Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Made in USA for Christmas

I have been somewhat inspired by ABC News Made in America series.  The premise of the series is that if we all made even a minimal effort to buy products made in the USA, we could help create jobs right here.  So, while the lawmakers are fighting on Capitol Hill, we can get to work and start making a difference.  I like that idea.

With Christmas fast approaching I've been looking at toys a lot.  The internet has really simplified my shopping because I can read reviews of products before I buy them.  It's also really helped me hunt down USA/American Made toys.  Typically when I think of American made toys, I think of wooden ones.  Now, wooden toys are quite nice for babies, but for older kids... blocks and puzzles aren't going to cut it. I'm going to highlight a few affordable favorites that I have found.

This Christmas I plan on buying some American made toys on purpose for my kids.  I hope you will too!

10 Made in the USA Toys
for kids ages 5-10 (in no particular order)

1. Wikki Stix are a fun, reusable craft toy, great for quite play without a mess. Checkout the reviews at Amazon.   Price: $8-30  www.wikkistix.com

2. Arrow Copters are flying toys that can be launched high, I mean HIGH, into the air.  Read reviews at Amazon.  Price: $10  http://www.arrowcopter.com

3. Shrinky Dinks are a fun craft toy for boys and girls.  (These have been around for years, and their simplicity is what I think keeps them around!)  Design and color and then place in oven to shrink.  Price: starting at $5  http://www.shrinkydinks.com/

4. K'nex building set - My 8 year old son LOVES these (girls love them too).  I love the expandability of these toys.  With the option to put on motor on his contraptions, it will be a long time before he outgrows these.  Plus, they are compatible with Legos bricks. (Some special pieces may be made in China.) Price: $20.00 and up  www.knex.com

5. ZingWing- Model airplane toys. Kids and adults alike dig flying toys!  These look like quite a bit of fun, though I haven't actually found a lot of reviews on them.  I contacted the company and learned that some of their models are made in the USA while others are in China. Price: $1.99 and up  http://zingwing.com/models.html

These four models are made in the USA:



  *A reprsentative from the company says they plan on moving production back to the USA in a few months.  I hope that happens and goes well for them.

6. Lauri Toys Tangrams Plus - (Lauri Toys makes lots of toy puzzles for younger kids as well, all made in the USA).  This is a nice puzzle toy with lots of puzzle cards to stimulate a young mind.  Read Reviews at Amazon.comPrice: $10 

7. Silly Putty:  Don't forget this time-tested favorite!  I recently saw silly putty on sale at Target for $1.  Makes a great stocking stuffer or party favor.  http://www.sillyputty.com/

8.  Slinky:  Okay, here's another kid pleaser.  When I think of a slinky, I think of a crumpled up one that I can't get undone... that's what happens when you give them to kids under 4.  But, older kids really like these.  Don't be fooled by the dollar store, Chinese-Made imitations, though.  The original slinky is much better quality.  Price: $2.50 and up http://www.poof-slinky.com/

9. Books:  Thank goodness we still print books in the USA!  And, you can find these with little effort.  I recently bought a Disney Princess Paperdoll set for my daughter and a novel for my son that were both printed in the USA. Price: varies

10. Yo Baby Kick Flipper:  This is a great toy that gets kids moving.  It's like a skateboard without wheels.  You have to see it to understand it.  Includes a DVD for instruction.  Price: $15  www.fatbraintoys.com/specials/made_in_america.cfm

For Even more great Made in America toy gift ideas, visit: http://www.fatbraintoys.com/specials/made_in_america.cfm

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