Kid-Approved Earth-Friendly Toys

These earth-friendly toys prove that kids can have fun while they learn about conservation.

| December/January 1991

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    Eloise, 4, takes recycling into her own hands with Holgate's Recycling Truck.

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Note: This article was originally published in 1991, and the products and resources mentioned may not still be in existence.

About this time of year, the handier of us on staff cut out of work an hour or two early and head home to our workshops to put the finishing touches on a doll house or a wagon. I'm usually halfway through a desk or a dresser for my daughter (which I typically finish at 2 a.m. on Christmas morning, sometime after I've hung the stockings by the chimney with care).

This year, however, is different. My daughter wants "real toys."

After a few frightening visions danced in my head (mutated action figures, bleeping/zapping/zooming video-game heroes, etc.), I bravely ventured forth. And here, fellow parents, is the good news: There are toys out there that are in keeping with your values and your kids' idea of fun — and that can be delivered to you by tree time.

Wishful thinking, you say? Well, not one to leave such a serious sheep to chance, I called in the pros. Last month, kids from MOTHER's extended family played games, read stories and pushed trucks. The results? A kid-tested treasure chest of toys that will provide hours of fun and learning about conservation and saving our planet.

Frolic's Dance

This combination story/tape/stuffed rabbit almost caused a brawl when it was time for the children to choose a toy to take home. Frolic is a snowshoe hare (13 inches long, snow white, fluffy, soft and snuggly, with wide feet indicative of his name) who learns friendship and self-discovery as well as the dangers and delights of the Arctic north. All the children loved Frolic and his story — he really is cute (I don't use that word freely). Kids can learn about endangered species, the animals of the Arctic and friendship. It's suitable for a variety of ages, from the wee-est ones to those who can read stories to themselves. The tape, book and rabbit can be ordered separately, but the combo is $41.95 from the Smithsonian Wild Heritage Collections through Soundprints Corporation. The Soundprints catalog features many tales of endangered species, and children's books on topics such as the rain forest.

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