In time for Christmas, I thought I better share with you guys some of my favourite picks of Eco Toys for two to three-year-olds. My daughter 2 and a half, so we are familiar with many of these toys. This age group love to do a lot of pretending play. This is an expression of what they have learned from the world that surrounds them. It’s a really fun time to watch them pretending to copy us and be in charge of something smaller than them. It also makes play with us a bit more interesting, as the toddler can now take the lead.
My daughter is really interested in animals, miniature homes, baby dolls to care for, puzzles, cooking and performing with instruments. When I began looking for toys to satisfy these interests I did find that most are recommended for age 3 years and above. However, I manage to track down quite a few eco toys that can be played with from age 2 years. Since my daughter has never been one to put things in her mouth I have bought her a few toys for 3 years old, with no issues. However, always be aware of the recommended ages and that these toys often contain small parts that your child could put in their mouth.
The categories that I have covered include:
- Animal figurines
- Animal and doll houses
- Baby dolls and accessories
- Memory games
- Kitchens and appliances
- Tea and coffee sets
- Pretend food and utensils
- Workbenches and Tools
- Building & destroying
- Little Shopper
- Activity/Music Centre
- Other pretending play toys
These picks are of course only a snapshot of what many of these great eco brands offer. So take a look at what else is available in their ranges to find the best toys that suit your child. These toys are all currently available in the Australian market. Be sure to google the toy name, as the websites that are linked to the brands and probably won’t able to ship to Australia. There are plenty of in-store and online toy stores that stock these items. If you have any questions about these toys, their materials and safety, its always best to email the brand directly and I’m sure they would be too happy to answer your questions.
At the end of this post, I have also included some links and information on where to find Eco toys, Safety standards and Certifications and a bio on these Eco brands.
- AnaMalz (sold separately) 3+
- Click Clack Toys Click Critterz 3+
- Everearth Bamboo Dinosaurs and Animals 2+
- Djeco Cuddly Lacing 2+
- Djeco Magnetic Crazy Animals 2+
- QToys Australian Animals (set of 10) 2+
Animal and doll houses
- Everearth Organic Farm Playset 2+
- Everearth Shape Sorting Noahs Ark 2+
- Everearth Fairy Tale Wooden Doll House 3+
- AnaMalz Barnhouse 3+
- Lichee Toys Large Gnome Home (Natural Wooden Dollhouse) 3+
- QToys Eco Doll House 3+
- Plan Toys Green Dollhouse 3+
- Everearth Interchangeable Cars 2+
- Green Toys Seacopter 2+
- Goki Nature Block Train 2+
- Click Clack Automobiles (sold separately) 3+
- Click Clack wood puzzle garage 3+
- Everearth Blue Sports Car 3+
- Everearth Figure 8 Train Set 3+
Baby dolls and accessories
- Miniland Dolls 38 cm (male and female, available in European, Hispanic, Asian and African) 0+
- Miniland Doll clothes 0+
- Goki Wooden Dolls Bed 3+
- Hape Baby Stroller 3+
- Hape Rock-a-bye Baby Cradle 3+
- Hape Baby High Chair 3+
- Hape Baby Changing Table 3+
- Indigo Jamm Hearts Pram 18mth+
- Indigo Jamm Hearts High Chair 18mth+
- Indigo Jamm Hearts Rocking Cot 18mth+
- QToys Four-In-One puzzle 2+
- Everearth Wooden Clock 2+
- QToys Numbers Puzzle 3+
- Mudpuppy Construction Jumbo Floor Puzzle 2+
- Petit Collage Baby Safari Animals Puzzle 2 +
- Mudpuppy Puzzle to Go Mermaids 3+
- Vilac Puzzle London by Nathalie Lété 3+
- Green Start Giant Floor Puzzle 3+
- Petit Collage Ice Pops 3+
- Plan Toys Fruit and Veggie Domino 2+
- Micah Player Around the World Memory Game 3+
- Goki Memo game, feel-a-pair 3+
Kitchens and appliances
- Wonderworld Little Chef Station 3+
- Hape Cook ‘n Serve Kitchen 3 +
- WonderWorld Toaster 3+
- Plan Toys Kitchen Set 2+
- Hape Gourmet Grill (with food) 3+
- Hape Gourmet Fridge 3+
- Wonderworld All in 1 Coffee Shop 3+
- Plan Toys Portable Kitchen 3+
Tea and coffee sets
- Hape Coffee Maker 3+
- Plan Toys Tea Set 3+
- Green Toys Tea Set 2+ (red and pink)
- Indigo Jamm Flower Tea Set 3+
Pretend food and utensils
- Green Toys Cupcakes 2+
- Green Toys Dish Set 2+
