Play is a Child’s Work and The Better Toy Store is a child’s workshop of award-winning toys carefully selected for excellence in play value, design, quality and impact on environment. Every toy we choose is evaluated for these qualities and we do not compromise because we believe our children deserve the best. Anything else is just not good enough.
Play Value – Toys that Teach
Our numerous award-winning toys attest to the strong play value of our toys. A lot of the toys we choose are not only age-appropriate but are also open-ended, allowing a different facet of play as the child grows and changes in ability and interest. The best toys are those with little suggestion to method or purpose of play but allow children to freely create anything that is fuelled by their imagination alone. Less is sometimes more. Blocks, Paint, Dough, Sand and Water Play toys are some good possibilities.
Design – Toys that Inspire
We believe a child exposed to Beauty will in turn appreciate and respond to all things beautiful. Learning to appreciate Beauty (and not just in toys) is fundamental to a gentler, nobler and kinder existence. Our toys must thus not only be educational and well-made but also beautiful. Toys that stimulate the child’s innate sense of symmetry and aesthetics are also the ones that will most likely be picked up and played with. Captivating colours, interesting textures and pleasing form are the qualities in a toy that must first be satisfied before they can pass muster. Classic and timeless toys that have withstood the test of time are our favourites. A thing of beauty is indeed a joy forever.
Quality – Toys that Are Safe
Our toys must be safe – safe for the child and safe for the environment. Many of them exceed the stringent safety standards recommended. Our toys conform to the European EN71 and the US ASTM standards of safety. For Baby toys, only those tested by TŰV and certified with the GS mark are acceptable. Natural materials like wood and cotton are preferred and paints and finishes are non-toxic, water-based and sweat- and saliva-resistant. Textiles used for baby toys are certified Őko-Tex-Standart 100. This means that they satisfy many safety requirements including being heavy-metal free, having PH-value sympathetic to skin and using chlorine-free bleach. Many manufacturers have even imposed Zero-formaldehyde and E-Zero Glue policies and use only soy-ink for printing. Our SES craft items like finger paints have an embittering agent to impart an unpleasant taste so children do not eat it and its dough is gluten-free. A new Eco range of craft toys will also be introduced where the materials used are natural. 100% Organic toys for babies are also available. In addition, the toys are chosen for craftsmanship and durability, ensuring years of robust play.
Impact on Environment – Toys that Are Green
Wherever possible, wood is chosen over plastic. Not only are most plastics made from non-renewable petrochemicals, more and more we learn of their adverse long-term effects on human and animal health. Many are also non-biodegradable. As such, we avoid plastic toys unless its use necessitates the material eg water play toys or high detail figurines. Even then, all our plastic toys must be certified phthalate-free.
In addition, our toy makers use wood from 2 main sources: One is from rubber trees that have exhausted their latex and are ordinarily burnt. Instead, they are recycled for use in the manufacture of toys and furniture. The other is from managed forests in Europe where there is strong tradition of sustainable forestry, with many manufacturers working with wood suppliers that have PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certification. Many factories where the toys are made also make use of alternative fuel eg biomass from leftover woodchips for their heating and electrical requirements and are active supporters of reforestation projects. Packaging is kept minimal (sometimes none!) and many use recycled paper for their boxes. Caring for the Environment IS Caring for our Children.
We believe children should have a right to good health, adequate education and clean environment. And while nothing can be 100% perfect, we believe it should not be for want of trying.