Saturday, November 10, 2007

Minefield in the Toy Department

Yesterday I heard Christmas music in the stores. Christmas! I'm absolutely not ready for Christmas yet, but whether I like it or not, the stores sure are.

We have already asked Jake for Christmas gift ideas, and for an almost 12 year old, he's surprisingly mellow about it. So far his list has:

-a watch
-an MP3 player
-some video games for the computer
-a memory card for the old digital camera I gave him
-test tubes and other stuff to add to his science kit
-boots/gloves/new hat for class ski trip in February

What are your kids asking for? It has to be hard to buy anything these days considering all those recalls and the latest fiasco with Aqua Dots. Seriously-I went to a presentation on GHB just recently, and what moron would put anything that would metabolize into THAT on KIDS toys? Jake was easy when he was little; all it took was Lego to make the boy happy, but what about the rest of you? YIKES!

So for you Canadian Parents out there, here's the link to the Canadian Toy Testing Council. They have listed their Top Toys for 2008, but you can look at all the toys that they tested to see what they think. I like the fact that they also feature books on their site, as well as loads of other information. If you are going to the USA to shop with our lovely high Canadian Dollar, check out this site before you hit the border so you know what has been recalled.

I also found this great American website that has everything from staff picks to monthly reviews and top 10 lists of toys in a host of categories.

The other day I saw these bags at Canadian Tire, and while I wanted to buy one because they are cheap, I first wanted to know if they were made in China. There were chuckles behind me in the line up, and the cashier looked confused.

"Um, I don't know." was the reply. I let her know that when she does know, I may buy some. Until then, I'll think about it.

Don't get me wrong; it's not like I'm never going to buy something made in China ever again (actually I bought some slippers recently that are), but I'm definitely more choosy about it. Toys, no. Products that food touches or goes into, no. It depends on the product and what it's used for.

As women and the shoppers in our homes, we're the gatekeepers of what products we allow in. It's about time we send a message with our dollars that we want safe, high quality goods.

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