By Ten Thousand Villages

Reviewed for Preschool, 2009

School Bus and Children

What's better than knowing your child's toys are made of renewable, nontoxic materials? Knowing that your purchase helps to improve the lives of struggling artists in third world countries. This big yellow school bus is a Fair Trade product--handmade in Sri Lanka from albizia wood, one of the fastest-growing trees on earth, and colored with nontoxic paints. It comes from the Gospel House Handicrafts Artisan Group, which provides training and work to young adults with little prospect of employment. A great way to pay-it forward, the toy provides hours of creative play. While they "pick up" the 16 brightly painted children that come with the set, preschoolers get comfortable with the idea of the school bus, and the importance of public transportation in an increasingly carbon-conscious society. (Ten Thousand Villages, $64)