Kids love playing in the bath, and who can blame them. Splashing around in the warm water and interacting with all sorts of fun toys and games has gotta be fun, right?
However, as a parent the big question is always on my mind: are these toys safe for my children? What kinds of plastics and materials have been used? (like BPA-free plastics)
The challenge is that many manufacturers have historically not been concerned with these questions and have used whatever is at hand, or worse, cheapest. But those times are thankfully over. And as parents we can now question what is used in our children’s toys and make smarter decisions!
What Plastics Are Safe?
Informing yourself about what is safe is the first step in buying non-toxic toys for your young one. And it’s not an easy thing to do on your own. With so many different types of plastics and chemicals in play, it can be rather confusing.
First let’s talk about what number plastics are considered safe. Why? Because although we can talk about chemicals, they are not always listed on the packaging, but the plastic number used in a toy’s manufacturing usually is. So, let’s go with that.
It’s technically called the “resin identification code” but to keep it simple, we can just call it the plastic code or number. They go from number 1 – 7, with each one representing a different chemical type.
The safest plastics to use are:
- #2 – HDPE or High Density PolyEthylene – is usually used in milk jugs and other consumer plastics (not PET in coke bottles though)
- #4 – Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is similar, and often used in plastic bags
- #5 – Polypropylene (PP) is another common container material, often used because it is heat-resistant
Which Plastics To Avoid
The worst offenders when it comes to children’s toys are the following:
BPA – Bisphenol A
This has been a target for parents for years because it is known to be a chemical has been linked to infertility and other health problems. As such, it is already been removed from things like sippy cups by most conscientious manufacturers.
However, be on the lookout for this in any toys that you buy.
PVC – Polyvinyl chloride
PVC is a very common plastic, but it is considered dangerous because it is has been linked to a whole range of health issues. This is another one you seriously want to avoid in any toys you buy.
Another one to avoid if you spot it on any list of chemicals is phalates. They are used in making PVC, so normally you have your bases covered by just avoiding PVC, but it’s worth knowing about their existence.
Safe & Non-Toxic Toys
The following are some great options I have found online that are both safe and non-toxic for children.
I have listed all of the chemicals they don’t use (eg. BPA-free etc) in the pros section at the bottom, so you can easily see what is NOT being used. There are also some other considerations which I discuss with each toy specifically.
1. Kala the Whale Bath Toy
I love this because it is not a rubber duck like all the other toys and it take the whole “sealed” issue seriously. If you have not heard, many a bath toy with a hole in it is just waiting to become a bacteria hang out. So, if you can avoid such toys and get ones that are hermetically sealed, like this one, even better.
2. HEVEA Kawan Mini Rubber duck
Ok, so back to the good ol’ rubber duck. This one from Hevea is made of pure rubber, so is free of all those nasty chemicals. It also has no hole in the bottom, like the whale above, so is going to be free from bacteria build-up.
It does seem to tip over though, not the babies care, but if you want a flotilla of stand up toys in your bath, most of these tend to do this.
3. Sassy Soft Swimmers Animal Characters
These chemical-free sassy swimmers are a fun alternative to the usual bath toys. The set comes with 3 toys – a fish sponge, a crab and octopus squirter toys. They are soft, tactile and a nice way for your kid to enjoy bath time with you.
4. Boon Fleet Stacking Boats Bathing Toy
Boon are a company that really focuses on creating non-toxic toys for kids and this set is no exception. It features a handy stack of toy boats that can be used as a flotilla of boats in the bath. Simple shapes that are easy to dry, stack and use.
5. MOLUK Mini Bilibos Baby Toy
Moluk are another company who really cares about keeping kids safe with their BPA-free, phthalate-free and latex-free toys. This stackable set of 6 cups is a little different to the standard. They can be used as cups or in any other imagination-filled way your child chooses. Both in and out of the bath.
6. Nuby Bath Time Fun Splish Splash Cups
Colorful, easily stackable and fun to fill and let rain, this set of cups from Nuby is one many a parent seems to love (4.5 stars on Amazon from 450+ reviews!).
They are super colorful and offer a huge range of options for fun in the bath. And they are BPA-free. And not to mention affordable!
7. Boon Building Bath Pipes Toy Set
Boon seems to have a great range of imaginative toys for kids and this one for bath time fun is something I wish I had had as a kid.
They are 5 pipes of varying functions that you can suction to the wall and create a chain of water fun. They are more for older kids who can understand what is happening with the water and how to stick them on the wall, however younger kids would still enjoy and grow into them.
8. Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy
Four fun-filled bubbles with different contents in each, they are BPA free and bound to bring hours of joy to your young one. They have rotating rings on the outside with a variety of objects inside. The sort of thing that kids love to discover and play with at bath time.
9. Green Toys My First Tugboat
Last but not least, Green Toys are another great brand to check out for fun and safe bath toys for your child.
This Tugboat is a bit more substantial than the other toys, so will please kids looking for more of a toy to play with in the bath. Of course, it is chemical free and on top of that, it is made of recycled plastics, so you have to be happy about that. It is also dishwasher safe, if you want to throw it in the machine occasionally to ensure it stays bacteria free.
Safe & Non-toxic
I love that there are so many options for kids toys in the bath that are safe these days. Years ago it just was not the case.
If you don’t like any of the specific options I have given here, just follow the buttons to Amazon and explore the other options or same brands I have listed. Just be sure to check out that they are BPA free and so forth, as it’s never a guarantee!