August 25, 2009

Toy Tag

Chox you asked for it !! Here I go…..a wonderful tag on toys- especially the environ friendly ones….

Regular readers and Anushka know my opinion of Barbie and the like.
Anush calls the hideous doll Bobby if ever she chances upon them.
I am also averse to guns and swords as toys and Anush is still off those.

Most of the plastic toys Anush has is gifted- balls, cars, stacking rings, random noise making stuff like a guitar and a pink elephant that makes a din. But I will not totally dismiss these, for, as an infant, I think these toys enjoy a special place. Though they add to the noise pollution.

The one plastic item I treasure is my train set from yore and I occasionally let her play with it . Her own train sets are wooden though. ( yes, she has two identical ones from Chad valley- one from me , another a gift from K thaatha)

She also has a few squeezy cheesy rubber toys – I have cruelly misplaced the sound mechanism on most, To compensate, her other musical instruments are all wood and are bearable- a xylophone, an ektaara and a drum
The soft toys are almost all animals and the few dolls are quite like rag dolls. No size zeros or bikini cuts there. Anush’s favourite and first stuffed toy was a bald fat man- Hydel- a promotion tool for some medicine. ( you can spot it in this pic -the blue and yellow guy)

She has many puzzles in paper and wood, a few board games and a lot of craft.

There are so many toys/ games to explore in terms of indigenous toys-
From Tamil Nadu - Pallankuzhi with chovi ( shells), Wooden vessels from Madurai, Chettinadu dolls- woven and with beads. .
Etikopaka toys and Kondapalli bommas from Andhra
Banana and Coconut fibre toys from Kerala
Palm leaf puppets from Orissa
Chennapatna toys and jigsaws
Pondicherry Montessori products and even some Auroville & NGO stuff( like Tsunamika)

Not only are you promoting their cause but it is possibly less likely to be toxic. Yes there is danger of the child hurting itself if the wooden toy is badly finished or is too heavy- but that can be controlled by giving age appropriate toys.

Interesting branded ones include
Conventional games revisited from Kreeda ( sort of like the Karadi tales/ Tulika of toys)- it retails at Landmark, Connexions and Odyssey
Modern Wooden toys from Chad Valley ( marketed by Spencers in India now)

Scouting ground:
All handicraft exhibitions ( Sankara Hall , CP centre, Kalakshetra Dastkar Mela) and emporiums such as Victoria Tech Institute & Poompuhar( Mount road). Srishti,( opp Park Sheraton) , Cottage ( Temple towers) , Khadi near P.Orr and Sons, Kaveri, Kairali, Lepakshi

You could also look at shops such as at Dakshin Chitra, Sundari Silks ( first floor) , Giri traders, Rasi Handicrafts ( Mylapore), Mishmash( Valmiki Nagar)

For more expensive but lovely cloth based and wooden toys
Vanilla Place and Peek a Boo patterns

Odel in Sri Lanka was wonderful
Pondicherry exhibition- opp Gandhi statue is a treasure trove
Mysore- the wood inlay work is cool
Local bazaars in tourist centers are also good

Old posts of mine
There are some old posts I had done on toys, assuming you still wish to read on… can click on the label toys to take you to the old posts.

Here are some more interesting links as well- toys from trash and a treasure trove of info on ethnic crafts listed state wise.


Swati said...

lovely post ..wonderful tag

Mama - Mia said...

awesome!! :)

i just bought cubby wooden cooking set!! and am always on look out for more stuff!


Monika,Ansh said...

I have never bought toys for Ansh. I only get him puzzles & blocks which he loves. He gets so many toys as gifts that storing them neatly is a nightmare.

This is a lovely post Art as always. I love the wooden toys that u featured here.

artnavy said...

ladies- pl do your version of ths tag

apu said...

nice post. what do you do though if other people gift anush what you think are inappropriate toys?

artnavy said...

apu- explain to anush and then give it away to the maid for her kid

choxbox said...

knew i could count on you for this! lovely list. am linking this post okay?

and i forgot to mention kreeda toys. thanks for putting it here.

Bhavana said...

Very nice list!
I have found "Plantoys" very good.They are mostly wooden toys and very well designed.

choxbox said...

and, ditto on not appropriate toys.

Uma said...

I try to keep plastics out too. The only plastic stuff that I have bought her though is the lego building set. I prefer the wooden toys - the ring-o types.

The Print Lover said...

An ultra useful post! Good job Art.

Indian ethnic toys are wonderful, but dont be so cross on Bobby. I liked her fashion sense when I was younger :)

Monika said...

lovely lovely lovely post

Lavs said...

Such an informative post....if u ever take up a job to cover city beats, then you will be tops in it for sure!!

Need to check out some of the places you have mentioned!

d said...

for toys from trash and other household stuff that you can make yourself. scroll down till the very end of the page for a whole lot of toys. once you click on a link to a toy scroll down to the very end for details on how to make it.

we have a book by him too on making designs from fingerprints.

VJ said...

lovely list Art.

artnavy said...

thanks all

will edit to add on links to some of these places

d/ bhavna- yes i have been to that siet before, will add on to the main post as well

AA_Mom said...

Angel and Apple do have plastic, fibre and wooden toys.

But this post is right on with my beliefs and yes the toys that I personally buy for them are the wooden ones.

I agree with the points that u mentioned for the wooden toys, promotes local economy, are safe and hardy etc.

I used to buy Melissa and doug wooden toys in the US and now have been hunting around for such toys here, I did find some in Shilparamam in Hyd.. will definetely check out the kreeda stuff.

MiM said...

very nicely done art:-)
now i know where to look for stuff for my baby param when I am in chennai.
please do tag some mums, who you know will like doing this.

mnamma said...

Nice!!! M and N had the wooden choppu samaan also. Should dig it out of my Mom's attic, so that Lily can use it :)) And thanks for the list of places to look for these kind of toys, will definitely come useful for me. I am looking for a walker for Lily - the painted wooden kind. Will check out in these places.

kbpm said...


MiM said...

am linking to you.

Mala said...

Delurking after a long time, since this is very close to my heart !

In case you are going to Colombo again - do check out Barefoot on Galle Road, they have some lovely stuff for kids too.


Artnavy said...

Thank you all- hope it come sin useful

will be nice if people in other cities would also do the tag so that we have an all india resource kind of thing

Hema said...

Lovely post and pretty much reflects my sentiments. This is my first visit to your blog and I repent for being this late! Nice blog and will catch up every now and then.

Gilda said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.