Toy Fair 2011: Top 10 Green Toys

Filed under: Toys

This year's top 10 green toy honorees span a wide range of categories, from building blocks to robots, educational games to kid-safe cosmetics. And though this year's Toy Fair saw the return of a dedicated section for eco-friendly toys, some of the most interesting ones were actually spread throughout the other exhibit areas. This could mean that mainstream toy manufacturers are beginning to get the message that parents are increasingly demanding toys made from non-toxic, sustainable materials and those that help kids unplug and focus more on nature and imaginative play.

Emerson House Dollhouse

brinca dāda

1. brinca dāda Emerson House Dollhouse

If your kid is a mid-century modern maven, this fabulous modern dollhouse will tickle her designer fancy. Built around an open floor plan, this modern home includes a living room, kitchen, library/office, master bedroom, bathroom and child's bedroom. But not only is this six-room modern home stylish, it's also made from eco-friendly materials, finished with non-toxic finishes and sports working solar panels that power actual recessed LED lights. You can also complete the sophisticated aesthetic with classic contemporary furniture, which is available separately. Ages 3 and up.

Available at brinca dāda for $329.

Tegu Tints Discovery Set


2. Tegu Tints Discovery Set

New this year from the blockheads at Tegu is a 26-piece line of their ingenious magnetic wooden blocks colored with non-toxic, water-based pastel tints that are so yummy they remind you of squared-off Easter eggs. Like their natural-colored counterparts, these gorgeous blocks are made from eco-friendly hardwoods and have magnets embedded safely and invisibly inside, so they seemingly defy gravity as they click together into an endless array of shapes and figures. Ages 3 and up.

Available at Amazon for $60.

Toysmith 4M Green Science Box Robot

Creative Kidstuff

3. Toysmith 4M Green Science Box Robot

This robot-making kit is the ultimate in eco-friendly, creative fun, and it's so green that the box is a part of the project. Just doodle a robot design on the box, then assemble it into a working robotic creature with plastic wheels and face parts, an electric motor and an on-off switch. The Box Robot is part of a line of green science toys that stress key concepts like reuse, recycling, climate change and alternative energy. Ages 8 and up.

Available at Creative Kidstuff for $9.99.

Educational Insights Reading Roundup!

Educational Insights

4. Educational Insights Reading Roundup!

This fun and educational board game teaches 25 key kindergarten words by sending kids on a reading race through the southwest. Players get five cards with words on them then move around the board, hoping to land on a word that matches one of their cards. The first player to read all five words and make their way back to home base wins the game. Reading Roundup! is one of the company's line of eco-friendly early childhood games, made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable-based inks. Ages 4-7.

Available at Educational Insights for $14.99.

Piggy Paint Project Earth Nail Polish

Piggy Paint

5. Piggy Paint Project Earth Nail Polish

Developed by a mom who freaked out when the nail polish she was using on her kids ate through a foam plate, Piggy Paint is a non-toxic nail polish. Specially formulated using natural ingredients and no formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, acetone or other harsh toxic chemicals, Piggy Paint is hypoallergenic and virtually odorless, so it's gentle on sensitive hands. When your tween is ready to switch up her shades, try the non-solvent Piggy Paint Nail Polish Remover. The Project Earth line is designed especially for tweens.

Available at Piggy Paint for $8.99.

Sprig Soarin' Sea Plane


6. Sprig Soarin' Sea Plane

This year, Sprig has added the Soarin' Sea Plane to their award-winning line of kid-powered, battery-free adventure toys. All Sprig toys are made from Sprigwood, a durable, child-safe, paint-free material made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. The Soarin' Sea Plane set comes ready for action with an Adventure Seaplane, Adventure Guide, an Adventure Hat that's interchangeable with other characters and a pelican. The only thing missing is your little adventurer. Ages 3 and up.

Available at Amazon for $24.03.

Plan Toys Build-A-Robot


7. Plan Toys Build-A-Robot

This endearing wooden robot comes with four interchangeable heads that help teach kids to differentiate between different emotions -- happy, sad, angry and surprised. The heads also offer different tactile and auditory experiences, while the robot's arms and legs move to work fine motor skills. Made by green toy maker Plan Toys, the robot is constructed with clean, natural rubberwood, as well as non-toxic glue and water-based dyes. Ages 3 and up.

Available in March at myFootprint for $34.95.

Be Blocks Kit: Be Blocks

Be Blocks

8. Be Blocks Kit

Be Blocks are made from 100 percent rapidly-renewable bamboo and come in an heirloom bamboo box. These eco-friendly blocks come out of the box blank, but become a treasured keepsake when decorated and personalized by your child with the included non-toxic Be Block markers.

Available from Be Blocks for $50.

Green Toys Pizza Parlor

Green Toys

9. Green Toys Pizza Parlor

Your little gourmand can pretend to be a pizza chef or server with this adorable pizza parlor play set. The 27-piece set includes 4 slices of pizza, 20 toppings, pizza cutter, order pad and delivery box. Pizza ingredients also work with other Green Toys stacking food toys and kitchen sets. The set is made in the U.S. from 100 percent recycled milk jugs, and it's free of BPA, PVC and phthalates. Ages 2 and up.

Available in March at Amazon for $24.99.

Toyops Triassic Triops Deluxe


10. ToyOps Triassic Triops Deluxe

The Triassic Triops kit is part of a line of award-winning educational science kits that feature shrimp-like creatures that look like horseshoe crabs and date back about 200 million years, to the time of the dinosaurs. These prehistoric creatures are brought back to life simply by adding water to the eggs included in the kit. Eggs come from same family of Triops that were used for study by NASA on the space shuttle. Kit comes with everything you need to grow these little pets. Ages 8 and up.

Available at ThinkGeek for $14.99.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.