We all want our babies to grow up to be as smart as possible and you can do your part to help hone their IQs by providing brainy toys for playtime. Challenge your little one and spark learning and development with quality toys that will get him thinking. You can't expect your baby to start spelling words with ABC blocks right out of the gate, but simple concepts like stacking, nesting and shape-sorting are all well within a 1-year-old's reach. Here are seven eco-friendly toys that will help your tot reach these developmental milestones with flying colors.
P’Kolino Puzzle Stacker
Made from sustainable rubber wood, this P’Kolino’s colorful stacker takes the traditional concept of piling different sized rings one step further by adding a puzzle element. Each of the ten pieces are interlocking so as toddlers begin to develop their fine motor skills and spacial logic they can experiment with fitting the pieces together notch by notch.
Wonderworld Eco-Friendly Posting House Shape Sorter
One of the best ways for babies to start learning about shapes is to experiment hands on, fitting them through appropriately shaped slots. The brightly colored Eco-Friendly Posting House Shape Sorter by Wonderworld is made from eco-friendly rubber wood and finished with non-toxic paints and lacquers. Plus, after the satisfaction of sorting shapes has passed, we bet your toddler will use this little house as a home for little dolls or figures.
Imagination Kids Large Sun Stacker
Brighten your child’s day with a sun-shaped stacking toy from Imagination Kids. The cheery wooden toy is made of four pieces that nest together or can be stacked in other creative ways to improve fine motor skills and cognitive ability. Even if your child still likes to chew on toys, you can rest assured that this one is made from sustainably harvested wood and finished with non-toxic paint and a special homemade wood polish made from jojoba oil, beeswax and essential oils. When your child outgrows this toy, it can be used as room decor.
P’Kolino Nesting Birds
We couldn’t resist these adorable Nesting Birds from P’Kolino and we bet your baby will feel the same urge to get his hands on these owls! The set of three birds and one egg all fit perfectly together and their rounded bottoms add a gentle rocking motion. This toy will engage toddlers’ reasoning and problem solving skills and help them learn about size and shape.
Hape Hello It’s Me Shape Puzzle
The fun part about the Hello It’s Me Shape Puzzle is that while kids figure out which piece goes where, they can also catch a glimpse of their own reflection in the mirror at the center. Each wooden piece also doubles as a block for added play value. Hape uses FSC-certified wood and non-toxic, child-friendly paints and finishes.
Boikido Eco-Friendly Wooden Cube Snail Puzzle
Challenge your smart pants with this silly Wooden Cube Snail Puzzle, which is made from FSC-certified wood and finished with water-based paints. This eco-friendly toy will grow with your child. First your baby can play with it as a stacker — it has two collapsible wooden posts to slip the blocks on. Later, toddlers can match the cubes to create different scenes.
Green Toys My First Blocks
Green Toys’ My First Blocks are the perfect starter set for builders as young as 6 months old. The chunky blocks are easy for little hands to hold and their interlocking design helps eliminate the frustration of towers that always fall down. Made in the USA, each set comes with 18 blocks fashioned from recycled milk jugs and they’re BPA- and phthalate-free.