The Best Sustainable Toys and Brands To Shop This Year

We pride ourselves in being unbiased gear experts. Learn more about how we research, expertly review and curate products here.

Any new parent will quickly realize just how fast stuff seems to accumulate. Your kiddo may be a tiny human, but between all of that baby gear, clothes and play things they sure do have a lot. And it’s not just space constraints parents worry about—all of that stuff costs money and puts stress on the environment. The good news: It’s not hard to find quality used items.

Everything we sell at GoodBuy Gear is sustainable due to the nature of our business. When you shop used over new, you reduce the carbon footprint of the item by 82%. And as a shopper, you’ll have access to a wide range of items—strollers, play gyms, bassinets, toys and more—plus score an average of 50% off retail prices. 

But if you don’t want to buy secondhand for one reason or another, another option is to shop brands that prioritize eco-friendly practices. When it comes to toys, for example, look for manufacturers who use high-quality materials like wood or natural rubber rather than plastic, plus pay factory workers fair wages and use packaging made with recycled materials.

To save you the trouble of a lengthy Google search, our gear experts did the hard work for you, evaluating all of the best children’s toy brands to find the most sustainable toys for your little one.

1. Lovevery The Play Gym

Lovevery The Play Gym

  • Retail Price: $140
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price$76

The Lovevery play gym is arguably the most attractive out there, but there’s so much more to love than the aesthetic alone. The play gym is made out of materials like FSC-certified wood (aka the product comes from responsibly-managed forests), silicone and organic cotton. It even has an OEKO-TEX certification, which means its textiles have been tested and deemed free from harmful chemicals. 

During the newborn stage, your baby can use the space for tummy time and lounging. Later, they’ll enjoy batting at the assortment of hanging toys and exploring the varying textures on the mat. It’s very expensive, yes, but unlike other play gyms, this one can be used well into toddlerhood. Drape the included cover over the whole thing, and it turns into a fort for your older children.

Key Features

  • Has five developmental zones and four detachable activity toys
  • Comes with a play guide to help you and your kiddo get the most out of the toy
  • Highly attractive

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Made of certified baby-safe materials, including wood, silicone and organic cotton
  • Grows with your child from age 0 well through toddlerhood

Shop This

2. Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box

Melissa & Doug Band-In-A-Box

  • Retail Price: $33
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $15

Like the majority of toys manufactured by Melissa & Doug, the 10-piece Band-in-a-Box set is designed to teach your kiddo important skills in a fun and engaging way. Inside the box, you’ll find all kinds of musical instruments—maracas, a tambourine and more—to expose your little musician to different tones, volumes and rhythms. Everything in the set is made out of sustainable materials like wood and metal, so it’ll hold up to toddler-style jam sessions. Plus, it all comes tucked in a wooden crate for easy storage.

Key Features

  • Set includes 10 instruments: tambourine, cymbals, maracas, clacker, tone blocks and a triangle
  • Comes with a wooden crate for easy storage

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Suitable for ages 3-7, so your little one can use it for years
  • Made of wood and metal, so it’ll hold up to heavy use

Shop This

3. Green Toys Tractor

Green Toys Tractor And Trailer

  • Retail Price: $20
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price$9

Green Toys makes a wide range of lightweight, yet super functional toy cars kids will zoom around the play room for hours with. They’re all made from 100 percent recycled plastic (mostly old milk jugs) and don’t contain any BPA, phthalates or PVC. In fact, they’re so safe they meet FDA food contact standards. They’re even dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.

Key Features

  • Lightweight
  • No metal axles (no rust) or external coatings (no chipping or peeling)
  • Wide variety of vehicles to choose from
  • Dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Made from 100 percent recycled plastic
  • Made in the USA
  • Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials 
  • Printed with eco-friendly inks

Shop This

4. Tender Leaf Toys Dovetail House

  • Retail Price: $280
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: N/A

Today, so many dollhouses are plastic toys—but not this one by Tender Leaf Toys, a UK-based company started by craftsmen and designers. The gorgeous wooden doll house is ripe for pretend play. It’s more than two feet wide and two feet tall, plus has exquisite and realistic detail. And, though it’s expensive to stock up on all of the extra accessories, it’s well worth it. Everything from the wood to the non-toxic paint is highly durable, so you’ll end up with an heirloom piece your child can pass down to their own one day.

