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Announcing the Top 10 Green Toys Test: Nominate Your Favorite Eco Friendly Toy

The search is on for the Top 10 Eco Friendly Toys of 2009, and we need your help!

Goddard Child Development Centers and EcoChildsPlay are proud to sponsor the Second Annual Eco-Friendly Toy Test, which will evaluate the best green toys for preschool and early elementary-aged children based on the creative, child-engaging qualities, the interactive qualities, the price, and the eco friendliness of the product.

As green parents, we want to know just how environmentally friendly our kids’ toys are, and we want to know which ones are safe toys, because we care about the health of both our children and the planet. We also want to know which natural toys are engaging to children, and which ones have the most potential for creative and social play.

With this in mind, the Goddard Schools and EcoChildsPlay Eco Friendly Toy Test is accepting submissions from toy makers which meet the following criteria:

  • the toy is eco friendly
  • the toy is affordable (under $25)
  • the toy encourages creative, social, and engaging play activities
  • the toy is interactive and lends itself to child-initiated play
  • the toy is appropriate for preschool to early elementary school-aged children

The green toy submissions will be tested by Goddard preschoolers (for play value) and also by Green Options’ own and one of the founding members of the Greenmoms Carnival (@greenmoms) Maryanne Conlin. Maryanne will evaluate entries to ensure they meet the standards we green parents champion.

The top green toys will be awarded the Eco Friendly Toy seal and listed in the Top Ten Eco Friendly Toys of 2009. In addition, preschoolers at participating Goddard Schools will get to play with the Top Ten and then name the “Local Preschoolers Picks” for the top kid’s choices.

The contest is open to environmentally safe toy submissions until October 1, 2009, and the winners announced at the end of October. To enter, download the Eco Friendly Toy Test entry form and read the guidelines.

And now we need your help:

What’s your favorite eco friendly toy under $25? Please leave your nominations in the comments. (I nominate _____ toy company because _____.)

If you’re on Twitter, please complete and Tweet this using the hashtag #bestgreentoys:

@EcoChildsPlay, I nominate ______ for the #bestgreentoys contest.

If you know a green toy company, please reach out to them to enter the contest by sending them a link to this post.

There is a Flickr Stream set up (bestgreentoys) for you to upload a picture of your child with their favorite green toy (tagged with #bestgreentoys) to suggest that the company should enter the contest, and we have a Best Green Toys Facebook Page (please become a fan and upload pictures and leave comments). We will bring you updates when submissions are received, so you can weigh in with your comments.

About Goddard: Goddard Schools was named the number one child care franchise by Entrepreneur for the eighth year in a row, and is founded on the curriculum of the creation of a safe and nurturing environment for young children based upon learning through play. Many Goddard Schools offer eco-friendly features such as Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), recycled flooring products and environmental learning packages. Goddard also joined World Wildlife Fund’s 2009 Earth Hour for the Stepping Up for the Environment event, a nationwide effort in which more than 40,000 children helped to spread the message that by working together, each one of them can make a positive impact in working toward a sustainable future.


  1. I love the idea of this concept, particularly the fact that you are focusing on toys under $25. Frankly, most of the “eco toys” at my neighborhood “organic” toy store sell for far more than that price point.

    I must say I had to stifle a laugh when I saw the picture of the wooden blocks. They were one of my favorite eco-friendly toys until I learned the other day that a wooden block thrown with great force by a 2.5 year old can in fact draw blood. All of a sudden plastic blocks seemed the safer alternative! (Just kidding).

  2. It is going to be tough to find eco toys under $25. The not so save toys are so cheap for a reason…cheap materials plus production in countries where labor is much cheaper. I think a good eco friendly toy is also one that keeps children want to play with it for a long time and the in the end you´ll save money by having a quality toy that lasts and will even be fun for your children´s children. Then it´s definitely worth spending more in the beginning. I also believe that children don´t need a room full of toys so you can spend more on one toy instead of spending the same on a truck load of cheap ones. I am sure a lot of great toys won´t make it on the list just because they are just over $25. You don´t even get a good set of wooden building blocks for that!

  3. I forgot to say that I still thinks this list is a great idea! :) I just wished it would be up to maybe $50. The only toys I can think of my 19 month old boy likes/liked that were under $25 were his teething toys.

