Find the best in green toys and books that are great for second graders' brains, and easy on the environment, too.
Click on an item in the set below to see more info.
Forget plastic toys that last a month and are made of parts from around the world. This yo-yo is made of native hardwood and assembled in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The print of the Earth that decorates one side will spin like crazy as your child practices barrel rolls and walk the dog. Yo-yos work hand-eye coordination and teache the age-old motto: practice makes perfect! Maple Landmark maintains a Yankee tradition of recycling and conservation, from maximizing lumber use to ensuring by-products go to farmers and families. (Maple Landmark, $4.20)
Need a green gift for your future globetrotter? Mapmaker David Dean brings the world to your bookshelf in stunning detail. Vivid maps burst with depictions of the people, animals, landmarks, transportation, and topography of each region. Fact-filled sidebars and engaging “Did You Know?” flaps celebrate both the diversity and connectedness of our world. This atlas has a decidedly environmental spin, offering a modern day look at the how the natural world shapes the way we live and how we, in turn, shape it. Young readers are introduced to key challenges endangering the health of the planet, but in a way that promotes curiosity rather than fear. (Barefoot Books, $14.59)
Art Journal Kit
Paper projects that involve art and writing are a great way to inspire creativity in your second grader. This journal kit, a partnership between eco-art kit designers Artterro and the Strathmore Paper Company, delivers just that, and is 100% post-consumer recycled. The kit is filled with artist-quality drawing paper, rich color paper, and handmade decorative paper, plus fun tips from the experts on everything from doodling to collaging. (Strathmore, $10.99)
There's lava ahead! Do we use use a vacuum cleaner, a stick of butter, or a jar of fireflies to get past it? This game challenges players to use some unlikely tools and a good dose of imagination to travel a series of paths with barriers ranging from thumbtacks to mazes. Cooperation is paramount as teams of 2-5 players propose ideas and vote on the most effective—and often the most outlandish—method of escape. Along the way kids practice abstract thinking, creative problem solving, and negotiation. EeBoo continues its commitment to producing green toys, printing these game cards in soy ink on 90% recycled grey board. (eeBoo, $16.95)
Lola lives in a Spanish community and is always in the shadow of her older sister, until one day when she finds Flamenco shoes in her mother’s closet. After several secret lessons with her father on the roof of their apartment building, Lola gets her chance to shine with a performance on her mother’s birthday. Written by Anna Witte and illustrated by Micha Archer, this is a great story about finding your inner voice. The book comes with an audio CD narrated by The Amador Family and accompanied by original Flamenco music. Barefoot Books prints only with vegetable-based ink and uses pulp from sustainable sources. (Barefoot Books, $15.29)