This list of natural toys for infants, babies, and toddlers make perfect baby shower gifts!
Baby toys made of wood, and other natural and organic materials, provide a rich sensory experience for the developing infant. They can also help new mothers feel confident about the safety of the toy that their baby is putting in their mouth.
With recommendations from Waldorf & Montessori educators and experienced parents, these natural and eco-friendly baby toys can nurture the skills that an infant needs to grow into a healthy baby and toddler. Related: 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. 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.
I also wanted baby toys that I felt safe giving to my infant. In other words, I wanted toys that didn’t scare me when they ended up in my infant’s mouth. There are several baby toys on the market today filled with chemicals that I don’t want my baby putting in her mouth!
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 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! Click the title of each toy to learn more. If you click to purchase, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. For more information, please see our policies.
1. Photo Mobile
Mobiles are the Montessori go-to item for the baby’s visual development in infancy. First, hang black and white photos (or cards sold separately), later add color pictures.
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’t get a hold of it. This baby toy for infants is for the eyes to enjoy, not the hands! Find this toy for newborns HERE.
The perfect gift for a baby boy or girl! This baby toy for infants encourages early motor skills while giving infants something to hold and manipulate. A wooden play gym that is easy to assemble and can easily fold away for storage or transportation.
The removable construction allows you to change or add more 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 stored when not in use. Free of chemicals and 100% safe for baby. Find this toy for babies HERE.
Use it with a REAL sheepskin rug to help baby’s developing sensory system!
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!
We recommend starting with natural egg shakers like THESE. These music toys for babies provide a rich sensory experience of both sound and touch. 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, 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 toy instruments are a fun, hands-on way to introduce babies and toddlers to music!
This soft rainbow ball provides a rich multi-sensory experience for baby with the textures, colors, and sounds. The perfect infant toy for baby’s first grasping, throwing, rolling, and catching experiences! Playing with your infant can help your baby develop their grasp and work on their hand-eye coordination.
These cute little teething plush toys are easy for baby to grasp, hold, and chew. There are many other plush animals and toys available. Click through to see all of the cute options!
This natural toy for babies is 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 to create a playful sound.
The textured, crocheted organic cotton yarn offers relief on teething gums. This Chime Rattle stimulates the 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. Play silks are perfect for little hands to hold and play peek-a-boo. Our favorite play silks are Sarah’s Silks because they are made with real silk instead of polyester–ugh!!
Please note: The colors 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!
When children get older, play silks are an essential ingredient for children’s imaginative play. They can create elaborate costumes, build forts, create landscapes and water for boats and animals, blankets for babies, and much much more.
A super cute little wooden roller that contains a bell that hits the wood as it rolls and creates a lovely sound. It stimulates 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.
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 the baby to explore sound and learn cause and effect.
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. Invite your baby to drop the little ball into the hole in the box. The ball will roll out of the box and into the attached tray, allowing your baby to experience object permanence by seeing that the ball did not just disappear.
Using this baby toy allows children to practice precise hand movements that develop hand, wrist, and finger control–known in Montessori education as “refined hand movements.”
These Stacking Rings are made of wood and include graduated colored rings. Based on a classic design, this toy for babies and toddlers 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. Stackable toys 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.
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.
These block sets are perfect for little ones. 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.
In addition to color and shape recognition, this 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 can also be used for beginning patterning activities and combined with the block sets above for open-ended play.
Bead mazes bring hours of simulated 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 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 outstanding 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.
THIS baby walker comes with a large front toy chest. Babies can push their favorite toys everywhere, and this encourages them to walk more.
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 an exact route.
This toy, like others provided here, has the potential for many years of use, unlike many others. 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.
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 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.
A few more push, pull and ride on toy options 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.
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!