- Green Toys Chef Set 2+
- QToys Fruit Play Set 3+
- Plan Toys Assorted Vegetable Set 18mth+
- Hape Homemade Pizza Set 3+
- Hape Garden Salad 3+
- Plan Toys Breakfast Menu 3+
- Hape Chef’s Cooking Set 3+
Workbenches and Tools
- Green Toys Tool Set 2+ (blue and pink)
- Everearth Toys Big Workbench 3+ (includes toys)
- Janod DIY Giant Magnetic Workbench 3+
- Wonderworld Work Bench & tools 3+
Building & destroying
- Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet 3+
- Wonderworld Rainbow Sound Blocks 2+
- QToys Pound a Ball Tower 2+
- Wonderworld Building Blocks 2+
- Eco Toys Natural Coloured Wooden Blocks 2+
- Plan Toys Stacking Tree 2+
- Plan Toys Tower Tumbling 3+
- Petit Collage Nesting Blocks 2+
- I’m Toy Wooden Cash Register 3+
- Seedling Farmer’s Market Playtime Kit 2+
- Plan Toys Shopping Cart 2+
- EverEarth Table Top Fruit Stand
- Hape Market Checkout 3+
- Wonderworld Wonder Cashier 3+
- I’m toy 7 in 1 Activity Centre 3+
- I’m Toy Musical Melody Mix 3+
- EverEarth Flip over triangle 2+
- EverEarth Happy Melodies Music Set 3+
- Hape Mighty Mini Band 2+
- Hape Rock and Rhythm Band 3+
Other pretending play toys
- Everearth Drawing Tablet 3+ (for chalk and water-based pen)
- Spiegelburg Kaleidoscope Camera 3+
- Seedling Parker: Your Augmented Reality Bear 3+
- Seedling Dress up and Play Animal Ears Headband 2+
- Goki Dress Up Bears Benna & Bennoh 3+
- Seedling Under the sea puppet playtime 2+
- Seedling Galaxy Rocket Adventure Cape 2+
- Seedling Magical Hero Dress up Cape 2+
- Vilac Ride On Classic Car 2+
- Wishbone Bike (2 in 1) 1-5 yrs
- Wishbone Flip – Rock, Roll and Ride (2 in 1) 1-5 yrs
- Italtrike Classic Super Lucy Champion Tricycle Bike 2+
- Italtrike Passenger Tricycle Colorama 2+
- Hape Street Surfer Kick Scooter 3+
- Kinderfeets Chalkboard Balance Bike 2+
- Everearth Trike 1-3 yrs
WHERE TO FIND ECO TOYS?
Online Store: Biome, Hello Charlie, Sustainababy, Eco Child, Eco Toys, Little Earth Nest, Itty Bitty Greenie, UrbanBaby, Milk Tooth, Amazon, Etsy, Peter of Kensington, Zanui, Fishpond, The Nile, Honeybee, Nature Play, Good to Play, Rainbow Fun, Earth Toys, Lime Tree Kids, Entropy, Crayons, Ecoo,
SAFETY STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS
ASTM certificate had developed consistent standards for children’s products, based on current research. There are currently 17 standards, which cover a variety of products. This certification includes and often expand upon existing mandatory government. However, this standard only requires children’s products to be phthalate-free and contain none to very low levels of lead. Therefore not all toxic substances are addressed under the ASTM F963 law. According to SafBaby are a few companies that go beyond this standard, making sure their baby products that are PVC-Free, Phthalate-Free, Lead-Free and Fire Retardant-Free. These include Green Toys, Lego, Plan Toys, Sevi 1831, Spielstabil, Tiny Love, Olli Olbot, Wonderworld, Wow, Trudi Toys and Edushape.
CPSIA is a U.S.consumer product safety law, which provides regulatory and enforcement tools to amend and enhance several CPSC statutes, including the Consumer Product Safety Act. Its provisions address the presence of lead and phthalates, toy safety, durable infant or toddler products, third-party testing and certification.
EN71 is a European Product Safety standard, which applies to all toys sold in the European Union, so that they meet certain minimum safety standards. These include Mechanical, Noise, Flame retardant, Chemical composition, Electrical, Safety, Sanitation, Radiation.
GOTS or “The Global Organic Textile Standard, is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain…The standard covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic natural fibres. The final products may include, but are not limited to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, clothes and home textiles. The standard does not set criteria for leather products.” (Global Standard 2016)
“The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels, as well as accessory materials used…[I]t tests for harmful substances are fundamentally based on the respective purpose of the textiles and materials. The more intensive the skin contact of a product and the more sensitive the skin, the stricter the human-ecological requirements that need to be complied with.
