Sustainable, eco friendly toys are becoming increasingly popular. It is not only the environmental benefits but also the ethical message of these toys that make them so attractive to parents and educators alike.
Here are some of our picks for the best local toy suppliers that provide ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly toys that encourage children to learn through play.
Montmorency – north
Mother of three Melinda founded Eco Toys because of her own desire to find quality wooden toys that were made from sustainable materials for her children.
“On my daughter’s first Christmas, I remember looking down at my precious little girl surrounded by plastic, noisy, toxic junk so I started searching for something beautiful, natural and non-toxic for her to play with,” she says.
Eco Toys sells 100% environmentally friendly toys. The team spends time researching, learning, travelling and sourcing the best eco friendly toys around the world. They support local designers, handmade toys and ethical manufacturers.
Malvern – south east
An Australian family-owned business with a passion for childhood and the value of real play, Honeybee Toys provides natural and wooden toys for imaginative play.
The range of eco friendly, ethically made, non-toxic toys has been chosen with great care. “When our first child was born in 1998, we soon realised that it was almost impossible to buy beautiful, open-ended wooden toys in Australia,” explain Honeybee founders Brendan and Melissa. “It soon became our dream, not only to source wooden toys for our own children, but to make them available for like-minded people in Australia.”
Kallista – outer east
A toy wonderland with old world charm, Epoche is filled with beauty, spirit and wonder. Featuring natural products that nourish the whole child and nurture creativity, its merchandise is made from safe, non-toxic natural materials that have minimal impact on the environment and are ethically made. Here you will find traditional wooden and natural fibre toys, such as handmade Waldorf dolls, fair trade handcrafts and felted gifts, along with beautifully illustrated children’s books.
Tyabb – outer south east
Established in 2011, Little Eco is an earth friendly shop for those who appreciate high quality products but also care about environmental issues.
“My commitment to my customers is to only stock products that support a simpler, healthier and more sustainable life for their families,” says Jenny, the face behind Little Eco. “I encourage my visitors to consume with consideration to the environment and to do so armed with plenty of information.”
Altona – west
Bent Sticks sells handcrafted wooden toys featuring the natural shape and texture of fallen tree branches. Inspired by Enid Blighton’s Magic Faraway Tree, toy maker Gary Moore created toys that encourage children to dream and imagine.
“The natural qualities and shape of the branch dictate what I should help it become,” he says. ”Once I have discovered the right piece it then becomes a simple, magical process to release the sculpture from within.”
Producing fairy houses, pixies and aeroplanes from only recycled material, predominantly fallen branches, Gary sells his toys at local markets and online.
Warragul – far outer south east (regional Victoria)
When Tammy Venturoni found that her son had a sensory integration disorder, her tireless research into his condition lead her to discover how children learn through play from early infancy through all stages of development. With this knowledge she began Learning House with the aim of helping parents understand more about how their children play and learn.
“To develop our ongoing research, we work in partnership with a range of child development experts, including a consultant occupational therapist and primary school teacher,” Tammy explains. “All toys are selected according to the highest standards of quality and function.”