This list of natural toys for infants, babies, and toddlers make perfect baby shower gifts and Christmas gifts!
Baby toys made of wood, and other natural and organic materials, provide a rich sensory experience for the developing newborn. They can also help new mothers feel confident about the safety of the toy that their baby is putting into their mouth. With recommendations from experienced parents, caregivers, and Waldorf & Montessori educators, these natural and eco-friendly baby toys can nurture the skills that an infant needs to grow from a healthy baby and into a toddler. You might also enjoy this list of Eco-Friendly Toddler Toys.
The Best Natural Baby Toys for Infants to Toddlers
When I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed by the massive abundance of toys for babies available down long aisles and on supermarket shelves. Even though I had worked as a nanny for many years, I struggled with choosing the best eco-friendly baby toys to benefit my infant in all areas of development.
There are several baby toys on the market today filled with chemicals that I don’t want my baby putting in her mouth, so I also wanted baby toys that I felt safe giving to my newborn infant. In other words, I wanted to make sure that the toys I gave her were okay for her to put into her mouth–because every baby toy that she could reach ended up there.
Related: Eco-Friendly Preschool Toys
Toys that are inspired by Waldorf and Montessori education are crafted with healthy child development in mind. Although both schools differ in their educational philosophies, they 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 ways that Montessori education deems essential, such as the mobile and child-safe mirror.
I hope this list of eco-friendly baby toys for infants to 18 months olds can assist you and your loved ones in choosing high-quality developmentally appropriate toys that your baby will LOVE!
20 Eco-Friendly Baby Toys: Best Toys for Newborn Infants and Babies
This gift guide contains many of the top toys recommended by Waldorf and Montessori educators and parents. These must-have educational baby toys are fantastic for infants to toddlers. Each natural toy for babies provides a stimulating experience for the developing child.
Eco-friendly toys made of wood and other natural materials provide a rich learning environment for the developing newborn. We have listed these natural baby toys in order from infants to toddlers. In other words, toys for newborns and infants can be found at the top of the list, while toys for babies and toddlers are on the bottom.
Whether you are looking for a fantastic baby shower gift or the perfect gift for your baby, you have come to the right place! If you choose to purchase any of the baby toys on this list, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, please see our policies.
1. Photo Mobile
Mobiles are one of the first Montessori items used to help babies develop from the time that they are a newborn. Mobiles are a great tool for a baby’s visual development in infancy. First, hang black and white photos (or visual stimulation cards for baby), and later add color pictures or other items.
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 the baby can not get a hold of either the mobile or any of the items hanging on it. This baby toy for infants is for the eyes to enjoy–not the hands! Find this toy for newborns HERE.
2. Wooden Baby Play Gym with Hanging Toys and Teethers
The perfect gift for a baby boy or girl! This first baby toy for infants encourages early motor skills while giving infants something to hold, manipulate, and teeth–naturally. A wooden play gym that is easy to assemble and can easily fold away for storage or transportation. Use it with a REAL sheepskin rug to help the baby’s developing sensory system!
The removable construction allows you to change or add more hanging plush toys and wooden teething toys easily. It has a basic A-frame construction with a fixing rope, which ensures STABILITY while a baby is playing and can fold flat and store when not in use. Free of chemicals and 100% safe for babies. Get this fantastic first toy for babies HERE.
3. Acrylic Mirror Sheet
A child-safe unbreakable acrylic mirror to hang on a wall low enough for a baby to stare into, and play in front of, is an essential toy for a young child. Maria Montessori considered a mirror to be an essential developmental aid for infants, babies, and toddlers.
From tummy time antics to playing with toys in front of it and 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! Find this toy for babies HERE!
4. Calmies Natural Teether and/or Banana Toothbrush
CALMIES is an all-natural rubber infant teething toy made out of the sap from the Hevea tree, which smells like natural rubber. Safe, soothing, sustainable, & multi-sensory. The easy-to-grasp ball shape is a functional toy developed by a doctor to provide relief while teething.
