Baby Toys

Sustainable Play from the Start

September 14, 2019
  • Why sustainable play?
  • How do I start?
  • What should I invest in?

Why sustainable play?

It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in landfills. A lot of these toys now have a lot of bells and whistles and after they serve their purpose they just end up in the landfills. Which is quite wasteful when you think about it. As a consumer, I find it very difficult to consume less plastic – so I try my best, starting with the products I buy for J and continuously looking for ways I can minimize my footprint. I think every little bit counts!

Why did I chose this path? I think it was by coincidence… I wanted to find more natural products for J to play with. And the more I read on Maria Montessori’s philosophy I find myself more drawn to natural materials.

How do I start? What should I invest in?

If you’re starting to look into sustainable toys – such as wooden toys in particular, you’ll notice they cost quite a bit more than their plastic counterparts. A lot of this has to do with the fact they’re not mass produced – they are often hand made in small batches, hand carved, hand painted, the wood is sourced from sustainable forests. I’m mainly thinking about Grimm’s, Grapat, Osetheimer when I say this.

I think the first piece that drew me in was the waterwaves from Grimms. The colors were so beautiful and the wood was smooth and velvety to the touch.

Grimms Medium Waves

When you’re starting your collection, I recommend items that are open ended. This way it can grow with your child. I personally started with a lot of items from Grimm’s. Such as the medium rainbow, the stacking cups, wooden balls – were (and still is) some of J’s favorites.

I’ve been really enjoying collecting wooden animals. From the start, they make such lovely decor pieces. I focused on larger animals to avoid having any potential choking hazards in the room. You can go with Ostheimer, Holztiger, Brin d’Bois or even hand made goods that you can find on Etsy.


Other alternatives:

In terms of wooden toys, I’ve also enjoyed toys from Lovevery and Hape. To be honest, the ones from IKEA look decent too – and I believe they’re all made from the same Hape factory in China. I think these toys are decent quality for their price.

Sustainable toys doesn’t have to be wooden ones. There are plenty of toys that are made from organic cotton, felt, natural rubber, wool and silk.

Hevea Natural Rubber Duck
Hevea Rubber Ducky
Some organic cotton balls from Lovevery

That’s it for now!

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  • Reply Justin March 27, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me asking what theme you’re
    using? (and don’t mind if I steal it? :P)

    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress like yours– but
    the theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

    In case you have a minute, you can find it by searching for “royal cbd” on Google (would appreciate any feedback)
    – it’s still in the works.

    Keep up the good work– and hope you all take care of yourself during the coronavirus scare!

    • Reply Van N. March 29, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Justin, could it be the hosting website that you’re using? I noticed that you’re an e-commerce store, have you also looked into using shopify?

  • Reply Aleks May 7, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Hello! Thanks for the great post — we too love and value wooden and natural toys in our home. Just wondering from where your wooden dinosaurs and natural wood arc were purchased? Love them both! Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Van N. May 10, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Aleks,
      These were from an Etsy shop in Russia- But they’re currently closed during covid-19. Stay tuned, I’m trying to see if we can add them to our website!
      As for the arc – have you seen Grimm’s natural rainbow?

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