I’ve recently taken a keen interest in sustainability and the environment, and I can’t seem to switch off from it. It’s like once you see, you can’t unsee, and I notice waste and pollution everywhere. It’s exhausting and the only way I can manage it is to change the way I live so I can be comfortable that even if I’m not solving the problem, neither am I contributing to it. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of our favourite wooden toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
This is a post I’ve been meaning to put together for ages, so some of these are aimed at children a little younger than my girls are currently, but the beauty of many of them is that they are actually great for a variety of ages. My girls still play with a lot of these and, best of all, they play nicely together.
Personally, my favourite games for children are simple: wooden educational toys – prompts which promote imagination; being sustainable too is a fantastic bonus.
The majority of these are wooden toys I’ve found on Amazon, or seen my nephew playing with and copied because the girls were taken with them. They’re widely available and beautifully crafted, and in seeking to eliminate plastic from our playroom I’ve become aware of a couple of specific brand who are brilliant for creating really lovely wooden toys at competitive prices: Melissa & Doug and Lelin are two of our favourites.
And FYI since it seems necessary to spell it out these days – neither of them are sponsoring this post (although below are affiliate links), I just genuinely love them – we’ve purchased all of these items ourselves or received them as gifts.
Here are our favourite wooden toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers:
Wooden Toys for Babies
This is a simple but lovely toy that’s ideal for little hands and fine motor skills.
These wooden blocks are truly beautiful – so much so I bought them twice for double the fun! My fave thing about them is that they were perfect for Elfin as a small baby, but Pixie has not yet tired of them yet either.
They’re perfect for promoting both joint and independent play, and I love that they encourage sharing and imaginative play too.
This one’s lovely to sit and do with babies, but also great as babies become toddlers to encourage problem-solving.
Wooden Toys for Toddlers
Elfin is nearly two and adores this gorgeous wooden shape sorter. It’s the perfect balance at her age of being challenging yet achievable.
And the roof can be put on in different ways to increase difficulty if your little one gets too clever at completing the sorting by rote!
Both my girls love these! I’ve been surprised by how much Pixie has enjoyed playing with them at her age, but it’s really nice to see them running about with them together. Perfect for encouraging little legs to practice taking steps to build confidence – though not safe in place of a walker!
Another one both girls enjoy playing with together, using their imagination to create games with the animals.
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Wooden Toys for Preschoolers
This one is fab for little ones, and even better for older children when they’re patient enough to have a go at balancing the animals on the wooden seesaw. The puzzle can be ‘solved’ in a number of different ways, so the fun can go on and on!
We purchased this Pixie was just a baby, and both girls have loved different panels at different ages. It’s fantastic for children from babies through to age seven or eight I should think, including aspects to promote fine motor skills and problem-solving, as well as a panel for making music.
It’s a really attractive addition to any nursery, though quite large – and can be screwed to different walls if necessary!
My girls love this and I think it’s brilliant on several different levels – it has everything!
Dolls which can be moved and positioned to sit or stand; locks with keys to open and close the four doors; and different doorbells on each door.
Our Favourite Educational and Sustainable Toys
These are all toys that both my girls play with almost every day and we love them very much. Dan and I made a decision around a year or so ago that if family must buy Pixie and Elfin toys at Christmas and birthdays (I’m such a scrooge – I’d happily build up their accounts and let them have a very small selection of gifts to open myself!) – then they can at least be wooden!
As far as possible, we’ve banned plastic toys from entering our home.
Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty in the house from before, and actually plastic toys are fine so long as they’re not throwaway tat. If they last and they’re passed on (while unorthodox, why not consider regifting rather than buying new?) there’s nothing with that. But wherever possible going forward, we’ll be encouraging wooden alternatives. This is just one more way in which I’m making efforts to consider the environment and our carbon footprint. Plus in my opinion – they’re beautiful!
Do you and your family like wooden children’s toys? Do you have any of the ones I’ve listed here?