Wooden toys are iconic and timeless items. They have entertained and delighted children of all ages for centuries. These days, wooden toys are much more than the simple, colourful blocks we remember from our childhood. Thanks to its versatility, this material has created a huge diversity of products available on the market.
Good-quality wooden toys will help your child to develop, as well as providing hours of fun. Regardless of their age, you can find the perfect wooden toy for your son or daughter. In this article, we will help you to find the toy which may just become your kid’s favourite.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best wooden toys on the Australian market
- 3 Shopping Guide: What you should know about wooden toys
- 4 Shopping criteria
- 5 Summary
- Wooden toys are not just for babies and toddlers. Thanks to the versatility of wood, there are a range of toys which suit all ages.
- These toys are so appealing because of their simplicity. They also stimulate your children’s fine motor skills and encourage their imagination.
- They are environmentally-friendly, as wood is an organic and biodegradable material. Many are recyclable.
Ranking: The best wooden toys on the Australian market
When wooden toys are mentioned, you may call to mind the colourful blocks you enjoyed playing with as a child. Although these still delight little ones, the wooden toys now available include so much more than that. Take a look at our short-list of the best wooden toys on the market.
No. 1: Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Wooden Block Cart[amazon box=”1223080412″ description_items=”0″]
This traditional-style wooden toy will surely bring back memories from your childhood, and probably your parents’ too! This set of alphabet blocks comes with 30 solid wooden blocks and a wooden rolling cart.
The blocks feature numbers, letters and pictures to let young children identify these elements and build their vocabulary. These colourful blocks will not only help with cognitive development, but the bright colours will capture the little ones’ attention and they will have fun playing with them.
No. 2: Orbium Toys Wooden Engines & Train Cars Collection[amazon box=”B01M6UFZNH” description_items=”0″]
This colourful set of wooden train engines and train cars is designed to be used with Orbium Toys Wooden Railway sets. The set is 17 pieces in total, including 12 train engines and cars. It also comes complete with a wooden fram for storage or display. The trains can also be used with other wooden railway play systems.
The set includes a variety of train cars including a Farm Horse Carriage, Farm Cow Carriage, Grain Car, Recycling Car, Electric Diesel Engine, Safari Giraffes Carriage, Safari Camel Carriage, Switching Engine, Mail Car, and Caboose. The set conforms to government safety requirements, with all components being PBA free, so you can be assured it is safe for your child.
No. 3: Hape Walk-A-Long Puppy Wooden Pull Toy[amazon box=”B008E190RG” description_items=”0″]
This wooden toy is an original design from Hape and has won awarded for its design and functionality. It is a traditional-style toy, and is sure to delight children with its bright colours and simplicity. This simplicity makes a great bland canvas for children’s imaginations.
Perfect for toddlers and young children (it is suitable for ages 12 months and up), this wooden puppy toy can be pulled along thanks to its attached string. It is designed to develop fine motor skills, by promoting dexterity, hand/eye coordination, and manipulations. It also encourages imitative and imaginary play; promotes fantasy story telling, role playing, and creativity.
No. 4: Melissa & Doug Shape-Sorting Wooden Dump Truck[amazon box=”B012WE829M” description_items=”0″]
Another fantastic toy from wooden toy legends Melissa & Doug, this wooden rubbish truck is suitable for ages 2 and up. Not only is a functioning rubbish truck with kids will love to play with, but it also is a shape sorter. Little ones can delight in fitting the correct shapes in their holes, fostering cognitive development and fine motor skills.
The set includes the truck, two wooden play figures and nine brightly coloured blocks in different shapes. The back door lifts up and the truck bed tilts to dip out the blocks. It is made with quality craftsmanship and sturdy construction, so will be resilient to hours and hours of play.
No. 5: Classic Jenga Game from Hasbro[amazon box=”B00ABA0ZOA” description_items=”0″]
One of the most beloved family games of all time, Jenga is at its heart a simple wooden block game. This game has stood the test of time and remains wildly popular with children and adults apart. Players use skill, strategy and luck to keep the tower from crashing down.
A great way to spend some quality family together, Jenga can be played in a group, one-on-one or even by yourself. The classic edition from Hasbro is made with genuine solid hardwood blocks. The set includes 54 Jenga hardwood blocks, stacking sleeve and instructions.
Shopping Guide: What you should know about wooden toys
Wood is an extremely versatile material, which means that there is a huge diversity of wooden toys available. This also means that there are many questions parents may ask about this kind of toy.
Why is it recommended to play with wooden toys?
Although we will focus largely on young children in this article, wooden toys are great for kids of all ages. It’s value lies in its simplicity and versatility. Whichever product you choose, wooden toys are guaranteed to aid with your child’s development.
- Awaken the imagination: The simplest wooden toys can stimulate the imagination in any child. What may seem like a rectangular block to an adult becomes so much more in the eyes of a child. It can become a car, a person, or even the first brick in a tall building.
- Aid with the development of fine motor skills: Because they are denser and heavier than plastic toys, they stimulate motor development in a different way. Playing with wooden toys, especially blocks, allows kids to explore concepts such as balance and gravity, as well as learning about the comparison between size, shape and weight.