Here’s a bit of info about the brands that I have recommended. The information below was provided by the brands themselves or retailers selling these items. I encourage you to do your own research before purchasing. Always check that the product you are interested, in case it is made with different materials than listed below and confirm safety standards.
AnaMalz is an Australia company which designs movable wooden animals and accessories. They are made from sustainable maple wood and are handpainted. The wasted wood is re-purposed mushroom farms. Each item is assembled in a factory which meets the highest international standards and factory regulations.
Click Clack Toys is an Australian company which makes a variety of wooden toy vehicles and animal on wheelies. They use materials which are from sustainably managed plantation timber forests. All of their products are made using non-toxic chemical dyes and glues and our packaging uses 100% recycled cardboard.
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 soybean 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.
Goki is part of the German parent brand, Gollnest & Kiesel. They produce a large range of wooden toys, including trains, dollhouses and musical instruments. Their toys are made from a variety of different sustainable sourced woods, such as maple, walnut and birch. All Goki products are designed in Germany and manufactured to strict quality and safety standards, meeting both European and Australian requirements. Toys are subjected to intensive testing which goes beyond the requirements of the statutory regulations. These tests are done in their own in-house test lab, where paints are tested for the presence of any residues of elements which might present a threat to health.
Chemical studies are also carried out by independent, accredited institutes.
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.
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.
Italtrike is an Italian brand that makes children’s trikes and riding devices. They are 100 percent Italian made. They are also tested and certified to harmonised standards EN 71-1, EN 71-2 and EN 71-3.
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.
Kinderfeets is an American company that makes wooden bikes for toddlers and children. Kinderfeets is designed by a Dutch designer in California and handmade in China. The bikes are made from sustainable birch wood and the airless tires are completely biodegradable. They use minimal packaging material made from recycled paper and water based-ink. The chalkboard finish paint is water-based and the lacquer is non-toxic.
Lichee Toys an Australian company, based in Vietnam, which makes toys made from wood and cotton. All the toys are handmade using sustainable and recycled timbers in Vietnam. The wood used is mainly from lychee trees (from old orchards), acacia, surplus wood from mills and other fruit and nut trees. The toys are made under fair trade conditions and the employees are from local villages.
Michah Player designs an artist that designs illustrations for books and merchandise. The Around the World Matching Game is distributed by Chronicles Books. It conforms to CPSIA 2008, ASTM F963 and EN-71 3AL.
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.
Mudpuppy is an American brand that specialization in puzzles, but also makes journals, toys, games and stationery for children. They use an earth-friendly grey board material that is made from 90-100% recycled paper and are printed with non-toxic, soy-based inks. Mudpuppy puzzles and games, meet CE and ASTM safety testing standards.
Petite Collage is an American company that makes toys, games, puzzles, books, activities, crafts and decor. They make their products from recycled cardboard to FSC-certified wood and soy-based inks. At least 80% of their paper products are made from recycled or recyclable substrates. They also use renewable materials, such as bamboo for mobiles, and FSC-certified wood for our toys and paper products. Their products are printed with vegetable based inks and waterbased paints. All our products are free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and formaldehyde. Their products are all subjected to the most rigorous product safety testing, including all American and European standards: ASTM, CPSIA, EN71, and REACH.
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.
Seedling is an New Zeland company that make a creative kids activities for a variety of ages groups. Seedling’s activity kit cardboard packaging is made in New Zealand and is 100% recycled and recyclable. The plastic windows included in some of this packaging are PET. All activity kit package labelling is also made in New Zealand from the sustainably forested label and Kraft stock. And where this packaging includes wood, it’s made from sustainably harvested trees. They products meet standards, such as ASTM F963, EN71, CPSIA & ASTM D4236. These standards are clearly marked on the item’s packaging.
Spiegelburg is a German company that makes books and merchandise. The Wooden Kaleidoscope Camera is made from FSC certified sustainable timber.
Vilac is French brand that makes toys, games, puzzles and decorations. They use wood from sustainably managed forests, such as beech, pine and boxwood. All their toys are guaranteed free of allergens, phthalates and lead-free. They are also all CE marked and conform to EN 71 / 1-2-3.
Wishbone Design Studio is a New Zealand company that makes ride-ons and bikes for toddlers and children. Every Wishbone Bike wooden bike has 60% post-consumer recycled plastic wheels, is made from sustainably managed woods and is bonded and finished with eco-friendly products. The bikes are made from kiln-dried, preservative-free plantation Birch and Eucalyptus with non-toxic glues and finishes, meeting rigorous international standards for lead, Phthalates and cadmium. Packaging is recycled and Wishbone Design carbon offsets all air travel.
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.