15 Best Wooden Toys for Children
Whether handmade or not, a lot of parents are interested in getting wooden baby gifts because of their safety and sustainability. From the best Montessori toys to the most preferred toys by kids, we’ve collected the best wooden toys for babies so that all children can enjoy beautiful and enriching toys that are safe to play with.
Discover if plastic toys are bad for babies, why scientists say babies shouldn’t play with plastic toys, and the best wood toys that your kids will absolutely love.
Why You Should Consider Buying Wood Baby Toys
We know that plastics contain all types of nasty chemicals, and we know these chemicals can get into our bodies when we store food and drink in plastic. It’s just one reason why many people are opting to completely ditch plastic and store their food in more sustainable containers, such as glass and stainless steel.
Unfortunately, it now seems these harmful chemicals are everywhere, even in plastic toys. Toxins like HBCD, OctaBDE, DecaBDE, and SCCPs have been found in plastic baby toys. And these aren’t harmful chemicals that have little to no impact on humans.
Studies have shown that HBCD can affects thyroid function and brain development. The EPA describes OctaBDE and DecaBDE as toxic to both humans and the environment. The International Agency for Research on Cancer believes SSCPs can cause cancer.
In 2015, the International Persistent Organic Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) tested a small sample of children’s toys and found almost half contained toxic flame retardants. In 2017, IPEN did another study that found that 90% of children’s toys may contain either OctaBDE or DecaBDE.
Toxic chemicals in plastic toys is bad enough. However, then you consider that babies and young kids put almost everything in their mouths, and you quickly realize that they’re likely ingesting a dangerous amount of toxins.
Toxins in plastic toys are so prevalent, the IPEN recommends parents of young children completely avoid plastics altogether.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your kids won’t have any toys to play with. Instead, you can choose some of these best wooden toys for kids.
PlanToys started in 1981 as a small, local wooden toy company dedicated to offering innovative and eco-friendly toys. Today, it has become a leader in the sustainable toy industry.
Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids
All of their wooden toys are made with excess sawdust chips and sustainably harvested rubberwood trees that can no longer produce latex. These two items are thermally reprocessed to form a durable wood. They’re then finished with E-Zero non-formaldehyde glue and non-toxic water-based dyes.
You’ll find PlanToys wooden toys for all ages. For babies, popular items include:
For toddlers and young kids, check out these fun options:
Best of all, you can shop for PlanToys at EarthHero, which is one of the best online zero waste shops. EarthHero offers the convenience and ease of online shopping without all the plastic waste. If you decide to shop with EarthHero, be sure to use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to take 10% off your order!
EverEarth is a family owned wooden toy manufacturer that has been making high-quality and earth-friendly wooden toys since 1973. Not only does the company only use FSC-Certified wood, renewable bamboo, and renewable beechwood for their products, but they also own an FSC Forest so they know for sure their sustainable goals are being followed.
All of their paints and stains are water based, which makes them a safer and cleaner than oil-based paints. Their factories incorporate solar water heating, natural light, and recycling initiatives to keep them as green as possible.
In addition to bringing sustainable fun to children everywhere, EverEarth is also striving to make an global impact through their Plant-a-Tree Campaign.
Since EverEarth offers everything from toy vehicles and dollhouses to wooden rockers and pretend kitchens, you’ll be able to find some of the best wooden toys for all ages. A few popular options include:
Tegu makes magnetic wooden blocks that are ideal for imaginative and open-ended play. They’re naturally safe for children since they contain no plastic, no lead, no small parts, and non-toxic, water-based lacquer finishes.
You’ll find heirloom-quality toys for babies, toddlers, and young kids. A few outstanding options include:
- Swivel Bug Magnetic Building Block Set
- 14-Piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set
- Pip Magnetic Wooden Block Set
- Daredevil Magnetic Wooden Block Set
Hape makes sturdy toys from wood that comes from sustainably sourced forests. To ensure their toys are safe for children to play with, they also use child-safe materials and non-toxic finishes.
It’s important to note that not all of Hape’s toys are completely free of plastic. However, if you’re looking for dollhouse toys or kitchen playset toys, you’ll find plenty of excellent plastic-free options from Hape.
Some popular choices include:
- Gourmet Play Kitchen Starter Accessories
- Family Pets Wooden Dollhouse Animal Set
- Alphabet Blocks Learning Puzzle
- Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike
5. Kinderfeets (A)
Kinderfeets is known for its Kinderboards, which are wooden balance boards that help with developing balance, stimulating the vestibular system, and gaining body awareness.
Since these heavy-duty balance boards are hand-crafted from start to finish using beechwood, they can support up to 485 pounds. This makes them ideal for toddlers, teens, and adults alike. They also use a water-based lacquer that makes them perfect for indoor and outdoor play.
Plus, Kinderboards aren’t the only wooden toys Kinderfeets makes. Here are some other options kids will love:
6. Melissa & Doug
Melissa & Doug has been one of the top brands for wooden toys for more than 30 years. You’ll find toys for everything from pretend play and problem solving to creativity and developmental play. Plus, the company has toy options for babies, toddlers, and kids.
