CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

7 Toys to Help Teach Little Ones About the Environment and Being Green

Babies and toddlers may be too young to learn about composting, but they can begin to learn about animals, nature, recycling and how to be a friend to the environment.
save article
profile picture of Jackie Cucco
By Jackie Cucco, Senior Editor, the Toy Insider
Updated June 1, 2023
Grandparent playing blocks at home on the floor with his grandchild.
Image: Getty Images
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

April may be Earth Month, but it’s important to practice and teach eco-friendliness all year round. In recent years, sustainability has been trending, with more and more brands looking to make their products more eco-conscious and eco-friendly. While it may not seem like a big difference, there are little things each of us can do daily, like bringing a reusable bag to buy groceries, getting coffee in a reusable tumbler and composting kitchen scraps that can make for a healthier planet (and healthier people).

One of the best ways to ensure our planet’s future? To teach kids about being green and environmentally friendly from a young age. While they may not understand how composting works just yet, babies and toddlers can be introduced to concepts like nature, recycling and more. Plus, with the emphasis on eco-friendliness, many kids’ toys are taking pains to ensure their products are both good for baby and for the Earth. Below, some toys that contribute to a more sustainable planet and help teach little ones about the environment.

Image: Courtesy Kid Trax Toys

Real Rigs Recycling Truck from Kid Trax Toys

Ages: 18 months to 4 years

This ride-on toy helps introduce little ones to the concept of recycling in the form of an anthropomorphic truck with a moving mouth and eyes, working lights and more than 100 sound effects, catchy songs and phrases, such as “recycling is a blast” and “let’s clean up this town.” It comes with nine recycling-themed accessories—including toy versions of soda and soup cans, cardboard boxes, a newspaper, food containers, and glass bottles—that kids can sort by placing them in the slots in the back of the truck.

Buy it: $150, Amazon.com

Image: Courtesy eeBoo

Shore Buddies Plush Animals from Shore Buddies

Ages: All ages

Each of the five Shore Buddies characters teaches kids about ocean conservation. Every plush toy is made out of six recycled plastic bottles and is just as soft as it is sweet. Characters include Sammy the Seal, Shelly the Sea Turtle, Stephen Seagull, Finn the Dolphin, and Emma the Whale.

Related Video

Buy it: $20, Amazon.com

Image: Courtesy Shore Buddies

Mega Bloks First Builders Woodland Friends from Mattel

Ages: 12 months to 5 years

This set includes 70 big building blocks, all made from sugarcane-based polyethylene, a renewable raw material. It also comes with 100% recyclable and FSC-certified packaging, made from both recycled and sustainably-grown materials. Kids can use the blocks to build a jungle scene, match colors, stack them to build motor skills, or build a fox, a bear, a raccoon, a bunny and a deer.

Buy it: $20, Amazon.com

Image: Courtesy Mattel

Design & Drill Bolt Buddies Fire Truck from Educational Insights

Ages: 3 to 7 years

Kids can use the kid-friendly power drill to attach wheels onto the firetruck using the colorful bolts, then role-play with the firefighter and dalmatian figurines. Don’t throw the box away because it unfolds to transform into a playset to go along with the truck, becoming part of the sustainable playtime experience and creating less waste.

Buy it: $40, Amazon.com

Image: Courtesy Educational Insights

Sidewalk Chalk from TWEE

Ages: 3 years and older

This colorful sidewalk chalk looks almost too good to play with and is available in food themes, including burgers, doughnuts, macarons, and sushi. The chalk is meant for outdoor use on gritty surfaces, such as sidewalks, asphalt, and concrete. The glitter is biodegradable and all of the paint and coloring used are nontoxic. TWEE packages its products in fully biodegradable and recyclable packaging, including plant-based film for the clear windows instead of petroleum-based plastic.

