Saving Christmas! 13 Alternatives to toxic toys

No, you don’t have to give all the kiddies on your list coal for Christmas this year. But you will have to do some research to find something safe. Here’s a list to help you get your own creative juices flowing and give you some hints.

  1. Etsyis a great place to find home-made toys and crafts on the Internet.

    bird.jpg This little birdie is by Allilson

  2. Buy American-made toys. This is a great list, but still, it doesn’t hurt to double check what you see. Toys from Back to Basic Toys are a safe bet. And Simply Green Living has also compiled a list.  Any book from China Berry, or Barefoot Books.
  3. Spend time with your child, and help him/her make something this cute. This one was made by Hop Skip Jumpand loved ones.


  4. Make a poster of your child.


    Pottery Barn Teen is selling large sports posters for kids rooms. Take this one step further, and have a photo of your child blown up poster size for his own room.

  5. Who can resist Sock monkeys? Hand-made of course. You don’t want your little loved one getting poked by stray needles.


  6. Give great memories


    Picture Frames filled with photos of your child with his best friends, playing his favorite sport, or with Mom and Dad.

  7. Whip up a batch of home-made marshmallows.
  8. Magazine Rack.


    You’re constantly telling her to clean her room, so give her the tools to do it. This magazine rack came from Pottery Barn Teen.

  9. Bulletin Board


    A Bulletin Board already loaded with their favorite memories.

  10. Magnets/Thumbtacks


    Turn your child’s small wooden blocks, match box cars, starfish, or hair barrett’s into thumbtacks with epoxy glue and a package of magnets. You could also buy a small package of wooden letters at a craft store to use for magnets.

  11. A Scapbook


    Kids love to hear about themselves. Put together a simple Scrapbook of their life so far. One for them to keep, in their own room.

  12. Turn a paper bag into a book.


    Here’s how.

  13. Yarn Dolls


    Very fast and simple to make.

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41 comments to “Saving Christmas! 13 Alternatives to toxic toys”
  1. How about a nice piece of fruit or a pack of cards and a book of card games. I think I’m showing my age. I just did a double take on the piece of fruit – I never understood why santa left fruit when I was a kid but for some reason I still remember it when many of the other presents are long forgotten 🙂

  2. Great list! We have a fairly small house so I tend to give experiences as presents. Things like our family’s membership to the zoo & science museum, lessons, tickets to cultural events, etc. Hopefully these will be the things they’ll remember long after any toy would be broken or given away.

  3. I’m very glad I don’t know any children of toy-playing ages to give presents to right now, with these scares going round. Some of those ideas are wonderful. I would have loved a poster of myself when I was a boy!

  4. Those are great ideas! I’m buying books for anyone who I need gifts for… books are good things.

    By the way, my son’s Cub Scout pack might have a marshmallow making party before we head off to resident camp next July. thanks for the recipe!

  5. All wonderful Ideas. My hubby and I make toys for our granchildren every year. He is a wood worker and I am a painter. We have made them all a table and chairs, cars ,trucks and a cradle. There are two semi trucks hauling backhoes sitting on the work bench for the boys this year. We also teach the grandchildren to make something each year for their parents. Giving is good! Thanks for sharing. I will be printing the sock monkey directions. Happy TT.

  6. Wow. Thanks for the list. 🙂 Those are great ideas. I really want to do toxic-free toys, but there aren’t many made for Infants/Toddlers, but I’m still looking, LOL.

    🙂 Happy TT!

  7. Channel Craft (I think that’s the name) Toys is excellent – made here – small business. I sold them in my shop years ago. Can’t recommend them more highly.

    The Pink Flamingo

  8. It’s absolutely terrible to hear of everything happening with toys this last year. These were great alternative ideas.

    I also think that all that’s happen has made this a perfect year to bring kids back to books. If not the actually handing over of a book, then gift cards to book stores to put them in the right mindset to get books or music that engage the mind.

  9. I just checked out the AquaDots situation, because it’s the only thing my daughter has legitimately asked for-besides her traditional American Girl doll. She would not put anything in her mouth, so I may still get them. But for younger kids that is horrific!!! I have to say, I don’t think I would buy something like that anyway for any child of an age where they would still put them in their mouth. And always adult supervision of course…kind of like paint. Do kids eat that too? 🙂 Great list!!! We love PB Teen and they helped us make B’s room so cool.

  10. Wonderful suggestions! The most important aspect of a toy is the memory it holds for the recipient. One of my most treasured toys was a handmade doll given to me by my grandmother when I was very young. She not only made the doll but crocheted all the clothes as well. It was and still is my favorite.

    Merry Christmas,

  11. I’m still trying to figure out if toys today really are more dangerous than they were when I was a kid in the 70’s or if people are just more aware.

    I too remember getting oranges in my stocking when we lived in Florida. Hmmmm.

    I have to say, I wondered about the Aquadot thing, but I don’t really know what kind of toy it is. However it sounded unsafe to me even if it wasn’t toxic because it was small enough to be put in the mouth — choking hazard?

    Anyway, my mother sewed me a doll and her clothes one year and made the doll look like me. That was very precious to me. So that’s my suggestion.

  12. I’m on the fence about how nervous to be as far as Christmas presents go. I take comfort in knowing that it’s been like this (and somewhat worse) for a long time, and many pf us have survived it just fine. 😉 But I know it only takes once…
    great list of resources. Thanks!

  13. What a great idea for a really useful T13.

    I’d add that for older girls, a scrapbook with scrapbooking materials will be lots of fun. It was a big success last year with my niece.

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