When I found out I was pregnant I spent that entire 10 months researching EVERY product for infants and toddlers. So much so that I have since had three friends re-use my exact baby registry for their baby showers. The major factors in my purchases were whether they were safe, sustainable, durable, and (let’s be honest…) attractive. I have never been a huge fan of clunky plastic toys or the frustrating and wasteful packaging they come in.
Now that these toys have been used (and thrown, and chewed on) by not only one but two children, I can safely say that these are some of the best toys out there period! So whether you are looking for a gift for a baby shower, preparing for a new baby, or need gift ideas for your baby or toddler, these toys are parent-approved.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I own every single item in this guide – so feel free to head over to Instagram to ask me questions about any of it @tokkigifting. We were NOT paid by anyone for these opinions (even by ourselves as it turns out…).
Top Infant Play Gym
Finn + Emma - Play Gym There are about a thousand different options out there for infant play gyms. Usually adorned in bright plastics and flashing lights, Finn + Emma’s play gyms take on a simple and modern design. The frame is height adjustable and made from 100% birch wood and finished with non-toxic stains and lacquers. The knit toys are hand-knit using organic cotton yarn, the teethers are untreated Indian hardwood and finished with vegetable seed wax.
Best part? The toys can be removed and hooked onto just about anything! We used these in the car seat and stroller ALL the time. Also, it is beautiful enough to leave in your living room at all times - can’t say that about most baby items!
The Best Baby Rattle and Teether Toy
Manhattan Baby - Skwish – When it comes to toys designed to go into a baby's mouth, I like to consider what it is made of. This unique wooden rattle is fun and non-toxic for your baby to gnaw on all day long. Made from renewable rubberwood and finished with water-based stains and paints, you can rest assured your baby is safe. It is also super durable and makes the coolest noises. It has been used by both of our boys religiously and shows little signs of wear (I even catch myself playing with it from time to time).
Consider wrapping with a Tokki wrap either a size small that includes a zippered pouch or a size medium traditionally (wrapping the fabric around the item rather than zipped into the pouch).
The Perfect On-The-Go Baby Toy
Plan Toys – Baby Roller – Another amazing wooden toy brand is Plan Toys. Made with non-toxic paints and sustainable wood made from rubber trees, their toys are sure to catch your little one's eye. This roller has a wooden ball inside that makes a fun noise when shaken or rolled across the floor. I love it because it is the perfect size to throw in the diaper bag, and not obnoxious sounding for them to play in public with. The Baby Roller can be wrapped in a small size Tokki gift bag or a traditional tokki wrap.
The Best Lovey for Baby and Toddler
Slumberkins Snugglers – Around age one, most kids start to become attached to a toy. These adorable baby loveys (a mix between a stuffed animal and small blanket) are perfect for snuggling and helping baby sleep. Slumberkins are made with hypoallergenic materials and can be washed in the washing machine – perfect for the toy that’s dragged around the house constantly.
Each snuggler has a particular emotional learning story associated with it to help your little one build their confidence! My boys use theirs every night and I love that they are cute to boot! Consider wrapping sustainably + memorably in a size small Tokki gift bag or wrap.
Favorite Toy Doll and Stuffed Animal In One
Cuddle + kind – Hudson The Polar Bear – These dolls are gorgeous, so gorgeous that sometimes I feel like they should be displayed on a shelf! My aunt gifted these to my boys for Christmas last year and they LOVE playing ‘big brother, little brother’ with them. Despite my urge to keep them pristine, they are durable and meant to be cuddled with.
On top of being hand made with safe and non-toxic materials and sustainable and fair trade practices, these dolls each provide 10 meals to children in need. Cuddle + Kind dolls are heirloom quality and I know will be passed onto my grandchildren someday. The small doll can be wrapped in a size small Tokki gift bag and a larger doll in a size medium.
Safe and Eco-Friendly Toys Available at Target
B toys – Bristle Block Stackadoos and Woofer – This affordable brand can be found at Target and is one of our favorites! They make environmental efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by using minimal packing and when it’s needed is 100% recyclable and has soy-based inks. These colorful toys are often made from recycled materials as well. Despite being in a big box store, B Toys are sturdy and can be passed along from child to child to last many lifetimes. The bristle blocks can keep my boys occupied for hours, and the dog guitar is a guaranteed dance party. Both can be wrapped in a medium-size Tokki gift bag.
Favorite Toy Trucks
Green Toys - Fire Engine & Recycling Truck – Some of our most used toys are made by Green Toys. From fire engines to seaplanes your automotive lover will be thrilled with these 100% recycled plastic vehicles made from milk jugs. They are US based and take pride in their sustainable practices.
We just put in a sandpit in our backyard this past summer and we had to get a second dump truck because the kids wouldn’t stop fighting over it. I also love that many of the toys come in a variety of colors, (i.e. pink and purple dump trucks, tractors, and firetrucks) wish they had these when I was younger! These trucks can be wrapped in a medium-size Tokki gift bag.
Books Make The Best Gifts
Books – A tried and true gift that parents also get to enjoy with their little ones. Some of our favorites books for babies and toddlers right now are:
Construction Site on Christmas Night – If your little one loves the original Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, watch out this might be your new nightly read (it has been for us for the past YEAR).
The Wonderful things you will be - My youngest son adores this book, it is the book he picks out every night (he points and says ‘balloon, balloon’), he has great taste because I love it too!
Everyone is yawning – This adorable book has flaps to make cute little animals yawn on each page. All that yawning has got us all ready for bed by the end of it!
Tokki Gift Bags | The Eco-Conscious Companion for Every Gift
Any of these toys would make a thoughtful, sustainable, and memorable gift for the little one in your life. Whoever you're celebrating, Tokki gift bags + QR cards help you honor them in the best way possible. Choose the limited-edition gift bag that celebrates that special person, and don’t forget to include a custom digital message to commemorate your special day. Learn more at www.tokki.com.
I like to have a mix of toys that we can engage in together and that my child can use to develop his own independent play skills. There are also toys that become soothers for babies like stuffed animals, loveys, dolls, or even books. It is helpful to have both toys that require energy and toys that help create a more calming and relaxed environment. Whether you are a parent looking for new gift ideas or someone who is searching for the perfect baby shower gift or birthday gift, we hope this list gives you inspiration.
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