Eco-Friendly Baby Toys that Boost Development Naturally
When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by the massive abundance of toys for babies to choose from. Even though I had worked as a nanny for many years, I struggled with choosing the best eco-friendly baby toys to benefit my childs development in all areas.
I love toys that are inspired by Waldorf and Montessori education. Although they differ in their educational philosophies, they both believe that there is nothing better for a baby’s development than toys made from natural materials.
While not every toy on this list is perfectly natural, I didn’t want to leave out toys that stimulate development in areas in line with Montessori education, such as the mobile and child-safe mirror.
I hope this list of eco-friendly baby toys for infants to 18 months old will provide assistance in choosing high quality developmentally appropriate toys that your baby will love.
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Eco-Friendly Baby Toys that Boost Development Naturally
21 Eco-Friendly Baby Toys
This list of educational eco-friendly baby toys are for children from infants to toddlers. Each toy provides a stimulating environment for the developing child.
1. Photo Mobile
Mobiles are the Montessori go to item for baby’s visual development in infancy. First hang black and white photos (or cards sold separately) and later in baby’s development you can add color. You can also hang pom-pom’s, small handmade crafts, or anything else that this mobile can support. There are small parts so make sure baby can’t actually get a hold of it–it’s for eyes to enjoy not hands.
This is a fantastic adjustable wooden play gym. It has a 100% birch wood frame finished with non-toxic stains and lacquers (free of lead, phthalate, nickel, mercury, and VOC’s). The wooden toys are non-toxic, made from all natural untreated indian hardwood buffed with vegetable seed wax. The knit dolls were made with phthalate-free rattles inside and hand knit from organic cotton.
This is a child safe unbreakable acrylic mirror with mylar backing to hang on a wall low enough for baby to stare into and play. Maria Montessori considered a mirror to be one of the most important items to have in a home with a baby. From tummy time antics, to playing with toys in front of it, to learning to walk, a mirror has many developmental opportunities for the young child, including the eventual realization, “Hey, that baby is me!” A must have!
This beautiful toy is a perfectly sized animal shaker for little hands to grasp and shake–there are several other animal shapes available. Click through to see links to them all. It has vegetable pellets in it that makes it sound like a rain stick. It is very smooth and well-built. Developmentally it provides a rich sensory experience of both sound and touch.
You can also make your own see through rainstick for baby to enjoy. Click on the link to learn how to make your own!
Developmentally this set provides a treasure trove of benefits. It contains four Black, White & Red, Infant Developmental Toys to Stimulate visual activity, and early motor skills. It has a double-sided infant crib mirror, sounds & textures soft blocks, double-sided book & bumper panel, and baby’s first photo album–for baby to begin to recognize family faces. It all comes in a gift box.
This ball provides a rich multi-sensory experience for baby with the textures, colors, and sounds. Playing with them helps baby develop grasp and hand-eye coordination.
This cute little teething rattle is easy for baby to grasp, hold and chew. The crinkle ears make fun sounds as baby touches as it helps to ease teething discomfort. A perfect stimulant for sensory learning. There are many other animals and types available. Click through to see the other options.
This beautiful rattle is made with formaldehyde-free, organic cotton with azo-free dyes for your child’s health and well-being. It is soft, flexible, and easy for baby to hold and shake to make a playful rattle sound. The textured, crocheted organic cotton yarn offers relief on teething gums. The Chime Rattle stimulates baby’s sensory, movement, interactive, cognitive, and creative learning pathways for early, whole development.
Silk is a natural fabric that provides a rich sensory experience for wee ones. This is a set of light, flowing, 21 x 21 inch 100% silk squares in rose, red, yellow, emerald, royal blue, purple perfect for little hands to hold and play peek-a-boo.
Playsilks are a basic ingredient for children’s imaginative play and can be used for many years in millions of ways. Silks can be used to create elaborate costumes, build forts, create landscapes and water for boats and animals, blankets for babies, and much much more.
10. PlanToys Roller
This is a cute little wooden roller that contains a wooden ball that hits the panels as it rolls. It stimulates vision, hearing, and hand-eye coordination. This toy is great because it provides something for baby to try to roll over or crawl after to go get. It is also wonderful for rolling back and forth with baby when they begin to sit. When rolling, the wooden ball inside hits the panels and creates a lovely sound.
Skwish is a perfect clutching toy for developing gross motor skills. The beads slide back and forth along the dowels when shaken, producing a very pleasing rattle and allowing baby to explore sound and learn cause and effect.
