The toddler years are when the gift giving fun begins! Their little bodies and brains are still developing so it’s important to choose nontoxic and eco-friendly toys for toddlers.
Table of contents
- Eco-Friendly Gifts for Toddlers
- Experience Gifts for Toddlers
- More on Safe Toys for Kids
Eco-Friendly Gifts for Toddlers
This is one of the easiest stages to please kids with toys. They haven’t been impacted by their peers (or screens, we hope) too much, so surprises can be super exciting.
You’ll find a lot of wooden toys here because I believe battery-free toys are best for small children. They also tend to last longer (and create no e-waste) than battery powered or cheap plastic toys which makes them better for the environment.
While it’s certainly fine to have some musical or interactive toys, the ones that encourage your child’s imagination and offer open ended play are best for the toddler age range. And don’t overdo it. The truth is that kids can focus more when they have fewer toys to choose from.
Our list of sustainable toys for toddlers meets most of the following criteria: safe, nontoxic, durable, plastic free (or at least free from BPA or PVC), and overall free from harmful chemicals.
Toddler Busy Board
The toddlers on our team LOVE a busy board. This one is personalized and so cute! Made from high-quality organic birch wood, this company takes extra care to make sure their items are safe for small children. The edges are round and sanded, the paints are nontoxic and water-based with no toxic smell and won’t chip during use. Everything is securely fastened too.
This busy board offers your toddler the ability to handle everyday items, boost fine motor skills, critical thinking, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and letter recognition.
Wooden Smoothie Maker
Sure, you can get plenty of fun wooden food sets like pizzas and birthday cakes. But why not start a familiarity with healthy foods early on too? This wooden blender with smoothie fruits is adorable. The blender knob makes clicking sounds. Your child can fill in the motor vroom.
This adorable and easy to clean table and chair set is made from sustainable beech wood. If you’re looking for eco friendly gifts for 2 year olds and beyond, this set will last for years and provide endless entertainment for tea parties, puzzle working, LEGO building, coloring, and more.
Wooden Balance Beam
Balancing on a log or beam is a fun way to nourish a child’s vestibular system. It also helps with coordination and gross motor skill development.
The Little Gymnast balance board is light to handle and flat for easy storage. It’s made from premium birch hardwood and finished with a baby friendly sealant with no harmful VOCs. It also includes furniture grade anti-slip pads. For ages 18 months to 8 years.
Toddler Croquet Set
Our boys loved playing croquet outside when they were little. Occasionally we had to stop them “sword fighting” with the mallets, but overall it was a lot of family fun. This wooden set works great for indoors or outdoors.
Inspire your toddler’s musical creativity with this panflute. Handmade in Peru from sustainable materials, your child can make music by blowing across the top of the holes. According to legend, the ancient Greek god Pan was in love with a nymph who was turned into a reed by another deity. Pan played music upon this reed for consolation.
With a solidly-crafted wooden climbing toy, you can create a safe environment for your toddler to navigate and learn new skills. There are loads of benefits of climbing for toddlers.
Made with FSC Birch plywood coated with non-toxic stains and sealants and available in 14 colors, your toddler can climb, rock, “read”, build a fort, put on a puppet show and so much more.
In climbing mode, it can help little ones build self-confidence, motor skill development, balance control, and muscle growth.
If you like keeping up with toddler milestones, these developmentally appropriate play kits will be a hit in your home. These quarterly play kits encourage your child’s budding independence, creativity, — and even learn early STEM lessons — as they grow from baby to big kid.
Select your child’s age range and enjoy a new kit of safe, nontoxic toys and projects once every three months. You can cancel the subscription at any time.
Recycled Plastic Car Carrier
The double-decker car carrier from Green Toys is a hit with toddlers! It has two working ramps and space for three mini cars. Mini Cars. It’s great for both indoor and outdoor play, and helps hone fine motor skills and imaginative play.
It’s made in the USA from recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. All of Green Toys packaging is made from recyclable materials and printed with soy inks.
You’ll find so many uses for this kid-friendly tower! Toddlers can climb in and out by themselves, getting them to kitchen counter height to safely work, learn, cook, or be creative along side you.
Designed by a Montessori school educator, this tower lifts your child to kitchen counter height to encourage interaction and togetherness between children and parents.
In addition to meeting all government safety standards, this handy, safe step stool is Greenguard Gold Certified, contributing to cleaner indoor air and a healthier environment. Find more on the benefits of Montessori in the kitchen here.
When it comes to eco-friendly gifts for toddlers, wooden toys can easily top the list. Especially when they’re made from sustainably harvested wood and finished with organic oils. Smiling Tree Toys are handmade in Minnesota, USA. They also plant a tree for every toy sold.
Sustainable Craft Supplies
Nearly every 3-year-old I’ve known has loved dinosaurs. Because I’ve known a few toddler “experts” on the subject, I included this craft set in our eco-friendly gifts for toddlers selection. These are typically recommended for kids ages 2-7.
With this craft set, your pint-sized paleontologist will experience the excitement of a dinosaur dig and reconstruction project, create their own dinosaur habitat, learn how fossils are made by creating their own imprints, and hatch baby dinosaurs from DIY papier-maché dinosaur eggs.
Green Kid Crafts offers a monthly subscription that also makes a great sustainable gift for Christmas or birthdays.
Experience Gifts for Toddlers
Giving the gift of an experience is the ultimate way to make sure your gift never ends up in a landfill. Toddlers are curious, so any gift that nurtures their inner adventurer makes a great gift.
Anything your little one loves to do will work here. You can get passes to the place or activity. Or make little coupons with pictures (drawn or cut out) showing the fun things they’ll get to do.
If you need some inspiration, here are some fun ideas for toddler experience gifts. Some of these can double as a whole family gift.
- tumbling, jumping, gymnastics, dance, or martial arts lessons
- passes to state or national parks
- zoo or animal sanctuary passes
- mini golf tickets
- water park or theme park passes
- music lessons
- swimming lessons
- a “date” at their favorite restaurant
More on Safe Toys for Kids
These articles offer more advice and ideas about choosing safe and eco-friendly gifts for toddlers and kids of all ages. And you can stay up to date with all the latest on natural parenting when you subscribe to Green Child Magazine.