You are considering wooden baby toys for your little one’s playtime.
But you’re not there yet because of various concerns and unanswered questions.
All of these will go away right here and right now!
In this article, you will get:
an intro to the world of wooden baby toys
the key features of wooden toys
an overview of popular wooden toys types
40+ trending wooden baby toys
We will also answer the most common questions related to these timeless playthings.
Now, let’s get to it!
A Short History Of Wooden Baby Toys
Today, wooden baby toys offer a variety of benefits, and their connection with Montessori education makes them a popular choice for parents interested in fostering natural learning and development.
Wooden toys have a rich and timeless history that dates back to ancient civilizations.
These simple yet charming playthings have captivated the imagination of children for centuries.
The earliest known wooden baby toys can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where tiny wooden dolls and animals were crafted for the amusement of young ones.
As time passed, wooden baby toys gained popularity in various cultures, with intricate carvings and creative designs becoming increasingly prevalent throughout history.
Unfortunately, the emergence of plastic toys in the mid-20th century led to a decline in the production and popularity of wooden toys.
Plastic toys offered greater affordability and versatility, causing many to forsake the traditional appeal of wooden playthings.
During this period, the craftsmanship and charm of wooden toys took a backseat to mass-produced plastic alternatives.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in wooden toys.
Parents and educators alike have remembered the benefits of these eco-friendly, durable, and aesthetically pleasing toys.
They are often seen as a more sustainable and tactile alternative to plastic counterparts, promoting imaginative play and sensory development in children.
This revival of wooden toys reflects a growing societal awareness of the importance of eco-conscious choices and a return to more traditional, hands-on play experiences in the modern world.
The Key Features Of Wooden Toys
The Montessori educational approach values wooden toys and places them at the core of their philosophy.
This is due to the large number of features and benefits that wooden toys have:
1. Durable & Long-Lasting
Well-crafted wooden toys can withstand years of play, often becoming cherished family heirlooms passed down through generations.
They are sturdy and less prone to breaking compared to plastic toys, providing long-lasting play and learning opportunities for your child across the years.
2. Sustainable & Eco-Friendly
Wood is a natural, renewable material, making these toys a more environmentally friendly choice.
Respectable brands manufacture their toys with wood from sustainable sources, easily recognizable due to their FSC certification logo.
Using wooden playthings, you will support a more sustainable manufacturing method, thus reducing your ecological footprint.
As a natural material, wood is usually free from harmful chemicals, such as BPA, that can be found in some plastic options.
Potential risks could come from coating or painting, but traditional brands use non-toxic finishings for their toys, such as jojoba oil or water-based paint.
Additionally, due to sanding, wooden toys tend to have smoother surfaces and no sharp edges, reducing the risk of injury for your little one.
4. Handmade & Timeless
Wooden toys are usually handmade.
This makes them unique, with a classic look and feel that never goes out of style.
Their simplicity and elegance contribute to their timeless charm, making them a treasured addition to your family’s collection.
Customization (name engraving, personalized greeting, custom styling), a feature commonly available during our times, will enhance the sentimental value and contribute to memorable moments.
The Key Benefits Of Wooden Baby Toys
When it comes to child development, wooden baby toys play a significant role in fostering various skills in your little one.
Building blocks and puzzles are closely aligned with Montessori education principles.
They encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and sensory exploration, fostering holistic development in your child.
Here are five ways these toys can enhance different aspects of your baby’s growth:
1. Motor Skills
Wooden baby toys promote the development of both fine and gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills involve precise movements of smaller muscle groups, while gross motor skills involve bigger muscle movements.
Activities such as stacking wooden blocks, sorting shapes, or grasping a wooden rattle contribute to enhancing these skills in your baby.
2. Hand-Eye Coordination
Toys like wooden puzzles and pegboards require your child to manipulate various pieces to fit them together.
This process helps their hand-eye coordination as they learn to track movement.
3. Creativity & Imagination
Wooden toys often have a simple design, which encourages open-ended play.
This allows your child to use their imagination and engage with the toys in various ways, promoting creativity and a sense of exploration.
Many wooden baby toys can challenge your baby’s cognitive abilities by presenting them with problems to solve.
For example, figuring out how to complete a wooden puzzle or construct a tower with blocks helps develop their problem-solving skills.