- Foster concentration: Many of the toys we will cover represent tasks to be completed: children can build a town with blocks, prepare a meal or construct a robot. This stimulates concentration and develops the ability to solve problems. Your child will have hours of fun without needing bright lights or catch sound effects.
For what ages are wooden toys recommended?
Traditional toys such as building blocks are generally designed for young children, from a few months to five years old. However, thanks to this material’s versatility, you’ll find wooden toys for all ages. There are wooden toys for the whole family and even adults.
|Age range||Type of play||Examples of Products|
|Babies and young children (0-4 years of age)||Easy to grab toys. Colourful, large and variously shaped pieces||Wooden blocks, “Strike the bird”.|
|Children (5-10 years old)||Toys that represent common objects, that allow kids to explore the world safely.||Fruits and vegetables to cut.|
|Preadolescents and adolescents (10-16 years of age)||Construction or analysis toys. Games, puzzles.||Robotime construction model.|
|For the whole family||Simple toys. Allows competitive games, easy to understand, but addictive||Jenga.|
Are wooden toys environmentally friendly?
One of the advantages of wooden toys is that they are a more environmentally friendly option. They tend to last a long time and can be passed down from generation to generation. Since wood is an organic material, most wooden toys are biodegradable. Additionally, many of these toys can be recycled.
Of course, to make them you need to cut down trees. However, many toys are made from recycled wood or from scrap wood leftover from the production of other items. This means the total environmental impact is lower than that of mass-produced plastic toys.
Are wooden toys fun?
Of course! The simplicity of this type of toy can worry parents. However, toys do not need dazzling lights or complicated mechanics to fascinate children. The striking colours and diversity of shapes can stimulate a child as much or even more than the electronic functions of a plastic toy.
Younger children can entertain themselves for hours by building houses or entire villages with a set of wooden blocks. With toys like a wooden food kit, they will spend great moments preparing salads, roasts or desserts.
Are wooden toys safe?
Quality wood products are perfectly safe. As with any other toy intended for your children, it is important to take certain precautions. If the toy contains small parts, we recommend supervising your child while they play. Children under three should not play with small pieces.
After buying a toy, check that all the pieces are well adhered and fixed. Before buying, we also recommend that you check that the paint is not toxic. Some paints used in cheap products may contain heavy metals such as lead. Fortunately, most established brands use water-based paint.
Despite being simple, wooden toys bring many benefits to the development of your child. We want to help you find the ideal toy, with the potential to become your son’s or daughter’s favourite. To find entertaining and quality toys, you must take into account the following criteria:
- The age of your child
- Type of wood
- Quality of the materials
Age of your child
As mentioned in the previous section, there are wooden toys suitable for all ages. However, each age group has different needs. Colourful blocks care very stimulating for babies and toddlers. Children over 4 years of age require more complex toys and that awaken their imagination.
Most wooden toys are created for young children. Pre-teens and teens tend to be less interested in toys and look for other, more mature activities. Therefore, finding wooden toys for them is more difficult. Look for products that represent a challenge or that allow competitive play with the whole family.
Wooden toys can be made with different types of materials. Most high-quality toys are manufactured with solid wood. Cheaper toys use compressed wood. These products are created using adhesives that can be toxic. Therefore, it is worth considering the high-quality toys.
If you care about the environment, look for products made with sustainable woods. Bamboo, for example, grows fast and is very resilient. This allows the plants used to produce wood to be constantly replaced, which is better for the environment.
As we mentioned in the previous section, simplicity is one of the main advantages of wooden toys. Many of the products in this category are abstract toys, like wooden blocks. They can be used in many different ways. This versatility stimulates the imagination of children.
More structured toys have some kind of defined objectives and rules. Both types of toys are excellent, but they meet different needs. It is worthwhile that your little one alternates between abstract toys and structured games with rules. In our list, we include products that satisfy both needs.
Quality of materials
Paying attention to the quality of the materials is of the utmost importance. This is especially important with coloured toys. Many brands specify that they use non-toxic paints. If they do not, it is worth making sure that it is a recognised brand and operating to high standards.
It is worth checking that all pieces are not loose and are well adhered to each other. Wooden toys with loose or removable small pieces may pose a danger to younger children. In addition, it is important that the cuts and finishes of the pieces are of quality so that the children do get splinters from the wood.
One of the biggest attractions of wooden toys is that they are generally quite beautiful. Their charm lies in the simplicity of their design. Many preserve the nostalgic style of our childhood toys. They come in simple shapes and tend to feature bright colours or to keep the natural color of the wood.
Even the most modern wooden toys maintain a minimalist and striking style. We recommend considering the design and colours of wooden toys, especially when looking for products for babies and younger children.
Wooden toys have entertained children for centuries and it is not surprising that they are still popular today. Their value and attractiveness lie in their simplicity. Toys as simple as colourful blocks can entertain your little one for hours. They stimulate their imagination and contribute to the development of fine motor skills.
The possibilities offered by wood are endless. Thanks to this, you can find wooden toys for children, teenagers and even adults. In addition, the material is environmentally friendly, as it is organic and biodegradable. A quality wooden toy will become your child’s most prized possession.
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(Source of the featured image: Choreograph: 49210539/ 123rf.com)