Buying eco, non-toxic toys for this age group can be a little trick. They go from being little babies to toddlers so fast and need toys that stimulate their fine motor skills. Many of these more interesting toys can have smaller pieces and are recommended for 24 months or even 3 years. However, I found some toys that can be used by toddlers between 12-24 months. The categories I cover include:
- Activity Centers
- Musical Instruments
- Shape Sorter
- Ride on
- Push n’ roll
- Small Wooden Dolls and Accessories
Larger Baby Dolls and Accessories
Cars and other Vehicles
For more information on the brands that I recommended and some info about them check them out at the bottom of this post.
This is a follow-up to my last post on this subject, Eco Toys for under 12 months. If you’re interested in buying for this age group or want to know more about why I prefer eco, non-toxic toys and more tips, please check it out.
We received the EverEarth My First Multi-Play Activity Cube as a gift was Octavia was only 6 months. She loves it, although it took a while until she could play with it properly. It’s really well made and it hasn’t aged. EverEarth makes a few different kinds of activity centres, differing in the size and style.
Music Activity Toys
Musical Instruments is something that will keep on getting used and are fun to play with your child. My mum bought her the BToys Meowsic (2-6 years) and a pack of wooden instruments. She often plays with them.
Initially, we didn’t get a shape sorter since the EverEarth activity centre and activity walker both have wooden Shape blocks to put through holes. My mother did later buy Octavia a Playgro Shape sorter from Aldi, which is BPA free and phthalates free. However, according to a Facebook response, it may contain PVC. So since I don’t feel like they are a particularly eco-friendly company I have not added it to this list.
Puzzles are something that Octavia really loves. We have a couple of Melissa and Doug Animal Puzzles which are a lot of fun but there are concerns about the lead content. Octavia doesn’t put them in her mouth so we have kept them. But otherwise, these ones are really nice safer options.
We got Octavia blocks when she was 9 months and she still plays with them now shes two. It’s something we like to play together as a family. There are many eco brands, but most don’t recommend for children under 2 or 3 years. These ones are all for 12-18 months.
We actually won the EverEarth Walker when Octavia was only 5 months. It is like an Activity Centre, and includes blocks and xylophone hammer. She has got a lot of use out of it. The wheels were a bit tight though so she didn’t walk with it that much. Some of these other ones look they would be great for first steps.
We ended up getting Octavia a wooden balance bike, which she still struggles to ride. Some of these ones are probably better options for little ones learning to ride.
5. Wheely Bug
Octavia has two horses that she rides alot, one of which is my originally wooden horse. At her kindy they also have the Hape Rocking boat, which is really nice.
Push n’ Roll
We never got Octavia one of these toys, but if she was a bit yonger I would of loved to get her one of these bird themed pushers.
Small Wooden Dolls and Accessories
We still haven’t got Octavia a doll house. Most are recommended for older children due to the small parts. However, these brands are recommended for 18 months. I’d love to get her the Indigo Jamm Hascombe House.
Larger Baby Dolls and Accessories
Last Christmas we bought Octavia the Miniland 38cm doll. She loves it. She also received the Hape Pram, which is recommended for older kids. These other brands, however, are recommended for 18 months if you prefer to be safer. The Miniland dolls fit great in all of these and are the only plastic dolls that I’ve come across that are made of safer materials. I also love that they come in many different ethnicities, come in both genders and are anatomically correct.
Cars and other Vehicles
Finding cars and other vehicles for this age group is also tricky as well. These ones are the only ones I have come across that are safe for this age. If Octavia was into cars I would definitely love to get her one of the Green Toys Vehicles.
Here’s a bit of info about the brands that I have recommended. Always check that the product you are interested, in case it is made with different materials than listed below.
Djeco is a French company, which designs unique children’s toys. Their products are manufactured to strict quality and safety standards and meet both European and Australian requirements.
Their wooden musical toys are manufactured from sustainable beech and birch wood and non-toxic paints.
EverEarth is a UK based company. Their toys are made from sustainable, FSC® (C106741) -certified wood. Their products are made of sustainable FSC beech wood and finished with non-toxic water-based paints and stains. Earth uses environmentally friendly soy ink on product packaging and assembly instruction and 70% of all packaging for toys is recycled paperboard. The company also complies with ISO 14001 Environmental Management and adheres to the highest socially responsible practices for its workers.
Innovative Kids is an American company that Green Start is branded under. Their Wooden Toys made with wood from sustainable forests. Packaged in a reusable carry-along case. Printed with vegetable inks and all outer packaging made from 98% post-consumer recycled materials. Tested to meet or exceed all required Federal standards, including Federal Hazardous Substances Act Regulations, Flammable Solid, Total Lead Content, Soluble Heavy Metals Content in Surface Coating Materials and Phthalates Content and the Standard Consumer Safety Specification on Toy Safety. Final testing is done under the CPSC and ASTM standards.
Green Toys is an American based toy company. All toys are made in the USA, with 100% recycled plastic. They are free of BPA, phthalates and PVC and meets FDA food contact standards. Packaged can be recycled and is made of recyclable materials and printed with soy inks.
