Why Wooden Toys?

I love wooden toys. Nearly all of the toys I have bought for our kids are made from wood. Well, wood and other natural materials, such as wool, tin, ceramic, fabric etc.

The few toys that I still have from when I was a child are all wooden, and I love them. Wooden toys often get more beautiful with age, whereas plastic toys can become brittle, cracked and faded. We do have some high quality plastic toys that have been given as gifts, such as lego, and the kids do love them, but it's just my personal decision to select wooden or natural materials if I am choosing toys to buy for the children.

Lots of people comment on our toys when they see them, and I guess some people wonder why we choose mostly wooden toys...

My main reasons for choosing wooden toys are:

  • Environmentally friendly (when made from sustainable plantation timber)
  • Help children appreciate the natural world
  • Can be passed down as an heirloom
  • Do not need batteries
  • Have asthetic appeal (can be displayed in shared living areas)
  • Have a wonderful warm feel
When choosing wooden toys, I usually try to get unpainted or stained wood, rather than painted wood. Most of the wooden toys that you find in the large department stores are made in China and are painted. This paint can chip and begin to look ugly, and can even contain lead. Wooden toys such as Selecta, Haba, Erzi, Voila and Plantoys are usually made from sustainable plantation timber (often left over from industry such as rubber trees) and are stained with non-toxic colours. These type of wooden toys will not chip or fade, and will continue to look beautiful even after much vigorous play!

If you are looking for quality wooden toys for your own children, here are some great places to browse:

Here are some of our wooden toys... I'll try to photograph some of the others later (after we move house next weekend as they are already in the process of being moved!)

Don't you just love how Oliver is using a knife to get the toast out of the toaster! Even though it was a wooden knife and wooden toaster (and even wooden toast), it still gave me shivers... I had to tell him not to do it in case he does it to a real toaster one day! Strange how it seems to be an almost automatic response to reach for a knife to get toast out of the toaster!! Eeek!


  1. Good points Ruth. I particularly like the point that they can look better with age.

  2. Oooh, I was eyeing off this wooden toaster on Peanut Gallery just the other day. It's lovely isn't it!!! Your collection of wooden toys is fantastic - we have quite a few which I love, but the kids still have their fair share of plastic atrocities lol!!!!

  3. Ruth what an interesting and informative post! I love how wooden toys stimulate a childs imagination and have more lasting appeal, unlike the latest character toys (easier on the ears as well than all those battery operated toys). I was fortunate that when my kids were small, my Dad used to make them lots of wooden toys and my Mum was into Folk Art painting at the time, and would paint them beautifully. I have carefully stored them away for the next generation!

  4. Ruth... you're so right about wooden toys. We have more plastic and battery powered ones than wooden ones - but the kids LOVE the wooden ones - especially cause if they break... their dad is into woodworking and can fix most things!! Your collection of toys look excellent... and they'll go on for generations. I especially love the toaster!

  5. Fantastic wooden toys for your kiddies. I love the wooden puzzles too - my girls used to spend hours with these. Good luck with the house move - it will be like an early christmas opening up all the boxes and finding new homes for your belongings :) Have a wonderful week. Hugs J x

  6. Fantastic toys! We have some great wooden ones at home that have been on the go for 14 years with the kids - great value. Lovely pics on your blog too!

  7. I love wooden toys as well. We had quite a few when i was a child and they are very nostalgic. I'm wondering if there is less of a lead problem with the wooden toys? Are they all still made in China? I'm sure they are fabricated on a machine like the rest of the toys but there is something wonderful about the thought of carving a toy by hand isn't there? Have a beautiful day! Kate :-)

  8. I love wooden toys!

    And I LOVE your name - we're naming our third daughter Avery Ruth.

  9. You've got a great collection of wooden toys. We're fans of them, too. And thanks so much for your comment about the smock and the crochet scarves!

  10. Four words: I. WANT. THAT. TOASTER !

    Wooden toys have so much more appeal, don't they? It's lovely living in Germany because the toys here are still very traditional.

    Lovely post :)

  11. Thanks Ruth for all the links to wooden toys. Great post!

  12. Right now I'm looking for some children for my wooden toys.

    But I'm not really looking that hard.

  13. Can I come and play at your house?? Gorgeous toys. And I really love your song playing when I came to your blog. Thanks for signing mine.. I'll be back. :)

  14. In my opinion wooden Toys are the best for children. They actually enable the child to use imagination with these rather than the high tech latest ones.

  15. These wooden toys are beautiful. They actually help the kids involve with the toy and stimulate physcological and physical activity.


Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment... I love to hear from people :-)
Ruth xx