This post sharing our Summer of Play was inspired by Green Toys. I’m a Green Toys Ambassador because I support 100% Play. All opinions are my own.
I have a little girl that loves to read. It makes this Mama’s heart happy because reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies as well. It’s no surprise to look over and see her reading a chapter book while her sister is playing, or even when we’re out and about, she usually has a book in her hand.
To see Sophia flourish in reading, even though she’s just in First Grade, makes me so proud. We’ve gotten to the point where she reads to us at night. Although they still request their Mama to read one every now and then, thank goodness!
While Moreaya can’t wait until the day when she’s reading like her big sister, she’s perfectly happy to let Sophia narrate the stories. They both love to dive into stories, which is why I was so excited when Green Toys let me in on a secret earlier this year and why I’m so excited that I get to share their brand new product… Green Toys Books!
It only makes sense that one of our favorite toy brands would add books to coincide with everyone’s favorite Green Toys characters. Reading is a natural extension of the brand as it promotes unplugged play, along with inspiring creativity in children. I can’t tell you how many times my girls come up with “great ideas” for activities after we read a book.
There are 3 new Green Toys Books in the line-up based on some of the most popular Green Toys.
- “Mixed Up Trucks” featuring Baxter, Rosie, and Gus
- “Boats Built for Speed” featuring Davey and Pearl in their Race Boats
- “Train Off the Rails” featuring Kodi and Dot in the Green Toys Train
Out of the 3, my girls immediately grabbed “Train Off the Rails”. The Green Toys train is already one of their favorite toys and they were so excited to learn more about the engineers that drive it. The books are beautifully written by Green Toys co-founder, Robert von Goeben, with a nice rhyming aspect to them, which gives the story such a nice flow and make it easy for Sophia to read.
In all 3 stories, kids will see their favorite toys and characters embark on exciting adventures throughout the pages of the each book, and can re-create the story with their toys.
While the story is lovely, the thing that stands out to me about the Green Toys Books is the beautiful illustrations. They really are remarkable – so bright and eye-catching. The girls also loved that more of their favorite toys could be spotted in the pages of each of the books, helping the stories of the toys intertwine into their own community.
The books do such a wonderful job of introducing the toys and giving the children a backstory of the characters.
While books can be a form of unplugged play, they can also help with guided play. Guided play is play in which the parent tends to guide the child a certain way, while still giving them the freedom and expression to choose the path. While the girls decided to use their wooden blocks as “packages” for Kodi and Dot to deliver all on their own, I took a guided play approach once Sophia finished reading the story.
Kodi and Dot use a colorful map to determine where their packages are to be delivered, as well as to show them how to get back home. Since my girls absolutely love getting creative with arts and crafts, I guided them to the idea that they could create their own map for their Green Toys Train.
Guided play can be as simple as giving them an idea and letting them run with it! So we taped 4 pieces of white cardstock together and pulled out the crayons and let their imagination go to work!
It was so much fun watching them bounce ideas off of each other of what should be where. I was extremely proud of Sophia as she tends to be a perfectionist, but suggested ideas for her little sister that she would be able to do effectively. Once they were done creating the map, they let Kodi and Dot take a spin along the tracks.
While Green Toys are best known for their eco friendly toys that are made in the USA with no glue, batteries, or paint, they’re making a mark as a toy company that has produced beautifully illustrated, positive books for children. As you would expect, all books are printed in the USA on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy inks.