Best Baby Toys

Finding the right toys that your baby is going to enjoy can be a tough task – it has to be safe, durable, help them develop, and fun! We set out to help ease parents’s minds by finding the best baby toys made right here in America. Check out our top recommendations below, along with a deeper dive on each product, what we liked, didn’t like, and factors we considered during our research.

Our Findings

Overall, we found that there are a lot of great American companies making toys for babies and children in the U.S.A. We eliminated several that didn’t meet our quality standards, and wound up with 10 top picks. Each bring something a little unique, whether it’s going above and beyond for safety or helping out children in need through local charities. Since each parent and child are likely looking for something a little different, we broke down our recommendations into a few different categories, ranging from teething rings to wooden blocks and plush toys.

Top Recommendations

Best Baby Toys Best for:
Lifefactory Multi-Sensory Teething Ring Teething Ring
Bears for Humanity Stuffed Bear
Magic Cabin Plush Toys
Beka Blocks Wooden Blocks
Green Toys Recycling Truck Eco-Friendly
American Plastic Toys Plastic Toys
Dirt King Tricycle Tricycle
Little Tikes Playground Playsets
Mary’s Softdough Play Dough
Wee Can Too Arts and Crafts

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Check out additional details for each of our top recommendations, including in-depth analysis and what we liked and didn’t like about each one.

Best Teething Ring for Babies

Lifefactory Multi-Sensory Teething Ring


The Lifefactory teething rings are clear winners in this category, where safety is of the utmost importance. Their silicone teethers were designed by a pediatric feeding specialist and are made from medical grade silicone with no phthalates, latex, BPA, or PVC. As you can see from the photo, each ring has 4 different sections – each designed to develop oral motor skills and have your baby explore. These rings can also be easily refrigerated or frozen in case you child has aching gums that need soothing. The Lifefactory rings are lightweight and easy for your baby to hold, and they are the perfect size to throw around your wrist as a parent on the go. And lastly, these teethers are dishwasher safe. Overall, a very high quality teething ring that stands out among other manufacturers.

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Things we like:

  • Made from medical grade silicone
  • Safe materials
  • Easy to hold
  • Able to refrigerate or freeze
  • Dishwasher safe

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Stuffed Bear

Bears for Humanity


Bears for Humanity is doing great work to help Americans in need, and they are making some high quality stuffed bears in the process. Each of their bears is hand-sewn and stuffed by at-risk women in the California welfare-to-work program – giving them some stable income and helping them get back on their feet. Additionally, with each bear purchase, Bears for Humanity donates a bear to a child in need – you can even include a personal note to the child that the bear is donated to! Each of these bears is GOTS certified organic – made from 100% organic cotton straight from co-op farmers here in the U.S. The stuffing inside each one is made completely from recycled plastic bottles, all 100% hypoallergenic and with no harmful materials. We heard from Vijay Prathap, their CEO, who echoed those thoughts. “We are the only product that has no chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals – safe for kids and peace of mind for parents and gift givers,” says Prathap. You can’t really go wrong with these bears – great product from a great company doing great things for the community.

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Things we like:

  • Supporting children in need
  • Employing women who need help getting back on their feet
  • All organic materials and very safe
  • Hypoallergenic

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Plush Toys for Babies

Magic Cabin


Magic Cabin is bringing toys back to the basics – they make a large line of nature-inspired toys that help nurture a child’s inner curiosity and imagination. One of their best product lines is their plush toys, which are super durable, safe, cute, and also machine washable! We found that Magic Cabin’s plush toys outshined the competition in durability and safety. Most of the coats on each of their plush animal toys are actually hand cut and trimmed, which is typically the work of a machine these days. A lot of the animals also come with a “Toys that Teach” tag that has a description of the animal’s natural habitat and lifestyle.

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Things we like:

  • Strong and soft material
  • No harmful elements
  • Hand sewn

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Building Blocks

Beka Blocks


Blocks are a staple of any child’s playroom, and Beka does a great job of keeping that tradition in American homes. They love designing and building out of their family-owned workshop in Saint Paul, Minnesota, too. “For us, manufacturing in the U.S. is a no brainer; it’s where we live and what we do!” says Jamie Seeley-Kreisman, one of the founders of Beka. What really sets Beka apart is their construction – Beka blocks are made from hard maple, a dense material that improves durability and longevity, all while having a low carbon footprint. The hard maple material is different from most blocks you see on the market today, which are typically made of a lighter and less durable wood. The traditional 68-piece set (pictured here) comes with a variety of shapes and sizes to provide a wide range of building options. Overall, Beka blocks are a phenomenal product that will help your child develop their imagination, logic skills, and hand eye coordination. Beka’s mission is simple, says Seeley-Kreisman: “Make quality wood items that encourage imaginations and enhance creativity; then provide fast, friendly and reliable service!”

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Things we like:

  • Durable construction
  • Wide variety of block sizes
  • Smooth
  • Price (recently lowered)

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Eco-Friendly Baby Toy

Green Toys Recycling Truck


It’s no surprise that Green Toys is making some of the best eco-friendly baby toys on the market today. We love their recycling truck, which stood out among other environmentally friendly toys for its low carbon footprint, durability, and great design. The Green Toys recycling truck is made out of 100% recycled milk jugs (HDPE #2 plastic)! Of course, this truck is phthalate and BPA free as well and has zero external paint, coatings, or dyes. It also has a tight local supply chain, so transportation emissions are kept to a minimum. It features a moveable recycling bed that comes with an open-and-close rear door and chutes on either side. It also comes with small cardboard cutouts of recyclable items that your child can place in the designated chutes for paper, cans, and bottles. It can even go in the dishwasher if it gets a little too dirty.

