On-the-go? Scroll right to the bottom to get your hands on Your Must-Have Guide to (Politely) Requesting Plastic-Free Toys. From how to bring up this sometimes sensitive topic with family, to playful rhymes for your party invites, to plastic-free children’s brands (with exclusive discount codes!), it’s all there.
Do you dread the influx of plastic toys and other things that your kiddos receive as gifts on any given occasion? ‘Cause same.
Of course, you're grateful that your children receive gifts from family and friends. It’d just be nice to be able to request plastic-free toys without the subtle eye roll or sigh because you’re that crunchy mama.
I know I come off as extra crunchy whenever I bring up the toxic chemicals that are littered with plastic toys - like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and lead. There are studies that show that plastic (even if the label says BPA free) still leeches harmful chemicals. Wait - I’m expected to happily give that toy to my child? To play with? My child who loves to put anything and everything (even dirt) into his or her mouth.
No, thanks. That toy has got to go. I'll opt for the dirt. #SorryNotSorry
But where will that plastic toy end up? In a landfill. Plastic literally never decomposes. And recycling toys is extremely difficult, usually not even possible, because they’re made with so many different materials. That Barbie missing one leg I “recycled” last year? It’s sitting in a landfill somewhere. Those LEGOs you finally made disappear because you were tired of stepping on them? Same deal.
Living plastic-free will not happen overnight. And by no means is my own house 100% plastic-free. That’s pretty darn near impossible these days. But... prioritizing high quality, durable toys and household items over cheap, disposable plastic ones is such an easy way to do my part in caring for the earth. And once that mindset shift happens, it just gets easier and easier. Old habits are replaced with new, better habits. And now, my house is for the most part, minimally plasticized. Is that a word…?
You, too, can make the switch to a plastic-free, or at least closer to a plastic-free life. Where to begin? Start simple by politely requesting plastic-free toys!
FRAME YOUR REQUEST AS BIGGER THAN YOU
Are you worried that requesting particular toys is selfish or snotty? I get that. So how about this? The next time you want to ask for plastic-free toys, try to frame it within the larger picture: You’re not making this request JUST for you and your family. Going plastic free is also about the earth and preserving the environment for the same little ones who will be enjoying the toys they’re given.
When in doubt, bring out the crunchy mama!
Crunchy moms value wooden toys as one of the best and safest options out there for children. At Smiling Tree Toys, we create handmade wooden toys that inspire creative and imaginative play in children, whilst simultaneously developing cognitive and problem-solving skills. The natural textures in our personal, safe, and heirloom wooden toys stimulate your child's senses as they’re inspired to touch, feel and explore.
Some of the best parts of our wooden toys are their timeless quality and earth friendly nature. We feature classic designs that never go out of style. And our toys won’t spend eternity in a landfill, because well, we’re sure your kiddos will love them so much that they’ll pass them on to future generations. And if that isn’t the case (tear...), rest assured our toys are biodegradable and would ultimately end up as part of the earth from whence they came.
So those are all good reasons that show you’re thinking beyond just you and your family when you throw out your crunchy request to the fam and friends. Now, let’s get into the practical how-to’s for politely request plastic-free toys.
For even more goodies when it comes to requesting plastic-free toys, get our free guide.
Talking openly and honestly about your desire for plastic-free toys with family ahead of any birthday or holiday celebrations is essential. Listen, mama. The people who are buying gifts for your children are your family members and close friends. These are the people who know what you like, and what you don’t. They love you. And they want you to actually like the gifts they choose for your kids. Plus, you’re past the polite small talk stage with them, and they’ve seen you on your good days and not-so-good mama days. So why beat around the bush?
Be honest and tell them straight up that you do not want any toys made of plastic. If they know you well, this won't come as a surprise. And if they're thoughtful and considerate, they'll actually do it!
Need some gifting inspo? We’ve gotcha covered!
If you’re still not sure what talking points you should cover when it comes to gifting, be sure to check out Your Must-Have Guide to (Politely) Requesting Plastic-Free Toys found at the end of this blog. It’s filled to the brim with talking points, gifting ideas, and discount codes.
That said… My personal Smiling Tree faves as a mama to four? Our best-selling Spell Well Name Puzzle and signature Smiling Moon Balancer are two heirloom wooden toys your child(ren) will love for a lifetime. Pinky promise.
Remember, requesting plastic-free toys isn’t rude or selfish. (Just a little crunchy!) You’re simply doing your part to protect your family and the environment. And an added bonus: you’re thinking ahead to ensure future generations will also get to enjoy this big, beautiful spaceship we call earth.
And if you’re wanting to get immediate access to a list of our favorite plastic-free children’s brands (with discount codes), 10 plastic-free talking points, some rhymes to keep your party invites fun, and so many more additional resources then you need to get your crunchy hands on Your Must-Have Guide to (Politely) Requesting Plastic-Free Toys.