Deciding what kind of toys to buy a little one is always a difficult decision. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know exactly what they might love the most! Luckily, wooden baby toys can last a lifetime and inspire immense creativity and joy, all without the toxic environmental and health effects of plastic toys. Here’s our guide to helping you decide on why, how, and where to purchase wooden baby toys.
Why consider wooden baby toys?
It’s ironic that plastic toys, which last many lifetimes in a landfill, tend to be far less durable than wooden baby toys. A wooden baby toy set of heirloom quality can be passed down for generations, without exposing our children to the toxic chemicals in unsustainable plastic products.
Choosing organic wooden baby toys is especially important because babies love to explore through touch and taste - it takes more than baby wipes or shampoo to keep them toxin-free! Shopping for sustainability, especially in toys, makes a big difference to the planet and our health! Wooden baby toys also come directly from nature, with all the unique characteristics of the individual tree that made them. Nurturing love and connection with the natural world in our young ones is one of our most powerful tools to protect this planet we all love.
How to shop for wooden baby toys?
In general, choosing more eco-friendly products is not as difficult as it might seem. You just need to practice knowing what to look out for. To consider organic wooden baby toys we always start with the materials used. We then consider the sourcing practices of the brands in question, as well as their corporate responsibility practices. Of course, no brand is perfect, but asking these questions helps us navigate the complexity of options and information out there, and make a responsible decision with our purchase. Here’s what this will look like for eco-friendly baby toys.
1. What types of materials and fabrics does the brand use?
When considering materials, we are looking into what a product is made of. The best wooden toys for babies contain no plastic parts, source sustainably harvested and maintained materials, and have a good end-of-life processing. To avoid greenwashing look for certifications such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or ICTI Ethical Toy Program.
2. Are the materials sourced ethically?
Ethical sourcing has to do with how the products are made across the supply chain. We look for sustainable sourcing practices and ethical production standards in material sourcing and wooden baby toy production.
Sustainable sourcing practices for wooden baby toys often mean the use of organic material, recycled content, FSC certification, and regenerative harvesting practices. It can also mean water and waste reduction programs, or ethical standards like fair wages, safe working conditions, and community investments.
3. What is the brand's corporate responsibility?
Evaluating this question means thinking about how brands see their responsibility to take care of their local community and the planet as a whole. We look for more sustainable packaging, environmental initiatives, charitable works, and good treatment of their workers and the communities in which they operate.
Our favorite eco-friendly wooden baby toys
To help you make a decision you can feel great about, here are our recommendations for some wonderful and sustainable wooden baby toys!
We all know and love the classic wooden block set, but Tegu shakes things up with magnets in their heirloom quality wooden baby toys, creating a more stimulating and eco-friendly baby toy. Among the best wooden toys for babies, their interlocking sets create limitless opportunities to grow your collection and unbound your child's imagination and creativity!
You can feel comfortable with their organic wooden baby toys, which are plastic-free, lead-free, and finished with non-toxic water-based lacquer.
Tegu’s eco-friendly baby toys are designed in the United States and produced in Honduras, where they partner with worker cooperatives to harvest FSC-certified hardwoods, ensuring long-term forest sustainability. Every purchase also gives back, and contributes to a healthy local environment, because Tegu plants a tree for every wooden baby toy set sold.
This adorable brand creates some of the best wooden toys for babies with safe sustainable materials. Their imaginative nature-inspired toys are realistic and beautifully designed, inspiring a loving connection and interest in nature from an early age! Beyond inspiring future generations of sustainability leaders, Tender Leaf Toys sources repurposed rubberwood from Indonesia and plants 10 trees for every order in support of reforestation projects.
In recognition of their efforts, including plastic-free packaging and safe paints, these organic wooden baby toys have received the ICTI Ethical Toy seal of approval for a sustainable supply chain.
Inspired by the Dutch word “kinderfiets,” meaning children's bike, Kinderfeets Waldorf-style wooden toys for babies are inspired by the love, adventure, and independence of Dutch children's cycling. These eco friendly baby toys are sourced from sustainable materials, made beautiful with non-toxic water-based paints and lacquers, and presented in minimalist recycled packaging to reduce waste.
A Kinderfeets organic baby toy is non-toxic and good for the environment because it sources regenerative chemical and pesticide-free bamboo fibers, fast-growing birch wood, or German FSC-certified beech wood. Kinderfeets also encourages sustainability by donating a portion of its annual profits to Trees for the Future — a non-profit tree planting and forest protection organization. Introduce your little ones as early as you can to active play with Kinderfeets — it’s good for their health and the planets!
4. Plan Toys
In the face of so much greenwashing, brands like Plan Toys make me feel rejuvenated and refreshed in their passionate, authentic, and comprehensive pursuit of sustainability in their operations. Plan Toys sources their eco-friendly baby toys from repurposed rubber trees that are too old to continue producing, and every step is sustainability-focused using chemical-free materials.
With other initiatives like an organic baby toy line made from surplus sawdust material, renewable energy use in their operations, and plant-based ink, they go the extra planet-protecting mile! It’s no wonder that Plan Toys has received over 70 awards for their wonderful wooden baby toys that help your little one learn through play while positively impacting the world around them.
Grimms signature wooden toys for babies are made to stack and nest with one another, bursting with color and showcasing the comforting look and feel of a wooden baby toy. The changing features and colors of the natural wood grain make every Grimms organic baby toy one of a kind — connecting children with the diverse beauty of nature from an early age. Grimms preserves resources by designing a durable product that can be repaired and cared for at home, and sources their eco-friendly baby toys using FSC-certified European wood.
They also use renewable electricity, and recyclable materials, and even help their employees reduce the carbon footprint of transportation through a bicycle leasing program! I just love the idea that Grimms produces unique handcrafted wooden baby toys that connect your young ones back to individual trees, while also embodying a passion to protect the environment that you can feel proud to support!
6. Le Toy Van
Le Toy Van creates European-style, heirloom quality wooden baby toys with their own creative variations on classic designs. Wooden baby toys can be much better for the planet when they source sustainably harvested wood, helping them to be safe and sustainable for the entire product life. Le Toy Van uses sustainably harvested wood sourced from repurposed rubberwood trees and biodegradable plastic replacements to ensure that their eco-friendly baby toys have a positive impact on the planet.
Le Toy Van aims for zero waste products, and sources renewable energy, and partners with One Tree Planted to restore forests around the globe. You can feel comfortable knowing that Le Toy Vans wooden baby toys are ICTI Ethical Toy Program certified for the highest standard of safety and environmental responsibility.
A final word on wooden baby toys
Our babies are so precious to us, yet their bodies are more delicate than ours, which is why it’s so important to make informed purchasing decisions and let their creativity and joy explore freely! I hope this guide has helped you learn more about shopping for wooden baby toys and introduced you to some of my favorite brands with innovative and responsible sustainability practices we can all support.
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