It’s hard not to buy plastic toys for your kids. Plastic toys are in every store and on every shelf. They are also the cheaper alternative to toys made from natural materials. Nevertheless, the toys made from plastic can contain harmful substances like lead, BPA, and phthalates. These toys are cheaply made in China and are potentially unsafe for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Kids in this age group love putting everything they touch in their mouths. Buying plastic toys for your children could pose a risk to their health and safety.
Rather than buying toys made of plastic, consider buying your children toys made from natural materials. Toys made of wood, cotton, wool and even metal can give your child the rich, sensory experience that he or she needs. These materials are natural and safe for your kids. Even toys made from metal go through a die casting process that will leave a smooth surface that is safe to the touch.
So if you’re ready to invest in some ethically-made toys that will last longer and be safer for your babies, check out these ideas!
1. Busy Boat
Every child needs a great bath toy. This wooden toy boat is made from alder and birch and painted in bright colors with safe, non-toxic paint. It’s perfect for babies who are sitting up on their own and ready to explore shapes and colors.
2. Baby Buddy
If you’re looking for a toy that is colorful, soft to the touch, and 100% organic, you need to try out these Baby Buddies. They’re made from 100 percent Egyptian organic cotton with no fragrances, lead or BPA. They are also created at a fair trade farm in Egypt, so you can feel good about your purchase!
3. Train Sets
A train set is the perfect pre-school-age toy. Unfortunately, a lot of the train sets you can buy in a store are made in China with unsafe plastics and paint. You can buy wooden train sets that are unfinished, so you don’t have to worry about paint or finishing substances that are unsafe for kids to play with. When your little one is past the point of trying to eat their toys, a lovely metal train is fun for the whole family that will last for longer than any plastic toy.
4. Teething Rings
Many teething toys you can find in large department stores are cheaply made. Try looking for wooden teething toys. Wooden rings, finished in beeswax and olive oil, are completely safe for babies to put in their mouths. They are affordable and the perfect small gift for a baby shower!
5. Wooden Pull Toy
For babies who are learning to crawl or walk, pull toys are perfect companions. Pull toys that are made from natural wood and left unpainted are safe for babies. Look for an item finished in beeswax and sanded down smoothly so that little fingers don’t get hurt!
6. Cotton Teethers
If you’re looking for something soft for your baby to sink his new teeth into, you might want to look into these teethers made from cotton. They’re fair trade and made in Egypt out of 100 percent organic cotton. The colors used to dye the cotton are low-impact and metal-free. You don’t have to worry about the fabric ripping, because they are also stuffed with organic cotton. So there’s no need to be concerned about your child choking on the fluffy material typically used to stuff toys like this. Plus, this play set of bananas, grapes, green beans and carrots is perfect for teaching your baby about healthy fruits and veggies!
These are just a few ideas to get you started as you look for toys that are ethically made and safe for your little ones to play with! Do you buy other natural toys for your kids? If so, let us know in the comments!
Jennifer Landis is a 27-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.