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Sustainable Toys

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Remember how I said how crazy it is that little things in our everyday lives can be made sustainable? Well, that still holds true and each day I learn more! The journey of a sustainable lifestyle is a long one and full of learning curves but it’s so rewarding. It’s even more rewarding when you can help others on this journey. Take children for example. They pick up on everything adults do! So why not start teaching them from a young age of the importance of sustainability through something all children love? TOYS! Eco-friendly toys are here and they’re pretty neat if I say so myself. Here’s a list of some fantastic toys for the kids in your lives. Whether you gift it during the holidays, birthdays, or even a “just because” gift, they're sure to be loved and enjoyed!

Ahh, finger paint! If you’re a kid, you’ll have the time of your life. If you’re an adult and a kid just happened to get some on your new light colored couch, I’m sure you’re definitely not having the time of your life. Anyways, if you’re going to gift a child finger paints, why not gift a set that’s eco-friendly? These paints are non-toxic and are made from organic fruit, plant, and vegetable extracts such as purple sweet potato, red cabbage, earth clay, and rice flour. That definitely makes them safe for your kid and definitely safe for the environment. These kits come with five different color packets in powder form that only require water to mix, and can be used with brushes if your kid isn’t into using their fingers to paint.

I don’t know about you, but I love the scent of playdough! It definitely takes me back to my youth when I would make little pizzas out of playdough and serve them to my family members. What I didn’t know and wish my family knew then is how terrible mainstream brands of playdough are for the environment. Thankfully eco-friendly versions of playdough are easily available now! This set by Green Toys comes with flower shaped molds that are made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs. Also, with each pound of recycled milk jugs used to create products for this brand, enough energy to power 3,000 AAA batteries, a laptop for an entire month, and a TV for 3 weeks is SAVED! THAT’S INSANE! The dough itself is made from organic flour and is 100% safe, meeting the FDA Food Contact Standards. The product arrives in plastic-free recyclable product packaging and their products are made without BPA, PVC, or phthalates.

If you’ve ever looked through a child’s collection of toy trucks and cars, you’ll notice the infamous dump truck, or at least I have. But why give them just a simple dump truck? Why not gift them a recycling truck?! Not only does it replace that ordinary dump truck, but it also teaches the importance of composting and recycling at an age where children are more receptive to learning new habits and behaviors? This truck is made from 100% recycled milk jugs and comes with a moveable truck bed and a rear door that opens and shuts. It’s made without BPA, phthalates, or PVC, and does not contain any metal parts for added safety and sustainability! Still want the dump truck version? Click here!

All children at one point in their youth will have a toy instrument. So why choose one that’s made from virgin plastic and metal? Here’s an eco-friendly option for the aspiring musical prodigy in your lives! This Whale Animal Shaker Instrument by Green Tones is made from non-toxic rubberwood that is sustainably harvested and sourced from India. This rubberwood is extracted from trees that are near the end of their lifespans and no longer able to produce latex. It also contains noise producing pellets that are recyclable. The instrument is then finished with a clear coat that is water-based and non-toxic, making it safe and durable! Green Tones is also a certified 1% for the Planet member and donates 1% of their revenue to environmental organizations! Want another animal option? Here’s another instrument set from Green Tones featuring endangered animals.

Looking for a stocking stuffer for the holidays or a smaller, versatile gift for the holidays? Why not this Eco-Dough Holiday set by Eco-Kids? It’s made from non-GMO flour, salt, cream of tartar, soy oil, organic rosemary oil, and FDA approved pigments! Even the container is made from 100% recycled plastic and is still recyclable. Looking for a Hanukkah inspired set? Check out their Menorah eco-dough set!

Disclaimer, you might see a lot of instruments on this listacle but they’re so versatile and children really enjoy them! This wooden glockenspiel is made from sustainably harvested and non-toxic Mangowood from trees in India that have reached the end of their lifespan. The entire instrument itself is finished with a water-based non-toxic clear coating and comes with 8 aluminum bars that are tuned to C-major. Green Tones is a certified 1% for the Planet member and regularly donates 1% of their annual revenue to environmental organizations!

