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December 14th, 2012

Cork Building Blocks from Eco Bay Home {Review and Giveaway}

Groovy Green Livin cork building blocksIf you have a child or two who loves to build and create masterpieces then these cork building blocks will rock your world. My kids have been using wooden building blocks for years so building blocks in general aren’t a new concept. We’ve created roads, garages, houses, jumps and towers.

What makes these cork building blocks rock (has a ring to it, doesn’t it?) is that they are soft and lightweight. They also don’t have any toxic paint or finish on them. No worries if they end up in a little one’s mouth. My guys have also been known to chuck a wooden building block at someone’s head. These don’t hurt as much.

My kids are 12, 10 and 9. I was amazed to see their excitement when the box of cork building blocks arrived. When given the OK they ripped the box open and spent a good hour creating and recreating.

We started off with this.

Groovy Green Livin cork building blocks

The castle quickly turned into this.

Groovy Green Livin cork building blocks tower

EcoBayHome.com offers a range of products for the home all made from environmentally friendly materials. The set of cork building blocks comes with 20 pieces  includes a handy storage bag to take the cork blocks on any outing. The building blocks are made from 100% natural, 100% renewable cork which is sustainably harvested from the Cork Oak Tree. The blocks in the set come in a variety of shapes and sizes which encourages children to use their creativity in numerous ways. The cork building blocks are recommended for children 3 years old and up while slightly older children (just like mine) enjoy playing with these cork blocks just as much.

GIVEAWAY

EcoBayHome.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a set of cork building blocks (value $49.95). By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a set of cork building blocks  for review from EcoBayHome.com. The opinions expressed in this review are my very own.

 

November 15th, 2012

This Toy Will Last Forever

Groovy Green Livin truck

Toys finally made their way into our home after 5 long years of trying to have a child. Creating our family didn’t come easily for us.  We were forced, as many are, to place a tremendous amount of thought into whether or not we wanted to bring children into this world. Infertility will do that to you.

So the day that toys finally made their way into our home was a happy day. A day that I’ll never take for granted. Now there’s hardly a space that isn’t cluttered with toys.  We trip on them, we fight over them and we break them.

When my oldest son was born a slew of toys and other baby gifts showed up, each one special and thoughtful in its own right.  Twelve years and two brothers later many if not most of those toys have since broken and landed in a landfill in a far off place.

Groovy Green Livin wooden truck

There’s one toy that has proven over and over its ability to withstand the test of time-a wooden truck hand crafted by my uncle. This toy has been through a lot. It’s made its way down several flights of stairs (multiple times), it’s gone off high jumps and it’s been the victim of a shoot out with several NERF guns at close range. The truck has proven that it’s top notch (it actually dumps things) and I know that it was made with a whole lotta love and it’s received a whole truckload of love in return.

In general I’m not a saver. When we’re done with a toy or clothing it’s on to the next family. However, there are a few toys that I can’t bear to part with and this truck is one of them. Most of us with children in our lives know that quality toys are hard to come by.

I have no doubt that this toy truck will be passed on to future generations who will hopefully enjoy it as much as my kids have.

Groovy Green Livin Abe's Market partnership

If you’re looking for timeless gifts that can be passed on from generation to generation head on over to Abe’s Market and check out their newest products.

Does your family have a quality toy that will be around forever?

Abe’s Market will give Groovy Green Livin readers a 20% discount through midnight November 20, 2012. Use code  GROOVYGREEN20 at checkout.

Disclosure: This post was written as part of a holiday partnership with Abe’s Market. Head on over to Abe’s Market to see which products I love. I did receive compensation for my participation. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

December 8th, 2011

5 Best Green Toys

tin drums

Drums made from repurposed aluminum cans

These toys don’t have to travel far to get to you. As a matter of fact most of them are already in your home. No wasteful packaging is needed-they’ve already been opened. These green toys reduce excess holiday waste and are made from things reused and repurposed.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the Jonathan Liu post for Wired entitled “5 Best Toys of All Time” you should. He nailed it. He reminds us that the best toys are all around us: sticks, boxes, cardboard tubes, mud, and string.

I thought, in light of Jonathan’s article, I would add a few more  favorite green toys that no child should be without (many of which are likely already in your home).

Wooden Spoons

wooden spoons

They cost no more than a few dollars and they can turn into almost anything. I’ve spied them being used for a one-man-band, a wooden spoon puppet and a toy robot.

Blankets and Sheets

Blanket bedding

Just a few of these thrown together over a couch, bunk bed, table or chairs and voila you have a blanket fort. A blanket fort is fun to play in and easy to build. Pillows are great for filling spots where the light is still coming in. Also needed: a flashlight and scary stories.

Pots and Pans

stainless steel Pots and pans

 

Kids and adults can create a marching band with pots and pans found in your kitchen. Pot lids make great cymbals (ear plugs required). Grab a few wooden spoons and start drumming and marching.

Coffee Table

Coffee table

 

The coffee table is generally thought of as a convenient place to display coffee table books, magazines or other personal items. With young children around coffee tables serve an entirely different purpose. They become a permanent home to crayon marks, scratches and finger prints. Our coffee table is often transformed into a perfect stage. Dance performances and talent shoes have all been performed on top of our square and very trashed  coffee table (three boys=standing on the furniture).

Toilet Paper

toilet paper

The toilet paper rolls are ready for action. They can be unraveled by the sneakiest of children in a matter of seconds. Toilets are frightened by the sheer volume of paper potential each time a little one walks into a bathroom. Toilet paper is just fun to play with. Zombies, mummies and the like have all been created from a few rolls of this fluffy white stuff. The inner cardboard rolls have been used to make a bee, bird and bat. We have also used them for marble runs, telescopes and telephones.

There are so many other things in and around your home that could easily turn into the best toy ever. What other ideas do you have?

This month the green moms have gathered once again for the Green Moms Carnival to share our thoughts on our Favorite Green Gifts. The carnival is hosted this month by Linda over at Citizen Green.  The carnival goes live Monday, December 10, 2011.  Be sure to stop by for lots of great tips and  suggestions for green holiday gifts.

[Photos used under Creative Commons from Pualv, Alan Levine, O5com, Phil Manker/Flickr]

 

 

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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