With the weather warming up people are thinking about ways they can spend more time outside. With quarantine still in place, in most areas, people are hoping to find activities they can do at home with their little ones. Like, most things, there are options out there that are less toxic and/or better for the environment.
I polled my followers on Instagram to see what types of items they would like to see in this post and have included what I received the most requests for. I’ll cover baby pools, water tables, outdoor toys/swings, bathing suits and accessories, beach gear, sunscreens, and bug spray.
If this is something else you were hoping to see, please leave a comment or send me a message. I’m happy to help you do the research!
Crunchy & Curious, LLC recommends products that are genuinely loved and well researched. Many of these links are affiliate. If you end up making a purchase through an affiliate link, I may earn a commission (at no extra charge to you.) All affiliate links will be marked with an asterisk. You can see my full disclaimer, here.
Nothing is cuter than seeing a little kid splash around, having the time of their life in a pool. Unfortunately, most of the baby pools out there are of the blow-up version and these are typically made with PVC which is one of my big NOs. PVC is especially a no when it will be in warm and wet conditions- the perfect environment for leaching chemicals.
When it comes to baby/kiddie pools the harder the plastic, the better. Yup- those super cheap ones ($10-15) that you see at many big box stores are what you want! I even grabbed one at Petsmart the other day! These pools won’t last season after season, most likely, but they are your safest bet.
PS- if you are filling your pool up with a hose, make sure that you have purchased a lead-free version!
Similar to the pools above, when it comes to water (and sand) tablers we want to purchase the harder plastic. These items are typically made with #2 plastic and are BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free.
While I haven’t researched the many different options for pop-up tents, I do know that the Veer Basecamp was the one that I went with. I love my Veer Wagon and when the Basecamp was released, I reached out to ask if it contains any PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), including C6 and C8 and if there are any waterproofing treatments applied and/or what their waterproofing is made of. Customer service confirmed that their products (at least the Wagon and Basecamp) do not contain any from that list. They let me know that the exterior side of the basecamp floor is coated with polyurethane for water resistance.
Ikea is usually a good bet for products, in general, as they adhere to European standards and are committed to not using PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl).
For towels and bags aim to find 100% cotton options that are organic and/or OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified which means that the fabrics have been tested and are free of over 300 chemicals and known irritants.
With toys that are more resistant to outdoor conditions, plastic is usually your best bet. Unfortunately, many plastics are laden with toxic BPA, PVC, phthalates, and more. The below options do not contain any from that list and are all from brands I trust if I am going to buy plastic.
With swimwear and other clothing-type items, I focus on finding options that are made with certified materials. Hanna Andersson and Pottery Barn (kids towels at least) are OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified which means that the fabrics have been tested and are free of over 300 chemicals and known irritants.
With accessories (sunglasses etc.) I am looking to find products that are BPA, lead, and phthalate-free.
Sunscreen is a big topic that I won’t cover in its entirety here (I’ll save that for a separate blog post.) Many sunscreens out there contain ingredients that are harmful to humans and the planet.
Main Things I Avoid in Sunscreen:
- Spray Options (lotion minimizes the inhalation of the ingredients)
- Bug Repellent properties (DEET etc.)
There are many concerns with DEET and the effects it may have on us and especially our little ones. Because of these concerns, I avoid it if possible. Many people make their own bug sprays that seem to be very effective. I haven’t done this, yet. But it’s worth a google if you’re interested!
The newsletter (you don’t want to miss this)
Sign up with your email address to receive news, updates, and sale notifications.