So this item is a bit on the pricier side clocking in at $299.95 but it’s very interactive! This set allows children to pretend to drive the car, change the tires, work on the engine, and it comes with a car key that is pull-able. The toy is made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees that have reached the end of their lifespan. The outer finish is made from E-Zero non-formaldehyde glue, and is also painted with non-toxic, water-based dyes. Also something neat about PlanToys is that they have their own children’s museum that is powered by solar energy! They also participate in a reforestation project to help absorb any CO2 emissions from their production by planting trees. How neat is that?!

Similar to the classic game that we all know and love, this version is made from 100% recycled fishing nets recovered from Chile. Some of the blocks even have images of ocean life that are currently threatened. The goal of the game, unlike the original version, is to save the animals by informing players of the effects of plastic pollution in the ocean and teach them what they can do to help. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have this version of Jenga!

Know a child that’s super into cars? Well why not give them a race car track? This ramp racer comes with the ramp and three specialty cars that perfectly fit the track. This toy is made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees that have reached the end of their lifespan. All products by the company are responsibly sourced and ethically produced in Trang, Thailand; this is where PlanToys volunteers and provides resources that benefit the local community.

I don’t know about you but I was a big fan of Sesame Street as a child! If your child was a fan like myself, they’ll definitely love this Sesame Street themed gardening set! Not only is it Sesame Street themed, but it also teaches them the importance of gardening. It’s made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs which helps reduce fossil fuels and CO2 emissions! The set comes with three planting pots, three packets of seeds, plant markers, and stick sheets that allow your child to completely customize their pots!

I loved playhouses when I was growing up! I don’t know about the child in your life, but I would literally spend HOURS playing! However, the dollhouses I was gifted are definitely not made from sustainable material. Don’t fret though! This dollhouse is made from 100% recycled milk jugs! It’s a multilevel house that comes with a bright yellow convertible, furniture, and two mouse characters. It also has an open back that allows for multiple options of rearrangement and makes it easier for cleanup since all of the pieces fit right inside!

This toy features two different sized drums, a cymbal, drumsticks, and a guiro. It stands just over 13 inches tall which is perfect for toddlers! Plus it’s made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees!

I truly believe that it’s incredibly important to be multilingual! Studies show the perfect time for a person to learn a new language is during the early years of development. This sign language set is perfect to help the child in your life become engaged with ASL! The set comes with 26 wooden tiles that are two sided. The first side has one of the 26 letters of the alphabet while the second side has the corresponding ASL image. Looking to teach your child Braille? Here’s the Braille version!

This beautiful plush toy is perfect for the ballerina obsessed child in your life! It’s made from 100% Organic cotton, filled with hypoallergenic corn fiber, and is GOTS certified. Looking for a plush toy other than a ballerina? Check out this Kozy Koala or the rest of the Apple Park Collection on EarthHero!

Perfect for the castle building lover in your life! This set comes with 18 colored blocked and 28 natural colored blocks in 11 different shapes. It’s made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees and contains no synthetic colors, chemical dyes, lead, or heavy metals.

It’s not just a banjo. It’s not just a ukulele. It’s a banjolele! This instrument comes with three adjustable strings and tuning pegs which really allows you to tune the instrument just by twisting it! The strings are even replaceable should they break or get worn out! Just like all of the toys by PlanToys, this instrument is also made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees!

Looking for a family game night toy? Look no further! On one side of the table, you can use it as a shuffleboard. Flip it over and you can easily play air hockey or disc flicking!

I loved tea sets as a child! My favorite was a porcelain and was of great quality for a toy that was straight from the $9.99 and under section of the bargain store. If you have a child who enjoys throwing tea parties, definitely look into this one by Green Toys! It’s a 17-piece set that comes with a tea pot and lid, sugar bowl and lid, and 4 cups, saucers, and spoons! Plus it’s made from 100% recycled milk jugs!

Ah, the epitome of childhood was playing with a kitchen set and serving the grown ups around you gourmet pizza made from the finest plastic material. This set by PlanToys comes with an oven, stove with actual turning knobs, frying pan, pot, and spatula. Unlike the plastic laden sets I’m sure all of us played with as children, this kitchen set is made from sustainably harvested rubberwood trees.


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