Being a parent is a magical thing. There’s the unconditional love, the chance to watch this being you’ve created grow and learn, and there are the toys. Parenthood is your second chance at being a kid, and a legitimate excuse to play with toys again. My son is just over a year old and our house is already overflowing with all kinds of cars, balls, blocks and other fun stuff. According to a Washington Post article on the 2007 recall of over 18 million toys made in China, 80% of the toys in America are manufactured in China. A lack of safety regulation in China has resulted in toys made with lead-based paint, containing major safety flaws and contaminated with toxins like Cadmium.
I recently heard that many Little Tikes toys are still being made in the U.S. We have the Little Tikes toolbench and five-in-one play center, and sure enough, I flipped them over and found the “Made in USA” stamp underneath! The Little Tikes website features a page of all of their products made in the US, along with an explanation about which contain foreign parts.
On our latest trip to the mall, we stopped in a toy store to scope out the selection and found out that there are many American made choices when it comes to toys. Without any specific advertising, or any obvious price differences, many toys made in the USA were found on the shelves right next to their Chinese competitors. If you just take an extra second to check the label, you will find there are many options for kid’s gifts without having to take a risk with a product made in China.
Other USA made toys include K’nex construction parts, board games like The Game of Life and the WIFFLE Ball. As a proud Pennsylvania native, I’m happy to report that the Slinky is still made here in PA (they are apparently the official state toy) and some Crayola products are still made in their Easton factory. Sounds like the makings of a road trip! There are also companies like Green Toys and Amerikid which feature exclusively American made toys.
So keep checking labels, be an informed shopper, and have fun playing!