Toys are such wonderful objects that fill our childhoods with precious time to play. If we take the time to think where the bulk of plastic toys from major brands come from however, who they’re made by, the advertising that aims for pester-power and peer pressured ‘need’ to have the latest toy, the recalled products from lead poisoning in paint, it’s not something you really to support or want for your child.
Luckily though, there are a number of companies that are producing toys in the old-fashion way. The eco toy industry philosophy is that the toys made are good for the environment and good for the child. As well as limiting the childs exposure to harmful toxins and providing them with a toy that lasts, these toys aim to stimulate the imagination and encourage developmental play. Importantly as a parent, when you purchase toys from these places you know where they’ve been made, and the products they’ve been made with and there’s a special unique quality to them.
Urban Canvas is one such company that is new on the Eco-friendly toy scene. Launched in 2012, they produce three-dimensional sculptural craft toys, designed to engage children in creative play. The creator is an art educator and mother of three who developed the business after seeing her children play endlessly with a cardboard box she had fashioned into a ‘store’. The structure morphed from a school to a clubhouse and back to a store again and children of all ages loved playing with it, this inspired her to create more cardboard toys and Urban Canvas was born.
Urban Canvas adheres to two main basic principles; using recycled material and reducing waste. All toys and packaging are made from recycled fiber, the principle material they use, cardboard, can be recycled into new paper products over approximately seven times (http://urban-canvas.com/catalog/green.php). In terms of waste reduction all toys are packaged in reusable boxes and excess packaging is avoided.
In addition to their City Streets and Nature Trails Collection, Urban Canvas are set to launch their new product range ‘Modern Classics’ at the 2013 New York Toy fair. This new collection includes the Mod House dollhouse and ‘Build 52’ playing cards, traditional classics with a modern wise.
The Mod House gives the dollhouse a modern makeover, it comes with the classic four person family but also has movable walls and reversible furniture. Additionally, the entire 105 piece modular build-and-play set has an erasable crayon surface. The product gives children the freedom to not only build and design but decorate and re-decorate, as well as roll playing, providing hours of creative play time.
The second new addition to the product line is the ‘Build 52’ Playing Cards. This is a versatile set that offers a number of options for creative play. Each card contains six slots so the cards can be used to construct a house of cards. Additionally, the cards have the standard number and symbol sets, but also leave room for custom designing their own numbers and symbols so children can play traditional card games or create their own games.
Making the choice to purchase an eco toy such as those produced by Urban Canvas will benefit your child with hours of positive creative and developmental play. You will also benefit from knowing that you have also made an ethical decision both socially and environmentally, and supported sustainability.