It's almost like going back to the basics, simple toys made from natural products, and it's being heavily featured at this year's Chicago Toy and Game Fair. There is a great demand from parents who want their children to play green.
There's a bright and colorful new toy store in Logan Square called Play, but its owner says there's also a serious message behind many of its fun-filled items. Many things they carry are eco-friendly and they are selling 'green toys.'
"I think it adds another level of excitement to my job," said Ann Kienzle, owner of Play. "To first be able to give a child a great toy and on top of that to have it be a socially responsible toy is even better."
According to toy expert Gina Manalo, the demand for environmentally friendly toys has exploded in recent years. She says parents are becoming increasingly worried about toxins.
"A lot of toys were recalled because of lead and paint, and manufacturers and toy companies want to assure parents they are providing safe toys for their children and toys are important to children, and you should have to worry about the safety of the toy or game you get for your child," said Manalo.
She says green toys will be a major part of the huge Chicago Toy and Game Fair this weekend at Navy Pier. Manalo says many of the toys and games featured at the show are either made from recycled or sustainable materials, or they are packaged in an environmentally friendly manner.
"For example this is a great new toy called Twig, and it's a building toy, and you can tell from the recycled packaging and the materials that are made from wood which is a renewable source, and the forest that's used to make the toys are replanted," she said.
It's also a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
"I would say over the last four years it's increased exponentially, which is pretty amazing to watch something new take shape in the industry," said Kienzle.
The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is Saturday and Sunday at Navy Pier. It's open to the public and starts each day at 10 a.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids. It costs $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Chicago Toy and Game Show
Play toy store
3109 W. Logan Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647