Choosing safe and durable toys for your children

Natural rattle - Grapat

How do I choose safe and durable toys for my children? Toy safety is of paramount importance to parents. When my children were small this question occupied me a lot and I spent many hours searching for safe, durable toys that were toxin-free and BPA-free; toys that I could feel confident about giving to my children. 

I turned to wooden toys to avoid nasty chemicals and softeners that could be found in so many plastic toys but I still had to make sure that any paints and varnishes used were water-based and free of toxins and that the toys were well made and strong to avoid breaking or choking hazards. It was stressful and information could be very difficult to find!

Toy safety is one of the reasons I was drawn to Teia Education, a Swiss family-run company selling sustainable educational materials, toys, games and craft and school supplies. Teia Education only sells products that meet the very highest standards of safety, durability, ethics and sustainability. Founder Sylvia Zihna carefully researches each brand and puts them through a rigorous selection process before deciding they comply with their values and to add them to Teia Education’s range.

Safe and durable toys - Teia Education Switzerland

Teia Education recognises and champions the hard work of their brands in never compromising in their production of high-quality, safe, ethical and sustainable toys, which is wonderful to see. Only the highest quality, most responsible brands feature, such as Grapat, Nanchen Natur, Sarah’s Silks, Flockmen, Grimm’s, Debresk, Glückskäfer, Waytoplay, Educo, SINA Spielzeug, Le Toy Van, Jegro, Stockmar, Natural Earth Paint, Crayon Rocks, Droomdeurjes, Toys for Life, Larsen, Nienhuis Montessori and Gonzagarredi Montessori.

This gives parents and educators such peace of mind when browsing the carefully curated range on Teia Education’s web store, being able to trust that all the toys and materials are:

  • Safe – every toy and educational product meet the rigorous demands of various European and International toy manufacturing safety regulations and comply with toy safety directives such as the European Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC, EN71, American CPSIA, ASTM and International ISO, making them safe for use by babies and (young) children. Raw materials are tested according to safety and quality standards of the countries they are destined. Edges of wooden toys are sanded smooth, the wood is checked meticulously for imperfections and every single product is subject to rigorous testing.
  • Toxin-free – All dyes and paints used for these toys are water-based. Creative art materials such as crayons and paint are made from organic and natural materials such as beeswax and mineral pigments. They do not contain dangerous toxins such as lead, BPA, PVC, phthalates, cadmium, chlorine or arsenic and comply with European and International safety regulations. All wood finishes used on the handmade wooden toys are either waxes or oils of vegetable origin.
  • Certified – The manufacturing processes and facilities of all Teia Education’s brands comply with and are certified by various ISO standards. All products are CE certified and have a declaration of conformity. Many have been awarded with the Spielgut seal. Environmental and social standards are respected throughout the entire production chain of these brands.
  • High-quality and durable – all products are well made, with respect to our environment and the people making them. Mainly made from wood with the highest level of craftsmanship, these toys are strong and designed to last for generations.

Safe and durable toys - Teia Education Switzerland

I am delighted that Teia Education’s hard work and unwaveringly high standards have recently been recognised with an honour I know they are very proud to achieve – in June 2020 they became a member of the Spielwaren Verband Schweiz (SVS), which brings together all leading Swiss producers, importers and suppliers of toys and amongst others promotes sustainability and toy safety in Switzerland. Congratulations!


Sarah Varley is a freelance writer and mother of two from England. Sarah embraced the Montessori method for her children’s early education and is a huge fan of open-ended play with beautiful toys that last for generations. As a former Librarian, there will always be a special place in her heart for books, sorting and organising! Find out more at Letterpress Content.

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