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As an eco blogger, I am often asked about wooden toys and which our favourite are. However, I must start by saying that I’m by no means an expert in wooden toys and that our collection is still very small in comparison to our plastic toys. Not that there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I have previously written about why I wouldn’t rid our home of plastic toys with the biggest reason being that if we all started to throw them out, there would be even more plastic sitting in landfill not going anywhere. Toys are designed to be played with and our children will play with a huge range of toys, mixing styles as well as plastic and wooden to bring their imaginative play to life. So, even though this post is focussing on our favourite wooden toys, I just wanted to highlight the fact that our toys are not all fully ethically sourced and eco-friendly. The toys the boys have come from a wide variety of places, some are secondhand, some are hand-me-downs, some were gifts and like all homes, we have plenty that are just collecting dust but each time we attempt to smuggle them out to the charity shop a little person suddenly declares that is their favourite ever toy and they must keep it! Wooden toys are beautiful, they last, they are usually sustainably sourced and a lot are open-ended which allows a child to play with them in whatever way they fancy and I wish I could afford to buy more (another point that is important to bring up when talking about purchasing wooden toys). So I have chosen the ones that the boys are loving right now and I’ve also tried to include the wooden toys that can be used by a range of ages.
Melissa and Doug Wooden Vehicle Puzzle
We have quite a few puzzles like this but this one is my favourite because of the large pieces, the easy to grip handles and because William absolutely loves it. He received this as a birthday present from a family member so I’m not sure where she bought it from but there is a wide range of their toys and puzzles on Amazon.
Wooden Fishing Game
Another Melissa and Doug toy which is well-loved here. This fishing game can be played with 1 or with 2 children and is perfect for mastering their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, for learning their numbers and colours as well as problem-solving. You can purchase this on Amazon here.
Wooden Elephant Puzzle
This was a wonderful find in a local charity shop and was only priced at £2.50 can you believe?! (it has a few marks on it but that doesn’t bother us). It is always worth popping into charity shops because you just never know what you may be able to find. This gorgeous mum and baby elephant puzzle is a little tricky to work out but it will last us years and as time goes by the children will master how it all fits together. You can find many similar toys over on the Babipur website.
Plan Toys Wooden Stacker
I love a stacker. They are perfect for your little one to learn sizes, colours, order, to master fine motor skills and they can often play with them for ages just taking the parts off and putting them back again. Our stacker should have a red ball on the top but that has gone walkabout (as it often does!) and I can’t find it. What is also great about this one is that the wooden pole isn’t fixed which means if anybody falls on it, it bends over to prevent any nasty accidents. You can purchase this here.
Pull Along Toy
Ok, so I may have bought this one for me! He caught my eye on a stall at the Winchester Christmas Market and I just had to get him. I mean, it’s a funky wooden frog playing the xylophone! As you pull him along his arms move up and down and ding the metal bars. I couldn’t find one online for you but there are variations on eBay and there is a mouse version here on Etsy.
Wooden Bee Toy
William received this for Christmas and I love it. Each honeycomb has a bee the same colour sitting inside and the aim of the game is to use the tweezers to pick the bees up. You can get your child to practise mastering their fine motor skills, match their colours, work on their concentration and their hand-eye coordination. The only problem we had was that the original tweezers broke on the second use (they are plastic) so I had to provide more (luckily we already had some from when Jake was smaller). You can purchase one here.
Wooden Building Blocks
Wooden building blocks are an open-end toy as they can be used in so many different ways making them a great STEM toy. They can be easily added to other toys to create things as well. Both boys love constructing forts out of these and it keeps them quiet for quite a while.
The Box was bought plain and I decided to paint and stencil it to create a nice feature in our nautical nursery.
Wooden Letter Box
William received this for his first birthday and he still loves playing with it over a year later. It’s a great prop for role play setups, it is perfect for hand-eye coordination as well as a good way to bring up a discussion about how the postal system works for teaching slightly older children. The envelopes post in through the slot, there is an opening at the back for easy retrieval and the door on the front opens too. A really simple toy that provides lots of fun.
Wooden Push Along
This wooden push along was bought from a charity shop back when Jake was learning how to walk. He had years of use and fun out of it and now William is using it in the same way. I did consider giving it a lick of paint but then thought about how much love it had received in the past and how much it was going to get from our home too so I didn’t want to change it, I wanted it to hold that little bit of charm.
Wooden Sloping Track
This is another toy that was Jake’s so it has been with us for around 6 years now. This sloping track comes with 4 cars which are dropped down the slope at the top and roll and flip down to the bottom. This one was from Sainsbury’s but you can get all types of variations online.
This is a firm favourite for all of us. The Grimms rainbow is an investment but it is so worth it. You can create all sorts of amazing shapes, designs and fun layouts. You can add to it other toys to create a miniature world. You can build it up and knock it down, plus it looks gorgeous in a nursery! They come in a variety of shades and sizes which are available to buy across the internet. I have the 12 piece which you can purchase here.
This is another investment piece and was William’s big 2nd birthday present. An open-ended toy which can be used one way as a climber or turned over to make a rocker, it gets plenty of use from both children and gets them playing physically as well as mentally. I purchased ours from Kate Haa.
Brio Wooden Train Track Set
And the best wooden toy I have ever bought? A brio wooden train track. We purchased a starter set for Jake when he was around 18 months old and 5 years on we are still adding to it! Every child that steps foot in our home picks it up and starts building. It has provided hours and hours of fun for everybody and is the only toy that has constantly lived in our living room. It will never go out of fashion, it is durable and you can buy parts new or secondhand and all will fit together. What I love the most is sitting back and watching the kids working out how to build it and what will make it more fun and interesting. Each train track built is different to the last which makes it an everchanging toy which, of course, is what helps to keep them interested. They have a huge selection over on Amazon here.
There were many others I could have included but what I’d love to hear is what are the firm favourites in your home?
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