Special Mentions: Mothering Natural Toy Guide 2015

These items didn’t meet all of our strict eco-friendly or ethical qualifications to be included in the main toy guide, but we think they still deserve some attention for their dedication to eco-packing, educational quality, value and/or contributions to nonprofit work.

Don’t miss the other categories in this year’s guide or our big toy giveaway! Find them here.

Image of: Cooper Kits

Cooper Kits

Cooper and Kid Kits are a unique subscription service specifically targeted to dads who want to have a special way to spend more time with their kids (but they’re great for moms too!) Large kits are delivered every three months and include a variety of well-thought-out activities that kids of many ages can take part in with parental help. High quality materials with many natural elements.


Image of: ARCKIT 60

ARCKIT 60

Have an older child who loves to create and construct? This kit, originally designed for architects, is much more than just a toy. The ’60’ version is a 3D modeling kit that includes 220+ construction pieces, a digital design program, adhesive sheets that are used for printable realistic finishes to your creations and more. This kit is extremely versatile and a huge amount of fun. It provides endless possibilities for expression and is a wonderful way to encourage STEM learning. It is definitely most suitable for children 12+,  but could be great for children as young as 8 with good deal of parental help. Requires precision, patience and dedication to complete a structure, but the final product is well worth it. Can be used again and again to create new ideas. Larger and smaller kits are available, as well as many individual add-ons.


Image of: Sweety Fox

Sweety Fox

Can’t you just imagine this funny fox happily looking over your children from a playroom shelf? Made in Romania, this unique stuffed animal could be the perfect friend for any little animal lover. Cotton and polyester.


Image of: Little Balance Box

Little Balance Box

Thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of early standers/walkers, this little table provides a stable base that babies can hold onto, and push along in front of them, during those first uncertain steps. A clear polycarbonate top allows a baby to see the ground in front of them (it doubles as a drum too!) and the innovative feet slide smoothly along carpet, wood or tile floors. Constructed from sustainable bamboo and free from PVC and BPA.


Image of: Kauzbots

Kauzbots

These funky robots are more than colorful, huggable pals, they are on a mission to help better our world. Each Kauzbot is devoted to a specific cause, from planting trees to supporting children’s hospitals, and 10% of the retail price of each bot is donated to its special cause.


Image of: Crewmate: Superhero Adventure

Crewmate: Superhero Adventure

Created by a mom who saw a need for a toy that supported emotional connections in the world of boys’ playthings, WonderCrew dolls come with a matching kid sized piece of dress up, such as superhero mask, to help your child feel connected to their new friend. Each doll is meant to encourage friendship and empathy in children and, though inspired by a boy, is great for any gender.


Image of: Guidecraft City Blocks

Guidecraft City Blocks

Hours of city building fun are sure to come when kids get their hands on this 65 piece block set, which includes people, trees and fun shapes that make it easy to construct any landscape. Made from sustainable rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes.


Image of: Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Balance Bike and Tricycle

Kinderfeets TinyTot 2-in-1 Balance Bike and Tricycle

Made from fast-growing FSC certified birch trees, this versatile toddler bike is a trike and a balance bike in one. Featuring a wide base to reduce tipping, a comfy cushioned seat and painted in eco-friendly chalkboard paint, this would make a great first bike for any little one.


Discovery-Kids-Wooden-3-in-1-Tabletop-Easel-5319ae7a-0b86-4e8e-a750-d24e86f1933b_600

Discovery Kids Wooden 3-in-1 Tabletop Easel

This solid wood easel is just the right size for the little (or big) artist in your home. Featuring a dry erase board and chalkboard, this set includes essential supplies like a 49ft roll of paper, chalk and an eraser. Best of all, a percentage of the sale of this easel goes to support PBS Kids.


Image of: ecoBibi Baker’s Set

ecoBibi Baker’s Set

This cute and colorful baker’s set includes an apron and chef’s hat made from organic cotton plus a bamboo spoon and rolling pin. Great for pretend play or helping out in the real kitchen. Made ethically in China.


Image of: Remote-Control Machines Animals

Remote-Control Machines Animals

Animal lovers of any age will delight in building these remote-controlled creatures that each mimic the movement of its real life counterpart, simply with the push of a button. Kids will learn about each animal they are building — gaining an understanding of biomechanics, animal locomotion and building STEM skills. Best of all, once all the animals have been completed, this 100 piece set can be used to dream up any creature a kid can imagine.


Image of: Amusement Park Engineer

Amusement Park Engineer

Let the kids have a blast building their very own roller coaster, ferris wheel, carousel and more, all while learning and practicing STEM related skills. This brilliant, 101 piece kit is combined with an illustrated storybook and is geared toward preschool aged children, teaching basic engineering concepts and helping to develop science, math and fine motors skills.


Image of: Rooster Race

Rooster Race

An awesome game that teaches math in a fun way. Rooster Race is targeted to smaller kids who are still learning high and low numbers — however we found that kids of many ages enjoy it because the game is both simple and challenging at the same time. Sure to bring some laughs.


Image of: Mini Glider

Mini Glider

If you’ve never heard of a balance bike, prepare to be impressed. They are so much fun for young kids and so easy to use. With no pedals, they teach kids to balance in almost no time and prepare them to move to a pedal bike in the future. In our opinion, and experience, this is the best way to teach kids to ride a bike — so much better than training wheels which do not allow kiddos to develop the skills necessary to ride upright. Great price for this model. Ages 2-5


About the Mothering Toy Guide

The Mothering Natural Toy Guide is a collection of the highest quality natural toys and gifts available this holiday season! We’ve carefully selected each item based on its superior materials, uniqueness, ethical production, value and, of course, its fun-factor. Check out the items found in all guide categories here. Review items are sent to us free of charge by the company listed in the review and we choose to include only those that meet our very strict standards. After the review is complete, many of the reviewed toys are donated to children in need.


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