As the summer holidays stretch out ahead of us, many of us are looking for ideas to keep children entertained outdoors. But finding sustainable outdoor toys can be difficult. Plastic makes sense because garden toys need to handle some rough play and tough terrains, but it's not normally an eco-friendly option.
Discover our top sustainable outdoor toys for 2023, with ethical and sustainable ideas, starting at just £9!
Watch Them Grow
This cute Watering Can and Little Gardener's Set is the perfect toy for little ones that want to help in the garden. The set is made from 100% recycled plastic, and is extremely durable with a cotton rope handle. We love that it's been designed for actual gardening, not just pretend play. Kids will enjoy being able to water plants, or dig in the garden using the child-sized fork and trowel. For 18 months+. Green Toys Watering Can and Little Gardener's Set, £18.50
Oceanbound Plastic Turned into Beach Toys
How about an ocean-themed play set made from plastic that was itself prevented from entering our oceans? Great for the beach, pool, or bath, these toys are fab to start conversations about recycling and the importance of protecting our precious seas. Each shell in the seven-piece set pours differently and they all come neatly packed in their own storage basket. The sets also help support the development of formal recycling programmes in countries that don't have them yet. Suitable for children from 6 months onwards. Green Toys Recycled Ocean-Bound Plastic Beach Play Set, £27
Cotton Picnic Play Set
This unique and super-cute picnic play set is made from soft, hand-loomed cotton. The cotton basket contains a check cloth, 6-piece sandwich, two cupcakes with removable cases, and two cookies. We can't get enough of the squashy sandwich which you can build yourself from the separate slices of tomato, cheese, ham and lettuce - all made from cotton of course!This picnic set is made by Fair Trade certified suppliers in Sri Lanka. The craftspeople who hand-loom and sew these toys are paid fairly and benefit from child care, health education and skills training. Recommended for ages 3+. Cotton Toy Picnic Set, £30
Let's face it, it's a classic for any age! But this flying saucer is an eco special as it's made entirely from recycled milk bottles. Fun and green! Suitable for ages 5+. Eco Saucer Flying Disc, £9
The Tough and Planet-Friendly Beach Bucket and Spade
It's hard to find a sustainable bucket and spade - we know, we've tried! That's why we were so pleased to come across this one. It's made from 100% recycled plastic and is extremely hard-wearing (no snapping the handles here!). The set contains a bucket with rope handle, spade, rake and sand mould. For ages 18 months+. Beach Bucket and Spade Set, £17
This strong and durable wagon is perfect for hauling leaves, toys, sand, or anything else they might think of! Great for toddlers and early walkers, this wagon is made from recycled milk bottles, with a strong cotton rope handle, chunky tyres and low-set bed. Suitable for ages 2+. Green Toys Wagon, £38
The best outdoor toys by age
Looking for recommendations by age? No problem! Check out our top picks, by age:
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- Ethical gifts guide 2022
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At Good Things you’ll find inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts that support charities, empower people and protect our planet. Discover gifts for all ages and inspiring ideas like cards that plant trees, handmade cushions empowering people in Tanzania and eco toys made from recycled milk bottles. Have a look at our collections.