13 Wooden Toys for Babies Unique Handcrafted 2021
With so many loud, flashy plastic items filling the shelves, it can be hard for wooden toys to stack up. But wood definitely doesn’t equal boring.
Wooden toys, in contrast to their plastic counterparts, last longer and biodegrade faster. They’re also generally less flashy, making them popular among parents with more minimalist taste who’d rather not have their home overrun with stuff that looks like this.
In fact, a lot of wooden toys can pass for Danish design objects (and wouldn’t look out of place next to a succulent atop a mantle) when not in the hands of a toddler.
And because of their long history in the world (the first written reference to a wooden toy dates back to 500 BC) and their popularity in Montessori and Waldorf classrooms, they exude a comforting folksiness and proximity to the natural world.
Take it from me, a former Waldorf-school teacher and current Strat reporter who’s spent hours in conversation with child-development experts, toy-trend forecasters, and stylish parents: Wooden toys will not only make your home more stylish, they’ll foster curiosity, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and so much more in your child.
To further guide you, we scoured the internet for the cream of the crop and curated a list of the best wooden toys we could find, including wooden toys for teething babies, ones for toddlers working on their fine motor skills, toys that encourage pretend play, and even some STEM toys made out of wood.
Photo: Julie Morton, Stepping Stones
1. Customizable wooden family
Two moms? Single dad? Triplets? Young kids will love seeing their family reflected in their own unique wooden family set. These adorable peg dolls are built to last, with Woodburned faces and a beeswax finish. Choose natural wood or colored (non-toxic acrylic) for a keepsake item that’s plenty of fun to play with, too. Colorful (family of 5), $24, steppingstonesshop.com
Photo: Melissa and Doug
2. Stack & Sort board
This pretty pegboard with stackable shapes is ideal for supporting the development of your little one’s fine motor skills, in addition to helping them practice sorting, shape identification, and counting. $13, amazon.ca
3. My Busy Town activity cube
7 homemade baby toys you can make out of ordinary household stuff this 5-sided wooden activity center from AlexBrandsis designed for toddlers 12 months and older, but it can easily engage preschoolers and kids in early elementary with its turn and learn ABC, 123, and first word tiles, curvy wire bead trains, peek-a-boo doors, and spin-and-match animal characters. This toy grows with your little one for a worthwhile return on investment, providing smiles year after year. $130, amazon.ca
4. Chunky clock puzzle
Versatility is the biggest draw of this cute puzzle from Hape. Preschool-age kids learn shapes, numbers, and colors as they grow familiar with the practice of telling time. $19, allstarlearning.ca
Photo: Julie Morton, Stepping Stones
5. Tree slice alphabet tiles
Wordplay is the most fun when it’s tactile and sensory. To craft these beautiful, all-natural letter sets, small birch tree slices are kiln dried and lightly sanded, then wood burned with a matching upper and lowercase letter on each side. Each set is handcrafted by a Keswick-based kindergarten teacher and toymaker. $65, steppingstonesshop.com
Photo: Melissa and Doug
6. Farm cube puzzle
If you’re worried about the short shelf-life of some puzzles, this 16-piece cube set keeps boredom at bay with six different farm animals. The shape adds a tactile element and means this puzzle can double as a set of blocks, too. $17, amazon.ca
7. Grimm’s stacking rainbow
Let imaginations run wild with this beloved and iconic open-ended wooden toy. The arches can be stacked, flipped, and rearranged to create towers, bridges, car ramps, fairy houses—you name it. Hand it over without any instructions and watch the magic happen. 6-piece set, $40, nest.ca
Promote physical play with a durable balance board made from beech plywood. With a little creativity, watch as this Waldorf toy easily doubles as a slide, extra seat, step stool, seesaw, pirate boat, or rocket ship. Kids love it, but it’s sturdy enough that even grownups can take a turn. $230, amazon.ca
9. Fantasia blocks castle
This set of 22 uniquely shaped blocks can be arranged to create a whimsical castle straight out of a fairy tale. Kids love matching, stacking, and designing while working on their fine motor skills. $44, walmart.ca
Photo: Plan Toys
10. Oval xylophone
The gift of music keeps on giving as it grows with your child. This cute wooden xylophone from Plan Toys engages kids through sound and color, and it’s made from recycled rubber tree wood and child-safe, water-based dyes for extra peace of mind. $30, mastermindtoys.com
Photo: Ava’s Appletree
11. Grimm’s Wankel stacking tower
Introduce your little one to colors and shapes or help an older toddler develop spatial awareness and fine motor skills with this stacking tower from Grimm’s, the lauded Germany-based natural and sustainable wooden toy company. $45, avasappletree.ca
12. Wooden toys for babies