Key Features

  • 6-room dollhouse
  • Large doors for easy access inside
  • Tons of compatible accessories for endless pretend play (sold separately)

What Makes it Sustainable

  • All components are made in a single factory in Indonesia
  • Product is made with sustainable and recyclable wood
  • The company replants 100 percent of the trees they use

5. Plan Toys Pull-Along Alligator

Plan Toys Pull Along Alligator

  • Retail Price: $43
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $10

Like the true classics, this wooden pull-along toy is made of solid wood for durability. And although its green and yellow exterior is bright and engaging, it’s made with sustainable rubberwood, formaldehyde-free glue and water-based coloring that’s perfectly safe for your little one. (You can also opt for a fully natural version instead, if you prefer.) It’s tons of fun to play with, too—when your tot pulls the rope attached to the alligator, the whole thing wiggles and makes a click-clacking sound.

Key Features

  • Helps develop fine motor skills, coordination and imagination
  • Wiggles and makes an engaging click-clacking sound
  • Bright and attractive

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Made with rubberwood, formaldehyde-free glue and water-based non-toxic paints
  • Highly durable wooden construction
  • The company uses eco-friendly manufacturing processes like using excess sawdust and branches in products

Shop This

6. Tegu Original Pocket Pouch Magnetic Blocks

Tegu Original Pocket Pouch 8-Piece Magnetic Wood Blocks

  • Retail Price: $32
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $15

Tegu building blocks all contain internal magnets, so they seamlessly click together. Your little one can create to their heart’s content, making towers, vehicles, robots, patterns... whatever their little brain dreams up. All the blocks work together, too, showcasing just how sustainable this toy is. You can get a small pocket-sized set for on-the-go or spring for multiple play sets for more building possibilities. They’re expensive, yes, but they’re heirloom-quality blocks that are meant to transcend generations.

Key Features

  • Blocks feature internal magnets to connect together seamlessly
  • Comes packaged in a reusable industrial felt pouch
  • Blocks are brightly-colored and attractive

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Product meets all USA and European safety requirements
  • Made of eco-friendly and sustainably-sourced hardwood
  • Coated with water-based, non-toxic paint and sealant

Shop This

7. Haba Magica Wooden Clutching Toy

HABA Magica Wooden Rattle Clutching Toy

  • Retail Price: $20
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price$6

For over 80 years this German company has produced lead- and formaldehyde-free baby toys and teethers, and one of their most popular is the Magica Wooden Clutching toy. The wood for the wooden toy is sourced from reforested timbers and the water-based stain is safe even for teething babies to gnaw on. It won’t degrade from this kind of use and end up in a landfill, either. Thanks to multiple layers of the non-toxic, water-based, solvent-free lacquer, the surface is extremely resistant to wear and tear.

Key Features

  • Bright, engaging colors
  • Large, easy-to-grasp balls
  • Safe for teething babies

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Made in Germany using lead- and formaldehyde-free materials
  • Sourced from reforested wood
  • Colored with non-toxic, water-based, solvent-free lacquer
  • Highly durable

Shop This

8. Honeysticks Originals Beeswax Crayons

  • Retail Price: $23
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: N/A

If you’re looking for the safest, most sustainable art supplies, try Honeysticks. These best-selling natural beeswax crayons are made from New Zealand beeswax, so they’re entirely safe for kids of all ages, infants and toddlers included. Their jumbo size makes them easy to grip, but has another big benefit: They’re hard to snap, so they’re more likely to last longer. (Plus, they’re hard for little ones to swallow.) The set of 12 vibrant colors is all you need for most art projects, but you can also buy bath crayons from the brand for even more fun. No matter what product you stock, it comes in recyclable packaging.

Key Features

  • Jumbo-sized crayons are easy to grasp and hard to break
  • Comes with 12 vibrant colors

What Makes it Sustainable

  • Made of 100 percent natural beeswax
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Last longer, since they’re hard to break

    9. Le Toy Van Activity Walker

    Le Toy Van Activity Walker

    • Retail Price: $150
    • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price$70

    This wooden walker is a far cry from the brightly-colored plastic versions you see everywhere, but just as engaging and developmentally appropriate. It has a beautiful nature theme and boasts 12 play activities, like peek-a-boo windows, moving rings, spinning dials and more. The toy, which both engages the senses and helps develop fine and gross motor skills, is all crafted with highly-durable sustainable rubber wood and finished with eye-catching non-toxic water-based colors.

