natural toys for girls and boys

Why Choose Natural, Wooden and Organic Toys?

The natural and organic toys and products we sell at Hazelnut Kids are made of eco-friendly materials, including wood and organic cotton. We are often asked why we sell natural toys and products, and not battery-operated or plastic toys.  So, we'd like to share some of the information that has led to us to choose organic products available at HazelnutKids.com.

Natural Toys Inspire Childrens' Imagination

  • Organic toys without batteries invite open-ended play - the type of play that fosters creativity and keeps the child interested in the toy for many years.
  • Open-ended toys inspire a child to imagine the countless possibilities for that toy, and all the while the child is focusing on just that toy. Their thoughts are not jumping from one toy to the next as often occurs when the toys think for the child.
  • Natural toys allow for 'downtime'. It is difficult for a child to switch gears from a very active toy to resting, whereas simple toys allow for a natural progression to rejuvenating activities such as reading books, daydreaming, or napping.


Organic Toys Enhance Mental Health 

  • Natural toys with battery-generated special effects can over-stimulate children. The combination of blinking lights, loud sounds or music, and automated movement can be too much information for a small child to process.
  • Pressing one button to make lights blink and sounds appear merely teaches a child simple cause and effect and passes up a wonderful opportunity to encourage more creative play on the child's part.
  • The environment is completely different in a room with natural organic toys than in a room with battery-operated plastic toys - quieter, more beautiful, and inviting in a very different way, and the child is calmer because of it.
  • Adults and children are drawn to nature and to products created from natural materials. Holding something made of wood has a positive psychological effect on a person. We see this in action as friends of our store pick up a smooth, wooden rattle - they move it around in their hands and play with it without thinking. But picking up a plastic rattle, after it has been shaken once, fails to hold a person's interest.


Natural Toys Improve Physical Health

  • Studies have shown that certain plastics may negatively affect health. For instance, CHECnet.org states that, "phthalates are added to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) to make it soft and flexible. Some phthalates have been linked to cancer, kidney and liver damage, harm to developing reproductive organs, and premature breast development in baby girls. Inhaling these chemicals can also worsen asthma in children. Phthalates are not bonded to the plastic, but can migrate, or leach out."1
  • Pesticides and fertilizers are used on conventionally grown (non-organic) cotton, and chemicals are often used in the production process. These harmful chemicals not only impact those who buy conventionally-grown cotton, but those within miles of where they are used, as they drift in the wind, fall back to the ground in rain and snow, and leach into groundwater.
  • TheGreenGuide.com cites that, "Of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton crops, 7 are considered "possible," "likely", "probable", or "known" human carcinogens by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."2
  • Due to children's small size and their propensity to "mouth" or cuddle everything, plastic and non-organic products, with the risks shown above, could pose serious health threats to children.


Organic Toys Are Better for Environmental Health 

  • Wooden and bamboo toys are durable so they last longer than their plastic counterparts and therefore there is less waste. When the time does come to retire your toys, wood and bamboo are recyclable, replenishable resources so you can rest assured that their disposal will be gentle to our Earth.
  • Children are drawn to natural toys and have more respect for them so they tend to care for them better than other toys. This also leads to less waste.
  • Bamboo is a giant natural grass that can grow to over 100 feet. Once cut, bamboo grows back completely in only three years. It is said to grow as fast as 1 foot per day! Thus, bamboo has economical and ecological values to the world, particularly as it is used instead of certain woods.
  • The chemicals used in non-organic cotton farming harm not only the land, but also flora and fauna for miles around.



  • We buy from many wonderful companies that share our interest in protecting the environment.
  • We donate 1% of our sales to land conservancies, and have one tree planted for every product that we sell. We do this for the health and benefit of all, but especially for current and future generations of children.
  • Our wooden toys are made with non-toxic paints and finishes, natural oils, or beeswax.
  • We carry organic soft toys, as well as dolls stuffed with natural materials rather than plastic pellets.

To read about the brands that we carry including their materials, safety information, and quotes from the manufacturers, visit our Our Brands page.


1 http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/education/articles-detail-print.asp?Main_ID=138
2 http://www.thegreenguide.com/reports/productprint.mhtml?id=25

Copyright 2005 Sheri Novak - Hazelnut Kids, LLC - why natural, organic and wooden toys and products?

Questions? Call us at 1.231.642.6760 or email info@hazelnutkids.com

Thank you for visiting Hazelnut Kids - Natural Toys! We hope you'll enjoy browsing our selection of green toys, organic toys, organic stuffed animals, waldorf toys, wooden toys, natural baby toys, wooden play kitchens, organic dolls, natural art materials, wooden dollhouses, and educational toys. We carry only the finest brands of earth-friendly toys, including Haba, Grimm's, Plan Toys, Holztiger, Stockmar, Artterro, Glückskäfer, HaPe, eco-kids, Anamalz, Under the Nile, Sarah's Silks, and more. Most of our toys are made in the US and Europe. Please register at our site to earn Hazelnut Kids loyalty points to be used toward future purchases (signing up is free and easy!). You can also create a wish list so your family and friends will know which natural toys your children would love to receive as gifts, or which healthy baby toys and products you'd like to receive as a baby shower gift. If you have any questions or comments about Hazelnut Kids toys and products, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at info@hazelnutkids.com or call us at 1.231.642.6760.

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