Also each year I get a ton of questions regarding which dollhouses and play kitchens are actually 100% plywood-free, lead-free and overall non-toxic. That said, this year I’m going to attempt to update these gift guides so that they only include safe products, made without plywood or with greener formaldehyde-free MDF or other eco-materials.
Before I get started, I figured I’d offer some information on what the problems are with some of the most commonly used materials in play kitchens and dollhouses.
Materials to be aware of in play kitchens and dollhouses:
What I’ll be looking for this year – safe dollhouse and play kitchen criteria:
Real wood: I suggest you look for real wood play kitchens and dollhouses over plastic or composite woods.
The chain of best woods: In my opinion, eco-sourced wood is best, but I also think that a real wood play kitchen or dollhouse made locally (even if the wood is not from a sustainable source) is still seriously better than a plastic or composite wood dollhouse or kitchen set.
Finishes: This year I’ll be looking for play kitchens and dollhouses that are made with child-safe less-toxic, low-voc finishes.
Lead: I’ll be choosing only lead-free or low-lead products that meet the newer lower CPSIA lead levels.
My little disclaimer – Obviously I’m not perfect. I research a lot, but sometimes companies give me the run-around. Plus, if you buy a dollhouse or play kitchen for your child, it’s your responsibility to also research the product to make sure it’s safe and fits your own green criteria.