Making Better Decisions: Safer Wood Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Posted in: Chemical Education
By Naturepedic Team
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Making Better Decisions: Safer Wood Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers

About 6 months ago, I came to work for Naturepedic just a few months after purchasing my own new mattress (sadly, non-Naturepedic). Imagine my surprise and disappointment as I began to learn the complexities of this industry and the chemicals that surround us on a daily basis. I quickly learned that organic is not just about food.

Working here, I've had the benefit of being exposed to a lot of knowledge about toxic chemicals, regulations, and above all, the impact chemicals can and do have on my children. I won't pretend to be an expert: I'm a mom learning to reevaluate the world I live in day-to-day.

One of the most important lessons I learned early on was to pick one thing important to me to begin to change. Re-stocking and replacing an entire household is too overwhelming (and expensive). Since that time, I've changed a few things from cleaning products to my kids' pajamas.

I've recently begun tackling my biggest challenge yet: my children's toys.

safer toys for toddlers and preschoolers

I have a 19 month old daughter and my son is almost 4. I have his birthday and Christmas approaching. This year, I wanted to make more conscious decisions about what toys we bring into our home at holiday time.

Listen, I'm realistic. Kids love plastic toys. I'm not buying only toys made out of wood, or completely organic (though there are some great ones I'm considering!). I certainly can't control everything that other family members purchase for our kids. They are, after all, the only grandchildren, niece or nephew, on either side of the family!

And so began my venture in finding safer toys to recommend for gift-giving to toddlers and preschoolers.


wood toy blocksI assumed that wooden toys were inherently safe, but that’s not strictly true. Does a painted piece chip off? In my opinion, that's unacceptable, even if we are confident that that paint is lead-free. While there are a lot of non-toxic paints (some are actually even certified), I also looked for wooden toys which have a natural stain or sealant.

Here are some brands I discovered in my search whose toys I would feel comfortable giving to my kids.

Disclaimer: This is not an all-inclusive list. There are a lot of great brands making safe wooden toys, brands using better plastics, as well as manufacturers of organic cotton plush toys and blankets. By listing these brands, neither I nor Naturepedic are endorsing them over another brand with similar qualifications. Nor have we tested all of these products or contacted each brand individually. I used publicly available information, reached out as a consumer to a few customer service agents, and made decisions about what to include here based upon: the types of toys I am seeking for my kids, their ages, and the level of comfort I have personally with the safety and quality information provided by each company. If you have a recommended addition, we'd be happy to hear about it!

- anaMalz

- Haba

- Hape

- Kid Kraft

- NovaNatural

- Plan Toys

- Smart Gear/Wonderworld

Next week, I'll be talking about safer plastic toys. There's definitely some debate about whether any plastic can considered safer, but I feel like I can do my part to make more responsible choices as I'm able. Stay tuned for key questions you should ask yourself before buying a plastic toy.

5 years ago
Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Plastic Toys | Naturepedic
5 years ago at 9:00 AM
[…] for joining me on our hunt for safer toys! Last week, we talked about wood toys for toddlers and preschoolers, like my own 19 month old daughter and nearly 4 year old […]
Action Items for a Safer Toy Holiday or Birthday | Naturepedic
5 years ago at 9:00 AM
[…] beginning your research for safer toys, start here to learn more about wood toys, and don’t forget my key questions to ask yourself before purchasing a plastic […]
Beverley Hills
10 months ago at 4:10 PM
This is great! A few years ago there was a big scare about Chinese toys with lead in the paint. That started me thinking not to ever buy toys made outside US... I searched high and low and found a few sites that have great wooden toys made right here in US and certified for safety. One of the best one was <a href="this one" rel="nofollow"></a> They have personalized toys like alphabet letter trains with letters of alphabet in shape of train with which you can spell anything you want. For example, your child's name. Bets of all, these so called 'name trains' are compatible with major wooden train track systems like Brio and Thomas ... I just love them!

Making Better Decisions: Safer Wood Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers

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