Where Can I find Quality Toys?

Being a preschool teacher, I’m always on the look out for sturdy, open-ended toys that will:
1) engage children in play;
2) help them to use their creativity;
3) imaginations; and 
4) critical thinking. 

With all of the above in mind, I have put together a list of many different websites where one can find quality toys, handmade toys and overall, toys that open up a child’s imagination. 

  • www.novanatural.com  - this website has natural toys and crafts for babies up to kindergarten. They also carry Waldorf toys. 
  • www.threesisterstoys.com - This website carries toys for babies up to school age. They have been featured in many magazines and blogs for carrying great natural, wooden and classic toys.  (Note: website seems to be down 4-26-2012)
  • www.thenaturestore.com -this company carries some great science products for children, animal and dinosaur replicas, science puzzles, binoculars and much more. 
  • www.plantoys.com - this is a wonderful company whose toys I have recently seen in commercial stores as well. They are a green company and provide an array of wooden toys from vehicles to dollhouses.
  • www.greentoys.com - This is a San Franciscan company focusing on making green, sustainable toys for young children. 
  • www.environments.com - this store sells mostly to large centers but in my opinion has the better quality toys and materials than the other larger child care catalogs. 

Where do you find your quality toys?  Share in the comments section!

 

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Summer Langille, M.A, Early Childhood Education Specializing 0-8 Years

Summer has been working with children for almost 15 years. The oldest of four she’s always seen herself as a caregiver. She started off caring for children as a nanny for many years. She received her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University and has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education specializing in birth to age eight from Long Beach State. She’s worked with infants all the way up to elementary aged children in center-based care, private school care, home-based care, back-up care and afterschool care. She was a lead teacher for an infant program and more recently a two year old/preschool program. She even had a brief stint as a brownie girl scout troop leader. She’s passionate about quality care for children and thinks the environment plays a large role in how a child learns effectively. She loves art, blocks, music, fairy gardens and picture books and wants all caregivers of children to know how important their job is to the children they care for. Summer is currently home with her baby, navigating this new role as Mama. She blogs about her family at www.summerplayshouse.com.