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22 December 2014

Indoor Activities For Kids In the New Year

With the coldest month of the year almost here, finding indoor activities for kids that will keep them happy and fully engaged becomes more important. We offer several suggestions below.

Create Homemade Greeting Cards
With Christmas almost here and New Years just around the corner, what could be more perfect than helping the kids make personalized greeting cards for all their family, and friends. Delivering homemade cards in person is an excellent way to win the hearts of your neighbours too. It's also the perfect excuse to check in on people who may not have family nearby and may be lonely during the holiday season.

1 December 2014

Winter Solstice With the Kids

With the hustle and bustle of the modern holiday season, celebrating the WS can be a welcome change of pace for the entire family, especially the kids who may need a break from the holiday festivities to keep things in perspective. This year, the WS falls on December 21 in the United Kingdom. Below, you will find five ways to celebrate the WS with the kids and the whole family.

10 November 2014

Arts and Crafts For Kids

In previous article "Nature Crafts For the Kids On an Autumn Picnic," we gave you two fun nature craft ideas the kids can do at the picnic table after a nature walk at the park:

1. Leaf rubbing
2. Smiley faces from nature

In Part 2, we're going to give you 2 more fun nature arts and crafts ideas the kids will love plus a bonus science experiment that will totally fascinate them and it's very simple to do.

17 October 2014

Will Your Toys Become Treasured Family Heirlooms?

Many families have treasures they pass down from one generation to the next.... jewellery, furniture, chests, vases, lamps, silverware, china, quilts, rugs, seeds, and more. In some families, toys become treasured family heirlooms where the value of the toy increases with each generation because they are filled with love from parents and grandparents. Here is the story of one such family.

After Annie's Father died, her Mum decided she wanted to downsize to an easier to maintain flat. However, before she could sell the house, she had to clean out the attic. Annie went over to help her Mum while the kids were in school.

12 September 2014

Nature Crafts For the Kids On an Autumn Picnic

Autumn is a wonderful time to explore nature with the kids and do nature crafts outdoors. It's not too hot and it's not too cold. The trees, with their splendid autumn foliage, give the springtime flowers some stiff competition for awe-inspiring multi-coloured viewscapes. It's the perfect time to take the kids to the park, go on a nature walk, and have a picnic.

2 September 2014

How To Celebrate Autumn With Your Kids

Autumn for kids
As summer vacation comes to an end, your kids may start to get the doldrums. They may not look forward to going back to school because this means getting up earlier, less playtime, and homework -- three things that can put a serious damper in your little darlings' day! LOL :-) The progressively shorter day lengths can also affect their mood. Luckily, there are several things Mums can do to combat these end of summer, oh how I don't want to go back to school, shorter days blues!! That last sentence would make great lyrics for a country song, wouldn't it?

25 August 2014

Why Wooden Toys Are Making a Comeback

Building blocksRecently, there has been a resurgence in the demand for wooden toys. This is especially true for those made from sustainable woods using renewable energy resources, and painted with non-toxic paints, like eco wooden toys we sell at greenBee. We'd like to share some of the primary reasons for this with you.

Wooden Toys Offer Protection From Industrial Poisons
Wood is made by Mother Nature. It is 100 percent natural and does not contain toxins to humans. Plastics are produced artificially in industrial labs by people who must wear face masks just to do their job because the materials they work with are so incredibly toxic. Wooden toys, if left natural or painted with non-toxic paints, do not expose your children to toxins. Plastics leach out toxins 24/7, sometimes directly into the little mouths that chew on them.

6 August 2014

How To Make Natural Food Dyes - They're Nutritional & Non-Toxic

When grown-ups reminisce about the best times they had as a child, invariably they bring up cooking with Mum. Both girls and boys enjoy making colourful cupcakes and playing Rembrant as they paint the holiday cookies with blue, green, and pink frosting! Baking colourful tasty goodies create cherished childhood memories as they mellow in our minds. 

27 July 2014

Baby Toys: The History Of Sophie the Giraffe

Sophie the Giraffe, a natural rubber teether, is one of the most beloved baby toys of all time! For those Mums who learn the history of how Sophie came to be an international hit, they seem to cherish her all the more!

