Afterpay is here! Shop now, pay later in 4 easy installments



Your Cart is Empty

Eco-Friendly Toys To Keep Your Kids Busy And Safe

May 30, 2024 5 min read

Children play with eco-friendly toys including wooden blocks and child-safe art supplies

With environmental awareness at an all-time high, it’s critical to consider the kinds of toys you buy for your kids. The majority of plastic toys available on the market contain hydrocarbons and other compounds that are harmful to both our children and the environment.

When children play, it’s common to see them biting or sucking their toys. This small action can cause them to ingest amounts of hydrocarbons and toxins into their bodies which is a risk to their health.  Furthermore, most toys end up in landfills when they no longer serve a purpose – a massive problem for our eco-system. 

The good news is that you can avoid these issues by using eco-friendly and healthy toys. This article discusses some fantastic environment-friendly options and engaging screen-free activities to keep your kids busy.

But first, why are eco-friendly toys the best for your kids?  Here are a few benefits to consider:

1. Safe to Use

Eco-friendly toys are made from natural, harmless materials.  In comparison, most plastic toys contain synthetic chemicals like BPA, phthalates, paraffins and lead.  According to research on toxic chemicals in toys, these substances are potentially hazardous to our health and environment.

2. Durable

Toys made from natural materials are often sturdy and long-lasting compared with plastic varieties. This means they can be passed on to other family members, saving you money in the long run.

3. Encourages sustainability

Toys made from wood, paper and other natural elements appear familiar to children. So, when you explain the origin of a toy, kids learn to appreciate the value of their environment and start to comprehend sustainability. Not to mention the joy of learning to make toys themselves!

4. Compostable

Eco-friendly toys can be safely discarded or recycled to create other products at the end of their useful life. Most plastic alternatives take decades to decompose, posing dangers to humans and the environment.

With the benefits of eco-friendly toys in mind, let's look at some examples to add more fun to your kids' playtime.

Best Eco-friendly Toys For Kids

1. Wooden Building Blocks

Wooden blocks make fantastic eco-friendly toys that add lots of variety to kids' playtime. From building castles, cities, animals, or vehicles, the possibilities are endless. Building blocks help kids develop their motor skills, sensory perceptions and creativity. 

Also, having children build in groups can encourage healthy habits such as sharing, teamwork, concentration, and greater self-esteem.

2. Rainbow Stacking Toys

Kids love rainbow stacking toys because they offer many colours and shapes, which means infinite creative possibilities. They can stack them, lay them flat or configure the various shapes together.

Rainbow stacking shapes are excellent open-ended toys to nurture a child’s curiosity and growth. Hand-eye coordination, colour and shape recognition, are some early childhood benefits of using these toys.  Plus, being made from wood and painted with natural dyes, they’re safe and non-toxic for little ones.

3. Natural Rubber Teethers

Teething can be a stressful stage for babies making them moody and upset. So, why not cheer and delight them with fun and colourful natural rubber teethers?  Unlike plastic ones, smooth and soft natural rubber provides a soothing sensation, enabling kids to cope with this stressful stage of their life.  Rubber is a natural substance tapped from rubber trees and processed without additives and toxins. Like most other eco-friendly materials, it makes long-lasting but easy-to-compost toys that don’t spend decades in landfill.

4. Sustainable Jigsaw Puzzles

If your kids are a little older, they may enjoy the challenge of a jigsaw puzzle. However, not all jigsaw puzzles are equal when it comes to safety and sustainability. 

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly puzzles that are non-toxic for children.  Look for brands that ensure all components - boards, papers, inks, wrappings and glues - have credentials for sustainability and safety. 

Unlike some other puzzles on the market, Q Puzzles jigsaw puzzles don’t contain carcinogenic or toxic materials.  This means you can feel good knowing that your child is developing their problem-solving skills without harming their health or our environment. 

5. Eco-Friendly Art and Craft Supplies

When it comes to budding artists, you can’t go wrong with a selection of eco-friendly art supplies.  A sketchbook made from recycled paper will help to get their creative juices flowing.  You can complement this with eco-friendly paints or beeswax crayons.

Or better yet, you can give them reusable silicone colouring mats to flex their developing imaginations without creating waste.  Kids of all ages love to colour and it’s a great calming alternative to screen-based play, especially before dinner or bedtime. And the good thing is they can be recycled as playground mats and other items when no longer useable.

6. Silicone Toys

Silicone is a material formulated from the naturally-occurring compound, silica.  It’s considered one of the best eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and is especially useful for making sustainable toys. 

Premium quality silicone is free from the environmentally harmful chemicals often found in plastics, like phthalates, lead, and BPAs. What's more, silicone toys last longer than plastic ones, meaning less waste is dumped in our environment. 

Another benefit of silicone is that it’s a lot more stable in hot and cold temperatures.  This means silicone is easy to clean, whether you wipe it by hand or clean it in a dishwasher.

7. Natural Sensory Play Toys

Many modelling clays and sensory compounds found in toy shops are polymer-based and not biodegradable.  Thankfully, you can make many of these sensory play mixtures at home using natural ingredients from your pantry. 

Whether your kids prefer playdough, slime, silly putty or kinetic sand, you can find natural versions of these sensory play recipes (and more!) in this free book: 10 Super-fun Sensory Play Recipes. 

Modelling materials, like playdough and air-dry clay, are so simple to make yet provide one of the best creative development opportunities for children.  They can manipulate playdough and clay into many shapes and forms and let their imaginations run wild.  Plus, these materials are also harmless to play with, even when accidentally swallowed or smelled.

8. Paper Beads

Waste paper is readily found in most homes.  For example, old wrapping papers, newspapers or magazines. You can put it to good use by making paper beads using instructions found online.

And since paper is made from natural substances, the beads are easily compostable, recyclable and ideal for making jewellery, toys and decorations. You can also purchase a paper bead kit which includes a special tool to make this activity easier for young children.

9. Recycled Plastic Toys

With so much plastic in our everyday lives, it’s little wonder that our oceans and landfills are heavily polluted with plastic waste.  Fortunately, there are eco-friendly brands working to reduce the amount of discarded plastic in our environment and transform it into new products, like recycled plastic toys. 

These types of toys are usually made from recycled milk bottles, diverting loads of plastic from landfills, saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.  When kids understand that their milk bottle can be turned into a toy, they can see their own environmental efforts in action.


Eco-friendly Toys Are Better for Kids and the Environment

The usage of plastics has choked every corner of our homes, not least in the toys we buy for our kids. Sadly, most of these plastics are not only non-biodegradable but contain synthetic chemicals too, causing harm to our kids and the environment.

The time has come for toys to adapt to our future.  For our kids to learn the value of sustainable living before they grow up, toymakers must start using eco-friendly and natural materials now.


Care to join our growing community? Subscribe to enter our MONTHLY PRIZE DRAW or follow us on Instagram.