The best wooden toys are not only environmentally friendly but kids love them, and they look pretty lovely too!
More and more parents are choosing to opt for the more traditional, rustic wooden toys over plastic options. And almost every retailer has joined in on the wooden toys hype.
With everyone selling them nowadays from the likes of Aldi and Lidl, to Sainsbury’s, Asda, and even John Lewis, they’re so popular. Even the royals back this traditional type of toy, with reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had bought their one-year old son Archie some wooden toys for Christmas last year.
But should you opt for a wooden toy over a plastic one? You questions answered…
Are wooden toys better than plastic?
Wooden toys are the best way to ensure that you’re getting high-quality toys, while not having to pay an arm and a leg. There are many brands out there (such as the ones below) that offer a huge range of wooden toys for any budget and they all guarantee quality – without no phthalates, PVC or chemicals which are used in plastic toys.
Research also points to wooden toys being better than plastic ones, offering the chance for unstructured play. This helps young children learn through play, by developing their imagination and creative thinking skills – especially as there’s never just one use for a wooden toy. Sensory toys, with bright colours, sounds and pictures, are also great choices for improving baby and toddler development. Water babies, will also love these cheap bathtime toys.
They’re also much, much better for the environment.
How sustainable are wooden toys?
Wooden toys are undoubtedly a helpful solution to the current overflow of plastic in our world. They’re supremely long-lasting, meaning they’re much less likely to break over the years, and as such, can be passed down from generation to generation.
Are wooden toys good for babies?
Being more durable – and less likely to break – also means that your wooden toys are arguably safer too. There aren’t any sharp edges or small pieces likely to snap off, so you can rest ever so slightly easier when it comes to playtime for your little ones.
Wooden toys also tend to not be quite as high-tech as plastic toys, meaning they’re more likely to naturally spark your child’s creativity whilst they’re playing. Hand your child a couple of wooden building blocks, or a wooden kitchen set, and see what kind of scene they create for themselves!
Another upside – for all the parents among us – is that wooden toys are inherently more peaceful – and what mum or dad doesn’t crave a little more quiet time? Without the beeps and boops, alarms, voices, and all the other noises from your typical electrical toys, you might be able to let your child enjoy play time without an array of sounds exploding from their bedroom – within reason of course, after all, they’re still children!
So which are the best wooden toys? If you’re keen to try some out, we’ve selected our toy edit, including a wooden kitchen, wooden alphabet and wooden tea set, from across our favourite UK shops…
Wooden farm and tractor play set
Age suitability: 3+ years | Batteries required: None | Price: £25
Both classic and innovative, your little one can build their very own world with this 33-piece of farm-themed animals, buildings and play pieces. The small toys are made out of wooden but brightly decorated on one side and are ideal for sorting, stacking, counting and building activities.
Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter
Age suitability: 2+ years | Batteries required: None | Price: £30
26 animal blocks (plus Noah and his wife) are included in this cute Noah’s Ark shape sorting set. Perfect for any little one turning one or two, they’re sure to love slotting the pieces into their places and playing with the animals.
Pull along dog
Age suitability: 2+ years | Batteries required: None | Price: £13.95
We love this classic wooden pull along dog, with it’s vintage design it’ll look great in any toy box – and is sure to be a favourite with toddlers. Not on The High street also offer similar toys, like classic wooden red and blue racing cars.
Age suitability: 12 months and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £17
With its colourful wheels and elastic frame, this wooden toy is bound to become any walking toddler’s new best friend. It’s another great toy from Argos, where they have loads of options from this pull along toy to shape sorting wooden toys.
Ferris wheel playset
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £49.95
This adorable playset would make a beautiful addition to any child’s bedroom or playroom. The moving wheel comes pre-assembled and can be spun around by turning the handle. It also comes with three animal friends: Panda, Rabbit and Cat.
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £37.50
Built to last, this wooden train set is a really good investment for hours of fun playtime with your child. It’s got 90 pieces in total so you’ll definitely never run out of bits to play with.
Ice cream emporium
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £59.99
How sweet! This is the perfect gift for budding entrepreneurs, teaching business and social skills from a young age. Plus, this handy wooden set is portable and includes a collapsible side table.
Personalised Wooden Doctors Set Toy
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £38
Do you know a budding doctor or nurse? This five piece medical kit is perfect for wannabe medics. Each bag includes a wooden blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, reflex hammer, syringe and thermometer all contained in a red doctors bag. And, you can personalise with the child’s name.
Wooden post box
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £16
There’s no danger of missing the last post with this bright red wooden post box! Along with three colourful wooden letters, it also features a chalk area on the front to write a collection time or recipents’ names. No need for stamps!
Age suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £11.99
Expect hours of fun for little ones with this set of wooden animals and their babies. Complete with a play mat to set the scene of the wild, they’re free to explore the savannah and play with their animal families in the water and long grass. There are no limits on the stories they can create with this delightful toy set – which can be packed up and tidied away in a handy tin after they’re done.
VIEW AT THE WHITE COMPANYAge suitability: 3 years and up | Batteries required: None | Price: £36
Containing a wooden spanner, claw hammer, screwdriver, bolt with two nuts and even a spirit level – this cute tool kit is perfect for any young budding mechanic. The velcro belt can also be perosnalised, by adding a child’s name along with the phrase ‘can fix it’. So sweet.