In honor of my son’s birthday, I thought I’d compile a list of non-plastic gift ideas for toddlers. While most of these ideas are geared toward toddler boys, they’d work just as well for girls!
So many toys marketed to kids these days are completely plastic. It’s cheap and easy to mold into lots of shapes, but it’s not the greatest for your health. While we have our fair share of plastic toys, I like giving ideas of non-plastic alternatives when people ask.
Some of these gifts are toys we already own, and I’ve tried to link to those versions when possible. Some of the items, however, we don’t have, but I tried to link to items that look fun and good quality.
In a way, compiling this gift guide has also given me ideas for Christmas presents for my son.
Note: This post does not container affiliate links. Eventually, I will sign up for Amazon affiliates and change them over, but as most bloggers use them and I haven’t started yet, I thought I’d let you know instead of leaving you to wonder if I’d forgotten the disclaimer.
All images are from the Amazon page linked to in the object heading.
We gave our son a similar tool set for his birthday. Since he’s only 1 right now, he’s still a bit younger for the smaller nuts and bolts pieces, but he loves playing with the toolbox and tools!
This would make a wonderful gift for a slightly older toddler who likes putting things together (and taking them apart).
We don’t have one of these, but they look so fun!
Since there are so many different activities in one spot, they’re an awesome way to keep your toddler entertained without having multiple toys strewn across the floor.
With as much as my son likes pounding things with the hammer from the tool set (mentioned above), I feel like he would love this pounding bench.
Maybe it would help him burn off some energy and his desire to pound on things? Or maybe it would just encourage it. Who knows?
These look so fun and sturdier than paper or cardboard versions!
Plus, they even come with a carrying/storage case.
This was another one of our son’s birthday gifts a couple weeks ago. He loves them!
I’d seen plastic versions of these before, but when I read about a wooden version on a blog I follow, I knew I wanted to get some
Just like the shaker eggs, I think my son would love making nose with this instrument set.
I remember having an instrument set when I was younger, and my siblings and I played with it all the time.
We actually have two of these (one each from grandparents on different sides), and they’re definitely a favorite toy. My son loves noise, music, and banging on things (see the Pounding Bench I linked to above), so this xylophone combines all of those things!
Unfortunatley, it’s kind of hard to find a xylophone without smaller plastic pieces. I tried to find one, but many of them seem to have them hiding underneath the metal chimes. If you find (or own) one that doesn’t have any plastic, please send me a link!
I remember having some of these when I was little. Not only are they fun for building towers and pyramids with, they’re also a great way to practice letters or spelling words with your older toddler.
You could also come up with lots of games to play with them, such as matching colors or letters, or putting them in alphabetical order.
We have some of these at our local library, and they’re a popular toy. They’re made out of sturdy cardboard so they hold up to lots of kids playing with them, but children are less likely to hurt themselves on them than they might be on wooden blocks.
We don’t have any at our house yet, but I could see my son building towers and walls with these when he’s older.
Play Kitchen Sets
When I was little, I usually just used older plates and bowls and utensils from my mom’s or grandma’s kitchen. If you’d rather give your child a set of their own, this wooden set is adorable!
It even comes with salt and pepper shakers!
This play food set looks so fun! While they’re obviously not photocopies of the original foods, they are still quite lifelike.
Plus, you toddler can practice their cutting skills while they learn about different fruits and veggies!
Stuffed Animals and Dolls
My father-in-law gave my son a very similar stuffed puppy to the one above when he was born.
Its name is Toffee (according to the tag), and while he doesn’t play with it much yet, I’m sure he’ll love having that connection with his grandpa when he’s a little older.
Whether it’s a puppy or other animal (see below), stuffed animals make awesome toddler gifts!
Aren’t these just so cute? My parents gave us some farm animal Beanie Babies (wow, throwback) for Christmas next year.
These cute critters even come with a Barn carrying case to store them in.
These are similar to the farm animal set above, but jungle-themed. We have a Noah’s Ark-themed set, but it has very similar animals to this set, just with an Ark instead of tree for the case.
Okay, so this is one of the items geared more toward girl toddlers (though boys could play with them too), but I thought I’d include it for some of your girl moms who are looking for ideas.
Books are an awesome gift idea, no matter your child’s age. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Anything Eric Carle is a win in my book. His books have such cute illustrations and you can even practice colors and animal names with most of them.
I could put a lot more of his books in this list, but then it would get really long, so just do me a favor and search Eric Carle if you need even more book ideas.
Just like with the Eric Carle books, this recommendation is representative of the rest of Sandra Boynton’s collection of books. Search by her name to find a treasure trove of books full of cute animals and laughter.
This book in particular is one of my favorites because it included lots of barnyard animals and singing.
Those are my 2020 recommendations for non-plastic gift ideas. Most of these would work with older babies/younger toddlers as well, depending on the size of some of the smaller pieces.
Good luck on your Christmas shopping!
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