As we constantly try to protect our children’s health, reducing their exposure to dangerous chemicals cannot be limited to food and skin care products.
Thousands of toddler toys contain scary chemicals (BPA, phthalates, lead, cadmium, PVC and even arsenic) that can cause cancer, ADHD, autism, endocrine disruptions and other serious health issues.
Finding natural, safe and eco-friendly gifts for toddlers is especially important because toddlers are far more susceptible than adults to the ravages of these toxins:
- Their skin absorbs toxins more easily
They engage in much more hand-mouth activity.
(My 4-year-old still licks toy parts for fun, don’t ask me why)
Every year, just before Christmas, I dive in and start researching the best gifts for toddlers which are all natural, safe and eco-friendly.
Add to that our passionate desire to stay away from blinking light, loud noise-making and battery-requiring toys – this is a very challenging mission.
This year I want to share my findings with you and hopefully save you a lot of time (and stress).
Here are my 5 favorite safe toddler gifts, guaranteed to light the little ones’ imagination and creativity, rather than encouraging passivity:
1. Grimm’s Extra Large Wooden 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker
Grimm’s extra large wooden rainbow stacker is a beautiful natural toy, hand-made in Germany.
The toy is cut from a single solid piece of linden wood.
The largest part is giant, and there are so many ways this toy can stimulate the cute recipients’ imagination.
It’s a stacker, it’s a puzzle and the pieces can be used as tunnels, bridges, fences, beds and much more (you’ll need a child’s imagination to for that…).
for his third birthday and loved it. He and his older brother play with it everyday making caves, towers, mountains, fortresses and what not.
It is amazingly well made; it might be the only toy that survived their rough playing.
Ages – from 18 months to adults (I would actually really want one of these).
Size – it measures 14.4″ long, 7.1″ high and 2.9″ deep.
Safety: Made from natural wood, painted with certified non-toxic, child safe water based stains.
Amazon rating – 3.8 out of 5
Price – it’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a great, safe and eco-friendly gift for both toddler boys and girls that will keep for years.
Check Amazon’s Price Today
2. Hape – Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophon
The Hape Pound & Tap Bench is the #1 best seller in hammering and pounding toys on Amazon, and for great reasons:
The younger toddlers will love playing with the balls (chasing them around the floor, fitting them in the holes), while the older ones will enjoy all the elements, from pounding the balls to playing music to using the xylophone as a ramp for small cars.
It will develop their creativity, motor skills and music appreciation, and most importantly – It’s a lot of fun.
Ages – 12 months – 3 years.
Safety – the Hape is made from solid wood construction and child-safe pain finish,
Size – 9.4 x 5.9 x 5.3 inches ; 3 pounds.
Amazon rating – 4.3 out of 5
Price – check Amazon’s price today HERE.
3. Haba My First Orchard
The Haba My First Orchard is probably the best of cooperative board games for 2 year olds, and one of the few they’ll understand.
This naturally-made (in Germany) learning game is especially designed for the youngest of players, made with large pieces (and a large die) designed for cute small hands and a sturdy basket.
Players roll the die and collect the fruit, hoping to harvest it all before the pesky raven reaches the orchard.
If the raven is rolled on the die, the raven moves one step closer to the orchard.
This fun young toddler game will foster social skills, develop color recognition skills, organization and counting by ones.
(players vs. raven) rather than having one winner, but toddlers can enjoy it as a pretend play set of solid, wooden fruit.
The Haba My First Orchard is definitely a winner in toddler board games, and won’t lose appeal after a few days.
Ages – 2 and up (1-4 players)
Size – 8.7 x 8.7 x 2.7 inches ; 1.8 pounds
Safety – all Haba Toys are made with Beech wood with nontoxic water based stain.
Amazon rating – 4.8 out of 5 (102 reviews) – this is a very rare high rating.
Price – check on Amazon
This little wooden dog is perfect. Toddlers will over taking this adorable pup for a walk, and its rubber rimmed wheels easily roll, are quiet and will protect your floor inside.
The wood is smooth and the string is long enough to pull standing up.
This solid-built dog does not only go for a walk, he wiggles, wobbles and wags his tail. He even sits up and begs with some help.
Ages – 1 – 3 years.
Size – 8.7 x 3.6 x 6.4 inches ; 10.6 ounces
Safety – natural wood (from sustainable forests) and water based non-toxic paint.
Amazon rating – 4.7 out of 5 (high)
Price – about $17 on Amazon.
Through my research, the Wonderworld shape sorter is the highest quality wooden shape sorter in the market.
Not only is it made from natural rubber wood and non-toxic paints, its hinges are perfect and there’ no danger of pinching for little fingers.
The roof of this educational playhouse has slots for 6 geometrical blocks in primary colors, and it is easy to carry and fill with other little toys he or she like to run around with.
Size – house itself is 9x6x6 and each shape is 1.25×1.75.
Ages – 9 months – 3
Safety – made (in Thailand) with solid rubber wood, non-toxic pains and formaldehyde-free glue. Plus its double hinge prevents pinched fingers.
Amazon rating – 4.7 out of 5 (high)
Price – check on Amazon
This concludes this year’s natural toddler gifts research, I hope you’ve found these “healthy” gift list helpful, and please – If you know of any other safe and eco-friendly toys you love, let us know in the comments below, o.k?:)
To your health and happiness,
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog..