Eco Friendly Toys for Environmentally Conscious Fun

Eco friendly toys are a natural extension of a society that is seeking to live in a healthier, more sustainable manner. We recycle, drive more efficient vehicles, explore alternative energy sources, and eat clean, organic foods. Our desire to be more environmentally conscious extends to our children as well.

With eco-friendly toys, we can provide children with toys that are made from safe, recycled, materials, and offer an opportunity to teach kids about our environment and the ways we affect it, both positive and negative. Eco-friendly toys are not only healthy for kids and the environment, they also prepare the next generation to be responsible stewards of the world around them.

What Makes The Best Eco-Friendly Toys + Why?

If you consider an eco-friendly gift for kids, examine these features and characteristics for the best eco-friendly brands and toys.  

Is the toy made from recycled material (e.g., recyclable plastic,  recycled milk bottles), organic materials (organic cotton), or certified sustainable materials (natural wooden toys)? Is it green, benefiting the environment in the entire process, or recycled? Check if the toys are made from non-toxic materials and chemical-free; eco-friendly baby toys are made from earth-friendly materials, natural materials (e.g., natural rubber, latex from Hevea trees, natural fiber, and organic materials. 

Did they use water-based, non-toxic paint or non-toxic vegetable dyes, or are there no external coatings, dyes, or paints? 

Avoid cheap plastic toys, except toys made from bioplastic or recycled plastic like milk jugs, converted into raw material.

Is the packaging recyclable, biodegradable, or FSC (Forest Steward Council) or Rain Forest Alliance certified cardboard? How about the packaging ink, is it made from biodegradable materials? Many ecommerce and retail stores are working to reduce packaging – a green toy company should be leading the charge.

Is the toy made in the US or shipped from China, Taiwan, or other countries? Locally made is greener and environmentally friendly than imported products. 

Green doesn’t matter if your green toy for your toddler or baby is unsafe. Make sure the manufacturers follow or adhere to safety regulations for the product and the materials. Harmful chemicals to avoid are pesticides, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), PVC, Bisphenols BPA + BPS, formaldehyde, lead, and other heavy metals. 

Toys with sharp edges and loose parts toddlers can swallow aren’t safe either. 

Eco Friendly Toys Compared

Best Green Toys From Eco-Friendly Brands Reviewed

Green Toys Recycling Truck In Green Color

The Green Toys Recycling Truck, made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic milk jugs, is a classic toy for kids to enjoy and learn about sorting cans, bottles, and recycling paper. 

Recommended for ages one year and older, the recycling truck with its movable recycling bed and cardboard cutouts feature three chutes to sort recyclables. In addition, the toy helps develop gross and fine motor skills in children.

Made in the USA, the Green Toys recycling toy truck is a safe and durable toy for children. It has no external coatings, are BPA, PVC, and phthalates-free. The toy comes packaged in recyclable materials, and printing is done with soy-based inks. This fun, learning toy is dishwasher safe; easy to clean; kids can play inside or outdoors. In addition, the toy is rust-free; it is manufactured without metal axles. 

PlanToys Wooden Dancing Alligator (5105)

The cheerful PlanToys Wooden Dancing Alligator has sold over one million copies and is one of the best eco-friendly pull toys for kids ages 19 months and older. 

Made from chemical-free, sustainably sourced rubber trees and non-toxic, organic pigments and water-based dyes, the colorful alligator is a safe, enjoyable toy. It provides hours of entertainment to toddlers and preschoolers with a 24 inches long pull cord and a gentle click-clack sound when pulled. 

The PlanToys Wooden Dancing Alligator is the right size for small toddler hands to grip and the bright colors stimulate senses. Manufactured sustainably, the toy is glued together with E-Zero formaldehyde-free glue, and the pull cord is safely inserted. In addition, a variety of animals in this series makes these wooden toys awesome eco-friendly gifts for infants to toddlers. 

HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball

The HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball is one of the best eco-friendly picks for babies ages six months and up. Featuring eight diverse sections, the colorful fabric ball stimulates sensory development, activating visual, auditory, and sensual skills. 

The baby ball is easy to grasp and perfect for crawling games or to toss and roll with its eight individual sections. Contrasting colors and patterns stimulate visually, and the different textures strengthen the baby’s sense of touch. Then, learning cause and effect, the baby discovers delightful rattling, squeaking, and crinkling sounds. 

