Girls everywhere and some boys too, love to play with dolls. Just take a stroll down the doll aisle at WalMart and you will see what a big business it is…Barbies, Monster High, Cabbage Patch, dolls that swim , and dolls that eat…there are so many options. What most parents may not consider when walking down that aisle is that many of these dolls are toxic. They are often made of dangerous plastics that have PVC and/or Phthalates which can cause numerous health issues. They are often times not recyclable and for something with a short life span as far as quality goes, this is a sad thing. Add to that the fact that advertisements are convincing our girls that they have to have ALL these dolls you could end up with dozens of dolls that are neither safe or planet friendly. So how can we do better? There are many cloth options, organic options, and safer plastic options so there is something for everyone. Here are a few of the ones I discovered in my research.
But here are some questions to ask yourself. Is this doll made of unsafe plastics or vinyl? Can it be recycled or composted eventually? If it is made of cloth what type of fill is it stuffed with? Plastic or cloth based? Is this a quality doll that will last or one that may need to be discarded a year or two from now?
A much more affordable alternative would be the soft Haba dolls. They are sooo cute and colorful I think I want one. Fay’s kimono style clothes are removable for pretend play fun. She has beautiful long brown hair that can be tied up or left down (comes with a flowered hair band). Her facial features are very nicely stitched on. Fay also comes with a cape and a basket full of flowers. She also has some cute friends like Souri, and my personal fave Lilli. You can see a picture of them at the top of this post. Available for $35-65.99.
Another good option is a Waldorf inspired doll like this Waldorf Fortune Fairy Flippippi and her friends. Waldorf dolls are all made of natural materials such as wool, cotton stockinet and quartz sand. Available for $85.99.
Planet Pixies are soft dolls as well. Kayla looks kind of like Tinkerbell with blondish-pink hair. My daughter would love her. Planet Pixies are made with all natural and organic cotton fabrics and packaged in 100% post consumer recycled packaging. They also have a great story to go with them and in fact NEED your help as Pixies everywhere are losing their homes due to pollution, deforestation, and global warming. ;) Check out Maya too. Planet Pixies are available for $24.99.
Another soft doll that is just adorable is the Corolle Babicorolle Sorbet Melodie. I have a pink hair thing I think. Yes, I have always wanted pink hair. ;) Melodie is pretty in pink, soft, and a perfect gift because she comes in a shoe-box style package could then double as her bed. Available for $26.99.
Does your little one specifically want a ballerina doll? Well miYim has an adorable one….the Good Earth Ballerina Girl Rag Doll. Another adorable cloth ballerina cutie is the North American Bear Company Big Sister Ballet Brunette.
For small dolls that you can put in doll houses there are not plastic options like this Doll Family by Plan Toys. The family has solid wooden heads and soft wire bodies that can bend and flex into any position. With movable arms and legs, they come dressed in colorful clothes. The doll family includes father, mother and two children and they are made of natural, chemical free recycled rubberwood and finished with non-toxic water based dyes. There are also several ethic families too. The doll families are $18.99.
Magnetic dolls are a new favorite in our house. We have several Melissa and Doug sets of Magnetic dress up dolls including Nina Ballerina and Princess Elise. They are wooden dolls that can be dressed in magnetic clothes… shoes, hats, dresses, skirts, ect. They are a lot of fun. Woodkins are also very similar.
I hope this list gives you some options for safer and more natural dollies for your little ones!
Also make sure to check out my Top Ten Green and Natural Toys for Toddlers.