In 1960, the idea of Sophie the Giraffe was born in Asnieres sur Oise, a small town north of Paris France. She was the genus of Monsieur Rampeau, who worked for the Delacoste Company, producing toys from the sap of the Hevea tree, native to Malaysia. In that era, animal toys in Europe were basically limited to barnyard animals like cows, pigs, and chickens or pets like dogs and cats. In other words, they were limited to animals that children would already be familiar with.

25 July 2014

Sensory Activities For Babies, Toddlers, and Small Children

Babies are more acutely aware of the world than most people realize. They learn to distinguish their Mother's voice from other voices while they are still in the womb. Toddlers have keenly developed senses and are eager to use them to explore the world. Likewise, it isn't hard to motivate a curious preschooler to touch, smell, taste, see, and hear.

6 July 2014

Eco Summer Activities For Preschoolers

Eco Summer Activities
Preschoolers love a tactile experience. Summer activities that involve touching and feeling will grab their attention and stimulate their mind more than activities that do not involve their sense of touch. Below you will find several ideas for eco-friendly summer activities for preschoolers that include tactile experiences.

Little kids LOVE to finger paint! Half the fun is how messy it is but this messiness can make Mums cringe when it's done inside. Summertime is the perfect season to take this fun activity outdoors and let your tots have a messy good time!

24 June 2014

The Dangers Of Toxic Food Colouring - Savvy Mums Beware

Walk into any grocery store and what do you see in the bakery department? Brightly coloured cakes and cupcakes beckoning to the kids to plead with Mum, "Can we get this, Mum.... please.... pretty please with a cherry on top!" The next time your kids beg you to buy an item like this, I want you to remember the answer to the following question: What does red velvet cake, blue frosted cupcakes, white cake decorated with bright pink roses, and doughnuts with multi-coloured sprinkles all have in common?

14 June 2014

Win a Charlie Bears Organic Bunny

Charlie Bears Organic Bunny is handmade from 100% organic cotton, grown from non-genetically modified plants and without the use of the chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. This bunny is dyed with non-toxic paints and stuffed with 100% non-allergenic recycled stuffing. If you like this cute little fellow below, go and browse our selection of Charlie Bears and pick your favourite.

Eco-Friendly Summer Activities For School Age Children

When the kids are out of school, it's the perfect time for Mums and Dads to spend quality time teaching kids to honour and respect nature. Below, you'll find some fun ideas for eco-friendly summer activities that are sure to bond the family together and provide rich and rewarding experiences the kids will never forget.

2 June 2014

Charlie Bears Little Organics Now at greenBee

Charlie Bears

Charlie Bears LittleOrganics have just arrived at greenBee. These cuddly characters are handmade from 100% organic cotton, grown from non-genetically modified plants and without the use of the chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. Each one of these Charlie Bears is handmade under strict regulations in an ethically sound facility in Sri Lanka.

Why Mums Like Organic Baby Toys

Almost nothing is more precious than watching your children hug their stuffed animals, rag dolls, blankets, and other soft toys. Kids truly LOVE their soft toys! They are an integral part of the sweetest parts of childhood. Kids like to cuddle with them while they rock, nap with their nose buried in them, roll around on the floor with them, and chew on them for comfort.

While these baby toys may look innocuous, numerous recent news report have revealed to the world the fact that dangerous toxins are lurking in mass produced non-organic soft toys! These journalistic exposés set off alarm bells in the minds of savvy Mums who want to protect their children!

14 May 2014

New Plan Toys Now at greenBee

We have some new eco toys that have just landed at greenBee. We’re always excited to welcome new environmentally-friendly toys from Plan Toys. We have tried these new toys and our favourites are the musical instrument – Banjo and My First Camera. And you may also take a look at the great bath toy submarine, wooden kitchen set, or casual doll family. 

9 Reasons Why We Have Chosen Plan Toys

A search for perfect toys for your child can be a daunting task. So many options are out there. I don’t even think of a colour. It’s simply overwhelming. However, this might be your lucky day as we've already spent loads of time searching for the perfect toys. And here you’ll find a few facts that have led us to choose Plan Toys for our child and for greenBee. These reasons can also serve you as a guide to choosing the perfect toy for your child.

13 May 2014

How Rocking Affects Children’s Health

When a baby cries, parents instinctively know to rock the baby in their arms to sooth their little one. Likewise, gently rocking a baby in the cradle is a good way to lull a baby to sleep. Many nursing chairs are rockers too. The rocking motion helps the baby relax and digest their milk better. The rocking helps the mother alleviate small back ache and work out muscle cramps.