Grimm’s is a German-based company that makes wooden toys and products. They do all the design work, the surface finish and treatment, assembly, quality control, packing and shipping in Germany. However, the woodworking is outsourced to a few independent shops in Europe only. The wood is only sourced from sustainably managed forests in Europe. They use alder, lime, beech and maple trees. All colours and oils are certified in accordance with the EN 71 and CPSIA/ASTM 963 standards.
Hape is a UK based company and is the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials. Their toys are made from Baltic Birch and Maple from FSC managed forests with non-toxic, child-safe finishes. Their toys comply with the EN71 (European norm of toys) and ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials).
This is a Thai based brand under Artiwood Educational Toys. They produce highly-creative, multi-functional wooden and fabric toys which have been carefully designed and produced using environmentally-friendly materials including Rubberwood cultivated on plantations in Thailand. They are finished with non-toxic child-safe paints and lacquers. All toys comply with EN 71 Series of Standards for design and manufacturing their products.
Indigo Jamm is a UK based toy company. Their factory is in China and is monitored by the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI), And has been awarded ICTI’s seal of compliance. Their wooden toys are made of sustainable rubberwood from Thailand and plantation wood from low-risk species in China. Every Indigo Jamm toy has been tested and certified to comply with the latest EU Toy Safety Directives. All toys are tested by independent laboratories to meet both European (EN71) and American (ASTM) standards.
IQ Plus is based in Bangkok, Thailand. They utilize renewable plantation-farmed wood in our wide range of musical instruments. Instruments are made from sustainable and natural rubberwood from Thailand.
Janod is a French company specializing in toys and traditional wooden games but also cardboard. Wooden toys made from certified FSC sources, which means the wood originates from responsibly managed forests that preserve biodiversity, the ecology, as well as protecting the rights of indigenous people. Toys are manufactured to strict quality and safety standards, meeting both European and Australian requirements.
Le Toy Van is a Uk based company. Their toys are designed in the UK but are manufactured at an ICTI approved factory based in Indonesia. All their wooden toys are painted with safety tested and approved water-based paints, oil paints and/or varnishes. Le Toy Van toys adhere to the stringent EN71 guidelines and are regularly tested to adhere to the EC declaration of conformity.
Miniland Group is a Spanish holding company with four business lines including baby products, educational toys, and promotional items. These dolls are designed in the US and made in Spain from smooth and durable phthalate-free vinyl, this doll contains no BPA which is often found in plastic baby dolls.
Plan Toys is an American company. Their products are made from natural rubberwood trees that no longer produce latex. To keep the wood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil three years prior to cut the trees down. They use Chemical-Free Kiln-Dried to strengthen the wood and PlanWood. The products do not contain Formaldehyde Glue. They use organic colour pigment; water-based dyes; soy ink and recycled paper. Their products exceed international safety standards including both ASTM (USA) and EN71 (Europe).
QToys is part of Melbourne-based Quinn’s group. They utilise green practices by making products from plantation rubber, Acacia timber, and recycled timber from coconut trees. Recycled branches from rubber trees and Acacia trees are also used in many designs. Made in Vietnam by craftsmen and craftswomen who are paid a fair wage in stable employment, not through unskilled or unpaid labour. QToys also provides training to disabled youths in Mekong Delta to learn woodworking. QToys produced for the Australian market strictly comply with Australian and New Zealand toy safety standards. Additionally, most Q Toys also have the CE mark which means that they have been tested by qualified testing organizations according to the European safety standards for toys.
Steiner Waldorf dolls are made for Australian company Play to Grow. These dolls are unique creations by women who are Tibetan refugees and local Indian villagers living in the Northern Indian Himalayas. This project aims to empower its artisans by training them in new skills and creating meaningful, income generating and enjoyable work opportunities within a homely and supportive environment. The workshop is a small-scale, self-sufficient, socially aware enterprise which abides by fair trade principles. Dolls are made of natural materials, such as cotton, wool, silk, wood.
Tegu is an American based company. Toys are designed in the USA but are made in Honduras. Their toys made of eco-friendly, sustainably sourced hardwoods. They use safe, non-toxic, water-based lacquers (for colours and clear coats). Their products conform to most international safety requirements for toys, including regulations in the USA (CPSIA), Europe (EN71) and Canada (Health Canada, excluding Quebec).
Wheely Bugs is an Australian based company. Their products adhere to the compulsory Safety Testing requirements for every country we sell to, so we regularly have the entire range tested to EN71(Europe), ASTM (U.S.A.), AS/NZS ISO (Australia and New Zealand). All materials are tested for migration of elements i.e. no harmful chemicals are present and /or accessible to little hands and mouths. These include; to name a few well-known substances such as lead, phthalates or formaldehyde but the list of elements tested is very long. Every batch of covering material and ink tested for harmful chemicals. Made in a large, modern factory on the edge of Shenzhen city offers a pleasant work atmosphere where workers are paid above award wages with holiday and sick leave. All the employees are above 18 years of age and provided with accommodation and meals.
Wonderworld is based in Thailand. Their wooden toys are made of rubberwood and all paints used are water-based, non-toxic and safe for children. All products comply with international standard ASTM and EN-71.