We all know that play is a great way for toddlers to learn and develop new skills. But did you know that the toys your toddler plays with could contain dangerous toxins? Here’s a quick list of 21 toxic free toys for toddlers.
Want to be sure that your toddler is playing with non-toxic toys? Here’s a list of toddler-approved toys that are toxic free.
Open your kid’s toy box or playroom and you’ll see a rainbow of colourful toys.
Brilliantly coloured toys of all shapes and sizes that your little one just loves to play with. And maybe chew on from time to time.
Some are plastic. Others might be made of wood or fabric.
Can you pick out the ones that contain dangerous toxins and chemicals?
And would you even think about whether or not your toddler’s toys are non-toxic?
I have to admit it wasn’t something I’d given much thought to. I’d just assumed that living in the UK meant that toys had to pass certain quality standards.
And not containing poisonous chemicals would be high on the quality checklist.
You see although companies in the EU, the US and Canada have to adhere to quite strict controls, not all the toys we buy in our shops and online are made in these countries.
Or, they may be assembled in the EU, the US or Canada, but from parts made in other places around the world. Most likely China.
I don’t want to ditch on China. BUT, their safety guidelines and quality controls are nowhere near as stringent as those in the EU, the US and Canada.
So I did some research on what to look out for and I’m sharing that here with you. All of the toys listed below are non-toxic toys for toddlers and preschoolers that little kids love to play with.
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Which Chemicals Are In Toys
You might be surprised at the list of potentially toxic chemicals that find their way into the production of toys made for babies and toddlers.
These chemicals are hazardous to people and also not great for the environment.
The main ones to look out for are:
- Bisphenol a or its substitutes (BPA & BPS)
- Lead and other heavy metals
- PVC and phthalates
The problem with these chemicals and toxins is that they all have the potential to cause very serious health problems.
And this becomes more problematic for babies and toddlers who are likely to ingest these toxins when they suck, bite and chew on their toys.
All Wooden Toys Are Non-Toxic, Right?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that these nasties only live in plastic toys.
But sadly it’s not as simple as just banning plastic toys from our homes and buying wooden ones instead.
You see wooden toys are sometimes treated with Formaldehyde as a preservative, or colourant or adhesive.
And wooden toys could be painted with toxic paint that contains lead or acrylics, or other harmful chemicals.
So you need to be cautious when buying wooden toys too. Always try to buy toys made from solid wood, rather than composites.
And be wary about where the toys you buy come from.
Over 80% of the world’s toys are produced in China.
Worryingly, dangerously high levels of phthalates were found in children in 13 of the 15 countries tested in the EU in 2019.
And 219 different types of toy were blocked from sale in the EU because they contained illegal levels of toxic chemicals.
These were all made in China. You can read more about it here.
So we need to be really vigilant in checking where the toys we buy are made.
UK Toy Safety Regulations
All toys that are sold in the UK must carry the CE mark. And you should also look out for the Lion Mark too.
These marks act as a guarantee from the manufacturer that the toys are produced in compliance with European and British safety standards.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they are non-toxic. It means that the chemicals used are within the levels considered to be safe.
You can read more about British toy regulations here.
21 Non-Toxic Toys For Toddlers
Thankfully it’s getting easier to find non-toxic toys for toddlers.
As more and more parents show concern about where toys are made, as well as what’s used to make them, the toy industry is responding.
And, lovely mummies, I’ve put together a list of 21 non-toxic toys that your toddler will absolutely love to play with!
Play-Doh by Hasbro is non-toxic. It’s great for creative and imaginative play as well as for developing fine motor-skills.
But just be aware that the cookie-cutters and other Play-Doh toys are made from plastic and may contain some of the toxins listed above. You can read Hasbro’s Product Safety Guidelines here.
Dolls are brilliant for imaginative play. Toddlers just love pretending to be mummy. But most dolls contain PVC and other plasticisers including phthalates.
Try Haba dolls instead. There’s a whole range of lovely dolls – including boy dolls – that your toddler will love.
Threading beads is one of Roo’s favourite activities. She loves to see how many different patterns she can create using colourful beads. It’s a really great way to develop those fine motor skills too.
These wooden ones are made with non-toxic paint.
Shape Sorting Puzzle
Get those cognitive cogs turning with this shape sorting puzzle. It’s a great toy to help toddlers learn colours, shapes and counting.
This one is made by BettRoom, which is a Chinese company, but claims to be completely toxic free.
Musical Instrument Set
Kids just love making music and this lovely set of wooden instruments will help your toddler to explore lots of ways to make different sounds.
