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Uncle Goose Classic Letters

From Plastic to Purpose: A Discussion Guide

Oh, those well-meaning friends and family with their plastic toy gifts! As one frustrated mom put it, "I'm so over my kids getting plastic toys for gifts. Is there a way to tactfully put an end to it before the holiday season hits?"

That's a tough one, isn't it? Your children are thrilled to get those toys. And your friends and family do mean well. It's just that plastic toys from China don't align with your values.

And yet, you don't want to appear disrespectful. So what can you do?

We recommend communicating with a little bit of humor. Start talking about your values long before the holiday shopping season is upon us!

For example, you might want to send an email that sounds something like this:
Hey, Aunt Sue, Uncle Bob, and all our lovely friends!

We appreciate your love and thoughtfulness in choosing gifts for our children. They mean the world to us, and so do you!

Now, here's a little secret I'll let you in on. Our house seems to have developed a magical power. It's like a black hole, but instead of sucking things in, it magically generates plastic toys!

We have more than we know what to do with, and they seem to multiply overnight!

To avoid turning our home into a plastic waste dump, we've shifted our toy preferences.

We're trying to go for more sustainable options like wooden toys. They're sturdy, eco-friendly, and won't trigger a plastic avalanche whenever we open the toy closet!

We understand that plastic toys are everywhere, and they can be super appealing. So, how about we join forces and embark on an adventure to find the coolest, most awesome wooden toys out there? Let's explore the world of sustainable play and make it an exciting challenge for everyone!

Your support means the world to us. We know you'll understand our little quest for a saner playroom. Together, we can create a toy collection that brings joy and won't require a hazmat suit to navigate!

Thank you for being amazing and joining us on our plastic-to-wooden toy journey!

An email like that can help friends and family choose gifts that align more closely with your values. But what about your children?

Classic ABC Blocks with Canvas Bag

One mom said that even though their toy closet is loaded with toys, her son always went for his wooden toys first thing — when he was three. Now that he's in first grade, he's asking for the plastic toys he hears his classmates talking about! Arggh!

Children often fall victim to heavy-handed marketing techniques and peer pressure. As a parent, you're on the front lines of communicating your values to combat this daily onslaught of commercialism.

When a child asks for plastic toys, you can try something like this:

Hey, sweetheart, I understand you really want that new plastic toy because your friends all have it. It's completely normal to feel that way. Still, I want to talk to you about why we make more sustainable choices in our family.

You know how much we care about the environment and reducing waste. Plastic toys can often end up in landfills and harm our planet. That's why we choose toys made from natural materials. They're better for the environment.

Let's think about the toys we already have. We have some fantastic wooden toys that are durable, safe, and can last for a long time. They allow us to use our imagination, be creative, and learn new things.

Instead of getting a new plastic toy, why don't we explore different ways to have fun with the toys we already have? We can come up with new games, build something together, or even invite our friends over for a playdate and share our favorite toys.

Remember, it's not about having the same toys as everyone else. It's about taking care of our planet. I'm proud of you for understanding the importance of sustainability. We can find joy in the toys we already have.

Communicating your values can be a tough job. You're on the front lines, working against commercial marketing systems that undermine your efforts daily. If not hourly!

It's not easy, and it gets repetitive. You'll probably annoy a few people along the way. 

And yet, you'll also find people thrilled to get on board with you. Let them know who you are and what you value. Do it with kindness, grace, and humor.

Thoughtful people love giving thoughtful gifts. You can point them in the right direction by letting them know your values!

Good luck!