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THE BEST eco-friendly children's toys are kinder to the planet, made from recycled materials, wood or organic cloth. They're still just as much fun to play with, though.
The toy industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to creating waste from plastic toys, which end up in landfill and are made using fossil fuels.
You don't have to seek out eco-brands for the best environmentally friendly toys for kids, although look out for Scandi companies like Liewood, Fabelab and Dantoy, as well as Green Toys and Green Creativity.
These brands all share the mission of encouraging creativity in kids - but not at the expense of the planet.
Buying eco toys for children can be as simple as choosing wood toys, which will decompose naturally, instead of plastic.
We'd also recommend selecting toys that will grow with the kids, like train sets, toy kitchens or doll's houses, instead of one-off items the kids will play with once and forget about quickly.
Eco-toys aren't just better for the planet - they're better for your kids' welfare, and yours.
This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.
- (AD) Dantoy Bio Stacking Cups, £14 at Amazon - buy here
Danish brand Dantoy makes a range of stylish and well-liked eco-friendly children's toys out of sugarcane, designed to last for years and which are 100 per cent recyclable.
Choose from a variety of toys, like toy trucks and cooking sets; we'd also recommend the set of stacking cups, which have myriad uses for little ones, from bathtime fun to counting, building, sorting, filling with treasures and - of course - knocking over.
Fans love that these toys are "as sturdy as plastic", but without any of plastic's negatives.
2. Green Toys
- (AD) Green Toys Seaplane, Green, £20.99 at Amazon - buy here
With thousands of positive reviews, Green Toys' Sea Plane is an eco-winner - on air, on land, or in the water.
This sturdy design features a spinning propeller and chunky pontoons, and is made from BPA-free, non-toxic, recycled plastic.
'These toys are amazing. They are all very sturdy, safe and easy to clean", wrote one reviewer.
- Organic Cotton Bunny Pocket Friend, £15.95 at Liberty - buy here
This GOTS-certified organic cotton soft toy is ethically constructed and filled with corn fibre.
Since it's designed to fit in small pockets, it's the perfect pal to accompany your little one on all of their daily adventures.
You can also find Fabelab soft toys in organic cotton for little ones to snuggle in their beds.
- Make & Move 14-in-1 Ride, £200 on Kidly — buy now
One of the ways we can buy sustainably is to purchase less. This 14-in-1 ride is perfect for children who like to be on the move.
It is made from 100% recyclable aluminium and can be used by kids aged 6 months to 6 years. It has 14 different configurations or ride-on, scooter and tike.
With some scooters and bikes nearly £100 per one, this £200 one-off purchase could save you money in the long term — and new customers at Kidly get £5 off their first purchase (over £50) with the code FIRST5.
- Originale Balance Board Natural, £94 at Smallable - buy here
For an eco-toy that keeps your active kid occupied, a Wobbel board is an investment that grows with your child.
Made from beech wood, natural wood and lacquer, the board transforms into a boat, a slide, a bridge, a seesaw, a balance board, a toy horse, a bed to lie on - whatever your child needs it to be.
Kids can also use the Wobbel board as a shelf, desk and ledge for toys or books, so it really is a versatile piece of kit that can work for toddlers or teens.
6. Lanka Kade
- Lanka Kade Wooden Dog Number Jigsaw, £12.50 at Ethical Superstore - buy here
A quality toy that introduces little ones to numbers and helps with their fine motor skills, this colourful dog jigsaw is handcrafted in Sri Lanka.
It's made from sustainable rubberwood, painted with eco-friendly paint and each purchase helps provide employment to Sri Lankan families, as well as supporting schools across the country.
7. The Den Kit Company
- The Original Den Kit, £40 at Not On The High Street - buy here
Arguably, the best eco toy is the one that gives your child the opportunity to connect with nature.
This den kit is filled with everything a child needs for an outdoor adventure: waterproof tarpaulin and a groundsheet, a wooden mallet, an enamel mug, camouflage face paint, tent pegs in a bag and a khaki haversack made from cotton with a shoulder strap to carry it all.
