The majority of Baby Green’s toys are second hand, either hand me downs from her brother or other friends who were having a clear-out. I firmly believe that shopping second hand as much as possible is the most eco-friendly option. So many children’s toys end up unused and unloved, so you can get some real bargains out there. I couldn’t imagine however never buying her anything new, so I started to explore more eco-friendly and open ended toys to add to the collection and that is when I discovered the beautiful Grimm’s rainbow.
Grimm’s are a family run company who create beautiful wooden toys, the headquarters are based in Germany but you can find their toys in retailers worldwide. Grimm’s products are manufactured using sustainable wood from managed forests and other items such as their dolls use Oeko-tex certified fabrics. All the paints are completely child safe and with no toxicity risk.
The rainbows are Grimm’s star product and each piece is cut from one solid piece of wood. They come in bright primary colours, pastels, monochrome or plain wood. I love the fact that the wood grain comes through the paint slightly giving it a really lovely feel. Wood is a natural material, so the products all have slight individual differences making them unique, but it also has a lovely feel when used in play. Grimm’s toys are perfect for creating open ended play opportunities or if you are following a Waldorf educational approach.
The nature of the materials does mean that you get some colour transfer from one piece of rainbow to the other and the odd mark, but it doesn’t take away from the fun of using it in my experience. The Grimm’s rainbow can be stacked, pieces can be used as bridges or houses, you can make a variety of shapes and fun arrangements with it, the only real limit is your imagination, making it a really versatile toy.
We purchased the medium rainbow, they come in variety of sizes and the large rainbows are very popular for older children, but medium felt like a good size for a toddler. Initially I thought it was going to be more of a display item, it looks gorgeous on the shelf! But in the last few months (she is 22 months) she has been playing with this toy daily. Baby Green loves to stack the pieces on top of each other, the size is perfect for little hands and develops hand to eye coordination. You can also integrate learning of colours and counting in to the play and I like to sit and play with her and support her to develop those skills. The pieces are also fantastic to integrate in to other games and work well as bridges in small world play, so we often push cars under them for example.
The Grimm’s rainbow has been a lovely purchase that has provided lots of fun. We bought ours from ethical retailer Babipur – They have a huge selection of eco-friendly products, cloth nappies, wipes and a lot of the products that I talk about on this blog, so we shop there often.
Do your little ones love wooden toys? What are their favourites?