5. Pretend Playing
Wooden toys, such as play kitchens, dollhouses, and cars, can enable your child to engage in pretend play scenarios.
This type of playing is crucial for developing socio-emotional skills and fostering empathy.
Types Of Wooden Baby Toys
Wooden baby toys come in various forms and styles, offering different benefits for your little one’s development.
Let’s discover some of the most popular types of wooden baby toys that you can consider for your child.
1. Wooden Teethers/Wooden Teething Rings
Wooden baby teethers are soothing teething infants but also offer developmental benefits.
These are the very first wooden baby toys your child can safely get in contact with, and they can be around from his first day of life.
The natural wooden texture provides a safe and comforting object to chew on while teething.
These teethers help develop a baby’s oral motor skills and sensory exploration.
Due to their shape, they are also great tools for practicing grasping and hand-eye coordination.
The gentle, tactile experience of wooden teethers can also foster a connection to natural materials from an early age.
They can come in various shapes, from classic rings to cute little animals with features like name engraving or crochet.
2. Wooden Rattles
They have been cherished by generations for their gentle, rhythmic sound and tactile stimulation.
These heirloom-quality toys are aesthetically pleasing and contribute to a baby’s sensory development.
The soft clinking or rattling sounds from wooden rattles engage a baby’s auditory senses and encourage early sound recognition.
The lightweight design also makes them easy for little hands to grasp, enhancing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Wooden rattles provide a multisensory experience that delights and educates babies while promoting a sense of tradition and timeless charm.
As wooden teethers, the wooden rattles come in endless shapes and designs that feature cylinders, bells, animals, maracas, and more.
Although some feature a teething area, the rattles (or parts of them) end up as teethers anyway.
Features like name engraving or crochet are also on the table for these products.
Related article: Crochet Rattle Heaven
3. Wooden Blocks
These classic, open-ended toys help your child develop a wide range of skills (motor skills, hand-eye coordination, creativity, spatial awareness, problem-solving, etc).
Wooden blocks are versatile, allowing your child to create limitless structures and patterns.
They come in various sizes, shapes, designs, and colors, ranging from natural colors to letter blocks with animal, fruit, or character engraves.
Wooden blocks are arguably the 3rd wooden baby toy your child will get their hands on as they grow up.
Many parents like to customize the wooden blocks with their kid’s name and use them to create outstanding family memories.
4. Wooden Vehicles
Cars, trucks, trains, and other wooden vehicles provide hours of engaging playtime while encouraging your child’s development.
With their chunky designs and smooth surfaces, wooden vehicle toys are perfect for little hands to grasp and maneuver, promoting fine motor skills and imaginative playing.
Here, the range is virtually unlimited in terms of designs and colors.
Our daughter favors wooden vehicles with magnets (such as trains).
5. Wooden Stacking Toys
After your kid becomes familiar with wooden blocks and vehicles, the next natural step would be stacking toys.
A classic wooden stacking toy helps your child learn about size, color, and shape recognition while improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
These toys often include graduated rings or blocks that fit onto a central peg or dowel, providing endless combinations for your child to explore.
The most popular wooden stacking toys are:
animal & fruit stackers
stacking (nesting) barrels
6. Wooden Baby Puzzles
Wooden puzzles enhance problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive development.
With many themes and difficulty levels (think about 3D puzzles), there is a wooden puzzle perfect for any child’s age and developmental stage.
The baby ones range from 2 pieces to 12+ pieces.
The most popular wooden baby puzzles are:
Montessori egg with a cup
geometric shape puzzles
7. Wooden Food Toys
Wooden food toys are delightful playthings that stimulate a child’s imagination and creativity.
These realistic and often handcrafted wooden replicas of fruits, vegetables, and other food items introduce children to the world of cooking and nutrition.
Children can engage in imaginative culinary adventures, fostering role-play and storytelling by using these toys.
Additionally, these toys encourage language development as children discuss and learn about different foods and their uses.
Wooden food toys promote cognitive skills and provide a tangible connection to the importance of healthy eating, making them an enriching addition to any child’s playroom.
Top Rated Wooden Baby Toys Brands
Exploring the world of wooden baby toys can be an enriching journey for parents and caregivers, or NOT.
Brand choice is essential in ensuring the best experience for you and your little ones.