12. Intuitoys Montessori Inspired All Natural Wooden Baby Development and Discovery Set (Handmade in USA)
This set includes 4 beautiful wooden toys. A rattle, a natural wood grasping toy, an egg cup with egg, and a pin with a ring. I never expected the love affair my daughter would have with taking a simple egg in and out of a cup over, and over, and over again–who knew? Maria Montessori did!
Developmentally these toys will help your child develop grasping, spatial reasoning, puzzle solving, and discovery learning skills. Each toy builds on the next and will challenge your child’s growing abilities in grasping, wrist development, and hand-eye coordination.
The set consists of a box with two holes, a tray, and a white plastic ball great for helping your child develop object permanence while having fun. Using it allows baby to practice precise hand movements that develops hand, wrist and finger control–known in Montessori education as “refined hand movements.”
These Stacking Rings are made of wood and include graduated, brightly colored rings. It is based on a classic design that promotes a child’s understanding of color, shape, and size. I like this set because of the added challenge of the sphere on top.
Baby’s first love to grasp and bang these together to make music. Later they spend endless amounts of time stacking them. With repeated use, the child learns how it feels to succeed when he has achieved a goal on his own.
This pop-up toy features hardwood construction and spring-loaded action that will provide hours of entertainment. The listed recommended age is 12 months and up but our daughter enjoyed this beginning at 6 months when she began sitting.
This classic is ideal for developing hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and color recognition for baby. It is also a fabulous toy to be used in pretend play for the older child. We have found that can be used for many years before it is passed down to the next generation.
These block sets are perfect for little one’s. Baby’s first blocks are wooden multi-colored blocks with 12 blocks in 6 different colors. They are small enough for your infant to grab and stack, but large enough to prevent choking.
There are six blocks with added surprises in the discovery blocks to engage your child’s mind and keep them entertained. Each block features a hidden surprise: a rattle, push button, mirror, rotating ball, colored plexiglass, and a kaleidoscope.
Together these two block sets provide lots of stimulation for the developing baby. They can help your child develop grasp, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, color recognition, and develop the sensory system the ability to stack.
This is a fantastic shape sorter with a lid and only three shapes, circle, square, triangle. We had several shape sorters at our daycare and this one was hands down the best and most popular with the kids. Because there were only three shapes and one side to put them in, it was much easier for the children to begin playing with this at a young age. Too many shapes and sides only confuse the little ones.
In addition to color and shape recognition, this toy helps toddlers develop hand-eye coordination, object permanence, learn matching skills, and begin to develop problem-solving by discovering that the square shape fits in the square hole. The small blocks can also be used for beginning patterning activities, and can be combined with the block sets above for open-ended play.
Bead mazes bring hours of stimulated sensory exploration for babies, toddlers and preschoolers improving their focus, eye-hand coordination, and thinking skills. This colorful bead maze for babies will introduce little ones to shape, colors, spacious thinking, problem-solving, and improve fine motor skills.
Four sturdy suction cups secure the solid wooden base to virtually any smooth surface. A great size for travel–we found it wonderful in restaurants!
Push toys are great for baby’s development as they go from crawling to walking. They exercise the large muscles and assist in maintaining an upright posture while learning to walk. When your child begins to walk, holding a push toy will give him/her something to guide and lead her naturally into the habit of looking ahead, avoiding obstacles, and maneuvering.
Once your child begins to walk push and pull toys are a must have. Developmentally, using a pull toy is more complicated than using a push toy. Instead of just looking and moving forward, your child has to hold her arm back and look back to make sure her toy is still there. Meanwhile, she’ll also be moving forward and looking for a clear route.
This toy, like most of the others I have provided here, also has the potential for many years of use unlike much of the competition. Toddlers will not only enjoy taking this friendly puppy for walks–it will also eventually encourage imitative and imaginary play, and promote fantasy story telling, role-playing, and creativity.
Four-wheel drive takes on a whole new meaning with this best-selling, foot-powered ride. Encourage lots of short rides to develop muscle strength and balance, and increase the wheel time and distance as your child gains more power and confidence. Perfect for kids beginning to test their mobility and develop active motor skills, and is an easy transport toy for trips to the park, around the home, and more.
I know how hard it can be to find the perfect toys for your developing baby. I hope you find this list of Waldorf and Montessori educational eco-friendly baby toys helpful in your search. For eco-friendly toddler toys and eco-friendly preschool toys click on the links!
If you liked these eco-frienldy baby toys you may also like:
- 7 Teething Tips to Naturally Soothe Your Baby
- 20 Eco-Friendly Toys for Toddlers
- 50+ Eco-Friendly Toys for Preschoolers
- 15 Open-Ended Toys for Pretend Play
- The Best Art Supplies for Kids
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