Thankfully times have changed since I was a child and there are now many toys on the market that cater for parents wishing to purchase children’s toys that have less of an impact on the planet.
The other beneficial side of eco-friendly toys is that they’re also safer for children. The carcinogenic chemicals in many plastic toys are not something to be taken lightly. According to this article in the Guardian leading toy brands are still using questionable chemicals.
I have put together five of my favourite, but there are also many other environmentally aware companies and products out there. I truly believe the more we support these companies and opt for the safer and eco-friendly option, the more toy manufacturers will respond and produce what consumers demand.
Villa Julia by Me Too
The playhouse is a classic children’s toy. This wonderful design by Me Too found on LoveTheSign is made of cardboard, so can easily be recycled or composted when out grown.
Children love pretend play, and according to Psychology Today it is a vital component to the normal development of a child. I personally love the fact that the children can decorate and colour in the playhouse however they choose.
Quadrilla Marble Run by Hape Toys
I’ve seen many of these in very flimsy plastic designs, but this is a fabulous wooden version of the marble run. Designed for children aged four years upwards, but as you can buy so many add-ons, this could be a fun child’s toy for a number of years and great for the rest of the family to join in with too.
Harps only uses wood from FSC managed forest, so the wooden marble run has less environmental impact when made and disposed of than a plastic version. It’s also been made with no toxic child safe paint, so there is no danger of chemicals leaching out.
Organic Soft Toy Collection by Charlie Bears
These loveable soft toys are ideal for young children; they even do them in a range of sizes including a ‘small baby safe’ version. Each soft toy is made entirely by hand, in factories that do not employ children and pay above the minimum wage.
The soft toys also have great eco credentials as the makers use organic cotton dyed with non-toxic low impact dyes, the filling is made of 100% recycled fibre, and all the Charlie Bears are 100% non-allergenic. The widest choice of the Charlie Bears Organic soft toys I could find were on The Organic Toy Company site.
Belle the Cow Organic Baby Rattle by Apple Park
Babies continuously place items into their mouths as they explore their new world. Purchasing teething rings, rattles, and other toys made from organic non-toxic material is a way to achieve peace of mind, that when a child mouths they are not in contact with toxic materials.
The Belle the Cow Rattle’s outer layer is made from a 100% organic cotton fabric, the filling is made from corn fibre, which is hypoallergenic and a sustainable product. The packaging is also environmentally friendly, as it is made of recycled paper printed with soy ink.
Although the Belle the Cow Rattle is mainly stocked in the USA, there are many other more local companies that also sell eco and child friendly rattles and teething rings.
Salt Water Motorcycle by The Source
Children love their battery operated toys, but as we know batteries are not the most environmentally friendly way of producing energy. Disposing of batteries are a problem too.
This amazing toy uses water, saline and metal to produce a chemical reaction to power the motorcycle. Each charge enables the motorcycle to travel around for approximately 7-8 minutes, so it’s not just a gimmick that crawls along for 30 seconds (see YouTube clip above).
According to the product description on ethical super store “the materials used are all environmentally friendly and contain no toxic substances or chemicals”.