Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eco-Friendly Fruit Toys Enhance Imaginitive Play

After adding a play kitchen to my toddler’s growing list of toys, the next step was to begin finding toy accessories and foods with which she could pretend to cook. However, as a “green” parent I knew I wanted to find alternatives to the plastic cupcakes and bowls found on the shelves of many toy stores. The fruit cutting set by ImagiPLAY, is a perfect example of what I was hoping to incorporate into my daughter’s pretend kitchen world.

The 17-piece set comes with a great selection of fruit including, a banana, watermelon slice, kiwi, apple, orange, lemon and grapes. The set also comes with a cutting board and wooden knife, with which children can practice cutting the fruit into pieces. The majority of the fruits are separated into two or three parts for the purpose of cutting (the grapes are the one fruit that stay connected in a bunch). Each section of fruit is held together by hook and loop webbing (similar to Velcro). Children are able to use the wooden knife and “cut” through the webbing, creating a sense of accomplishment in preparing their own pretend foods.

I was pleased to see my two-year-old daughter’s coordination skills improve after just holding and cutting the fruit a handful of times. It’s also been a great pleasure to see her enjoy the incorporation of healthier foods into her imaginative cooking.

The fruits are made from all natural rubberwood, and appear fairly durable to constant use. They’re painted with brightly colored child-safe lacquer and have realistic appearances to them.
The toy’s price tag of $25.99 feels a bit steep; yet, the product’s Earth-friendly components, respectable manufacturing, overall durability, and motor skill development aspect, appear to make it a worthwhile purchase.

For more information on this Earth Friendly toy, visit ImagiPLAY’S website at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Living Green While on the Road

We're in Columbia, Missouri, that is, visiting with Pete again. We're dealing with normal changes in our daily routine, but we're also facing changes and challenges with our green living lifestyle too.

It's interesting to notice the little things that you need to alter, like having to throw away fruit peels and tea bags rather then putting them in the compost. Or having to tell the housekeeper NOT to run the dishwasher (we're in a kitchenette room) with just the coffee pot and two lunch plates in it. Or the bigger and more obvious challenge of just not having the convenience of a recycling area available. I have been told however, that there are large recycling bins across the road at the Home Depot where I can bring things.

When traveling, it's just easier to cast aside the routine of green living, it's more difficult, requires more research and thoughts and just takes more effort anyway, doesn't it?

But, it's not impossible. Asking around, making it a priority, and yes, putting in the little bit of extra effort, really do help make all the difference.

Next time you're on the road, stop and remember all of the hard work you put into making it a routine at home and make the same effort as you travel.