Let’s discover the brands that have won the hearts of families worldwide by shedding light on trusted names known for their commitment to safety, quality, and imaginative design.
I can’t recommend enough Lovevery products, and I am not the only one.
Our daughter is addicted to their playthings, and so are we.
Although renowned for their Play Kits (toy subscription boxes), which feature many wooden toys, Lovevery has in range a couple of standalone wooden products that fit easily in any nursery and still bring great value:
The Block Set
One of (if not the) most comprehensive sets of wooden blocks on the market, featuring at least 70 blocks in 18 shapes and colors.
The wooden storage box transforms into a pull car, but there is also a cotton storage bag, just in case.
The stage-based activity guide coming along helps you perform 20+ activities with your kid.
The Pull Pup
This is not your ordinary pull toy.
Lovevery designed this wonderful pretend play toy with simplicity yet with high attention to detail.
We love the moving and locking tail and ears.
The contrasting black-and-white theme is pleasant to watch.
They come packed with gripping, coordination, and other gross motor skills development.
2. Manhattan Toy
Country of origin: USA
Manufacturing place: China
Amazon Store: Manhattan Toy
Manhattan Toy is one of the oldest toy companies in the US, founded in 1979.
Their product range includes toys for infants, toddlers, and older children from various materials, such as wood, plastic, plush, cotton, and more.
They are famous for several unique designs (later copied by other companies), such as the Skwish Wooden Baby Rattle.
Manhattan is currently featuring several wooden-based baby toys you might want to consider:
A great toy company that creates magnetic wooden blocks for children of all ages.
Who doesn’t love magnets?
Their concept is one-of-a-kind, and many parents praise their products.
Check out a few options below and try it by yourself:
This German company produces a wide range of wooden baby toys in their factory in China.
It’s one of the few companies that own their factory, giving them great control over the quality and safety of their products.
They have quite a few award-winning designs among their toys, so make sure you check up on their store.
Here is a small teaser for you:
5. Plan Toys
Country of origin: Thailand
Manufacturing place: Thailand
Amazon Store: PlanToys
A renowned Thay company with an exceptional focus on safe and eco-friendly wooden baby toys.
They manufacture toys from rubberwood at the end of its life, and they were the first company to do so in 1981.
Plan Toys features a wide range of products catering exquisite wooden toys to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
They are among the few consecrated brands featuring most of their toys in natural wood.
You are due to find many cool designs in their portfolio, such as their iconic Dancing Aligator Pull Toy that dances and makes noises when pulled:
6. Melissa & Doug
Country of origin: USA
Manufacturing place: China
Amazon Store: MelissaandDoug
I am confident there are very few people to whom the “Melissa & Doug” brand is unknown.
Although wood is not their core crafting material, they have many wooden toys for children of all ages.
Their product range includes toys for infants, toddlers, and older children, such as wooden toys, puzzles, and crafts.
Haba is a German company that creates educational toys for babies through preschoolers that develop motor, cognitive, and creative skills.
Haba’s products are manufactured in Germany, and their product range includes toys for infants, toddlers, and older children made from wood and other safe materials.
Their portfolio contains many patented award-winning designs, so check out their store.
8. Petit Collage
Country of origin: USA
Manufacturing place: China
Amazon Store: PetitCollage
Another American toy company, with some history behind it, ranges toys, games, gifts, and activities for babies and older children.
They started their journey in 2006 with a collage (hence the name) owl, but today are featured worldwide in respectable stores and online.
Check out below some of their wooden baby toys:
A Swedish toy company that creates wooden baby toys and trains for children of all ages.
They create an extensive range of push-pull and train set toys made from wood to develop fine motor skills, but they also feature other types of toys.
Have a look at some of their products right now:
Janod is a French brand specializing in traditional toys and games from wood and cardboard manufacturing.
They have a long history of toy-making that started in 1970 and successfully remained relevant.
Since they switched manufacturing from France to China (for some of their products), the quality of some toys has been reduced.
I would still give them a go due to their long history, cool designs, and Amazon’s return policy.
Wooden Toys vs. Plastic Toys
When choosing toys for your baby, it’s essential to consider the material they’re made from.
Two common materials for baby toys are wood and plastic.
Let’s compare these materials based on their safety, quality, durability, and eco-friendliness.
Wooden baby toys are generally safer than their plastic counterparts.
