In support of those around the web, and in support of small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, our website will be down on 1/18 to protest the pending intellectual property bills that are making their way through Congress (SOPA) and the Senate (PIPA). We understand there are problems with intellectual property violations throughout the web, but as one commentator put it, the law uses a hatchet where a scalpel would do.
This bill is eerily similar to the government’s approach to children’s product safety when it passed the CPSIA, and the dreadful effects of that law on small manufacturers and importers of natural toys.
You can read an excellent synopsis of the law at Copyblogger.
We hope you will take the time to contact your Congressman and Senator to encourage them to vote down these bills and to use common sense in the future to pass bills which will encourage small business development, not crush it.
Sept. 9, 2009
Dr. Toy taps memory game and children’s book by FocusBloom for top honors in this year’s eco-friendly toy awards.
ASHLAND, Ma. – (Sept. 4, 2009) Little minds are fertile ground, and FocusBloom has been given industry kudos for creating a toy that seeks to grow something vibrant and green in the psyche of children.
The “I Cherish Planet Earth” memory game and book set have been given Dr. Toy’s “Best Green Toy of 2009” award, a distinction that sets it apart from the mass of other playthings manufactured around the globe each year. The annual award gives recognition to novel green toys produced and marketed in an eco-friendly way with safe and natural materials. The awards showcase high-quality options available to green-minded consumers, encouraging sustainable living practices.
“These 40 green products constitute a small number among all the choices of play products available, but we need to start somewhere,” says Stevanne Auerbach, the nationally recognized child play expert known as ‘Dr. Toy.’ “As awareness grows, more families are thinking and considering new directions that are safer, more balanced and healthier.”
The authors of “I Cherish Planet Earth” – Margot Losa and Emily Kea – consider their picture book a “love letter to Mother Earth.” In it they have paired beautiful artwork with text that imparts green-living concepts to encourage children (ages 4-10) to be good stewards of their environment and to appreciate the earth’s inhabitants.
These eco-friendly principles are echoed in a matching game that comes with the book. Artful memory tiles feature inspiring visuals and green affirmations such as “I love the forest,” “I recycle and dispose with care,” “I celebrate peace” and “I pass things on.” To preview illustrations from “I Cherish Planet Earth,” watch and listen to the YouTube music video clip by children’s singer Charlie Hope.
“How our children see the world in which they live is of ultimate importance. It’s vital to their growth and future,” said Rob Wilson, vice president of Challenge & Fun Inc, a natural toy wholesaler that distributes the award-winning eco-toy set. “That’s why ‘I Cherish Planet Earth’ is so much more than your run-of-the-mill memory exercise. The game reinforces the ideas introduced in the companion book, which helps kids assimilate a love for nature, our planet and one another. Learning and fun…it can’t get much better than that!”
Half a dozen activity suggestions have been included with the book-game set to expand its educational value. These application exercises allow children to respond to core ideas, helping them retain the concepts long term.
This is the third year DrToy.com has honored eco-minded companies and children’s products made from sustainable materials and sold with minimized packaging. Products like “I Cherish Planet Earth” are evaluated on toy safety, the messages they teach children about Planet Earth, their use of natural resources, and other green principles. The 48-piece matching game and book set is printed on recycled paper, uses vegetable oil-based inks, and comes with a cotton drawstring pouch – all made in the USA.
I Cherish Planet Earth is available online at:
Tree Hollow Toys
My Little Green Room
FocusBloom, the producer of “I Cherish Planet Earth,” is a privately owned small business based in Rainier, WA, dedicated to creating products with meaningful content, detailed artwork and affordable pricing. The company strives to manufacture its products locally, using recycled materials, vegetable inks and minimal packaging. FocusBloom is part of a “1% for the Planet,” a global group of companies that donate a percent of their sales to a network of more than 1,500 environmental organizations worldwide.
About Challenge & Fun Inc.
Challenge & Fun, Inc. was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Ashland, MA. This wholesaler of natural children’s products markets safe eco-friendly toys and other beautiful merchandise often not readily available in the United States. Although “I Cherish Planet Earth” is a USA-made item, many of Challenge & Fun’s products are made in Europe of natural, organic, Fair Trade-certified materials. Most of the company’s soft toys are either certified by Oko-Tex or by GOTS. Challenge & Fun is a member of the Toy Industry Association , ASTRA and the Organic Trade Association.
About Dr. Toy
Dr. Auerbach, who has a PhD in child development, is one of the nation’s leading experts on children’s play, toys and products. She has more than 30 years of professional experience in this arena. To see a full list of Dr. Toy’s top green products for 2009, go to: http://www.drtoy.com/awards/2009-green-products-list.php
Do you have questions about the “I Cherish Planet Earth” book and game set, or wish to set up an interview with book author Margot Losa or illustrator Emily Kea? Go to http://www.focusbloom.com/contact.asp and leave a message, or call Rob Wilson at the Challenge & Fun Inc. office at 1-888-384-6200 or 1-508-881-7500.
Challenge & Fun Inc.
Rob Wilson, vice president
PO Box 222
Ashland, MA 01721
Email: info (AT) Challengeandfun.com
Toll Free: 888-384-6200
P.O. Box 1220
Rainier, WA 98576