1. Parenting

Top Eco-Friendly Baby Toys

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If you're looking for an eco-friendly gift for a special baby in your life, there are lots of options on the market today -- from wooden toys to organic stuffed animals. Here are some of the latest and greatest eco-friendly baby toys -- all priced under $50.

1. Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic

This simple wooden toy appeals to a baby's natural curiosity with its twisted tangle of beads, rods and strings. Its bright colors make it visually stimulating and its maneuverability makes it a fun way to develop children's motor skills. Babies delight in squeezing and stretching the Skwish into different shapes and then watching as it reverts to its original shape.

Plus, it's made from rubber wood and finished with a non-toxic, water-based paint. The toy also comes in two other versions: Color Burst, which includes pastel and more vibrant colors, and Natural, which lets the natural beauty of the rubber wood shine through.

2. Green Toys Submarine

Photo © Green Toys

Your little seafarer can dive this sturdy watercraft underwater to explore the depths of your bathtub and then bring it back up to the surface with a splash to embark on its next adventure.

Made in the United States from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs, this toy contains no BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings and it's packaged in a recyclable cardboard box made from recycled materials with printing made from soy inks.

Recommended for babies ages 6 months and older, this submarine includes a spinning rear propeller and is built with a flat bottom for additional stability. It also features an easy-to-grip handle and wide-mouth opening for scooping and pouring water.

When it's time to clean this little sub, simply toss it in the dishwasher. You can even open the cabin to clean it, so there's no place for nastiness to hide.

3. Under the Nile Fruit Tote

Made and stuffed with 100% certified organic Egyptian cotton, Under the Nile's Fruit Tote features a banana, grape and watermelon in a striped fruit basket. Super soft, easy for even the littlest hands to hold and machine washable, the fruit is safe for babies to chew on while teething and can later be used as pretend food by toddlers and preschoolers engaged in imaginative play.

The fruit basket includes a braided handle and is embroidered with the message "Fresh organic fruit basket." Please note that the basket is not intended as a toy for children under 3 years old.

Made in Egypt in a fair trade environment, this product is packaged in a poly bag to reduce wasteful packaging and uses only low-impact dyes.

4. Haba Magica Clutching Toy

Photo © Haba

This toy features a set of colorful wooden balls connected with an elastic band that makes it easy for babies to grab as they develop their clutching skills.

Made in Germany from beech wood and colored using a non-toxic, water-based stain, this toy is sturdy and safe for teething babies.

5. Melissa & Doug Peek-A-Boo Panda

Photo © Melissa & Doug

There's no doubt about it. Babies and toddlers love to play peek-a-boo. And this cute little wooden panda loves to play along.

Made with select hardwood and child-safe dyes, this toy is simple enough for babies to use and its simple mechanics help children develop fine motor skills. As babies play peek-a-boo, this toy teaches them the concepts of object permanence and cause and effect.

Recommended for babies ages 9 months and older, this cheery panda features a little click and clack noise as babies flap its paws up and down.

6. Hape Double Bubble

This wooden maze toy features colorful beads that little hands can push along two set paths. For added fun, larger beads can slip over smaller ones.

Winner of a 2011 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold award, this toy develops fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills that introduces babies to concepts such as spatial relationships and cause and effect.

This toy is designed for children ages 6 months and up, features four suction cups that allow you to secure it to most smooth surfaces and is small enough to travel.

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