Skip to main content
Claire Moshenberg's picture

Toy shopping is stressful enough without adding toxic chemicals to the mix! Avoid toxic traps with these top 5 tips for non-toxic toy shopping.

1) Be prepared: Look up toys on and choose toys from their “No detected chemicals of concern” list and “Low detected chemicals of concern” list  when possible. As you browse the HealthyStuff site, you can start to organize a list of toys that interest you with their product list tool. You can also find product ratings and suggestions for toys and other baby products on the Good Guide.

2) Reuse: Search online, or at local thrift stores and flea markets, for secondhand books and toys. You can find a lot of kids items in great condition; just remember to clean used toys and books with soap and warm water, and avoid plastic as much as possible.

3) Skip plastic toys: Many plastic toys contain phthalates, a toxic chemical linked to several health issues. Avoid phthalates by choosing cloth or wooden toys. If you do purchase plastic toys, try to stick to hard plastics, since soft plastics often have higher phthalate levels.

4) Better wooden toys: Look for unvarnished wooden toys. If your purchase varnished toys, choose ones with a low-VOC or water-based stain or sealant, or toys that are finished with tung oil and beeswax.

5) Try activities: Lisa Frack from EWG recommends skipping the non-toxic toy shopping hassle by switching out traditional toy gifts with fun activities. A meal at a favorite restaurant, a special day trip, or registration for a fun activity like ice skating or gymnastics all make great, non-toxic gifts.

For more great ideas on non-toxic toy shopping, check out Lisa Frack's post "Don't Let Toxic Toys Grinch Your Holiday!"

Check out our other non-toxic gift guides:


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!