Wooden toys with plenty of heart from Maya Organic

Like thousands of mums across the country, my heart skipped a beat when it was revealed almost three years ago that a certain range of very popular wooden trains had been contaminated with lead paint. I remember trawling through my train-addicted two-year-old son’s toy box to remove every suspect engine while thanking my lucky stars that he’d never taken to sucking on the things.

Flash forward to 2010 and I have another baby boy in the house. Only unlike his big brother, this one’s showing all the signs of being a put-everything-in-his-mouth kind of kid. So I’m already looking very, very carefully at the toys we give him to gum. That’s why I’m liking Maya Organic Toys a whole lot.

Maya Organic Toys are handmade in India with plenty of vibrant colours to pique kids’ and babies’ interest but not a single streak of suspect paint for them to ingest. In fact, all the colours and finishes are made using plants and spices such as turmeric, the rather exotic sounding kanchi kumkum (a blend of lime and turmeric), bark from ratanjyoth trees and natural shellac. If that’s not enough reason to buy them, consider this. Maya Organic is a recognised fair trade company that supports impoverished Indian workers and is leading the fight in Bangalore to eliminate child labour. Toy shopping that’s also good for the soul? You’ve got to love that.

Maya Organic Toys are available in Australia exclusively at Little Wardrobe, with prices starting from $28 for the rather adorable Peppy Five Stacker (pictured way up top). Use it to teach little ones to count, sort, stack and learn their colours. We also like the look of the Merry Top set (also $28, pictured above) for older kids, with its assortment of spinning tops to test dexterity and fine motor skills

Maya Organic also makes a rather sweet range of nursery furniture. High on our Babyology hit list are the Nester toddler bed, with its removable safety railings, and the intrinsically adorable (and delightfully named) Napster cradle, which has a unique sliding motion rather than a traditional side-to-side swing. These pieces aren’t available in Australia yet but, as always, we’ll keep you posted.

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