  4. Who won last year? Do you have a link to the results?

  5. Sarah,

    This is the first year Goddard has linked up with Eco Childs Play for the contest and added a green element. So this is the first ECO toy contest! Do you have a favorite? You can add it to our Best Green Toys Facebook page and see the official entries and those other parents have nominated.


  6. Hi Gertie,

    We all know eco toys can be expensive but there are lots of great ones out there under $25 – so we’re on the hunt for them this year!

  7. Emma Potik says:

    My favorite eco-friendly toy is Sprig Eco Trucks

    They’re $15 each on Amazon.com. They’re my son’s favorite toy, and they’re the best quality outdoor truck toys (of this size and price range, at least) that I could find in my pretty extensive searching. It’s a bonus that they’re made with recycled plastic!

  8. I can´t wait to see the list when it´s done!

  9. I nominate the boogaloo dolls by Bla Bla kids – my son loves them, and i love that they are handknit by artisans in Peru.

  10. We offer hand crafted branch blocks in a wool drawstring bag. Branch blocks are a wonderful, sustainable toy for children ages 1 – 10. Our own children use their bag of branch blocks to stack, make fences, buildings, bridges, people and other endless possibilities.

  11. Awesome idea…Especially to have the children be part of the judging!

  12. Emma and Anu – those eco trucks and boogaloo dolls are cool, but one thing makes them not so eco-friendly (for folks living in USA anyway)…they are made somewhere other than the USA, then are shipped here. That’s why they are so inexpensive…

    I highly suggest having another contest in the future that is not only eco-friendly (in all ascpects of the word), but “handmade” as well.

  13. i nominate mamakopp!!! she makes the most INCREDIBLE and original wooden toys, many of which fit all the criteria (some are more than $25) and always delight my 3 year old day after day in all sorts of wonderful ways!!! go see her stuff at mamakopp.etsy.com

    i dont nominate myself because
    1. that’s so tacky and
    2.MOST of my stuff is over $25
    but feel free to check it out anyway at freedomRainbow.etsy.com

    thanks for putting on such a wonderful contest!

  14. I nominate @naturalpod or http://www.naturalpod.com
    I like how they use FTC certified wood and strive to use organic cotton and safer ingredients like wool for dolls. The owners really strive to go above and beyond the norm for standards and provide the best quality, service and safe toys for our children. Heirloom quality toys!

  15. I nominate SprigToys. We love their indoor/outdoor Eco-trucks. They’re only $14 each. They’re made of a wood-plastic composite — they feel like plastic, but smell like wood. http://www.amazon.com/Sprig-Toys-Eco-Truck-Dump-Truck/dp/B001GWQAGO

  16. I nominate Mini Automoblox! My boys love them and they are only about $10!

  17. I nominate Sprig Toys because they make toys out of recycled wood/plastic. They have tons of options under $25 like their Side-Kick Rally Racer Vehicle, Eco-Truck Loader, and the DuneBug’s Sand Truck Playset. Vehicles like the Rally Racer also have a light that is powered by moving the actual toy, so NO BATTERIES!

  18. I nominate Puddlegear…PVC and Phthalate free raingear…get them out to play…in nature…raingear is a great toy!

  19. I nominate Color Me House because they make cool cardboard playhouses and rockets that kids can draw, paint and decorate in any way they want. The playhouses and rockets are made out of white, 100% recyclable cardboard. With no preprinted designs or decoration on the houses, it really allows kids to flex their creative muscles. The regular price of a Color Me House playhouse is $39, but they can now be found at Costco stores with a current promotional price of $19.99. Everyone I know who has a Color Me House loves it! http://www.colormehouse.com

  20. The contest is over – winners and other great green toys selections can be found on our Facebook page at:


  21. best green toys ,i am agree with it ,everyone have to protect the environment

  22. I nominate Sprig Toys, some of their products are over $25.00 but they are amazing, I love that the dolls does not have any face, and that they promote the kid movement to make the things work without batteries (like the Discovery Rig) and they have a great customer service..

    And I nominate Rock Crayons which are made from soy http://www.crayonrocks.net/

  23. Toys are great companion of children,so it’s very important to choose green toys for them.

  24. We completely understand parents concern when it comes to their children’s safety. Keeping that in mind, we have adopted rigorous safety standard at three levels to meet or exceed your expectations.

  25. Eco friendly toys are not only good for children but also environment.I am we are not harming the nature once we dispose off the toys.


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