Non-toxic Dolls & Dollhouses – Tot Guide

As parents of kids who have ‘DOLLHOUSE’ underlined twice on their wish lists this year, we dove deep into the world of dolls and dollhouses to find options that are non-toxic, engaging, sustainable and most importantly – fun! In this guide, we share our favorite product picks, the benefits of imaginative doll play as well as questions to ask your self when considering a dollhouse.

eco friendly dolls

When it comes to play-based learning, products like dolls, toy high chairs, toy bottles, toy cribs and dollhouses are a fantastic way to encourage children to role-play, which is important for both cognitive and physical development.

With that being said, there are quite a few things to consider when choosing the right dolls, accessories and dollhouses for your child.

In this gift guide we will cover:

  • Developmental benefits of doll play
  • Questions to ask yourself when choosing a dollhouse
  • Materials & chemicals to avoid in kids toys
  • Tips for choosing non-toxic & eco-friendly toys
  • Our favorite non-toxic doll & dollhouse picks for kids

Scroll down to learn more!

 

Developmental Benefits of Doll Play

When children play with dolls and dollhouses, they are able to use their imaginations to create scenes and situations that help them understand social norms, process emotions, develop social skills and enable them to discover their sense of self.

The act of caring for a doll or creating a home for a doll family can also help children develop empathy and gain an understanding of their own needs, which will arm them with important life skills.

While there are numerous cognitive benefits from doll play, it’s also great for honing hand-eye coordination, strengthening fine motor skills, encouraging problem-solving and expanding one’s vocabulary.

Fun to do both solo or with friends, doll play can be an activity that helps children practice conflict resolution, master story-telling and sequence events.

 

Questions to ask yourself when choosing a dollhouse

When it comes to dollhouses, one size does not fit all! Be sure to ask yourself the following questions when choosing a dollhouse.

  • What’s it made of?
    • Does it contain any toxic materials or chemicals? (More on this very soon!)
  • Will it stand the test of time in terms of durability?
    • While some parents like building their own dollhouses, we personally don’t want to buy a fixer-upper!
    • We also don’t want to add to any landfills.
  • How old is the child using it?
    • If the child is under the age of three, are there any safety concerns?
    • If you’re shopping for an older child, will the accessories and details offer enough of a challenge to hold their engagement?
  • Does it include a family of dolls, furniture or any other accessories?
    • It’s okay if it doesn’t have everything. This gives children the opportunity to make their own people, furniture and decor!
  • How big is it?
    • Realistically, is it going to fit in your child’s room or play area?

 

Materials & chemicals to avoid in toys

At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure it’s free of the chemicals we avoid. 

When it comes to kids toys, we like to steer clear of the below chemicals because they are all known to cause both short and longterm health problems:

  • Bisphenols BPA + BPS
  • Formaldehyde
  • PVC
  • Lead & other heavy metals
  • VOCs
  • Pesticides

Click here to read the full list of chemicals we avoid and why.

 

Tips for choosing non-toxic & eco-friendly toys

The great thing about choosing toys that are kinder to our health is that they’re also kinder to the environment.

Below is a list of our tips for what to look for when choosing a non-toxic and eco-friendly toy.

  • Avoid plastic toys, especially single-use cheap plastic. An exception here would be toys made from recycled milk jugs or bioplastic.
  • Be wary of products that are made of polyurethane foam. These almost always contain flame retardant chemicals.
  • Avoid toys that smell. If it smells like plastic it probably is made of PVC/vinyl – a known human carcinogen. If it smells ‘fruity’ the toy probably contains phthalates – known endocrine disruptors.
  • Remember, a ‘BPA free’ label can still contain chemicals very similar to BPA and be just as bad since they too mimic your hormones.
  • Opt for natural wooden toys that have been sustainably sourced.
  • Opt for soft cloth and plush toys that are made without pesticides (ideally organic) and colored with non-toxic dyes.
  • Always choose items that have been finished with either water-based, non-toxic paints or non-toxic vegetable dyes.
  • If something has a paint or finish, ensure it is Low or No VOC.
  • If you’re unable to choose wood or a natural fiber, natural rubber or latex from Hevea trees are a safe alternative.

 

Our favorite non-toxic doll & dollhouse picks for kids

All Tot Tested and approved, here are our favorite enon-toxic doll and dollhouse picks.

 

Dolls & Accessories

 

Ellie & Becks Co. Dolls Accessories

 

A child kneeling next to an Ellie and Becks doll stroller

 

Handmade using sustainable and renewable rattan, Ellie & Becks doll accessories offer a touch of whimsy to your tot’s doll play as well as a whole lot of style to their room.

 

Ellie & Becks Bailey Crib

 

Ellie & Becks Co. Bailey Doll Rattan Crib

 

$169

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Ellie & Becks Ellie Crib

 

Ellie & Becks Co. Doll Rattan Crib

 

$119

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Ellie & Becks Harlow Pram

 

Ellie & Becks Co. Harlow Pram

 

$179

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Ellie & Becks Ivy Cabinet

Ellie & Becks Co. Ivy Doll Rattan Cabinet

 

$139

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Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Dolls & Accessories

 

Olli Ella Strolley in Rose with girl

 

Made of 100% cotton, Olli Ella’s Dream Dinkum Dolls will be your little besties’s bestie in no time! Featuring hair that can be styled and a no-fuss laid back attitude, they’ll love riding around in the brand’s rattan Strolley! (Which – fun fact – can transition into a wagon!)

Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll Birdie

Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll – Birdie

 

$68

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Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll Cricket

 

Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll – Cricket

 

$68

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Olli Ella Strolley Wheeled Basket in Natural

 

Olli Ella Strolley

 

$135

Available in more colors

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EcoBaby Dolls

 

A little girl cuddling her two EcoBaby Dolls

 

Made from 100% sustainable and biodegradable natural rubber, EcoBaby Dolls are the truly eco-friendly option you’ve been searching for!

 

 

EcoBaby Dolls Baby Cora

 

EcoBaby Dolls – Baby Cora

 

$69.99

EXCLUSIVE

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EcoBaby Dolls Baby Brooke

EcoBaby Dolls – Baby Brooke

 

$69.99

EXCLUSIVE

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Alimrose Plush Dolls & Accessories

 

Alimrose Charlotte Doll - Pink Dress

 

Made of soft cotton, Alimrose’s sweet dolls and accessories are simple, sweet and wonderful for encouraging meaningful role play.

 

Alimrose Charlotte Doll - Pink Dress

Alimrose Charlotte Doll

 

$60

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Alimrose Asleep Awake Baby Doll Rose Garden AW19

 

Alimrose Asleep Awake Doll – Pale Pink

 

$30

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Alimrose Baby Doll Carrier AW 19

Alimrose Baby Doll Carrier

 

$50

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Poppie Toys Doll Accessories

 

 

Poppie Toys is one of the OGs of rattan doll accessories and we are here for it! Their cribs, beds and chairs for dolls are seriously so cute, you’ll want your child to play in your living room!

 

Poppie Toys Crib - Floral

Poppie Toys Rattan Doll Crib

 

$98

Available in more colors

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Poppie Toys Daybed - Floral

 

Poppie Toys Rattan Doll Daybed

 

$98

Available in more colors

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Poppie Toys High Chair

Poppiest Toys Rattan Doll Highchair

 

$95

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Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories

 

Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories

 

This gorgeous wooden doll accessories set from Make Me Iconic includes everything your tot needs to help feed, groom, soothe and play with their very own baby!

 

Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories

Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories Set

 

$79.99

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Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll Bed & High Chair

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll's Bed

If you’re shopping for a lover of simple, sweet and PINK, the Janod Toys Candy Chic range is for you!

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll's Bed

 

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll’s Bed

 

$48.99

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Janood Candy Chic High Chair

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll High Chair

 

$39.99

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Hape Doll Cradle, Stroller & High Chair

 

A little girl pushing the Hape Doll Stroller in her bedroom

 

All made with FSC certified wood and water-based non-toxic paints, Hape’s doll accessories are a must-have for make-believe. From strolling their tot through the living room to rocking them to bed at night, kids will love getting to

 

Hape Doll Rock A Bye Cradle

 

Hape Doll Rock A Bye Cradle

 

$59.99

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Hape Doll Stroller

 

Hape Doll Stroller

 

$59.99

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Hape Doll Highchair

Hape Doll Highchair

 

$49.99

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Dollhouses

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Made in the USA of sustainable Baltic birch and solid North American maple, the Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse opens up to reveal the perfect blank canvas for tots to engage in imaginative play!

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

$349

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Maquette Kids Dollhouses

 

Maquette Kids Clock Gable Dollhouse

 

Inspired by the townhouses the line the streets of Brooklyn, NY, Maquette Kids Dollhouses are made in the USA and offer just the thing kids need for modern and minimalist play time!

 

Maquette Kids Stepped Gable Dollhouse

 

Maquette Kids Stepped Gable Dollhouse

 

$180

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Maquette Kids Clock Gable Dollhouse

 

Maquette Kids Clock Gable Dollhouse

 

$180

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Babai Dollhouse with Magnets

 

Two children playing with a wooden Babai dollhouse on a picnic blanket

 

Available in different colors and sizes, Babai Dollhouses have magnetic sides that allow kids to be part of the building process!

Babai Dollyhouse on the Magnets Large Khaki

Babai Dollhouse with Magnets – Large

 

$41.99 – $44.99

Available in more colors

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Tender Leaf Toys Dollhouses

 

Tender Leaf Toys Fantail Hall

 

Guaranteed to earn you the title of BEST GIFT GIVER EVER, Tender Leaf Toys’ range of renewable rubber wood dollhouses offer beautifully detailed interiors that will inspire hours of imaginative play!

 

Tender Leaf Toys Fantail Hall

Tender Leaf Toys Fantail Hall

 

$399.99

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Tender Leaf Foxtail Villa

Tender Leaf Toys Foxtail Villa

 

$235

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Tender Leaf Cotton Tail Cottage

Tender Leaf Toys Cottontail Cottage

 

$150

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Tender Leaf Toys The Goodwood Family

TenderLeaf Toys – The Goodwood Family

 

$51.99

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PlanToys Green Dollhouse Set

 

The PlanToys Green Dollhouse set is the perfect home for teaching kids about sustainability. From solar panels to windmills, it has everything an off-grid homemaker is looking for.

 

Plan Toys Green Dollhouse Set

PlanToys Green Dollhouse Set

 

$270

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