We’ve all been warned about the dangers of toxic chemicals in products, and that includes our kids’ toys. Here are our favorite green playthings, which are safer alternatives to their mainstream, made-in-China counterparts. Best of all, these award-winning products will grow with your children. How many toys can do that?
$123, Ages 3+
Boys and girls will spend hours playing with this modern modular dollhouse, composed of three units that can be arranged in 10 ways. Features include a moveable staircase, solar cell roofs that flip to become gardens and modern furniture to decorate each room. Add-ons like dolls, a playground and other furniture can be purchased to enhance the playhouse. Toys are made from sustainable materials like natural rubberwood and dried with a chemical-free kiln. They are then assembled using formaldehyde-free glue rather than toxic wood glue, as well as organic color pigment and safer water-based dyes.
$229, Ages 1-5
Husband and wife team Rich and Jen set out to create a child’s bike that would be environmentally sustainable and reduce consumption. They achieved their goal: a bike that would grow with a child so parents wouldn’t have to keep buying new replacements. Starting at 12 months old, the bike can be used as a baby walker. The walker transforms into a push tricycle, then to a small balance bike and finally to a large balance bike. All Wishbone products are made from sustainably-harvested birch and eucalyptus wood, non-toxic glues and finishes, and recycled packaging. The website’s ™design studio∫ lets kids customize their bikes with personalized nameplates, colored seat covers and grips, and funky stickers.
$30, Ages 2+
Think of this learning game as a whimsical Jenga for kids. Take turns stacking the numbered blocks and placing Humpty Dumpty on top.Then, try to remove a brick from the wall without letting him fall. The game can be played alone or in pairs, all intended to help develop basic math skills. We love that it’s eco-friendly! It is made of all natural rubberwood (sustainably harvested wood) and uses non-toxic child-safe stains.
Maple Landmark has been making eco-friendly educational wooden toys since 1979 at its shop in Vermont. My Activity Clock teaches toddlers how to tell time, learn the days of the week and note the weather outside. Putting the interchangeable activity disks in and out of the clockface helps children develop gross motor skills and learn about creating a schedule and routine. The backs of each activity disc are blank so children or parents can write in their own activities.