Have you heard of the Slow Toy Movement? It’s a UK based campaign to promote a return to ‘real’ toys. That is, toys that are well made and inspire the mind. Toys that don’t eat batteries and cause parental headaches; toys that capture kids imaginations and engross them; toys made from traditional, ethically sourced materials that will last for years and be handed down; toys that won’t be banished to the back of the cupboard after a short month.
Does this all sound familiar? Of course it does! These values and ideas are aligned with our own and, naturally, EarthKid LOVES the Slow Toy Movement!
British toy distributor, Thierry Bourret started this campaign in 2011 after dismay and annoyance that a plastic game about a dog doing a poo topped the UK Toy Retailers Association’s ‘Dream Toys’ list.
Using Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Movement as his inspiration, he coined the phrase Slow Toy Movement and is now doing for playtime what Carlo did for dinner back in the 80’s as a comeback against the prevalence of nutrition poor, fast food.
Many toys today leave very little to the imagination, having a right and a wrong way of being played with. The ubiquitous all-singing, dancing, flashing, button heavy toys provide little opportunity for inspired thinking, problem solving and creativity.
The Slow Toy Movement is also a riposte to the increasing number of brand licensed toys that are making it harder for small companies to compete in a market where global brands are spending millions on advertising.
Our pick of ‘slow’ toys
You don’t have to travel all the way to the UK to get your hands on slow toys, our shelves have always been stacked with them.
Here’s our pick of favourite EarthKid toys that epitomise the Slow Toy Movement values, including a wooden puzzle that teaches problem solving, colour, shape, language, abstract thinking and numeracy skills, plus a divine French inspired patisserie set to impress even the most sophisticated imaginary guest!
Click on an image to start the slide show.
Puppets always engage and delight kids, and are a clever way to bring story time to life. They stimulate imagination, encourage creative play and are a wonderful way to introduce narrative to even the most reluctant reader. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/XMiJRM
Lanka Kade wooden crocodile jigsaw
Dolls are timeless toys helping us to understand empathy, social interaction and emotions. Miss Jollywag is 100% natural, fairtrade and groovily dressed in removable pinafore with coordinating bloomers, petticoat and lace-up shoes. She finishes her look off with a cascade of braids and chunky necklace. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/XMlBy1
Get your kids marching to the beat of their own drum with these colourful, handmade drums that produce mellow, parent friendly tones. No earplugs needed! A perfect introduction to percussion and music. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/119aUCu
Every kids’ home should make space for a quality activity easel: they create an exciting, inviting space for creativity and free thinking; they allow kids to build up muscle and control when they work with their arms outstretched; the eye level perspective is similar to how kids see the world. Our model comes with five interchangeable boards and is made from high quality, sustainable timber. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/Ye9Y18
A good board game can teach strategy and planning, patience, sportsmanship, cooperation, how to follow rules and how to play with others. They’ve always been great family entertainment. This exciting adventure game makes kids look at the environment in original ways. It’s made from recycled materials and non-toxic vegetable dyes and is recyclable too. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/XcbktH
Remember these? Handmade hobby horses are beautiful childhood classics that let your kids’ imagination gallop away with them. This Ride on Pony is filled with highest quality lightweight Merino wool and is perfect for keeping the little ones active all day. Giddy up! Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/17bSUcu
Tea for two? This divinely gorgeous patisserie set will inspire imaginary tea parties with friends every afternoon. Sustainably made from plantation tea wood and ply. Want to buy one? http://bit.ly/135YWuA