Grimm´s Spiel und Holz Design is a family owned company based in Hochdorf, Germany known for their unique hand-made wooden toys.
Steeped in the rich European history of handcrafted woodworking and toy-making, Grimm's lovingly create heirloom-quality, imaginative wooden playthings loved by children (and adults!) of all ages. Inspired by the educational philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, Grimm's believes that creativity develops the imagination and free spirit and their toys are therefore suitable for Waldorf education.
Grimm’s is all about the rainbow, happy colours, creativity, and the imagination. Lovingly hand finished with non-toxic and water based stains (unvarnished) by a specialist team in Germany, the puzzles, building sets, and toys are gorgeous, and also work as décor pieces for a beautiful home. We love it because there are no instructions, and you can do no wrong with a Grimm’s toy. Just play, learn, and enjoy.
Parents and schools love Grimm's because these high-quality designs encourage exploration, out-of-the-box thinking, and open-ended, independent play. Their engaging, colourful creations include heirloom-quality block puzzles, magnetic design puzzles, an array of beautiful building blocks sets (both large and small blocks), dolls, dollhouse furniture, stacking towers (from simple to elaborate), baby rattles, teething toys and more. Grimm's intent is to develop long-lasting toys that help children discover and develop their own creativity.
Grimm’s Spiel & Holz regularly test their toys for quality and safety. All products including the colour and oil meet the European standard for safety of toys (EN71) and the US standards. Their wood is only sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe using alder, lime, beech and maple trees. All colours and oils used are certified in accordance with the EN 71 and CPSIA/ASTM 963 standards. They are completely non-toxic and harmless.
Grimm's stand for and use minimal packaging because they do not want to contribute to worldwide packaging waste any more than absolutely necessary to ensure safe transport.
Grimm’s have a unique manufacturing process that starts with the careful selection of the wood, followed by the cutting, sanding and dying the wood and ends with it being hand packed for delivery. Grimm's have a fantastic animation that explains each step of their manufacturing process for their large stacking rainbow and other toys. You can view Grimm’s manufacturing process here.
There is a huge range of cheap plastic toys available world wide. Unfortunately, toys are occasionally found to contain unsafe levels of DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalate), DIBP (Diisobutyl phthalate), chromium and lead.
The annual Trouble in Toyland report released by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund is an excellent source to keep up with the latest trends in toy safety. Their report covers all aspects of toy safety including phthalates, toxic metals, batteries, magnets, choking hazards and noise levels. Believe it or not - but there are toys on the market that are so loud they can damage the hearing of children!
Toys containing phthalates (also known as plasticisers) like DEHP and DIBP are banned in the US and EU due to the risk they pose to babies. The tendency of babies to suck on toys can significantly increase their exposure to phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastic products made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Research has shown the potential damage of exposure to phthalates at crucial stages of development, including impact to the male reproductive system and early puberty. Even worse, DEHP is suspected of causing cancer.
The main toxic metals to watch out for are chromium and lead. Contact with chromium on the skin can cause severe allergic reactions including redness, swelling and ulcers. Chromium compounds are also known to cause cancer - in the lungs from inhalation, or in the stomach after ingestion. Lead exposure is very damaging for young children due to its impact on development. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to lower IQ, focus, and academic achievement.
You won't find any plastic toys for sale on our website. At Play to Grow, our ethos is about natural materials and fibres, quality design, and eradicating the devastating impact of chemicals and harmful plastics on our children.
Happy Playing - but not with plastic!
Himalayan Journey is an ethical Australian family run business that began in 2005. Husband and wife team, Miranda and Lobsang wanted to create a business that had its roots in the Himalayas that would support local Himalayan communities and work to teach and empower in a fair trade work environment. With Lobsang being a Tibetan refugee, they wanted to make a difference to the people of his homeland. So this is how it all started. It then grew into a felt factory in the mountains of Tibet, creating natural, hand-crafted, magical products for children to run wild with their imagination. The owners return regularly to oversee the production of their beautiful felt products, support local handcraft and assist local villages and schools, as well as spend time with their felters who are now like family.
Himalayan Journey supports a local school in Tibet, a very poor village school, perched high on top of a mountain in the region of Amdo. Last year Himalayan Journey purchased all the school children's uniforms, books, bags and pencils, and will continue to help support the poor local Tibetan communities.
All products are hand felted and hand sewn. The felt is made from 100% wool, sourced from Australia and New Zealand. Himalayan Journey feel very fortunate to now own their very own Felt company in Kathmandu, so they have complete control over everything, from the quality of the products to how well their felters are looked after. It is a wonderful working environment for the women, many have young children and are welcomed to bring them to work with them. It is a divine gift to be able to create an opportunity for underprivileged women and their families with the whimsical world of felt!
At Play to Grow Toys, we are proud to be able to supply a selection of magical felt toys manufactured sustainably while also supporting Himalayan communities. Mr Leaf Elf, Miss Love Faery and all their friends think so too! You can find our Himalayan Journey collection here.
Happy playing - with faeries, elves, witches and toadstools!
While it will come as no surprise to many, new research recently published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found that electronic toys for infants that produce lights, words and songs were associated with decreased quantity and quality of language compared to playing with books or traditional toys such as a wooden puzzle, a shape-sorter and a set of rubber blocks.
The research did not mince words either: "Play with electronic toys is associated with decreased quantity and quality of language input compared with play with books or traditional toys. To promote early language development, play with electronic toys should be discouraged. Traditional toys may be a valuable alternative for parent-infant play time if book reading is not a preferred activity".
This research is in keeping with our philosophy and our product selection reflects this.
You can read the full article here: http://neurosciencenews.com/