Founded in 2008, Eco-Kids is the brainchild of mother and former nanny Cammie Weeks, who used her mother's recipe to make eco-dough for her son and his friends. Cammie explains that she and her husband "realized the need for safe and natural art supplies and toys," so the duo began selling their sustainable dough at farmers markets throughout California and eventually expanded the collection to include a bevvy of environmentally-friendly, all-natural art supplies and toys.
While I'm holding out on the pencils until my two-year-old can distinguish between wall and paper, she loves her eco-dough and eco-paints. Made with flour and dyed with organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts (like purple sweet potatoes, paprika and blueberries), the naturally vivid colors please the eye and make clean-up time easier.
The organic-rosemary-scented dough (to keep it fresh) stays malleable without being sticky like other brands, and comes in a gluten-free version for kids with celiac disease or special dietary restrictions.
Just in time for Easter, Eco-Kids recently introduced an Easter egg coloring kit that includes the same fruit and vegetable colors and two soy crayons for fancy decorations.
Almost any parent will tell you the futility of explaining to a toddler why they shouldn't put a toy in their mouth—a non-issue with the Eco-Kids line of products. Everything they make is safe to eat, although the pencils could be a bit rough on younger teeth.
The supplies and kit ($10) sell online from the Eco-Kids website.