Hey y’all! Today I wanted to share with you my favorite eco friendly toys for babies and young toddlers! (Mostly wooden, but some cloth as well!) I am obsessed with wooden toys! They’re SO adorable! Besides being cute and aesthetically pleasing though, there are a lot of advantages to buying wooden toys over plastic.
Plastic toys are often cheaply made, easily breakable, and contain harmful toxins like BPA, which is mostly concerning for young babies who try to eat everything. Many also require batteries and light up/move/dance around and make sounds, which is not only super obnoxious for parents to listen to all day (Am I right?! Haha), but they can be overstimulating and they don’t require much imagination or creativity; a lot of them just require the child to sit and watch what the toy does. Wooden toys are strong and durable and will last for generations! They’re the kind of toys you hold on to and save for all your kids and even your future grandkids to play with. They’re classic and far less likely to end up in a landfill after a year or two like cheaper plastic toys. They will grow with your child a lot too. Gabe’s wooden blocks that he digs through and mostly chews on now will last him for years and will be so well loved even when he’s an older child which makes them a worthy investment. Even Ryan and I enjoy building things with them for Gabe to knock over. It’s fun! Many wooden toys are great for a wide range of ages. Wooden toys also inspire so much creativity and imagination when playing with them. The child has to make the noises for it and move it themselves, rather than pushing a button for a train to “choo choo” and move along the track. (Just a random example.) Pretend play is so important for little minds, and simpler toys require so much more imagination. They also just feel better in your hands. They have weight and texture! I don’t know why this is more appealing, but it is. Haha
Now, I’m not going to refuse to own plastic toys.. I know Gabe will inevitably have them. 😉 I know Ryan is particularly excited for Gabe to play with legos one day!! (Legos are awesome.) But I do see a lot more value in wooden toys (and fabric/cloth toys!) than plastic and I want to invest in some great classics that will be well loved by Gabe and all our other future children! 🙂 Here are my favorites we have in our collection so far and some others on my wish list that I’ll probably splurge for over the next few years of birthdays and Christmases. I get legitimately excited to buy great toys because I want to play with them too, so I have an ongoing wish list. Haha 🙂
Disclosure: The Amazon links are affiliate links that earn me a small commission if you make a purchase through them, but don’t cost you any more. As always I only link to things I really love.
1. Wonderworld cars– I have this police car now but hope to get a few more. These are super sturdy!! Very well made and durable, and they have rubber wheels so they actually go fast! Most other wooden toy cars I’ve found have wooden wheels so they’re not as much fun to roll around because they don’t roll on carpet. This thing goes fast and the little person doesn’t come out, so less little pieces to get lost. I love it! They also have regular cars, an ambulance, school bus, recycling truck, bulldozers, etc! Highly recommend these.
2. Melissa and Doug wooden blocks– These are awesome! We play with them almost everyday.
3. Race track– The little cars are a little too small for babies, but Gabe likes watching the cars go down the track. Its a great piece for little boys! Ryan’s dad has one of these in his office and they play with it every time Gabe goes to see him. 🙂
4. Wooden shape roller– This toy is a classic and I love the wooden one. One peg slides up to remove the blocks. Gabe loves rolling this around and playing with the blocks inside. When he’s a bit older it’ll be great for teaching him about shapes. 🙂
5. Stacking toy– Another classic! Great for learning but they also double as donuts. 😉
My Wish List
These are toys we don’t have yet but they’re on my radar for birthday/Christmas and I wanted to share them with y’all because they’re so fun! Most of these are not quite baby toys but I’m sure he will love them before long! I’m keeping the list at only small toys right now because we are living in a small apartment and don’t have much room for big toys like little kitchens or teepees or rocking horses, although I’d love to get some of that stuff one day..maybe for a future baby or once we move. 😉
1. Holztiger animals– These are a little pricey but they’re SO cute and well made. They look so fun to play with! They make every animal it seems like. I hope to get a few of these if I can find them at a good price. I see them on resell apps and eBay sometimes so I’m keeping my eyes peeled and will grab them when I can!
2. Felt food and felt campfire!- This stuff is all over Etsy and I am obsessed! Like really obsessed. I send photos of felt food to my sister all the time gushing over how adorable it is and how bad I want it. Hahaha…Both Ryan and I love to cook (and eat) and Gabe loves to watch so I think he will enjoy playing with fake food when he’s a bit bigger. Ideally I’d love to improve my sewing skills and try to make some myself!! (Goals!!) But a lot of it is definitely out of my wheelhouse. Its so detailed! And that campfire! As a family that owns/runs a campground, I love this and want to “play camping” with this so bad when Gabe gets a little older. Just need a teepee to go with it! Anyone else daydream about playing pretend with their kids when they get bigger? Haha I don’t think I ever fully grew up. 🙂 The two links are two of my favorite shops I’ve found on Etsy but there are lots of other great ones! I get sucked into a rabbit hole of felt toys on Etsy when I get going. 😉 Love it all!
3. Grimm’s rainbow stacker– This is expensive too (most wooden toys seem to be!) and at first when I saw these, I just thought they were nice and would look adorable on a toy shelf but not something that would really get played with much. Then I started seeing all these creative ways to play with rainbow stackers and now I kinda want one. Haha! You can use them to make pictures, use them as bridges or tunnels for your toy cars, make a marble run, build a house, stack them in all sorts of unique ways, and even build sculptures with them! So fun! Here’s a blog about all the ways you can play with a rainbow stacker. I think it would be a great investment toy if you can get your hands on one! 🙂
That’s it for now! These are the few toys we’re loving right now and a few on my radar for gifts! Maybe I’ll make a part two down the road and talk about some of our other favorites!
What are your favorite toys!?