There’s some recent news from the capitol and it’s going to help parents (especially ones with children in school and daycare) get one step closer to breathing a little easier when it comes to knowing what their children are playing with.

In early November, over 13,000 public health professionals from across the U.S. came together at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual public meeting.  One of the key results of this meeting was the passing of a major policy resolution: Reducing PVC in Facilities with Vulnerable Populations.” In short, this resolution urges governments to take the necessary steps to stop the use of flexible PVC in consumer products (ie: toys, school supplies, lunch-box items, etc) that may be used in schools, daycares and other places with young children.  (The resolution extends to cover all vulnerable groups including the elderly and those with medical illnesses as well as the facilities in which they occupy.) This is important because it shows that one of the largest health organizations in the country now officially recognizes the ill effects that PVC and phthalates can have on a child’s health.

PVC is the world’s most hazardous (and widely-used) plastic.  It releases phthalates, dioxins and vinyl chloride.  (Check out our previous blog on the Most Common Chemicals Found in Children’s Toys. Yet it continues to be used in children’s toys and other items commonly found in your child’s classroom or daycare center.  This resolution will hopefully put additional pressure on all levels of government to look more closely at the serious dangers these chemicals present to our children and work to eventually, by law, eliminate the use of PVC altogether.

This is a huge step forward.  Although it’s not yet law, it brings some significant weight towards making it so.  In the meantime we, as parents, can ensure that any toys in our homes are PVC-free.  We can also encourage our schools and daycare centers to adopt a similar goal.  Take a few minutes to clean out that toy box or backpack, and then visit to check out our vast selection of entirely PVC-free toys and children’s items!

Shannon Beery – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn

For most parents, last week’s announcement on limiting television by the American Academy of Pediatrics, wasn’t anything new. Our children’s physicians, magazines, and yes, television news have told us all that children under 2 should not be allowed to watch television or take in media on computers and phones. Many of us took this warning to heart and found other ways to entertain our children when were trying to get dinner on the table, fit in a daily shower, or accomplish any number of daily household tasks. For many parents I know, this recommendation is trumped by the daily reality of parenting small children. However, there is valuable information that comes with the recommendation.

The New York Times reported:

The new report from the pediatrics association estimates that for every hour a child under 2 spends in front of a screen, he or she spends about 50 minutes less interacting with a parent, and about 10 percent less time in creative play.

From the AAP release:

Unstructured playtime is more valuable for the developing brain than electronic media. Children learn to think creatively, problem solve, and develop reasoning and motor skills at early ages through unstructured, unplugged play. Free play also teaches them how to entertain themselves.

This second point is what now, as the parent of a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, I can see as the most valuable benefit to my kids being television-free as toddlers, and existing now on a very slim media diet. They have become very good at entertaining themselves. Every day after school we have some time together to read and talk about their days before I go to the kitchen to get dinner ready. They will play independently or together, take on new craft or art projects, or come help me with food preparation in the kitchen.

My kids, on average, take in about 2-3 hours of television time a week. They are old enough now to understand what they are experiencing as television viewers. I know that they learn best through playing and interaction with adults and other children, but through carefully selected programming, they see glimpses of other worlds and realities that people of all ages find entertaining, humorous, or emotionally gripping.

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new recommendation is less strict than it has been in the past , at the core the recommendation is the same: urging parents to protect their children from electronic media in order to give kids the best start.

Katherine DeGood – Contributing Writer for Hazelnut Kids and Mother of Willem and Adeline

Green America People's Choice Award

Hazelnut Kids is proud to announce that we made top ten for the Green America People’s Choice Awards!  We are so grateful to our loyal customers for supporting us (and, of course, we would be even more grateful if you support us again and vote one more time!).

We are proud to be a company truly built on the principle of providing safe, quality, easy on the environment toys to our customers.  This recognition means a lot to us, as we are focused on making our footprint smaller – not just making our piece of the market larger.

So thank you friends, for doing your part by choosing the path less traveled, and taking steps  towards a greener life – one toy at a time!

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids Natural Toys 

Plan Toys Wooden Baby Walker at Hazelnut Kids

Once again a reviewer did such a fabulous job describing one of our products that a review from me wouldn’t compare.  So, below is a portion of the Plan Toys Baby Walker review by Julie at Cool Mom Picks, but please visit their site for the full review.

“The Wooden Baby Walker from the always wonderful Plan Toys is a much better option.  Sturdier than its plastic counterparts, this walker also has an adjustable handle.  So it doesn’t matter how tall your toddler-to-be might be — when he’s ready, this walker is, too.   Plus, it’s filled with colored and natural wooden blocks, which further extends its useful life.”

Oh, and of course she said, “Find the Plan Toys Wooden Baby Walker at CMP fave Hazelnut Kids“.  Thank you for the wonderful review, Julie!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

Phew! It’s taken me all day, but it’s been fun, and now the Hazelnut Kids Press Room is finally ‘open’ on our site. If you want to check in on where Hazelnut Kids has been featured (online and in print magazines), read articles we’ve written, or read a little bit about the features at Hazelnut Kids, it’s all there. I hope you’ll visit our Press (Media) Room soon, and I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Sheri Novak, Owner –

Co-Op America Business Logo

Woo hoo! After many months of applications and screenings, Hazelnut Kids has been accepted as a Co-Op America Green Business! To explain what this means, here is the definition from Co-Op America:

Members of Co-Op America’s Green Business Network have made extraordinary commitments to fair treatment of their employees and workers in their supply chain, to promoting healthy communities where they do business, to preserving the environment, and to delivering quality products to their consumers.

We are so honored to have been accepted. Thank you, Co-Op America!

Sheri Novak, Owner – Hazelnut Kids

thepurple book Green edition

Hazelnut Kids is honored to have been chosen as one of the web’s top earth-friendly retailers and included in thepurplebook: Green Edition. Of all the stores on the web, only 420 were chosen for inclusion in this book, so we are thrilled! Thepurplebook Green’s Press Release states,

“Consumers are eager to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, but the complexity behind “living green” can cause an overwhelming sense of confusion that holds many people back from taking positive steps forward,” said Hillary Mendelsohn, author of the thepurplebook series. “The goal with thepurplebook green is to simplify Earth-friendly shopping by focusing on the growing number of web shops that turn our good intentions into reality by offering environmentally sound products. It”s a valuable resource for veteran eco-consumers as well as those newly dedicated to making better choices.”

It’s mind-boggling to think of all the work that Hillary and Ian did to create this book, yet its price is less than $10 – quite a steal for so much information. It really is a fabulous guide, so if you are interested in purchasing a copy of thepurplebook: Green Edition follow this link to

Thank you, Hillary, Ian and thepurplebook!

Again this year, Hazelnut Kids’ natural toys were featured in Mothering magazine’s “Santa’s Workshop Rediscovered” toy guide (November/December 2007).  Mothering magazine chooses only natural toys for its guide, so it has always been one of our favorite holiday shopping resources.  Included this year were:

 Plan Toys Vegetable Garden Set for a dollhouse – $14.90

 Haba Wooden Clutching Toy ‘Bonita’ – $10.90

Also included on the list was one of our newest best sellers: Plan Toys Wooden Shopping Cart – $59.90

Thank you to Mothering magazine for another beautiful toy review!