Made from polyester, corduroy, velour, mesh, and tricot fabrics, the HABA Rainbow Fabric Ball measures 6 inches in diameter, is a perfect gift for little ones to inspire brain development. 

HABA uses water-based stains and organic materials to manufacture its toys in an energy and resource-preserving way. With over 80 years of experience, the HABA family business produces toys that challenge and encourage kids. 

Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons

The Honeysticks 100% Pure Beeswax Crayons are safe for infants and children, the perfect gift for children from one year and up. The crayons are non-toxic, ergonomically shaped, sustainable, and durable. 

The unique chubby shape is perfect for small hands to grip. Tested in preschools, kids can’t break these durable crayons! Twelve exciting colors and a lovely smell should stimulate your toddler’s senses and imaginations to create beautiful masterpieces. 

These crayons are handmade from 100% pure New Zealand beeswax and food-grade pigments; no cheap fillers or paraffin wax. The beeswax is a natural honey by-product giving the crayons a honey scent. The sustainable process has minimal impact on the environment. 

The Honesticks range has crayons for infants to toddlers and older. The Honeysticks Thins 8 pack encourages correct grasping for kids learning to write, and the Honeysticks Longs 6 pack is perfect for older children. 

PlanToys WoodenTea Set

The PlanToys WoodenTea Set is a perfect gift for little girls who like to play house, mimic their mom, and serve tea. The wooden tea set will last for years and provide endless tea party fun, encouraging a child’s imagination. 

Whether your child is serving tea to parents or having a tea party with plush animals and dolls, the toy is safe. The tea set is sustainably made from chemical-free rubberwood trees, organic pigments, non-toxic water-based paints, and formaldehyde-free glues. 

It is an excellent birthday gift for three-year-old toddlers, preschoolers, and older. The set is sized for little ones and includes a teapot with a lid, two teacups and saucers, two teaspoons, a sugar bowl, a milk pitcher, and two tea bags.

Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy

Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy - eco friendly toys

The Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy is made from 100% recycled plastic milk bottles. It meets all international toy safety standards and contains no lead, BPA, phthalates, or other harmful substances. It’s also dishwasher safe. The ferry boat has a cargo area and slide out ramp to accommodate the two included cars. This sturdy bathtub toy will provide years of fun for your little ones, as well as an opportunity to talk to your children about recycling.

4M Eco Science Toys

4M Eco Science Toys - eco friendly toys

4M Eco Science Toys is a science kit that makes recycling fun! Young scientists use the items included in the kit with everyday household waste to build cool toys. The kit makes up to seven toys including a race car, a gravity-powered walking robot, and a tornado inside a bottle. It comes with a booklet with complete, detailed instructions and fun science facts.

4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit

4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit - eco friendly toys

The 4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit combines creative jewelry making and recycling. Jewelry design is a favorite hobby of many youngsters, and now they can make their own beads by recycling paper. Strips of paper are fed into the tool and when the handle is turned, it makes fun, colorful beads for use in all kinds of jewelry projects.

ALEX Toys Craft Eco Crafts

ALEX Toys Craft Eco Crafts - eco friendly toys

Crafts are a wonderful way to spend a rainy day or even a sunny day! ALEX Toys Craft Eco Crafts is a craft kit designed for creative play, using items made with recycled paperboard and soy inks. There are supplies for 20 crafts including puppets, animals, and jewelry using recycled stickers, paper, and pencils. Simple instructions are included.

Green Toys Jump Rope

Green Toys Jump Rope - eco friendly toys

The humble jump rope is a favorite classic toy but the Green Toys Jump Rope is special. The 7 ft. rope is made from 100% cotton and is adjustable and the handles are made from 100% recycled plastic. All of the jump rope’s materials are completely safe, BPA, and phthalate-free. It’s available in pink, green, and purple.

Green Toys Shape Sorter Baby Toy

Green Toys Shape Sorter Baby Toy - eco friendly toys

The Green Toys Shape Sorter Baby Toy is not only an excellent early learning educational toy, it’s made from 100% recycled plastic that is safe and BPA, PVC, and phthalate free. This toy encourages shape and color recognition as well as hand-eye coordination. It’s completely dishwasher safe, and all of the pieces are safe for baby to put in his or her mouth.

Eco friendly toys are a fantastic way for kids to learn about the environment while they play with safe, non-toxic toys. Do you have a favorite eco friendly toy? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Takashi(aes256).

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