Buy it: $24, Etsy.com

Image: Courtesy TWEE

Pop 2 Play from WowWee

Ages: 2 years and older

Parents can assemble these pop-up playsets in minutes by unfolding and popping the cardboard pieces into place for an instant slide, race car, kitchen, or nursery that kids can interact with. Instead of plastic, these playsets are made from a durable, recyclable, StrongFold cardboard material that can hold up to 50 pounds. They also fold flat when kids are done playing for easy storage in a closet, under a bed, or behind a couch.

Buy it: $30, Amazon.com

Image: Courtesy WowWee

Ecologic Puzzles from Adventerra Games

Ages: 2 years and older

These puzzle sets feature 12 mini-puzzles and are available in Saving Water and Respect the Earth designs. The Saving Water set features marine animals to teach toddlers how to conserve water and the Respect the Earth set features cartoon characters that model examples of habits to incorporate into daily life to better protect the planet. Adventerra Games uses environmentally friendly raw materials (both recycled and recyclable); sustainable, wooden pieces instead of plastic; and biodegradable film made from sugar cane.

Buy it: $19.99, AdventerraGamesUSA.com

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

Our Favorite Eco-Conscious Products for Green Households
Our Favorite Eco-Conscious Products for Green Households
By Elizabeth Nelson
mom and toddler enjoying greenery in backyard
How to Raise an Eco-Conscious Child
By Yelena Moroz Alpert
8 slides
Eco-Friendly Baby Products You’ll Love
Eco-Friendly Baby Products You’ll Love
By Anisa Arsenault
ADVERTISEMENT
home chef bluey meal kits
Bluey Meal Kits Debut Alongside Trailer for Special 28-Minute Episode
By Wyndi Kappes
Best Toddler Cameras Hero
The Best Toddler Cameras for Junior Photographers
By Korin Miller
best-baby-floor-mats-HERO
The 11 Best Baby Play Mats for Tummy Time and Beyond
By Korin Miller
Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton on BuzzFeed's "AM To DM" on October 15, 2019 in New York City
Julie Andrews and Her Daughter Pen New Children's Book
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
build a bear donating bears to classrooms for national teddy bear day 2023
Build-A-Bear Is Donating Stuffed "Learning Buddies" to Schools in Need
By Wyndi Kappes
Baby playing with a stroller toy
10 Best Stroller Toys to Keep Baby Entertained on the Go
By Martina Garvey
baby playing alone with toys on the floor
Why Is Solitary Play Important for Babies and Toddlers?
By Lisa Milbrand
ADVERTISEMENT
asian father reading book with daughter on couch at home
25 Kids Books Under $20 That Celebrate AAPI Culture
By Wyndi Kappes
Matthew McConaughey and family attend the 2019 Texas Medal Of Arts Awards at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on February 27, 2019 in Austin, Texas.
Matthew McConaughey Shares the Idea Behind His First Children's Book
By Wyndi Kappes
Amanda Kloots attends the World Premiere of Netflix's "Your Place Or Mine" at Regency Village Theatre on February 02, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
Amanda Kloots Pens Children’s Book About Bedtime Rituals With Her Son
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Grandfather sitting with his two grand daughters and reading a book.
16 Books That Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Culture
By Nehal Aggarwal
popular back to school products on etsy
These Are the Top 5 Back-to-School Trends on Etsy Right Now
By Nehal Aggarwal
Abby Cadabby puppet character from Sesame Street
Join Elmo and Abby Cadabby for a Scavenger Hunt You Can Do From Home
By Nehal Aggarwal
mom sitting and talking with her young daughter on the floor at home
25 Free Activity Resources to Keep Little Ones Entertained at Home
By Christin Perry
ADVERTISEMENT
Toddler in sleep sack
7 Best Toddler Sleep Sacks, Tested by a Mom and Child
By Korin Miller
mom and baby looking at laptop at home
The Best Target Circle Week Deals for Families
By Wyndi Kappes
15 Mommy and Me Swimsuits for a Cute Matching Moment
15 Mommy and Me Swimsuits for a Cute Matching Moment
By Danielle Halibey
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List