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Gift Guide: Green Bath Toys for Tots

With Christmas coming I’m starting to tackle the challenging task of thinking of gifts for my third daughter who already has everything including two big sisters, her entertainment of choice. But if there is one thing all two-year-olds love, it’s bath time.

Bath toys have always been a pet peeve of mine. Many are marketed to look like lots of fun, but they are made of harmful phthalates. Throw them in, along with the BPA found in most plastic bath toys, and the toxins are sure to leach their way into the hot water.

I have to resist my own temptation to buy these fun bath time toys that you stick to walls, pour, squirt and paint. But the truth of it is, aside from the chemicals leaching into the water that was supposed to be getting my kiddos clean, most of those toys get moisture trapped in them and are a quick source for mold. They live a short life of fun, then a long life in a landfill leaching all those chemicals into our soil.

When it comes to the bath tub paints, I pass over even the safe homemade versions like this and this. Because, well, the clean up on my part is just not worth the fun time in the tub. Plus our tub is surrounded by subway tile with white grout – lots of grout to clean. It’s the one bathroom in our 90-year-old house that we all share, and I have to keep the small 5’x8′ space running smoothly. It’s usually an assembly line of getting in the tub, having fun, getting out and getting ready for the next person. We just don’t have the luxury in our house of messing up the tub. For that, I send them to paint in the basement.

My list of mom approved green bath toys, without BPA or phthalates or PVC, consists of toys made in the USA, from recyclable materials, from rubber, wood and wool. For the crafty, there are links to Etsy for handmade options to do at home. Yeah, I though of all. I love bath time. And hoodie towels are a must too! Ones made of organic cotton are plus.

Green Bath Toys for Tots 

Green Sprouts EVA foam pack of 15 Sea Friends

Green Sprouts stacking cup set with drainage holes 

The Original Rubber Duck Toy for the Bath

Green Toys Tugboat

Boon Water Bugs Floating Bath Toys with Net

Boon Odd Ducks Bath

Peg’s wooden paddleboat by Nova Natural

Handcrafted wooden bathtub boats by

Red Anchor Pull Rowboat Water Toy on Etsy

Pirate and Dinghy Felted Boat on Etsy

For the crafty folks who crochet, here’s a pattern for a crocheted duck and washcloth set that is just lovely, from Etsy.

Another goodie from Etsy, this fish and shark washcloths pattern would be really cool made into a fishing for the tub by sewing magnets into the fabric and creating a fishing pole using a stick, string and a magnet. Just a big net would be fun too for the catching, for children at risk of pulling out magnets and getting them in their mouths.

To keep the kiddos from bumping their head on the waterspout, try this whale of a cover by Skip Hop. It’s BPA free, phthalate free and PVC free. That would have saved some head bonks at our house, especially when all three girls hop in together and space is tight. And this cover looks versatile enough to even fit on our retro, 1920’s waterspout.

To keep toys organized toss them into a stainless steal or galvanized bucket that fits your available space. I personally don’t want some big frog hanging on the wall of my one bathroom to hold all the toys. But if you had a bathroom just for kids, Boon makes some really cute eco-friendly ones, frogs and ladybugs, with good reviews against mildew and functionality. Skip Hop makes a sleek blue fabric toy holder that suctions to the wall and can go in the washing machine, which I like.

Don’t have money spend on bath toys? Be creative with makeshift toys too, like those play-size stainless steel pots and pans from the kitchen, wooden spoons and metal measuring cups. Really, toss anything in the bath tub and it turns itself into fun.

About the photo up top: those boats were made my by daughters, with my dad in his Gramps Lamm workshop. Every time we visit his Georgia home he has a special project planed for the grandchildren. It makes this crafty, green mama very happy! And the kids like it too.

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  1. Oodles of good suggestions here! Yes, we’re inundated by the plastic bath toys at the store, aren’t we? It’s nice to remember there are alternatives.


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