The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means plastic, plastic, plastic everywhere! We love seeing our toddlers’ faces light up when they unwrap all those toys, but it’s a lot of waste in a landfill. Plus, your little one is growing up and changing so fast, and most of last year’s toys ended up forgotten or in the trash by the time this year rolled around. Why does everything have to be so disposable and short-lived?
Actually, It Doesn’t!
You’re not alone: many families have noticed how wasteful and bad for the environment the toy industry can be, and there’s an eco-friendly revolution taking place as we speak. Toddler toys in particular can be the biggest culprits because the interests of children often change dramatically from year-to-year at that age.
Eco-friendly toys are designed with sustainability in mind. However, eco-friendly producers aren’t just interested in avoiding plastics and shoddy manufacturing. Companies like Little Partners want to create products for toddlers that are sustainable and ethical from one end of the supply chain to the other.
Sustainable Labor Practices
An eco-friendly toy begins with healthy labor practices. Many toys are manufactured in unsafe conditions and dimly-lit warehouses. Workers may be underpaid or underfed, or is the worst cases produced by child labor. There’s no more awful thought for a parent than giving their child a toy produced under such terrible conditions!
Toys that are good for the environment should be made from biodegradable, quickly replaceable materials that do not adversely affect the world your toddler will inherit one day. Wood is an excellent sustainable product that, when ethically and responsibly sourced, produces great toys that keep our environment healthy.
Longevity of Use
You must be tired of throwing out last year’s toys in the bin because your son or daughter has moved onto other things. It’s only been 12 months and it’s like they’re a completely different person!
We don’t think about it as often as we should, but toy longevity is a very important quality in a sustainable toy. Some toys are destined for the garbage can the second they show up, but others seem to linger and transform year after year in the developing hands and minds of your creative little buddy. These are the toys worth spending a little more on: they save the environment and keep on giving back.
This Year’s Top 6 Eco-Friendly Toys for Toddlers
We’ve talked to parents and done the research, and we’ve heard you! You want to make this holiday’s toys for your toddler last for many years to come. Here are our top 6 picks for this year’s best eco-friendly toys.
1. Little Partners Learning Tower
The Little Partners Learning Tower is one of the premier sustainable toys in the market today. It is made of 100% wood, and is designed to bring your best little friend up to all those adult-height surfaces where you can learn and interact together.
Little Partners is also an industry leader in ethical manufacturing standards so your time spent interacting with your toddler can be guilt free, and the Learning Tower is kid-approved to keep up with them as they grow.
2. cuddle + kind’s Baby Fawn
The cuddle + kind Baby Fawn is not just the cutest, softest stuffed animal on the market, it’s also one of the most sustainable! The Baby Fawn is hand-knitted with Peruvian cotton yarn, and your toddler will be handing this adorable toy to their own little one someday.
Cuddle + kind is dedicated to eradicating child hunger, and for every one of their dolls they sell they donate 10 meals to children in need.
3. Learn and Share Easel
The Learn and Share Easel is another fun and eco-friendly offering from the developers at Little Partners. This art platform is crafted entirely out of sustainable wood, and like the Learning Tower, is designed to be a creative platform for skills and exploration that will last a lifetime.
4. Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set
Tegu is committed to creating sustainable toys that are both creatively inspirational for your toddler and will help them develop the physical and mental skills they need. The 14-piece Magnetic Wooden Block set will provide hours of creative interaction, and all of Tegu’s products are ethically produced from sustainable, non-toxic products.
5. Green Toys Stacking Cups
Green Toys is all about safe, recyclable plastic toys, and this darling stacking cup set is no exception. This set of six uniquely-shaped cups can be manipulated and combined in endless patterns and shapes. Your toddler will love them, and they are completely safe: Green Toys ensures their toys contain no BPA, phthalates, or PVC, they are printed with soy inks, and are made of 100% recycled plastic.
6. 2-in-1 Climbing Ramp Slide
The 2-in-1 Climbing Ramp Slide is another excellent contribution from Little Partners. The Ramp Slide is both a slide and a small ladder, and the two can be combined to create many different variations for your child to experiment with and enjoy.
The Ramp Slide can also be combined with other Little Partners toys such as the Learning Tower. The possibilities—and its eco-friendly sustainability—are endless!