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 develop their imagination and creative thinking skills as there’s never just one use for a wooden toy.
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 plastic 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…
Best wooden toys: Wooden farm and tractor play set
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.
Best wooden toys: Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter
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.
Best wooden toys: Pull along dog
£13.95, Not on The High Street
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.
Best wooden toys: Stegosaurus Pull-along
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.
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.
Best wooden toys: Train set
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.
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.
This compact dollshouse is perfect if you’re looking for a classic design that won’t take up half the room. We love the colourful design, and the fact it includes 11 peices of furniture and two figures.
Best wooden toys: Mini kitchen
Every child loves a toy kitchen to muck about it, and cook dinners in just like mummy and daddy – and this John Lewis wooden kitchen is a lovely option. With an oven and a hob, there’s no limit to what they can whip (dream) up in here, but the kitchen isn’t too big that’ll take over your entire living room. Just be sure not to eat any actual food your child says they’ve cooked in there…
Another brilliant kitchen set for little ones – this time from trusty Aldi. Packed with fun features such as a sink, an oven with shelf and a washing machine with opening doors and clicking dials, this great play kitchen will delight children from a young age, encouraging budding chefs to get cooking.
Best wooden toys: Noah’s ark
£48, Not on The High Street
As you’d expect this wooden Noah’s Ark also comes with five pairs of (very cute and colourful) animals – including giraffes, zebras and elephants – as well as Noah and his wife. The opening and closing doors means animals can be loaded on – and the roof is removeable.
Best wooden toys: Cash register
£22.50, John Lewis
Not only does this cash register look sweet – but it also makes all the right noises, with rings, beeps and clicks! The big buttons are perfect for little hands and it even has a card reader. Just don’t leave your purse around….
Let your kids imagine they’re riding around the capital in this beautiful double decker bus, which comes complete with a mini wooden driver and wooden passengers as well! They can see all the sights with this wooden bus – their imagination can take them to Buckingham Palace, to the London Eye, all the way through to Hyde Park. Anything is possible…
Best wooden toys: Stack Toy
£22, My 1st Years
This colourful stacker is perfect for young children, suitable for ages 1+. It would make the perfect present for a first birthday.
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.
Best wooden toys: Post box
£16, John Lewis
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!
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.
Best wooden toys: Tool belt
£36, Not on The High Street
Containing a wooden spaner, claw hammr, 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.
This retro parking garage has three floors, packed with adorable features – including a curved ramp, a petrol pump, a repair centre, a lift to transport vechiles three vintage-style wooden cars.
This fun toy is great for sparking an interest in musical instruments!
Featuring a wooden drum stick and the chance to personalise with your little one’s name, it’s a thoughtful gift for ages three and up.
There are plenty of shape sorters around, but this colourful wooden version features one of TV’s best–loved characters! With four shaped holes, and eight blocks, it’s a great gift to encourage better hand-eye coordination as well as shape and colour recognition.
This stylish puzzle is the perfect way for your child to learn the alphabet. The letters can be arranged into a puzzle, or simply to make fun words – a great way to help your child develop logical thinking.
This pretty pink children’s tea set is perfect for a make-believe tea parties. The set consists of teapots, two cups and saucers, two spoons and a tray, it has everything your little one needs for a spot of afternoon tea.
Best wooden toys: Pull-Along Horse
£14, The White Company
This utterly adorable pull-along wooden horse will look picture-perfect in any little one’s bedroom or playroom. When the wooden toggle is pulled, the two horses will gallop (or roll) along together, and best of all, your bubba can see their tails swishing in the wind as they do it! A very sweet option for any really little children you’re hoping to buy for, and a great way to spark their imagination and interest in animals before they can ride a real horse!
Made from natural wood and painted with beautiful colour accents, this pull-along train is a great toy for little ones and will offers hours of entertainment. It’s customisable with one locomotive and two wagons at the back, complete with blocks to be stacked in different combinations. It’s a sure hit with any toddler that loves to build and explore their toys!
Because what child doesn’t love pizza?! This sweet wooden pizza set will keep kids entertained for hours, as it comes with over 50 toppings that they can mix and match on top of their creation. The product comes with six sliceable pizza pieces, a wooden tray to store everything in, and a wooden pizza cutter, as well as the toppings. We predict hours of fun – and plenty of interesting topping combinations…
There are so many different types of wooden toys out there, it would be impossible to pick a favourite!