Toys.

A while back, my husband had this brilliant idea for a documentary- to take everything in our home that is MADE IN CHINA and replace it with things MADE IN THE USA. It had me thinking. So I started looking around at the things that were immediately around me-

Cell phone... China

earphones... China

headband... China

plastic toy car... China

Lifefactory glass sippy cup... USA

rainboots... China

toy ball... China

my clothing... China

Yikes!

Since then, we've made it a point to purchase toys, furniture, food, yarn, clothing and whatever else there are viable alternatives for that are made in the United States or other countries where slave labor is not the order of the day. Sure, it's more expensive, but a few more dollars doesn't bother me when it comes to something more ethical and responsible.

Especially toys. There have been so many cases of lead and other strange toxins found in the paints of toys that have come from China and other countries with cheap manufacturing and labor practices. I do admit we have purchased some plastic items like a Radio Flyer tricyle, some B toys that we liked for the kids and their toy bins but little else. Most things are natural fabric toys and naturally dyed.

Where does one find such toys?

There are quite a few internet sites that sell great wooden toys as well as crafts and art supplies made of natural materials. But recently I came across A Toy Garden, at the suggestion of a friend who marveled at the quality of their playsilks. Toys like these are known to be quite expensive because they are mostly handmade and mostly MADE IN THE USA. This site has a great variety of more affordable toys and other products. I purchased playsilks in several colors for my little ones, a handmade flannel and silk rainbow colored blanket and a teacup with a beautiful fairy design for my little girl. Everything came quickly and with a sweet little "thank you" note from the owner. I am a sucker for great customer service and when she sent me an email to update me about my shipping, I was officially hooked. We had a nice little exchange and then she offered to donate a 35 inch playsilk for a giveaway on my blog!!! Playsilks are awesome because they foster creativity and pull from the incredible imagination children possess. They can be used for dress up, to simulate weather, for peekaboo play, to wave around with music, and offer hours of open-ended play.

So, without further a due, it's my pleasure to announce the FIRST GIVEAWAY- of hopefully many- on my blog site!...

Just post a comment on this post and tell me what color playsilk you'd like to have. You can check out the colors on this page here. I'll put everyone's name in a bowl and pick a name out. Then lovely Sonya will send a playsilk to your home! You can comment until Monday night as I'll be picking and notifying the lucky winner Tuesday morning :)

Good Luck! And let's keep an eye out for what and where we buy. We vote with every dollar we spend. Let's support fair and as locally as possible!

And finally, here is a great resource for how to green up your toys.