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)
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…..you can click on the label toys to take you to the old posts.