On our recent trip to visit the Oompa Toys Retail Store, something became much more apparent to me than it had before. Of course I had always noticed the incredible selection of high quality, natural toys and gear offered by Oompa (they are, after all, one of the leading online specialty toy retailers), but what I hadn't truly appreciated before were the... high standards behind them.
Oompa Toys strongly believes that "baby toys should be natural, safe, eco-friendly, non-violent and from manufacturers who provide safe and nurturing environments for their employees." Forget cartoon characters and flashing lights and loud noises, for an item to be chosen by Oompa, it has to meet and surpass the high expectations that they hold for themselves and their brands.
Do you ever wonder where your child's toys actually came from? I'll admit that in the past, I really didn't. As long as my kids were having fun, what did it matter? But with all of the information out there about child labor and inhumane working conditions, it really does make a difference to think about about the environment that each toy was made in.
I love that Oompa Toys not only cares that their products are well-made, but that any and all of them come from somewhere that is safe for their employees. And they don't just take a company's word for it, Oompa conducts tours and interviews to make sure. I feel like their caring makes it much easier to decide what website (or store, since I'm lucky to live nearby) to shop from for the next toy we might need for ourselves or as a gift.
But that's not all. Browsing around Oompa, I noticed many of their toys were from companies that take things a step further and can be classified as fair trade (a movement in developing countries to obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability). In fact, if you search for fair trade on Oompa's website, you'll find pages of results. And quite a few of those toys are the ones that my kids gravitated to looking at and playing with:
Big Sister E is shown here first hugging the Knitted City Food Assortment from Yellow Label Kids and then, later on, attempting to eat their Knitted Donut Assortment.
Finally, there are the items themselves. Everything found at Oompa is "No batteries. No blinking lights. No cartoon-themed toys. Period." There have been times when I'm unsure if my kids realize toys that aren't plastic are indeed toys. So how great would it be to fill their lives with products that are natural and wonderful? Toys crafted out of wood or handmade or maybe even organic. Ones that are non-toxic and eco-friendly and in general work towards making the world a better place, one child at a time.
As usual, everywhere I look when I visit Oompa Toys, I'm more and more impressed by the selection and the commitment to what they stand for. My kids definitely are too.
Just a few of our favorites: the Surfin' Kids Easel by Ecotots, My Professional Tool Set from Educo, Walker Wagon from Haba, really fun Rocking Donkey (in store only) and adorable organic Foundlings animals.
With an ever-expanding collection of high quality toys and gear for children of all ages, Oompa Toys is the place to shop online or in-store and know that you will always be 100% satisfied. Not only will your purchase be entertaining and fun, but you can rest assured that it will be safe for your child and have come from a quality brand. What more can you ask for?
Be sure to sign up for the Oompa Toys newsletter, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook and check out their blog for more information. And by all means, if you're ever in town, DEFINITELY visit the Oompa Retail Store. Just be warned that it's hard to leave!
(This post is part of a series highlighting Oompa Toys. In exchange, they are helping sponsor me to attend the BlogHer '10 conference in August. However, that partnership has not influenced my opinion of Oompa in any way - I was a complete and utter fan long before that.)