Category: At Play

Playtime is more than fun and games with tips from Sprout it’s safe and educational, too! We keep you up to date on the latest research into keeping toys healthy, safe, and free from harmful chemicals. From play dates to relaxing at home, we’ve got you covered.

Toxic Squishies

Toxic Chemicals Found in Squishies

You’ve probably seen them – Squishies are the current toy craze for elementary school kids. They have the texture and feel of “stress balls”, but come in all sorts of kid-themed designs, and kids love to squish them. Sensing that the odd smell coming off of them could be a sign of something dangerous, the… Read more »

Chart showing presence of banned DEHP banned phthalates in kids

Testing Our Daughters for Banned Phthalates

I recently got together with a couple of friends and we had all five of our daughters (between 6 and 12) tested for phthalates in their bodies with a simple urine test. What Are Phthalates? Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in plastics and in personal care products. They have been proven to affect… Read more »

Plastics in your home like these cute duckies could contain recently banned phthalates

A New Ban on Phthalates in Plastic Toys

On April 25th, 2018, a new federal regulation went into effect banning phthalates in plastic toys. As this made almost no news, we wanted to explain it to you. What are Phthalates? Phthalates are a class of chemicals used in many plastics. They are often used to make plastics soft, hence their use in many… Read more »

Sprout’s PlanToys Factory Tour

Want to shop for these great wood toys? Check out all of our PlanToys. When PlanToys called and invited us to be a part of their 2014 Green Ambassador Program, we were beyond thrilled.  What did this mean exactly? It meant that we were on our way to Thailand for a first-hand look how their… Read more »

Tips for Indoor Play this Winter

According to a study by the EPA, the air quality in our homes is 2-5 times more toxic than the air outside (and it's worse in homes that use air fresheners!). Paints and finishes on walls, floors, and furniture can all contribute to the poor air quality in our homes. This is why it's great… Read more »

Throw Out Your Old Plastic Toys!

At Sprout we often find that being “green” as in “good for the environment” can conflict with creating a healthy home for our children. When this conflict arises, we see no choice but to protect our families first and worry about the environment later. Some of you may not agree, but protecting children from the… Read more »

Safe School Supplies

Buying Safe School Supplies

Phthalates in Vinyl School Supplies A 2013 laboratory test revealed children’s vinyl school supplies can contain high levels of phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that have been banned in toys for young kids. Yet they can still be found in vinyl school supplies. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that are hazardous at low levels… Read more »

Why We No Longer Carry Sophie the Giraffe

We are thrilled to have a great alternative to Sophie. Mia the Lamb meets all criteria to be “Sprout Approved”! Read on to learn the history behind why we stopped carrying Sophie in 2012. We get a lot of questions about why we do not have Sophie for sale in our stores. Though we believe… Read more »

Scientists Link Prenatal Pesticide Exposure to Autism

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently conducted a study of almost 1000 women in California, looking at their pesticide exposure during pregnancy and incidences of autism in their young children. They found pregnant women who lived within a mile of an area treated with three different types of pesticides were at a two-thirds… Read more »

Zinc Oxide: Is This Something We Should Worry About?

As summer approaches and people are concerned about sunscreens, we have been getting questions about zinc oxide. People seem to be concerned that it can contain nano particles, and I was not sure I understood the concern and if it's really about the zinc itself or the nano aspect. I decided to ask our most… Read more »