys nicely withstand the wrath of a toddler boy!  We have numerous Melissa and Doug wooden toys that have broken.  I called to get a replacement on one and they said it was on back order and over a year later we have not revived the toy  I was also hassled on the phone while trying to get the replacement for my child being too rough with the toy.  Well my wild and crazy AKA normal 2 year old boy has been equally rough with his Plan Toys and they have withstood the test (with the exception of 1 train connection breaking which was promptly replaced without hassle).

Planing Green

They pride themselves on their green practices.  They use organic rubberwood, no pesticides, non-toxic, non-formaldehyde glue, water based dye without lead or heavy metal, recycled materials, and soy/water based ink for printed materials which is readily biodegradable and easier to recycle than standard chemical ink.   For the past five years, Plan Toys have we replanted over 43,000 trees in 47 acres of a 2,000 acre area that has been devastated by wild fires and deforestation.   I think that gets a special green star from Mom Going Green!  Green efforts are applauded for Plan Toy’s use of renewable energy.  They use solar energy to power kiln-dries wood machines and burn scrap wood from toys as fuel.   They will soon add a biomas steam turbine generator to their repertoire of energy sources.  They also have a program called “Adaptive Toys for Children with Special needs”, where they donate specially created toys for special needs children.

Safety Matters

For parents concerned about safety Plan Toys couldn’t have made it more accessible for you to check the safety record on every toy they make.  If you Click Here, you can select any toy and Plan Toys will email you a detailed safety analysis of that toy.  It can’t get much easier than that!  As a parent who throughly researches toys before purchasing, I can tell you how refreshing it is to not have to dig and dig for hours to find safety data on a company.

Stacking up Fun

The toy we recently tested was Tower Stacking.  Jack loves to stack so this toy was great for him.  It has 5 plates each with a number on one side and a color on the other side.  Green is 5 and there are 5 green stacking blocks, red is 4 and there are 4 red stacking blocks, and so on.  The stacking blocks are all different shapes.  Some have angles so that brings another dimension to the stacking challenge.   When I first opened the toy I wasn’t sure where to begin.  I guess as an adult I was looking for directions but Jack just dove in to experimenting with the different shapes and colors.  I did find on Plan’s website Play ideas.

What I like most about this toy is that it covers many areas with different colors, shapes, sizes and numbers and that it is simple which allows for a lot of creativity and exploration by little hands and minds.   Jack had a little bit of a challenge with stacking some of the more narrow pieces.  He tried to stack each color, but the Tower Stacking toy is recommended for 3 and above and Jack just turned 2.  I think this shows that it is a toy that can grow with your child.  Jack had fun picking out the colored blocks and counting them, pointing out the different colors and experimenting with the stacking.  As he grows I’m sure he will explore the variety of different stacking options even more.


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