Earth Friendly Playthings!

Happy Earth Day, Everyone! Today is a day where we're encouraged to think about how we're treating our planet. And what decisions we can make to change our environments for the better. Most toddlers can chant "Reduce Reuse Recycle" at their grownups. And most of these small folks have a pretty good idea how to make this phrase part of their lives. As their grownups, we struggle to follow their example. Maybe we make a bigger effort to sort recyclables and get them in the bin. Maybe we're taking that extra step and feeding our gardens with compost. Many of us remember (ok, maybe not all the time, but most of the time!) to bring reusable bags with us to the store. And these are all great ways to walk a little softer on the earth. And of course we're passing on those phrases our parents bellowed at us: turn off that light if you're done in that room! Don't leave the refrigerator door open! Don't let water just run in the sink! All key phrases to ensure another generation grows up annoyed and aware of how they consume resources. So if this is all sounding familiar, pat yourself on the back.

While there are lots of ways the toy industry could improve their global footprint, there are several toy companies that are taking steps and using a business model that is focused on being good environmental stewards. First up is:

Green Toys - From tea sets to dump trucks, Green Toys offers toys made from recycled materials and packaged in an easy-opening, easily recycled manner. My particular favorite is their Recycling Truck. Not only is the cheerful green color and gentle curves very appealing from a design standpoint, it also is created without any metal parts. How many times have you discovered a beloved dump truck has a rusted axle? The Recycling Truck solves that issue for you. A great addition to kitchen role-playing, the Tea Set will serve up pretend beverages for years. Made in California from recycled milk jugs, the entire Green Toys product line takes traditional toys that next step to being good for our planet.

Kidsonroof - So we're all familiar with the traditional plastic building and construction systems, right? The folks at Kidsonroof have created a building system that uses recycled cardboard: Meet Totem. Open ended, encouraging imagination and exploration, the Totem building system was listed in the 2009 TIME Magazine GREEN DESIGN 100. The Totem Nature set has panels printed with pretty florals, woodsy textures, and bright patterns. The Totem City set has a more industrial and mechanical feel to the printed panels. Coming across the ocean from Holland, the Kidsonroof products are standouts and unique compared to other building toys offered in the US. Each set includes instructions on building a few things, but the real fun is when the child (and the twiddly-fingered grownups!) starts exploring how to create their own structures.

Dreaming Lion LLC - So these are the folks who have created the super-cute Aminals. Aminals are stuffed ... er ... animals that look like children's drawings. Their design is very simple, with a heavy dose of whimsy. What makes these interesting is that they are made from 100% organic materials. Everything, from the stuffing, to the cloth, to the dyes, each stage of production is certified as organic. Manufactured in India, the Aminals are also certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, which helps to ensure fair labor practices and livable wages are paid to employees. So here's a stuffed toy you can feel good about. Interesting tidbit: They're completely biodegradable! I must admit I'm not thrilled with the cutesy misspellings in the names-- But that's a whole other blog post/rant!


April's Games for the LagoonaMagoo Toys at the St. Louis Mills Mall Family Game Night

You're invited to come play with us at the St. Louis Mills Mall location of LagoonaMagoo Toys!  Our family game nights are an great chance to get out and play your favorite games.  Or maybe discover a new favorite.  Or rediscover one you haven't played in eons.  If you have any questions, feel free to give the playful folks at the store a call:  (314) 227-5335

We play every Friday from 6:30 - 8:30pm
Hope to see you there!

Our Games for April are:
  • April 2 - SET  (ages 6 and up)  Challenge your ideas of what cards can create a set in this game of visual perception! Match shape, number, color or shading. Or match none. Easy for youngsters, SET can be a challenge for the grownup brain.
  • April 9 - Dicecapades  (ages 10 and up)  By combining several dice games, physical and artistic challenges, and trivia questions, Dicecapades has something for everyone. It’s not just your luck, it’s your mind that counts in this game!
  • April 16 - MiQube (ages 7 and up)  It's a puzzle & four board games in one!  MiQube encourages spatial thinging through it's seemingly simple puzzle cube.  Then the board games challenge everyone to think strategically, too!
  • April 23 - Five Crowns (ages 8 and up)  It's not like any card game you've played before--  Instead of four suits, you've got five!  Played in rounds, this Rummy-like game is quick moving and a ton of fun!
  • April 30 - Zombie Fluxx (ages 8 and up)  Just when you think you've got the rules down, Fluxx changes them all!  Add in a Zombie invasion, and there's more crazy play in store for you and your family!  Fun, funny, and totally unpredictable, Zombie Fluxx is sure to become a favorite!