What could be better for inspiring some imaginative, free play than a wooden toy? Wooden toys have made a big come back – and we can see why! There’s something so special about gifting children a wooden toy, with the feel of years gone by but all the style and innovation of the modern day. A wooden toy really is something to celebrate.
Perfect for planet-friendly play, wooden toys offer a much more environmentally friendly option than the plastic alternative. Especially when you choose wood sourced from FSC-certified forests or other sustainable materials such as rubber wood (Don’t worry, Learning Bugs only ever chooses to stock the most sustainable materials, so you can be sure our toys are the best quality). And they last! They’ll withstand the most vigorous play, over and over, from sibling to sibling and passed down through the family. So whilst it may seem more expensive than the plastic alternative, cost per use, it’s a much more purse friendly option.
Our product testers have been out in force to test our toys and bring you a list of our favourite wooden toys for children. And we watched them (with our early years education hats on!) and asked questions (with our mummy wants the best value for money hats on!) to make sure we could bring you a list of wooden toys that not only encourages learning and development through play but one that will encourage children to play over and over again.
What is a Wobbel Board? Funnily enough, only adults ask this question! For children it’s instinctive, the possibilities are endless. The Wobbel board originates in Waldorf classrooms, the first thing children will want to do on the curved balance board is rock! Standing up, sitting down, lying, back and forth over and over they just love rocking about. All this rocking builds strength, balancing skills and confidence. A Wobbel is more than just a rocker board though, children use them for all sorts of play, it can be a bridge, a boat, a chair or even a step. Wobbel also grows with your child, younger children can crawl onto it and rock gently, they can use it as a bridge for their toys, while older children will stand and rock and incorporate building blocks or marble runs with the Wobbel as a base. One thing we guarantee however, is that your child will use their Wobbel everyday in everyway in their play! This has to be our ultimate favourite wooden toy for kids and our product testers agree!
Le Toy Van Farm set
There’s just something so special about the Le Toy Van Farmyard. From the sturdy building to the chunky wooden animals perfect for little hands to clutch and the beautiful farmyard people this is a real investment piece. Children just love the farm, there’s so much to talk about, so much to learn, so much to role play, imagine and create. Spending a little time playing ‘farms’ will engage children in imaginative play, develop language and vocabulary and enhance social skills.
Tenderleaf Toys Weather Watch
Children are naturally inquisitive and interested in the world around them. This Tender leaf Toys Weather Watch is a great way to capture this engagement, have fun, learn about the weather and the phases of the moon. Turn a wheel to see the 8 phases of the moon and their names, move the temperature band to see the temperature rise and fall, lift the hat of the little boy to show how windy it is, and move the lever up and down the bucket to show how high the rainfall is. Kept safe in a printed drawstring bag are 9 weather symbols to magnetically place on yesterday, today and tomorrow forecasts. We really love this, and who knows, you may just inspire a future meteorologist.
Inspire hours of open-ended play with the Grapat Mandala pieces. Handcrafted from sustainable, eco-friendly wood and painted with non toxic water based paints they are the perfect open-ened wooden toy for kids. Create small worlds, art, build, inspire and play with these little wooden pieces of joy. Instagram loves them too – so get on and get inspired to play in a whole new way.
Le Toy Van Cherry Tree Dolls House
A dolls house is almost a right of passage for any little girl, and you can spend hours searching for the perfect one. Look no further – this is the crème de la crème. Le Toy Van’s biggest doll’s house – A grand 92cm high 4 storey dolls house with floral motif. Each room is decorated differently to define room space. It features numerous window styles including functioning shutters and back windows to allow light to shine through. It also includes chimney stacks and staircases with banister that function as room dividers. Perfect for inspiring imaginative role play and social and language development the Le Toy Van Cherry Tree Dolls House is a brilliant way to encourage children to play cooperatively with others, encouraging turn taking as well social interaction. Adding a variety of furniture will encourage creative flair, imaginative play and refine coordination skills. All this from a dolls house!
Tender Leaf Toys Doll Family
The Most beautiful little doll family we ever did see! This doll family are the perfect pocket companions for play. Use with or without a dolls house, in free play, open-ended play or role play. They’re perfect for it all! The Tender Leaf doll family includes mum, dad, little boy and little girl. The dolls are made of solid wood with flexible arms and legs to make any poses you want! Made from sustainable rubberwood and painted with non-toxic water-based paints, kids will enjoy making the dolls wave, hold hands and maybe even curl up to sleep. Presented in an illustrated window box, this contemporary doll family would be a great gift.
Cam Cam Copenhagen Play Kitchen
Searching for the perfect wooden kitchen is tricky business! You want one that your child is going to love, that reflects your home life and sparks some stylish play into you home. We love this scandi inspired Cam Cam Copenhagen play kitchen. It’s perfect for proudly displaying in your kitchen for little one to cook up a storm whilst you make tea! Consists of a little oven, 2 hot plates, 3 turnable buttons, 4 knobs to hang the tools from, a metal sink and a storage space behind the cute Cam Cam curtain. Plastic free with a classical touch, everything is made out of sustainable wood. This stylish play kitchen is sure to look seriously good in any home.
Olliella holdie house
Introducing the original Olli Ella Holdie House, this lightweight toy house is perfect for toting about. Lightweight enough to be carried by a toddler and stylish enough to be loved by children of all ages. Made from FSC certified unfinished birch hardwood and featuring a tiny latch and vegan leather handles and weighing only 1.5kg. During play with our product testers this house was used as a garage, a farm house and a petrol station to name but a few. It’s simple design lends itself to become whatever the child chooses it to be, meaning you can get it out again and again. It’s also a popular gender neutral choose too – appealing to both boys and girls equally.
Little Coach House Montessori Name Board
Little Coach House personalised wooden name tracing boards are the perfect hands-on resource for your child to learn to read and write their name. The first thing children learn to write is their name. With the Little Coach House wooden tracing boards they can feel the shape of each of the letters using their finger or the wooden tracing stick. Little Coach House resources are based on the Montessori self-directed, hands-on approach to learning. Using the wooden name boards children will build up muscle memory in their hands for when they are ready to put pen to paper. By holding the tracing stick it will help them to develop their pencil grip. Little Coach House name tracing boards are a timeless product made from good quality solid wood, it can grow with your family. Once your child no longer needs the board for learning it can be hung on their bedroom door or over their bed as a classic wooden decor piece.
Tender Leaf Toys Cosmic Rocket Set
Do you know someone with dreams of becoming an astronaut and blasting off into space? Then the rocket is ready to be launched! The Cosmic Rocket set has everything your child needs to explore the galaxy. Prepare to land on a new planet with space shuttles and satellites! A great toy to create an interest for astrology, science and imaginative role play.
Royal Express Train Set
Children love a train set, from connecting the pieces to whizzing round the track there’s just something about a wooden train set that captures children’s attention. The Royal Express is a unique 180 piece wooden train set featuring 2 connectable trains complete with an extensive collection of rubberwood tracks and wooden accessories, and it is a beauty! Not only does it look fantastic, but the learning possibilities with a train set are so far reaching, from problem solving to creative thinking, fine motor to gross motor, vocab to language, your little one will be developing them all when playing. This is something that parents and children can really get lost in playing together.
So there’s our round up of the very best wooden toys on the market, as carefully selected by our product testers and early years educators. Still need more inspiration? We’ve rounded up our favourite wooden toys for babies, toddlers and kids over on our website.