Beano Parent approved | Plastic-free toys and games


When even the kids know strawmageddon is coming then it’s time to think about reducing our use of plastics.

Thanks to that Blue Planet documentary bringing it all a bit close to home plus Trump and his climate change deniers ramping up the heat on our planet, we’re taking a look at one big thing we could do to lessen the impact.

Most kids’ toys and games are made of plastic, plastic and, well, plastic. With a bit more plastic on top. Wrapped in plastic. Not great.

So what are the alternatives? We polled our team of experienced parents, all of whom know a thing or two about what kids actually want to play with. Clue: it’s not those wooden toys you get given when they’re toddlers. The ones that have to be confiscated after little Timmy’s head injury.

Here are our top tips for plastic-free toys and games

Mum of two, Anne says: ‘We are playing Mind Genius what feels like continuously at the moment! Also, my kids really love the Monopoly Deal card game – great for all ages.’


Franky suggests card games like Dobble, Love Letter, Exploding Kittens and Sushi Go [although no one can quite remember if they come wrapped in some plastic – fingers crossed not].

Alice and Roz (both parents of tweens/teens) agree that Jenga is a plastic-free classic. Alice: ‘We love Tiger’s version of Jenga. It comes with different coloured blocks and a dice. You have to take the pieces out according to what the dice dictates. Tense and a lot of fun.’

Roz’s take? ‘Agreed Jenga is fun – we make ours bespoke by writing forfeits on some of the pieces too for an extra element!’ This idea could run and run…


Julian suggests ‘Carcassonne – or Star Wars Carcassonne (if they prefer that theme). Cardboard tiles and wooden Meeples’, he confirms. Which sounds excellent.

Laura’s leading the science charge with some more educational ideas: ‘Every year we get some thing from Myriad – they have a great range of wooden construction kits, outdoor toys such as mini cable cars which my boys love as they have to build them and then can transport acorns and what not from one tree to another. We even made a Kaleidoscope!’

Anne again (she’s full of ideas), who is a big board game fan: ‘Bananagrams!’

Eleanor suggests ‘a deck of cards and the rules for S***head?’, which we’re kind of down with. Bold parenting. Could always replace the swears, obvs (suggestions on a postcard please!).

Back to Julian again. ‘Pokemon card gameplay is surprisingly strategic. It’s a giant money pit but you can have a lot of fun with just a couple of starter decks’.

And of course if your kid is #basic, a screen-addict and just wants to game then opt for downloads rather than physical games. Package-free, and impossible to scratch/break/lose.

What else would you add? Come over and tell us on our Beano Official Facebook page.


Want more?

Molar moolah! Beano’s alternative Tooth Fairy rates

Why you’re not the world’s worst parent

Everything you need to know about Fortnite