With so many choices out there that are handmade and toxic free, there is really no reason to buy anything mass manufactured for our little ones. Sure, it may be more convenient to pick something up at the mall and you may think that handmade equals a higher price tag. Yes and no. The work involved in a handmade item and the fact that they are made by someone who is trying to make at least the minimum salary usually means a slightly higher price tag. However, handmade items tend to last much longer and can be passed from child to child. They have a personality and a child can tell. I have been making my own kids' clothes, blankets and stuffed animals since my little girl was born and my son loves those toys too.
Give a child a beeping flashing plastic truck and he may play with it for a few weeks until it either breaks or until he is bored with the lights. Give him a wooden train or car set and you will see his imagination soar. The same goes for clothing. There are wonderful screen printed shirts and dresses with fun pattern and color combinations that are made in small quantities where the maker actually takes the time to thoroughly check the quality. Better yet, you'd be hard pressed to find toxins in handmade items. Those who make them usually have kids themselves and would never give toxins to their own kids.
Etsy is full of fun items for kids made by talented artisans, who in my opinion don't make nearly what they should for the work and love they put into their work. Here are a few of my own favorites.