It is important that toys for babies and young children are not only fun to play with, and preferably stimulate child development, but are also safe. They have to meet strict safety standards. The main issue is PVC and the plasticisers and stabilisers which are added during manufacture. These toxic substances may be ingested when babies and young children chew, as they do, their plastic toys. In addition, if PVC products are disposed of and incinerated they give off dioxins which are carcinogens and can cause developmental and reproductive damage. Because of this, one group of chemicals, the phthalates, have been banned across Europe from use in toys. Greenpeace has campaigned on many aspects of toxic chemicals in toys and household goods since the 1990s and information on the various campaigns (e.g. toxic toys and the chemical home) are available by searching the Greenpeace website.
Green parents who buy wooden toys may wish to avoid tropical hardwoods if they can, and some of the suppliers stock items made from sustainably grown wood, though little information is available.
The Green Board Game Company require their games to be fun to play, have multi-level play so that adults and children can play together on a level playing field, offer value for money, encourage knowledge of, and interest in, our world, use recycled/recyclable materials and wood from managed forests and be safe and tested to British and European safety standards.
Mulberry Bush Ltd is an established specialist mail order company, selling traditional and innovative toys, including a good range of wooden toys and games.
The Organic Toy Company specialise exclusively in toys which have a strict criteria of having certified 100% organic cotton as, at the very least, the main outer fabric. Lovely gifts for newborns and toddlers.