They’re crafted from natural materials and typically use non-toxic finishes, making them a healthier choice for your baby.
On the other hand, plastic toys may contain or leak harmful chemicals that may pose a risk to your baby’s health, especially at the age where they tend to put everything in their mouths.
Wooden toys are known for their high-quality craftsmanship.
They often have a smooth, polished finish due to the use of beeswax and botanical oils.
Plastic toys generally need more attention to detail and aesthetic appeal, affecting their overall quality and value.
In terms of durability, wooden toys are generally longer-lasting than plastic toys.
Wood is a sturdy material that can withstand rough play, making it less likely to break or wear out.
Meanwhile, plastic toys can become damaged easily, meaning you’ll need to replace them more often.
Wooden toys are more environmentally friendly than plastic toys.
Since wood is a natural and renewable resource, wooden toys have a smaller ecological footprint.
Moreover, once they’ve outlived their use, wooden toys are biodegradable, contributing less waste to landfills.
In contrast, plastic toys are often made from non-renewable materials and aren’t biodegradable, creating long-term environmental concerns.
How To Clean Wooden Baby Toys
Cleaning wooden baby toys is essential for maintaining longevity and ensuring they remain safe for your little one.
The best thing you can do is to follow the cleaning procedure recommended by the manufacturer.
Here are a couple of steps that generally apply to wooden baby toys:
1. Get PROPER cleaning supplies
You will need warm water, a mild soap solution, or a non-toxic cleaning product specifically marketed for children.
White vinegar or apple cider vinegar may also be a natural cleaning solution.
Optionally, you can use a spray bottle for your water mixture, a cloth, and olive or mineral oil for conditioning the toys.
2. Prepare the “potion”
Mix your chosen cleaning product with warm water.
The mixture should be diluted enough to avoid damaging the wooden baby toys but strong enough to clean them effectively.
3. Clean them all!
Use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in the cleaning solution to gently wipe the surface of the wooden baby toys.
Avoid soaking the toys, as this can cause the wood to swell and warp.
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a toothpick to access and clean narrow areas.
Optimize your time and effort by cleaning all the toys, even if they are not visibly dirty.
4. Rinse and Shine
Once the toys are cleaned, use a clean cloth or sponge dampened with water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution.
Dry (naturally) the toys thoroughly to prevent moisture from damaging the wood.
A hairdryer (or other mechanical devices) may damage the wood.
5. Apply “conditioner”
If the wooden baby toys appear dull or dry after cleaning, apply a small amount of olive or mineral oil to a cloth and gently rub it into the wood.
This step helps to restore the natural luster and protect the wood from future wear.
If you notice any areas that may threaten your child (cracks, splinters, etc.), sand them or remove them.
If not possible, remove it.
Wooden Baby Toys FAQ
Are wooden toys good/better for babies?
Wooden toys are a good choice for babies, but it’s essential to choose safe ones, appropriate for their age and developmental stage.
Wooden baby toys can provide a range of benefits for babies, which we already elaborated above.
Are wooden baby toys safe?
Wooden baby toys are generally safe(r) for babies made from non-toxic materials and are clear of small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
Caregivers should ensure that wooden toys remain smooth, without splinters or rough edges.
Also, they should supervise their child while they play with the toys to ensure they are safe.
Is it safe for babies to chew on wooden toys?
It can be safe for babies to chew on wooden toys made from non-toxic materials and clear of small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
Wooden toys can be a good option for teething babies, as the hard surface can provide a soothing sensation for sore gums.
When can babies have wooden toys?
Babies can have wooden toys when they are old enough to safely play with them, usually around 6-12 months.
Parents should consider wooden toys appropriate for their child’s age and developmental stage.
Wooden baby toys offer a versatile, sustainable, and sensory-rich play experience.
Parents seeking durable and educational toys should consider the benefits of wooden baby toys, especially in connection with Montessori education.
As you noticed, their range is endless, and there is one tiny little piece (at least) for every family out there.
Explore the wide range of wooden baby toys available on the market to find engaging, safe, and enjoyable options for your little ones.
They are not perfect, but they tend to hit many spots.
One aspect where wooden baby toys don’t excel is the price.
They tend to be more expensive than their plastic relatives.
It’s up to you in the end!
If you have any questions, tips, curiosities, or experiences to share, please use the comments section below.