Gift idea – sustainable toys for babies and small children
Looking for a great gift for your baby, child, grandchild, nephew or niece? How about sustainable toys? Sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Not only are we helping to make a better planet, but sustainable toys last a lot longer!
What are sustainable toys?
The term ‘sustainable’ is often used, but is it always right? We recommend that you always pay extra attention to the specifications of the products. The word ‘sustainable’ is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “involving the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment; that can continue or be continued for a long time”. In our eyes, sustainable toys therefore have four characteristics:
- Qualitative sustainable material:
the component parts and materials used to make the toys should be of good quality (demonstrable by quality labels), sustainable and ecological (if they are natural materials). The production methods and processes used to manufacture the toys should be as sustainable as possible, from start to finish. The toys should be sturdy and robust, so that they will last a long time.
the toy is designed to be played with for several generations, and this is taken into account in its form and material, as well as its content. The materials used are sturdy and show little to no signs of wear. The content is interesting and fun, and remains so for a long time so that it can be played with for several years. It is also a plus point if the toy is multifunctional or if you can upcycle it. This way it not only lasts a long time, but it also remains interesting for your child.
- Added value:
wouldn’t it be great if your child can play and learn at the same time? Educational and interactive toys allow your child to learn in a fun way. You can also encourage a creative streak in your child through open-ended toys: these are toys that have no set pattern for playing with them. Children can make different creations with various parts. Open-ended toys usually look neutral and timeless.
the toys are free from harmful substances and any possible splinters, meaning children of all ages can play safely with them.
Wood vs. Plastic
When you see wooden toys, you often immediately think that they are sustainable. When it comes to toys made of plastic, you usually start having doubts. But are these first impressions actually correct?
It's always better not to make judgments based on first impressions. The production methods for wooden toys are not always sustainable. Wood is a natural material, but deforestation for timber can be bad for the environment. There shouldn’t be a problem, though, as long as environmental concerns are taken into account during deforestation (planting new trees, limited deforestation, etc.). Does the wooden toy have an FSC-label? If so, you can be sure that the wood was forested in a sustainable manner. One of the most important things is that the toy lasts a long time and that you have the option to upcycle it for another purpose.
Toys made from synthetic materials such as plastic often give the impression that they are not sustainable, but appearances can be deceptive. The toy might be made of recycled material, organic plastic or hard safe plastic like polypropylene (PP). And that means it could also last for generations! Want to buy sustainable plastic toys? Then make sure it is made from safe plastic, such as: polypropylene (PP), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). These types do not release harmful substances (such as BPA) and are therefore safe for your child. You should also check to see that the design of the toy will likely last for years.
Gift ideas: three great sustainable toys
Sustainable toys: high quality and safe materials, a long useful life and added value for the child! Ideal as a gift for a birthday.
Here are our top three ideas:
MODU (from 6 months)
From a fast racing car to a gorgeous seat or a comfy table! MODU is the open-ended toy for children from the age of 6 months to 6 years! You can connect the different blocks together and create all different kinds of constructions and play possibilities.
Sleek and clean, in neutral tones, with small colour accents. You can tell immediately by the minimalist design that MODU has Scandinavian roots. It was developed in Copenhagen by a team of young people who only had one goal in mind in creating these modular blocks: to design playful and durable toys that help develop and support motor skills in children. In addition, it stimulates creativity and children of different ages can play together!
- MATERIAL: 100% recyclable super-strong ABS plastic + harmless EVA foam
- LONG USEFUL LIFE: the robust material and minimalist design ensures MODU has a long play life and a timeless character. It is also an interesting toy for children of all ages, giving it a long play life.
- ADDED VALUE: open ended toys that encourage motor and creative skills.
- SAFE: EN 71 certification + free from phthalates and BPA + robust design
TIMIO (from 2 years)
The TIMIO Player is an educational and interactive audio and music player for children from 2 years old. It doesn’t have a screen and only works with sound and LED lights, making it healthier for the child's eyes. With TIMIO Player, children can learn about the alphabet, animals, fruits, numbers, etc. in a fun way. You can also listen to songs or stories and play games. And you can do this in eight languages! No wonder it was nominated for the Baby Innovation Award 2021! Find out more about TIMIO Player here.
- MATERIAL: 100% recyclable super-strong ABS plastic + CE, ITS, ASTM and FCC certification
- LONG USEFUL LIFE: rugged design and no screen, thereby reducing the chance of damage and making it last longer.
- ADDED VALUE: it’s also educational and interactive and you can purchase multiple discs. Ideal for different ages!
- SAFE: robust design and free from BPA
House of Elodie (from 4 months)
House of Elodie is a multifunctional wooden toy. The baby gym consists of a wooden frame on which you can hang toys, perfect for a baby to practise their motor skills. Later on, you can turn the baby gym into a play tent, and after that you can add a wooden stand and turn it into a clothes rack (hangers included). This 3-in-1 feature means House of Elodie will last for generations. From toys to décor.
- MATERIALS: 100% natural wood (House of Elodie) + 100% cotton and vegan leather loops (baby gym toys)
- LONG USEFUL LIFE: multi-functional design allowing it to last for generations. The 3-in-1 function means you can transform it from a baby gym, into a playhouse and then even into a clothes rack.
- ADDED VALUE: you can upcycle House of Elodie into a clothing rack. The baby gym allows your baby to practise their motor skills using the different toys.
- SAFE: EN 71 certification – tested for mechanical strength, flammability, migration of certain elements.