You'll also find instructions for how to build a basic den.
Customers have noted that "it's a great way to encourage outdoor play".
8. Play For Future
- My First Ride recycled plastic car 58cm, £19.99 at Smyths - buy here
With its bright colours and smart design, this ride-on car simply looks like a more stylish alternative to other plastic cars.
The steered wheel and squeaking horn are designed to capture your child's attention and stimulate their curiosity, while Smyths also claims that it's been designed to support cognitive, emotional, sensory and psychomotor development.
And to make it even better, it's made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, is crafted in Italy and even features a squeaking horn. Beep, beep!
- Lanco Semilla Set, £23.99 from Envirotoy — buy now
Ditch the plastic bath toys and take on the 100% rubber ones. Lanco has been making natural rubber toys since 1952 and these plant teethers / bath toys will make a great addition to your bedtime routine.
The toys are free of PVC, BPA, Phythalates and Nitrosamines, and the latex Lanco used is harvested without herbicides from the Hevea Tree, a sustainable source.
All toys are hand painted with food grade dyes.
- Grimm's Two Bodies Magnet Puzzle, £24.49 from BabiPur — buy now
Known for their stackers and rainbow wooden toys, Grimm's is definitely one of our favourites when it comes to eco-friendly toys. This magnet puzzle is one for the whole family to join in.
Children can create two people with the 32 wooden pieces, making them walk, dance, jump, sit and interact with each other. Imagination is also key with this toy, as you can make anything with the pieces.
You can also use the magnetic pieces on the fridge, bringing joy to children in the kitchen while you're going about your daily tasks.
The pieces are 4mm thick and made from birch and poplar plywood which has been treated with non-toxic water based colour stain. The puzzle comes in a tin measuring 20cm. Each magnet person is approximately 20cm tall.
11. Plan Toys
- Plan Toys Vlogging Kit, £50 from Kidly — buy now
Children love roleplaying games and what better way to copy their parents vlogging habits safely than with a wooden kit?
The kit comes with a camera, right light, clip on microphone with adaptor and a selfie stick tripod—the kit used by modern day vloggers. Apart from the ring and bag, everything is made from wood.
And remember, new customers get £5 off orders over £50 with the code FIRST5.
- Triclimb Natural, £220 on Triclimb — buy now
For some parents, the thought of their children climbing anywhere gives them nightmares. But this triclimb is a great way for children to learn gross motor skills indoors.
The classic Triclimb triangle climbing frame is made from wood and has a quick folding mechanism. The brand describes the product as "naturally inspuring confidence and builds strength" as children reach new developmental stages.
There are cheaper alternatives on platforms such as Amazon, however if you want to invest in a well-crafted piece of indoor equipment, this is the one we recommend.
What is the best eco-friendly children's toy?
For us, the best eco-friendly toys are ones that are made from recycled materials, natural or organic materials or have a longer life span. This could mean they last through several development stages, meaning they are more of an investment.
Any toys that involve role play or imaginative play also score highly for us. The vlogger kit is a great purchase for children who love watching their favourite influencers on Instagram or just want to copy mum and dad.
We also recommend the Make & Move 14-in-1 ride as it can last children five years!
How much are eco-friendly children's toys?
It depends where you buy them from but due to the time and craftmaking that goes into these toys, you could be looking at anything between £10 or £300.
Another way to be sustainable is to buy toys second-hand — make sure to disinfect them before play.
Where to buy eco-friendly children's toys
Amazon is a great place to buy eco-friendly toys from as many brands have a store presence on the website.
However stores such as Babi Pur, Kidly, Not on the Highstreet and others have eco-friendly toys. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda have also started stocking eco-friendly brands, so keep an eye out during your weekly shop.
Check out Sun Selects to discover all the round ups for home, kids, fashion, food & drink and more.
Need toys for a newborn? We've rounded up our favourite newborn toys here.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best eco-friendly children's toys? Check out our selection of the best sunglasses for kids.
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