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.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carrie said,

    We love Plan Toys!

  2. 2

    Brandy said,

    I personally prefer this type of toys in which, not only does your kids have fun but their imagination is exercised. I have heard of Planning Green and their company is considered one of the top competitors in toy manufacturing today.

  3. 3

    Excellent post – very in depth. Not many parents would go to such lengths to consider a toy purchase, it is good to find one who considers safety and environment as perogitive.

    A lot of children want toys on the spot though. how do you cope with getting the child to wait until you have made sure it is safe before purchase?

    • 4

      Dr. Heather Prenger said,

      Jolly Soft Toys,

      So far that hasn’t been an issue as it has been easy to divert our toddler to something else. However, we do most of our toy shopping at local natural toy stores where most items in the store are safe. There are several toy companies that I am confidant in their toy safety so I would guide our little guy to one of those until I had a chance to further research an unfamiliar toy. I hope as he gets older he will understand my concerns and philosophies and will respect that. I don’t know, maybe thats wishful thinking or will be many ears down the road, but being a first time parent every stage and year is new ground for me so we just take it a day, month, year at a time. If anyone else has any tips or input I’d love to hear your experience!

  4. 5

    Plan toys are simply brilliant I have never had any problems and I have two toddler boys, so the toys really take a bashing. Great review and great to spread the word.

  5. 6

    INGAAS : said,

    the good thing about wooden toys is that they are biodegradable and is organic too .

  6. 7

    chiropractor said,

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

    • 8

      Dr. Heather Prenger said,

      It is pretty simple to start a blog. I just created an account and started writing. My site is free but some bloggers pay to have a fancier site. There are many sites and blogs out there which give tips on promoting your blog as well. My friend and colleague, Dr. Dolly Garnecki has several resources on her site, which started out as a wordpress blog. You can do as much or as little as you like.

  7. 9

    Treva Orlow said,

    I have been looking for a couple of of your stories and that I should say clever stuff. I will be able to make certain to bookmark your blog.

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