Like some of the other brands on this list, not all of the toys from Melissa & Doug are completely plastic-free. So you’ll want to make sure you check the description so there are no surprises. However, here are some popular options that are only made from wood:
- Wooden Take-Along Sorting Barn
- See & Spell Wooden Spelling Boards
- Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles
- Wooden Take-Along Tabletop Kingdom
From start to finish, Bajo designs their toys to be eco-friendly and gentler on the planet. First, they make their toys using renewable and easy-to-recycle materials, such as sustainably harvested wood, wool felt, and organic cotton.
Then the company ensures the toys are solidly made and designed to last. This way, not only can Bajo toys be passed down from one sibling to the next, but they can also be passed down through generations of kids.
Some of the popular options include:
- Rattle Push Toy
- Wooden Abacus
- Paleo Triceratops Set
8. Manhattan Toy Company
Manhattan Toy Company makes an outstanding selection of wooden toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. The cheerful and bright wood toys have a water-based, non-toxic finish that makes them colorful and safe. Plus, they’re rigorously tested to meet a variety of safety standards.
With options that range from wooden rattles for babies to wooden activity toys for young kids, you’ll have no problems finding something for every age group. If you need help narrowing down your options, consider a few of these top picks:
- Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
- Ribbit Waffle Maker Pretend Play Cooking Set
- Magnetic Wooden Stacker Rocket
- Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Toy
Areaware makes balancing blocks and wooden puzzles that are popular with kids and adults alike. The company works with different designers from around the world to offer unique wood toys for everyone to enjoy.
Those who like building with blocks will love the Blockitecture series from Areaware. These wooden toys are made of New Zealand pine wood and water-based paints. Since you can mix and match pieces like the Habitat, Parkland, and Skyscraper, you can create an entire world using these blocks.
They’re made from sustainably harvested oak wood and tumbled in a water-based paint. Kids and adults have a blast balancing these faceted stone-sized shapes to create intricate and unique sculptures.
Related: Where to Donate Used Toys
When you purchase Grimm’s, you’re offering your children a world of bright, colorful, and natural play. These best wooden toys are handmade in Europe using sustainable wood and coated with natural colors and oils.
With everything from stacking blocks and towers to wooden houses and cars, toys from Grimm’s offer hours of imaginative play and will stand the test of time. Some of the popular options include:
- 12 Pastel Friends
- Pastel Building Blocks
- Large Rainbow
- Weather Building Set
Brio is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wooden toys that are educational and fun. If your kids love to play with trains, Brio has a railway collection that offers pretty much everything your little conductors need.
I do want to point out that while all of the wooden pieces made by Brio are produced from FSC-certified solid beech wood, many sets also come with plastic pieces. Therefore, you might want to consider these for older kids.
For younger kids, some good wooden toy options include:
Do you have a young child who loves animals? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the wooden toy collection from Holztiger.
Holztiger animals and figures are handcrafted in Europe. They’re hand-painted with non-toxic, water-based acrylic paints and sealed with a non-toxic water lacquer.
They’re large enough for small hands to have an easy time gripping, and they have rounded edges for safety. Here are some excellent options you can consider:
13. Uncle Goose
Uncle Goose makes beautiful wooden toy blocks that help children learn everything from sorting and matching to language and balance. The blocks are made in the U.S. using sustainable wood and non-toxic inks.
The blocks are also durable, classic, heirloom toys that are built to last for several lifetimes. This is just one reason why Uncle Goose blocks get passed down from generation to generation.
While every kid should have a set of the classic ABC blocks, Uncle Goose also offers a variety of unique blocks you should consider. Here are some popular options:
- Ocean Animal Blocks
- Constellation Blocks
- Planet Blocks
- American Sign Language Blocks
- Bird Blocks
- Bug Blocks
Ocamora makes handmade wooden toys using wood from sustainable forests. They also use ecological and vegetable-based paints and oils, so the toys are 100% chemical and toxic-free.
These wooden toys come in both bright colors and muted, natural tones, which means you’ll be able to find the perfect option for your kids. A few great choices from Ocamora include:
- Small Wooden Rainbow Boards
- Star Wand
- 12-Piece Natural Teniques
- Construction Blocks
Candylab believes wooden toys should be as attractive and fun as plastic toys, but without all the guilt and toxicity. That’s why the company uses wood from fast-growing trees that have a growth rate that exceeds the harvest rate.
What you won’t find in these wooden toys are BPA, BPS, lead, mercury, cadmium, formaldehyde, phthalates, and oil-based paints.
The company is known for its wooden cars. If you want to pick up a few toys for your kids, consider these popular options:
Go Back to the Basics With the Best Wooden Toys for Kids
Wooden toys offer so many important benefits over plastic toys. That’s why you should skip the toxic plastic toys that always end up breaking and get some of these best wooden toys for babies.
More Outstanding Eco-Friendly Living Tips
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