    Key Features

    • Multi-functional wooden walker featuring 12 different play activities
    • Great for both fine and gross motor skills
    • Attractive color palette
    • Safety tested for ages 12 months and up

    What Makes it Sustainable

    • Made from sustainable rubber wood and non-toxic paints
    • Highly durable

    Shop This

      Our Favorite Sustainable Brands 

      If you’re looking for earth-friendly brands you can rely on for your own kiddo and the other special little ones in your life, our gear experts say these are eco-conscious parents’ most-trusted sustainable toy brands. 

      • Melissa & Doug: Owned by real-life parents of six, Melissa & Doug is known for manufacturing high-quality wooden toys like an ice cream pretend set, magnetic charts and tool kits. All items get tested in their home, or the homes of people who work for them, with real kids. And since they mainly use wood and paper, the children’s toys coming from Melissa & Doug generate less pollution during production and break down easier at the end of their lifespan. Plus, they’re highly durable, so you can buy used or sell your old sets.
      • Lovevery: This toy brand manufactures Montessori-style toys designed by child development experts to ensure each toy supports specific stages of physical, emotional and social growth. The brand, which offers subscription-based play kits, play gyms, block sets and more—uses all eco-friendly materials, including wood and organic cotton, too.
      • Green Toys: As the name suggests, Green Toys are all made with 100 percent recycled plastic that’s free from BPA, phthalates or PVC. They’re all sustainably made in the USA and wrapped in cardboard packaging that comes from recycled paper, too. Parents and kids alike love the brand’s offerings, which include a wide range of simple, yet highly-engaging toy vehicles that are all dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
      • Plan Toys: Imagine being so dedicated to the environment that you not only source sustainable wood for your toys, but you also make sure the rubber trees you use are fertilizer-free and no longer produce latex? That's the kind of detail you'll find with Plan Toys, a company that’s been producing high-quality toys since 1981. The adorable wooden toys are all made using water-based dyes, formaldehyde-free glue and a chemical-free kiln-drying process. What’s more, the brand uses the majority of their scrap wood to feed a biomass generator that powers the manufacturing plant and its surrounding area.
      • Tegu: Started by brothers Chris and Will Haughey in 2006, Tegu makes some of the most eco-friendly building blocks on the market. The heirloom-quality product is made in Honduras in factories where workers are paid a fair living wage and encouraged to climb the ranks, not just simply manufacture the goods. The wood used to build the blocks is sourced from the area, too—and the brand works with local cooperatives to ensure the hand-picked trees are near the end of their life cycle.
      • Tender Leaf Toys: This UK-based brand makes extravagant dollhouses, play tables, games and themed play sets all made out of sustainable and recyclable wood, plus non-toxic glue and paints. What’s more, everything is made in a single family-run factory in Indonesia. The process is highly collaborative—executives from Tender Leaf Toys spend a significant portion of the year at the factory to ensure high operational standards and employee well-being.

      Shop All Sustainable Brands  

      The Benefits of Shopping Secondhand 

      As you can see, there are so many great sustainable toys out there—and many of them are available for quick shipping on Amazon. But if you really want to go the eco-friendly route, consider shopping secondhand instead. (Shopping used can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 82 percent!) 

      One of the biggest benefits of sustainable toys is that they’re crafted with high-quality materials, like wood and natural rubber, that make them nearly indestructible. So when you shop secondhand for these types of eco-friendly toys, you’re likely to score a great deal on something that looks nearly brand new. Plus, since it’ll hold up well to your own child’s use, you can sell it to someone else once you’re done with it, recouping a large portion of the money you spent on the toy in the first place! And you don’t even have to scour local marketplaces to do so—we have all of the top sustainable toy brands, including Lovevery, Tender Leaf Toys and more.



      Explore Related Articles

      Join the Village

      Sign up for our newsletter to geek out on new gear, practical tips & exclusive offers.
      Please enter valid email & phone

      Thanks for joining us!

      Check your email for a confirmation message.

      Please enter a valid email