Many plastic toys contain toxic phthalates and Bisphenol-A (BPA), which leach out more readily in the heat. Below are some safer, greener plastics for playing and picnicking, made of recycled non-leaching plastic.

Green Toys sand bucket, castle mold, fork and shovel made in the U.S. from recycled #2 milk jugs, now on sale for $16.95 at Kangarooboo.com.

For picnics, lightweight, reusable bright plastic cups, plates, bowls and cutlery, plus a big sturdy collander that could alternate as a sand sifter, are made from recycled #5 plastic by Recycline. To children, things always taste best in miniature portions and dishes, like this Green Toys setting for four with utensils, plates, bowls, cups, a frypan and covered casserole. There's also a tea party set; both from recycled milk jugs, at Greenfeet.com.

And even though they're not plastic, we couldn't resist these classic wooden toy sailboats that will float in tide pool, bath tub or sandcastle moat.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in July 2008. The story was added to MNN.com.

Copyright Environ Press 2008