The Homi organic wooden rattle is made in the U.S. and painted with environmentally friendly, non-toxic milk paint before being sealed with organic virgin coconut oil. So it’s safe for teething babies and even your pets.$16 AT AMAZON
14. Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle and Teether Grasping Toy$17 now 6% off$16
Squishy rattles, like this one from Manhattan Toy, are great for developing a baby’s gross motor skills. This rattle is made using sustainable wood and a non-toxic finish.$16 AT AMAZON
Wooden toys for toddlers
Lacing toys like this wooden apple and worm challenge a toddler’s fine motor skills and can keep children busy for long periods of time — a godsend on car rides, airplanes, or grocery-store lines.$9 AT AMAZON
Toys that make noise or play music are typically bigger hits with toddlers. This chubby wooden bee on wheels makes beeping sounds when kids press down on its back. It’s made with wood from responsibly managed forests and non-toxic paint. It’s also great for fine motor skills and encouraging memory through cause and effect. BUY AT AMAZON
17. PlanToys Plan Preschool Bee Hive Preschool$33 now 36% off$21
Speaking of bees, toddlers will enjoy the challenge of using these wooden tongs to remove wooden bees and put them back in their hive. Matching the bees to their hives also helps toddlers work on color recognition.$21 AT AMAZON
Pull toys are extra fun for toddlers who can walk. And this baby and mama duck encourage talking about family and putting things inside other things — two favorite toddler pastimes.$17 AT AMAZON
19. Plan Toy Solid Wood Drum$25
Wooden toys for pretend play
20. MiO Food Truck Vehicle + 1 Bean Bag Person Peg Doll$30 now 7% off$28
This little wooden food truck and doll encourages imaginative play and comes with a wooden refrigerator, stove, and four wooden pizza discs.$28 AT AMAZON
Each wooden apple, pomegranate, lime, banana, and avocado in this set is realistically painted with eco-friendly paint and can be cut in half for serving using a wooden knife and then put back together with magnets.$23 AT AMAZON
22. Melissa & Doug Service Station Parking Garage$30 now 37% off$19
Melissa & Doug are known for making high-quality toys that encourage child development. This garage and service station is no different and offers tons of scenarios to stretch children’s imaginations.$19 AT AMAZON$30 AT MELISSA AND DOUG
If you’re looking for more cars to park in the garage, here’s a sweet set of utility vehicles to add to the party. BUY AT AMAZON
24. Huzi – Cosmos – Timeless Design Spaceship Building Blocks$30 now 23% off$23
For the true minimalist, this black and white wooden spaceship would look nice on any bookshelf and can be assembled in several different configurations before being “shot” into space.$23 AT AMAZON
Like a flat, wooden Mr. Potato Head, this facial expression and mood puzzle helps children with social-emotional development and encourages healthy communication around moods and feelings. BUY AT AMAZON
26. Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Dollhouse$60 now 7% off$56
Wooden toys for stacking and balancing
28. Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike$80 now 25% off$60
Hape’s all-wooden balance bike increases children’s strength and motor skills.$60 AT AMAZON
29. aGreatLife Wooden Balancing Cactus Toy for Kids and Toddlers$20 now 10% off$18
The aGreatLife cactus game is a fun way for kids and adults to play together. Even the packaging, which is made of cardboard and a muslin bag, is eco-friendly.$18 AT AMAZON
30. Grimm’s Small Stone Caves Nesting Wooden Blocks Stacker$46 now 33% off$31
We featured a similar colorful Waldorf stacking toy in our gift guide for one-year-olds. These beautifully crafted toys are interactive and encourage babies and toddlers to experiment with building and gravity.$31 AT AMAZON
Are Wooden Toys Better?
There are many reasons wooden toys are better (not only for your child but for the environment as well): they’re long-lasting and more durable. They cause less waste than plastic toys. … The truth is that good quality, eco-friendly wooden toys don’t contain PVC, phthalates, or similar chemicals used in plastic toys.
Six Advantages of Wooden Toys For Children
- Educational qualities. In 1976, the pioneering educational psychologist Dr. …
- You can concentrate better. Workplaces with wood are both calming and stimulating in the best of ways. …
- Durability and longevity. …
- Fires the imagination. …
Are wooden toys safe?
Yes! Wooden toys can most definitely be safer for your baby. You may have heard of BPA and PVC, two chemicals both commonly found in plastics. … There is no BPA, PVC, or phthalates in wooden toys making them a great choice for parents looking to avoid chemicals.
What are the wooden toys?
A wooden toy is a toy constructed primarily from wood and wood products. Additional components made from other materials are also sometimes used.
Are all wooden toys Montessori?
If you walk into a Montessori classroom, you’ll notice that most of the materials are wooden. Similarly, almost all of the toys designed for babies and toddlers in a Montessori home environment are wooden.
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