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Things we like:

  • Made of 100% recycled material
  • Teaches kids about recycling at an early age
  • Durable construction
  • Fun to play with

Things we don’t like:

  • The windows are a little small to put your own plastic “drivers” in the front seat of the truck

 

Best Plastic Toys

American Plastic Toys


American Plastic Toys has been making quality products in the U.S. since 1962 from their five different factories in Michigan and Mississippi. They produce over 125 different products ranging from trucks to large playsets and everything in between. They really stood out from the competition for their range of toys and going above and beyond for safety standards. None of their products are painted or use phthalates, a substance that is used in a lot of other plastic products to increase flexibility and longevity, but has some potentially harmful health effects. We also love the durability of many of their smaller products, especially their beach toys. Overall, American Plastic Toys does a wonderful job making basic, quality plastic toys for babies and small children.

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Things we like:

  • Safe materials
  • Range of toys
  • Quality construction
  • Affordable

Things we don’t like:

  • The bikes don’t last too long, we recommend Dirt King Tricycles (see below)

 

Best Tricycle

Dirt King Tricycle


Dirt King Tricycles are the king of the sidewalk (or driveway) for any small children, typically ages 3 to 6. This tricycle is virtually indestructible, hand-constructed from heavy duty steel with 3 all-terrain tires. The large tires are super helpful for uneven sidewalks or unexpected bumps, making the ride super smooth no matter what terrain you’re on. The seat and handlebars are also adjustable, so this toy can grow along with your kid.

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Things we like:

  • Durable
  • Adjustable
  • Smooth ride
  • Big tires

Things we don’t like:

  • Some assembly required

 

Best Playsets

Little Tikes Playground


Little Tikes is a household name when it comes to children’s playsets, and many of those playsets are made in their facilities here in the U.S. Everything from the classic adjustable playground sets, to the Cozy Coupe, Jeep Wrangler toddler bed, turtle sandbox, and more are made in America – about 175 different products overall. You can check out their full lineup here. What makes their playgrounds stand out among the competition are their versatility, durable construction, and weather resistant material. These playsets can stand the test of time out in the backyard, rain or shine.

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Things we like:

  • Range of options
  • Strong material
  • Weather resistant

Things we don’t like:

  • A little time consuming to set up

 

Best (and Safest) Play Dough

Mary’s Softdough


A family owned and operated business, Mary’s Softdough has been making all natural play dough in their office in Eugene, Oregon since 1988. Their play dough comes in a variety of scents and colors, and is made from all natural food grade ingredients. Unlike other play dough that has a tendency to crumble, Mary’s Softdough does a good job of keeping the right amount of moisture in the dough and holds up well to a lot of creative play. When stored in its container properly, it can last up to a year. All of their products also meet the strict standards of ASTM D4263 and CPSIA toy safety. Mary’s Softdough comes in a wide variety of options – scented, unscented, glow in the dark, and more.

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Things we like:

  • Variety
  • Easily pliable
  • Doesn’t crumble
  • All natural and safe

Things we don’t like:

  • None

 

Best Arts and Crafts for Kids

Wee Can Too


Wee Can Too is on a mission to bring safe, fun art supplies to babies and toddlers all over the world. They have been working towards that mission since 2007 out of their U.S. based facility. Wee Can Too has several arts and crafts products, ranging from finger paints (pictured) to sidewalk chalk and many more options. Each of their products are all natural, made with food based ingredients (that’s where the colors come from) and zero added chemicals, preservatives, or color additives – they are practically safe to eat (just in case your baby gets some finger paint on their face, don’t worry!). Overall, We Can Too has the best all natural art supplies that we found on the market today.

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Things we like:

  • Safe
  • Variety of arts and crafts options
  • All natural colors

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Recap: Best Baby Toys Made in the USA


Related articles: Best baby cribs made in the USA, best baby clothes made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Safety

First and foremost, your baby’s toys need to be safe. We did thorough background checks on every single one of our recommendations to make sure that their products were made the right way, complying with The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), as well as getting other certifications. We also looked for baby toys made of recyclable materials and ones that were free of BPA, phthalates, or other harmful materials. Here are some other factors we kept in mind for safety:

  • Flame resistance for fabric toys
  • Plush toys should be machine washable
  • Using lead-free paint, if any
  • Weight (heavy toys have higher chance of dropping/injury)
  • Toys without long cords
  • Toys without small magnets

Durability

Being a parent is totally unpredictable sometimes, and it’s incredibly frustrating when you can’t rely on your child’s toys to stand the test of time. We searched for toys that would do just that. Durability comes down to a few things – the materials that they toy is made from, the actual construction process, and who is playing with the toy (age appropriateness). The specifics of these factors differ depending on the type of toy you are looking at, but the principles are the same. We took this approach with every single toy that we looked at.

Development

At such a young and impressionable age, you should be surrounding your baby with toys that can help stimulate their development, whether that is physical or mental. In the case of something like teething rings, choosing the right product can help develop oral motor skills. On the mental development side, toys like building blocks and play dough help bring the imagination to life. Where possible, we chose toys that will help with development in all of these areas.

Fun!

After all, is it really a toy if it isn’t fun? We researched hundreds of consumer reviews and did some testing of our own to find the toys that babies and children enjoy the most.

Value

We want to make sure that you’re getting the best baby toys for your money. That’s why we eliminated dozens of companies from our consideration where we thought that the price of the toy didn’t match the current quality. Budgeting as a parent is hard enough, we want to help your dollar go further.