6 May 2014

Wooden Toys Versus Plastic Toys

If you take a field trip to your closest landfill, you will undoubtedly be saddened by what you see. The realities of mass produced cheap plastic toys stacked high in a landfill is a sobering experience. It can also be a good lesson to take your older children along so they can understand why you don't want to buy them plastic toys -- in this case, a picture truly IS worth a 1000 words.

Almost all landfills have an abundant supply of discarded plastic toys that no one wants to play with anymore. No one wants to fix old plastic toys once they break. They'd rather just toss them in the trash. No one cares enough about plastic toys to pass them on to the next generation. On the other hand, you'll never see natural wooden toys accumulating in the landfill because people bond with wooden toys in a way they never do with plastic toys.

22 April 2014

How Eco Toys are Making the World a Better Place

Eco toys offer a way to protect your children in present and provide them better future at the same time. They are made with non-toxic, recyclable, and sustainable materials. They do not contribute to the destruction of the environment in the same way as most modern toys do. As parents, we all hope that our children's future will be bright. We want to ensure we don't expose them to anything that could harm their health and protecting the environment is the same as protecting their future. Below, you will find several ways that eco toys make the world a better place for your children.

6 April 2014

IKEA & WWF in Partnership for Responsible Business

greenBee shares some insights on how large corporate businesses and civil society organisations can work together to promote sustainable development and good corporate citizenship

Earlier this week, I participated in a talk with IKEA and WWF, who have been in partnership since 2002 and last year celebrated ten years in action, and are now well into their fourth partnership period with sustainability as their key focus.

3 April 2014

10 Negative Effects of Technology on Children’s Development

According to both the American Academy and Canadian Society of Pediatrics, children who are below the age of 12 should not be accustomed to technology. Infants who are between the ages of 0 and 2 should not be exposed to technology. Those who are between the ages of 3 and 5 should be restricted to an hour a day and those between 6 and 18 years should be restricted to 2 hours a day. Children who use 4 to 5 times above the recommended amount of technology are susceptible to serious or life-threatening consequences. 

25 March 2014

Lack of Outdoor Play can Lead to Various Problems

Most parents don’t realize, but one of the best habits you can encourage in your child is more outdoor play. When children visit a playground to spend their time with friends, they do a lot more than just burning off some energy. Play can help children develop social skills, boost confidence, appreciate nature and maintain physical fitness.

24 February 2014

6 skills your child can learn with crayons

"The greatest paediatric brain-boosting technology in the world is probably a plain cardboard box, a fresh box of crayons, and two hours" (John Medina, author of Brain Rules for Baby).

Children have a natural desire for being creative. Painting with crayons is a great way to support this impulse. Crayons encourage self-expression, they help teach colours, they develop small muscle coordination and they constantly delight and amaze young children.

8 February 2014

Ever Been Tempted to Buy Plastic Toys?

Have you found yourself in a situations where you were asking yourself: “Isn't this wooden toy a bit too expensive?” And have you considered buying a colourful plastic toy instead of a wooden one, because it is cheaper? Or did you have to drag your protesting baby out of your friend’s baby's flashing activity centre and thought to yourself: “I guess there is just no good alternative to this flashing-lights, annoying music plastic thing.”

13 January 2014

Wishbone balance bike - our favourite

Wishbone balance bike has no pedals, chain or cranks and instead kids brake with their feet and focus on learning to steer and balance. This is quite important, especially when we know that young children can get frustrated with tricycles because they don't have the strength and coordination to pedal.

4 January 2014

How to choose toys with help of labels?

Knowing what certain labels mean can help you to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a toy for your child. Here we’ll provide you with insights on the useful labels that appear on toys.

CE Mark
CE MarkToys which are sold on the EU market are equipped with the CE conformity mark. By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer confirms that the toys comply with the EU standard EN 71 which stands for EU safety standard. However, since there is no obligation to examine the compliance with the criteria by external, independent bodies, the CE mark is not a quality seal. Ensuring product safety and environmental compliance is still the responsibility of the manufacturer.
We, as well as some consumers and organizations think that requirements imposed by the EN 71 are not sufficient, e.g. in the field of plasticizers, use of “safe” chemicals.