First Grade Green Toys Roundup 2012

Find the best in green toys that are great for first graders' brains, and easy on the environment, too.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

2 Birdie Banks

This kit comes with what you need to create two down-to-earth paper birds you can bank on. Like any paper mache activity, it can be a little tricky to get started but once you do there’s no wrong move! As anyone who has attempted paper mache projects knows, it’s a little like a puzzle perfect for kids that love to explore and solve ways of doing things. Wrap the recycled paper molds with paper tape (just needs a bit of water to apply), decorate and brush on the glaze. And there are enough stickers to make double-sided birdie banks that are really unique. (Alex, $13.95)

World Africa CD Color Book and Stickers

This kit combines music, geography and creativity all in one pretty package, and while it’s got a pretty price tag, we think you’ll get your money’s worth. Pop on the “African Playground” CD while your child colors the oversized Africa coloring book. Then, switch to playing with the sticker collection, featuring stickers of African instruments and animals with a map and safari play scene to place them on. Materials are printed with eco-friendly soy ink, and the paper is 100% replanted through a donation to a global reforestation project. (Putumayo Kids, $36.51)

Reading Roundup

This is a novel, and super green way to boost your child's sight word vocabulary. Players draw five word cards and gallop around the cowboy-themed gameboard to find them. Once they land on a word and successfully read it aloud they can discard. Players win by emptying their hand and making it back to their home space. This is a great way for first graders to practice their basic building block words on their way to reading fluency. The bright playing board and pieces are printed with vegetable ink on recycled paper. (Educational Insights, $14.99)

Race to the Treasure Board Game

Grrr! There’s an ogre on the loose in the forest! This game challenges kids to work together to outsmart a common foe. With every part, including the box, made of recycled (and recyclable!) materials, and gameplay packed with fun surprises, Race to the Treasure shows that weaving wacky paths through the woods with the help of a friend can be just as challenging and, for some kids, far more exciting than a simple race to the finish line. (Peaceable Kingdom Press, $15.99)

Slips and Ladders

On your mark, get set, go…green! Characters from the classic tortoise and hare saga become players in this soy-ink illustrated take on the classic Chutes & Ladders game. The game board and adorable pieces are made with durable, 75% recycled cardboard, avoiding eco-hazardous plastics. This environmentally safe race encourages your first grader to strengthen his understanding of taking turns, counting and following directions. Climb your way to first place, but be careful to avoid those slippery slides on your way to the top. (eeBoo, $18.95)

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