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11 best kids’ eco-friendly toys that make the perfect gift

Instead of something plastic, invest in a sustainable and educational toy that your child will enjoy for years to come  

Fran Yeoman
Thursday 21 May 2020 17:30 BST
From watercolour paints to a bird feeding kit, engage your kid with these environmentally-friendly toys
From watercolour paints to a bird feeding kit, engage your kid with these environmentally-friendly toys (The Independent/iStock)

Defining an eco-friendly toy is a fraught task that inevitably invites criticism from those who have their own priorities and exacting standards. What most of us can surely agree on, however, is that the heavily-packaged and battery-powered plastic specimens that fill most toy shop shelves are not by any real definition sustainable.

What they often are, however, is cheap. Our research into eco-friendly playthings has revealed a definite if unsurprising theme, namely that being kind to the planet costs more than opting for the cheap and cheerful disposable option. Green purchases, therefore, need to be selective, and here we’ve tried to help.

We’ve included eco-friendly toys that are made with clear concern for the environment in terms of materials and/or production processes, but we’ve also featured things that will engage young people with their planet and that will last, as what could be more sustainable as a toy that lasts for generations?

There are items in this selection to suit different ages and interests.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Eco-friendly toys

The Little Green Sheep baby gym would be a lovely gift for a newborn, and the Earth Heroes book will likely be devoured by older children who are already eco-aware. However, for the excitement its arrival generated, as well as its educational value and time-filling qualities, our best buy is the Mud and Bloom box.

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