3 to 4 Years Old > not sure about CSA Niagara Farm Barbie with Hemp Dress...

I would like some toy ideas that are good for the environment, good for small businesses (eg. no publicly traded companies), and good for my 4 year old daughter. It is still important that the toys have some mainstream appeal as my daughter's friends (much to my shagrin) all love whatever hot mattel thing is the it thing.

November 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarl

That's a great question! I could answer briefly or at length but since it's late at night, here are some comments and suggestions off the top of my head, and I'll ask our staff to add their suggestions tomorrow.

I don't recall ever being asked about publicly traded versus small businesses, but I expect that except for a very few,all the suppliers we deal with are private companies, and they range from very small to large. We do buy a few items from Mattel, but those are primarily games that we used to buy from small companies until they "went big" and were bought out by Mattel.

Some environmentally-friendly brands for your 4 year-old that immediately come to mind are:
- Plan Toy, made from replenishable rubberwood; they have imaginative play items such as dishes, games and a dollhouse with furniture etc. that would appeal to a four year old girl
- Green Toys, made from recycled plastic; they also have imaginative play items, the most popular being their tea set
- Playmais, a creative building toy, made from corn and plant dyes

We have a wide range of wooden products, from games by Blue Orange to puzzles, games and craft kits from Melissa and Doug.

A Quadrilla wooden marble run would be quite impressive.

In the soft toy category, while not as "environmental" as rubberwood or corn, some great non-mass-market choices with minimal to no packaging are puppets by Folkmanis (and of course, a puppet theatre is a great gift and would have a wow factor) and Groovy Girls, a soft doll by Manhattan Toy, cool and fun but NOT a Barbie!

Hopefully that gives you some ideas; please let us know if this is helpful, and I will ask our Turtle Pond staff to also come up with their suggestions.

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterTurtle Pond Toys

I could add that the Only Hearts doll collection could make a wonderful gift too. Wholesome fun, and cool too, there are a variety of dolls and accessories to choose from offering a much more positive message to young girls than Barbie does. I'm not sure of the company's environmental impact...

November 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterSusie