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24 Wooden Toys for Babies, Toddlers, and Kids

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Wooden toys, in contrast to their plastic counterparts, last longer and biodegrade faster. They’re also generally less flashy, making them popular among parents with more minimalist taste who’d rather not have their home overrun with stuff that looks like this. In fact, a lot of wooden toys can pass for Danish design objects (and wouldn’t look out of place next to a succulent atop a mantle) when not in the hands of a toddler. And because of their long history in the world (the first written reference to a wooden toy dates back to 500 BC) and their popularity in Montessori and Waldorf classrooms, they exude a comforting folksiness and proximity to the natural world. Take it from me, a former Waldorf-school teacher and current Strat reporter who’s spent hours in conversation with child-development experts, toy-trend forecasters, and stylish parents: Wooden toys will not only make your home more stylish, they’ll foster curiosity, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and so much more in your child.

To further guide you, we scoured the internet for the cream of the crop and curated a list of the best wooden toys we could find, including wooden toys for teething babies, ones for toddlers working on their fine motor skills, toys that encourage pretend play, and even some STEM toys made out of wood.

Wooden toys for babies

Homi Baby Organic Wood Montessori Styled Baby Rattle

The Homi organic wooden rattle is made in the U.S. and painted with environmentally friendly, nontoxic milk paint before being sealed with organic virgin coconut oil. So it’s safe for teething babies and even your pets.

Manhattan Toy Artful Skwish Rattle and Teether Grasping Toy

Squishy rattles, like this one from Manhattan Toy, are great for developing a baby’s gross motor skills. This rattle is made using sustainable wood and nontoxic finish.

Wooden toys for toddlers

Coogam Wooden Lacing Apple Threading Toy

Lacing toys like this wooden apple and worm challenge a toddler’s fine motor skills and can keep children busy for long periods of time — a godsend on car rides, airplanes, or grocery-store lines.

QTHINGS Masterkidz Tactile Beeping BEE

Toys that make noise or play music are typically bigger hits with toddlers. This chubby wooden bee on wheels makes beeping sounds when kids press down on its back. It’s made with wood from responsibly managed forests and nontoxic paint. It’s also great for fine motor skills and encouraging memory through cause and effect.

PlanToys Plan Preschool Bee Hive Preschool

Speaking of bees, toddlers will enjoy the challenge of using these wooden tongs to remove wooden bees and put them back in their hive. Matching the bees to their hives also helps toddlers work on color recognition.

Babe Rock Toys Wooden Ducks Pull Toy

Pull toys are extra fun for toddlers who can walk. And this baby and mama duck encourage talking about family and putting things inside other things — two favorite toddler pastimes.

Plan Toy Solid Wood Drum

Toddlers love musical toys and this wooden drum has a pleasant sound and allows toddlers to experiment and find different notes.

Wooden toys for pretend play

MiO Food Truck Vehicle + 1 Bean Bag Person Peg Doll

This little wooden food truck and doll encourages imaginative play and comes with a wooden refrigerator, stove, and four wooden pizza discs.

CARLORBO Wooden Toys for 2 Year Old - Pretend Play Food

Each wooden apple, pomegranate, lime, banana, and avocado in this set is realistically painted with eco-friendly paint and can be cut in half for serving using a wooden knife and then put back together with magnets.

Melissa & Doug Service Station Parking Garage

Melissa & Doug are known for making high quality toys that encourage child development. This garage and service station is no different and offers tons of scenarios to stretch children’s imaginations.

NaKita Kids Wooden Assorted Construction Vehicles and Traffic Trucks

If you’re looking for more cars to park in the garage, here’s a sweet set of utility vehicles to add to the party.

Huzi - Cosmos - Timeless Design Spaceship Building Blocks

For the true minimalist, this black and white wooden spaceship would look nice on any bookshelf and can be assembled in several different configurations before being “shot” into space.

Leo and Friends Wooden Puzzles - Face Emotion Toys for Kids

Like a flat, wooden Mr. Potato Head, this facial expression and mood puzzle helps children with social-emotional development and encourages healthy communication around moods and feelings.

Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Dollhouse

Melissa & Doug’s two-story wooden dollhouse has a handle and folds up for easy carrying. It was included in our article about the best dollhouses on Amazon.

Wooden toys for stacking and balancing

Constructive Playthings Lightweight Wooden Balancing Blocks

This set of Areaware-esque faceted natural wood blocks comes with idea cards for different stacking combinations.

Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike

Hape’s all-wooden balance bike increases children’s strength and motor skills.

aGreatLife Wooden Balancing Cactus Toy for Kids and Toddlers

The aGreatLife cactus game is a fun way for kids and adults to play together. Even the packaging, which is made of cardboard and a muslin bag, is eco-friendly.

Grimm's Small Stone Caves Nesting Wooden Blocks Stacker

We featured this a similar colorful Waldorf stacking toy in our gift guide for one-year-olds. These beautifully crafted toys are interactive and encourage babies and toddlers to experiment with building and gravity.

HAN-MM Wooden Wobble Balance - Rocker Board 35 Inch Kid Size

For older children, this simple curved wooden balance board can be used in myriad ways: as a car track, a balance beam, a bridge, a table, or a step stool. It pushes children’s creativity and increases muscle strength.

Wooden STEM toys

43 PCs Kids Tool Box Wooden Construction Set

A comprehensive set of wooden tools, screws, and nails for kids who love to build things and take things apart.

26 Piece Tegu Discovery Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Natural

Tegu’s set of magnetic wooden blocks comes recommended by the child-development experts we spoke to for our gift guide for one-year-olds, but would make a great gift for kids of all ages.

ROBOTIME Walking Trex Dinosaur 3D Wooden Craft Kit Puzzle

For older kids who like building 3-D models, this wooden T. rex will provide hours of entertainment.

Grimm's Handcrafted Wooden Rainbow Bell Tower

You’ll catch toddlers attention with this rainbow bell tower while older children can make a project of assembling it.

And a mostly wooden toy piano

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Wooden Piano

Though it’s not only made of wood, Baby Einstein’s Magic Touch Piano has made it on the Strategist best sellers top ten list seven times — that’s a lot. It comes recommended by child-development expert Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle who says it’s a good pick because “young kids love making music and exploring things, like, Can I make it softer? Can I make it louder? What happens when I hit it harder? That’s a really interesting learning process.” If it’s between this and a junkier-looking toy that makes louder, more aggressive sounds, we’d go with this wood-plastic hybrid toy piano.

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