Banana Toothbrush – This ‘a-peel-ing’ toothbrush gently massages little teeth and gums with soft silicone bristles, helping develop good oral hygiene habits early. It has easy-to-grasp banana peel handles and is made of 100% flexible silicone to prevent mouth injuries. The perfect toy for teething babies!
Related Post: 7 Teething Tips to Naturally Soothe your Baby
5. Egg Shakers and Wooden Musical Instrument Set
We recommend starting with natural wooden egg shakers for babies like THESE. Natural music toys for babies like these can provide a rich sensory experience of both sound and touch for the developing infant. Another option is to create a DIY see-through rainstick for your baby to enjoy. Click on the link to learn how to make your own rainstick from recycled materials!
As your baby approaches toddlerhood, you can begin to introduce simple wooden musical instruments like THESE. This set includes a tambourine, a castanet, a hand drum, two handbells, one maraca, one flute, one wooden block with a stick, one wood sounder with a rod, and one chime bar. This natural collection of wooden toy musical instruments are a fun, hands-on way to introduce babies and toddlers to music!
6. Soft Plush Rainbow Ball with Gentle Rattle
This soft rainbow ball is the perfect gift for a newborn infant as it provides a rich multi-sensory experience for babies with textures, colors, and sounds. It is a perfect infant toy for the baby’s first grasping, throwing, rolling, and catching experiences! Playing with a ball with your infant can help your baby develop their grasp and help them begin to develop their hand-eye coordination. Get this soft and colorful rainbow ball with a rattle for baby HERE.
7. Organic Cotton Baby Plush Toys
These cute little organic teething plush toys make it easy and safe for a baby to grasp, hold, and chew. There are lots of plush animals and toys available, but we like to choose organic cotton whenever possible. Remember, everything ends up in a baby’s mouth–make sure you feel safe knowing what’s going inside of it with a cute set of soft organic plush rattles for a baby that your newborn will be sure to LOVE–get them HERE.
8. Rainbow Chime Rattle
Here’s a natural toy for babies made with organic cotton for your child’s health and well-being. It is soft, flexible, and comfortable for the baby to hold and shake, and creates a playful sound for a baby to enjoy. The textured, crocheted organic cotton yarn offers relief on teething gums, while the chime Rattle stimulates the baby’s sensory, movement, interactive, cognitive, and creative learning pathways for his or her whole development. Get this excellent rainbow chime rattle HERE.
9. Playsilks for Babies
Silk is a natural fabric that provides a rich sensory experience for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Play silks are perfect for little hands to hold and play peek-a-boo. Our favorite play silks are made by Sarah’s Silks because they are made with real silk instead of polyester–ugh!!
Or, get miniature play silks for babies HERE. Please note: The colors of play silks available are always changing and going in and out of stock. Poke around a bit and be patient for the return of the color or colors that you need. Sarah’s Silks are the best because the natural fabric can help provide a sensory experience for the developing infant.
When children get older, play silks are an essential ingredient for children’s imaginative play. And, with playsilks children can create elaborate costumes, build forts, make landscapes and water features for boats and animals, provide blankets for baby’s dolls, and much much more.
10. Mini Bell Rolling Rattle
A super cute little wooden roller that contains a bell that hits the wood as it rolls and creates a lovely sound. This rolling rattle with a bell can stimulate a baby’s vision, hearing, and hand-eye coordination. It’s fun to roll back and forth with a baby when they begin to sit. My baby also loved to try to roll over or crawl after to go get it.
Get the cylindrical mini rolling rattle with a bell for baby HERE, or get an entire set of Montesorri rattles and natural wooden teething toys perfect for a baby that includes a rolling rattle with a bell HERE.
11. Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy
Skwish is a perfect eco-friendly 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 the baby to explore sound and learn cause and effect. Get the colorful version of this interactive toy for baby HERE or the natural wooden version HERE.
12. Montessori Object Permanence Box
This 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. First, invite the baby to drop the little ball into the hole in the box. The ball will then roll out of the box and into the attached tray, allowing your baby to experience object permanence and “see” that the ball did not “disappear” because it soon comes rolling back into view.
