Miroslava Duma’s 5 toy picks
The Tot co-founder Miroslava Duma believes in high-quality investment purchases – so why shouldn’t that apply to her kids’ toys, too?
When it comes to toys and kids’ products, I am a big believer in buying high-quality pieces. I’m not interested in the disposable culture: it’s bad for our planet and for our future.
One of the reasons we founded The Tot was to showcase small producers making incredible products for moms, children and babies. We wanted to shine a light on manufacturers who cared about sourcing sustainable, safe materials, who sought to make products that would last a lifetime, who were interested in quality over quantity. I’m proud to say that we have done exactly this: The Tot is about making purchases for your baby (and yourself) that are good for everyone – for your family, for the producers, for the environment.
Buying high-quality, long-lasting products – like toys, bedding and clothing – is not cheap, but when you consider the cost of buying inexpensive toys, for example, that break easily, are made with hazardous materials and quickly become part of our landfill, for me, the choice is obvious. Buying fewer, but better-quality, products is the best choice in the long term. Whether this is clothing for yourself or toys for your child, it just makes sense.
These are the toys I’ve splurged on for my own kids. I don’t buy them a lot, but when I do, I make sure it’s going to last them at least a few years, and can be handed on when they’re done. Here are my favourite Tot toy picks:
Sometimes, we all need a little space from each other – to read, to colour in, to simply be. I love this stylish teepee from Nobodinoz – it’s made from sustainable pine wood and OEKO-Tex certified fabric (meaning it’s free of harmful chemicals), looks fantastic, and provides a space for my kids to hang out and do their thing. I’m a big believer in “blank canvas” toys – that is, toys that allow kids to create, invent and dream on their own, rather than being prescribed a set of instructions. This teepee is a space for my kids to do whatever they want – hide, play house, read, whatever.
Made with a mix of recycled plastic and sustainably sourced wood, the Wishbone Cruise allows your little one to get moving, fast. It has an adjustable seat, so you’ll get a lot of use from it, and it’s also durable enough to hand down to smaller children.
This is a big investment piece, but to me, it’s completely worth it. This imitation Saab roadster is almost as cool as the real deal – believe me when I say that grown men will be jealous of your little one as she scoots about! Looks aside, this scoot-bike encourages gross motor skill development and independence. And of course, it’s a lot of fun!
OK, I’ll confess: I bought this play kitchen for my kids so that they’ll develop an interest in cooking… and start cooking for me one day! Seriously, though, this is made by Amish artisans from sustainably sourced wood, finished with child-safe paints, and is so well-made, it can be handed down from child to child. My kids love playing with this, and I love seeing them enjoy it so much. To them, the kitchen is about play and imagination; to me, it’s about fine motor skills, cooperation and of course, learning about healthy eating.
I just adore this minimalist reinterpretation of the traditional rocking horse. It’s handcrafted in Holland from solid French oak and it makes a stylish statement toy in your toddler’s room or an art piece your living room. And while this toy may just seem like fun and games, in fact, it plays an important step in your child’s learning, growth and development and helps with developing motor skills, balance and coordination.