Soft Alphabet Cards
It’s never too early to introduce your little one to the alphabet. These wonderfully colourful cards are made from non-toxic cotton and are beautifully designed.
Your toddler will have hours of fun with this fun game. They will learn colours, number recognition and develop their hand-eye coordination with this non-toxic fishing game.
Wooden Magnetic Puzzle
Roo has one of these and she absolutely loves it. The magnetic puzzle helps to develop her imagination and her fine motor skills. The chalk board also encourages her to draw and practise pen-holding.
Just be cautious of which chalk products you buy. Some may contain arsenic and lead.
Packed full of 10 different games and activities, your toddler will have hours of fun with this activity cube. This travel-sized toy can go with you, so great for taking on holiday as well as playing at home. This one is made from natural wood and non-toxic paint.
Just imagine all the adventures your toddler could have in the safety of their playroom with this foam play mat.
This one says it’s non-toxic because it’s made from EVA (an alternative to PVC). You might want to double-check that it doesn’t contain Formamide.
Kids love to draw and make marks. Encourage your toddler to play with colour and make pictures. Hours of fun to be had while your toddler learns through play.
Look for bees wax crayons, like these ones, rather than Crayola or other cheaper brands to be 100% sure they don’t contain hidden chemicals like paraffin.
Build a Garden
This wonderful 3D puzzle will encourage your toddler’s creativity and fine motor skills. They can use their imagination to build a their very own flower garden.
Peter Rabbit Pull-Along
I’ve written about this Orange Tree toddler toy before. And we still love it. It’s such good quality and encourages younger toddlers to move independently. It’s beautifully crafted and finished with non-toxic paint.
We all love domino rally. It’s just so much setting up different rallies and watching the dominoes fall. You can also set up fun games involving colours or counting to make learning fun for your toddler.
This set of dominoes is made from environmentally-friendly wood and finished with non-toxic paint.
Wooden Cube Puzzle
These bright and colourful blocks will provide hours of fun for your toddler. Encourage your toddler to find each of the six different pictures that can be made from these puzzle blocks.
This set of cubes is made from responsibly sourced wood and finished with non-toxic paint.
Okay, so I have to admit that we all love playing with this in our house. It’s such a simple toy, but it brings out our competitive side.
This one by Viga is made with sustainable wood and finished with non-toxic paint.
This wooden construction set is another Viga toy. It will help develop you toddler’s cognitive and fine motor skills.
I love Viga because they use responsibly sourced materials and non-toxic finishes on their toys.
Montessori Lacing Toy
Another fab toy for helping your toddler develop their fine motor skills. And super for helping them to learn how to concentrate.
These beautifully created fruit lacing toys are completely safe and non-toxic
Blue Bird Cottage
This beautiful dolls house is just adorable. To be fair, I’d love to play with this! Your toddler will have hours of fun using their imagination playing with this delightful house and furniture.
This one is made from sustainable rubber wood and finished with non-toxic paint.
Encourage your toddler’s shape recognition and hand-eye coordination with this lovely wooden block stacking train. And then get them on the move, too, as they push the train along.
These skittles have a fun animal-theme design and will encourage your toddler’s hand-eye coordination. They’re from Orange Toys, a company I love and trust!
Roo has a set of wooden skittles, which her and GinGin love to play with together.
Non-Toxic Toys For Toddlers: Recap
So there you have it. Here’s my handy list of 21 non-toxic toys that your toddler will love to play with.
It’s really quite difficult to completely avoid toxins when buying toys for your children.
But we can reduce the amount of toys containing toxins that make their way into our homes. And our toddler’s mouth!
Remember the main things to look out for are:
- Bisphenol a or its substitutes (BPA & BPS)
- Lead and other heavy metals
- PVC and phthalates
You should also be vigilant in checking where the toys you buy are made.
Given that 80% of the world’s toys are made in China, it’s going to be very hard to just avoid buying Chinese products. But you can check the safety measures put in place by production companies.
And remember to only buy toys with the CE and Lion Marks. These won’t guarantee the toys are non-toxic, but they do give some safety assurances.
The other thing you can do is keep your toddler’s toys clean, and keep them from putting toys in their mouths.
Read these posts next or bookmark them for later:
- 25+ Toddler Knock Knock Jokes That Will Actually Make You Laugh
- 75 Summer Activities for Toddlers at Home (Big Kids will Love Too!)
- How I Potty Trained My Toddler In Under 3 Days
- 5 Simple Habits That Will Improve Your Toddler’s Sleep
- Help! My Toddler Hates Having a Bath
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