Non-toxic Dolls & Dollhouses – The 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 caution. 

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 long-term health problems:

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

Click here to read the full list of chemicals we caution 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 non-toxic doll and dollhouse picks.

 

Dolls & Accessories

 

Pretty in Pine Doll Accessories

 

Little girl wearing a brown dress playing with a Pretty in Pine doll in a wooden pram

 

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

 

 

Pretty in Pine Flower Dolly Pram

 

Pretty in Pine Flower Dolly Pram

 

$95

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Pretty in Pine Woven Dolly Pram

Pretty in Pine Woven Dolly Pram

 

$95

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Pretty in Pine Woven Dolly Bed

 

Pretty in Pine Woven Dolly Bed

 

$95

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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’ 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 Dinkum Doll - Sprout

Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll – Sprout

 

$69

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Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll Cricket

 

Olli Ella Dream Dinkum Doll – Cricket

 

$79.90

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Olli Ella Dinkum Doll - Tiny

 

Olli Ella Dinkum Doll – Tiny

 

$69

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Olli Ella Strolley Wheeled Basket in Natural

 

Olli Ella Strolley

 

$139.90

Available in more colors

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Apple Park Dolls

 

Made of GOTS certified organic cotton, Apple Park Dolls are soft, snuggly and an ideal baby shower gift!

 

Baby Doll in Cream

 

Apple Park Organic Baby Boy Doll

 

$37

Available in more colors

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Apple Park Baby Girl Doll

 

Apple Park Organic Baby Girl Doll

 

$37

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

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EcoBaby Dolls Baby Brooke

EcoBaby Dolls – Baby Brooke

 

$69.99

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Alimrose Plush Dolls & Accessories

 

Alimrose Mini Sofia Bunny – Grey

 

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

 

Alimrose Pearl Bunny

 

Alimrose Pearl Bunny

 

$48

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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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PlanToys Doll Stroller

 

PlanToys Doll Stroller

 

Ethically made from sustainable rubberwood, PlanWood (rubber composite with non-formaldehyde glue) and sturdy cotton canvas, the PlanToys Doll Stroller features a carrier that can be both parent and world facing!

 

PlanToys Doll Stroller

 

PlanToys Doll Stroller

 

$120

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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 Clay

Poppie Toys Rattan Doll Crib

 

$105

Available in more colors

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Poppie Toys Daybed - Floral

 

Poppie Toys Rattan Doll Daybed

 

$109

Available in more colors

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Poppie Toys High Chair

Poppie 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 Doll Accessories

 

Janod Toys’ Candy Chic Doll Bed and High Chair are just the things kids need to help get their babies fed and to sleep! The perfect size for 3 to 6 year olds, they are great for encouraging role play and expanding vocabulary.

 

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll's Bed

 

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll Bed

 

$49.99

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Janood Candy Chic High Chair

 

Janod Toys Candy Chic Doll High Chair

 

$41.99

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Cuddoll Personalized Look-A-Like Doll

 

Cuddoll Personalized Look a Like Doll

 

Want to take your doll gift to the next level? The Cuddoll Personalized Look-A-Like Doll is just the thing! Hand made from GOTS certified organic cotton yarn and stuffed with OEKO-Tex certified, hypoallergenic polyfill, it’s the sentimental option you’ve been looking for!

 

Cuddoll Personalized Look a Like Doll

 

Cuddoll Personalized Look-A-Like Doll

 

$129

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Dollhouses

 

Pretty in Pine Dollhouses

 

Pretty in Pine The Wall House + Furniture & Family

 

Handcrafted from 100% sustainable Australian hoop pine plywood in the brand’s sunny South Queensland factory, Pretty in Pine Dollhouses include the sweetest decor and families!

 

Pretty in Pine The Wall House + Furniture & Family

Pretty in Pine – The Wall Dollhouse + Furniture & Family

 

$225

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Pretty in Pine Round House

 

Pretty in Pine Round Dollhouse

 

$165

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PlanToys Dollhouses

 

PlanToys Slide N Go Dollhouse

 

Ethically made of renewable non-chemically treated organic rubberwood, the below two minimalist dollhouse options from PlanToys are just the thing kids need for imaginative play!

 

PlanToys My First Dollhouse

 

PlanToys My First Dollhouse

 

$150

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PlanToys Contemporaty Dollhouse

 

PlanToys Contemporary Dollhouse

 

$250

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PlanToys Slide N Go Dollhouse

 

PlanToys Slide N Go Dollhouse

 

$160

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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

Furniture sets sold separately

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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

Furniture sets sold separately

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Maquette Kids Clock Gable Dollhouse

 

Maquette Kids Clock Gable Dollhouse

 

$180

Furniture sets sold separately

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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 rubberwood 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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