Using this wooden baby toy allows children to practice precise hand movements that develop hand, wrist, and finger control–known in Montessori education as “refined hand movements.” Get a Montessori Object Permanence Box HERE.
13. Wooden Stacking Rings
This set of eco-friendly stacking rings are made of wood and include graduated colored rings. Based on a classic design, this natural toy for babies and toddlers promotes a child’s understanding of color, shape, and size. I like the stacking ring set HERE because of the added challenge of the sphere on top.
Babies first enjoy grasping, teething, and banging the wooden rings together to make music. Later they spend endless amounts of time stacking them well into toddlerhood. Stackable baby toys like this set of wooden stacking rings are known to improve creative and logical thinking and hand-eye coordination. With repeated use, the child learns how it feels to succeed when he has achieved a goal on his own.
14. Wooden Pop-Up Toys
A pop-up toy that features hardwood construction and spring-loaded action can provide hours of entertainment for the developing baby. The recommended age is 12 months and up, but our daughter enjoyed this wonderful toy as soon as she could sit.
This classic toy 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 it can be used for many years before passing it down to the next generation.
You can choose to buy the classic version of this pop-up toy, a school bus, or a fire truck. We had all three of these classics toys, and they have always been some of the most popular toys in our home childcare!
15. Baby’s First Blocks & Discovery Blocks
These wooden block sets for babies are perfect for little hands and growing fingers. Baby’s First Blocks are multi-colored wooden 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.
The Discovery Blocks Set includes six blocks with added surprises 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.
16. Shape Sorting Cube
In addition to color and shape recognition, this eco-friendly toy helps babies and 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 included with this natural wooden shape sorting cube can also be used for beginning patterning activities or combined with the block sets listed above for open-ended play. Get this interactive wooden toy for babies filled with playful shapes HERE.
17. Hape Double Bubble
Bead mazes like this wooden toy bring hours of simulated sensory exploration for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers–that help them improve their focus, eye-hand coordination, and thinking skills.
This colorful bead maze for babies will also introduce little ones to shape, colors, spacious thinking, problem-solving, and fine motor skills. And, best of all, four sturdy suction cups secure the solid wooden base to virtually any smooth surface. It’s a great size for travel, and we found it outstanding in restaurants! Get this award-winning natural wooden toy for babies by Hape HERE.
18. Wooden Baby Walker Toy Chest
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.
We like THIS eco-friendly wooden baby walker because it comes with a large front toy chest. Babies can push their favorite toys around with them everywhere, and this will encourage them to walk around even more.
19. Walk-A-Long Puppy
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. Because instead of just looking and moving forward, the toddler now 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 an exact route to cue even more brain development.
This wooden pull toy, like the other natural baby toys provided on this list, has the potential for many years of use, unlike other cheap plastic single-use toys that end up in the garbage bin before they ever make it to the toy chest. Toddlers will not only enjoy taking this friendly puppy for walks–it will also eventually encourage imitative and imaginary play and promote fantasy storytelling, role-playing, and creativity. Get this fantastic wooden pull toy for children from babies to preschoolers HERE.
20. Scoot Around Wooden Ride on Bike
A 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.
This eco-friendly baby toy is perfect for older babies and toddlers that are beginning to test their mobility and develop active motor skills. We found it an easy transport toy for trips to the park, around the home, and more. Get this excellent natural toy that will grow with your baby HERE.
A few more of the best eco-friendly push, pull, and ride-on toy options for children can be found in best natural toddler toys.
The Best Natural Toys for Babies Make Great Baby Shower Gifts!
It can be hard to find the perfect toys for your developing baby. I hope you find this list of natural Waldorf and Montessori baby toys helpful in your search.
As your child grows, it is essential to buy quality toddler toys, preschool toys, and open-ended toys for pretend play that will continue to boost their development naturally. Click on any of the ideas below to see a lot more natural toy options for children of all ages.
More Natural Toys for Kids
Click on the links for all of our favorite, most recommended toys for kids! You may also like our favorite parenting books for raising children zero to five.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!