Wooden toys. They are a classic and sustainable way to help kids learn while they play. And let’s not forget how durable they are too, perfect for passing down from sibling to sibling and even generation to generation. With our growing range of wooden wonders, we've compiled a guide to buying the right ones. Get ready to find out which wooden toys will help with each stage of your kids’ development and why…
FOR 0-12 MONTHS
Once babies realise they've been born around the 3 weeks mark, you’ll find that soon they are able to focus and will enjoy following things with their eyes. A sturdy and stylish wooden play gym is a great toy to invest in for this age, letting them lay back and watch, before they develop the skills needed to grab the toys. Brands including Liewood, Le Toy Van and Sebra have modern options that will look great in your home too. Perfect from birth, they'll be getting a work out for months to come.
As they hit the six month stage you’ll find that they become a lot more curious, using their developing senses to try and get a better grasp on the world around them, including using their mouths. Because toys aren't just designed for at home, a toy that will keep them entertained on-the-go is great for this age as they spend more time awake. Pram chains and stroller toys encourage tactile skills and engage their senses too. Janod has a great wooden one that this age will adore.
FOR 1-2 YEAR OLDS
They've reached the toddler years and are quickly becoming great little builders. Wooden toys that allow them to get constructing are ideal as they develop their tactile skills and hand-eye movement. Janod, Petit Collage and Grimm's all design wooden block toys that let little hands create soaring skyscrapers or little bungalows, if they'd prefer. Another similar option is Tegu who designs their building block toys with magnets inside. This means little architects can concentrate on their grand design, without the fear that it may topple over.
By this age they'll likely be pros at walking or at least having a go, so wooden toys that encourage their newly acquired skills are ideal. A walker is a non-brainer for this stage, with some beautiful wooden designs that get them moving, but offer entertainment while they are taking a break too. There's great options by Classic World and Le Toy Van A pull along wagon is another great alternative. We rate the Plan Toys design, with plenty of space for them to pull their favourite soft toys, but why not fill it with books on lazy days.
FOR 2-3 YEAR OLDS
Coming to the end of their toddler years, two and three year olds are fans of pretend play and they'll be quickly developing their creative skills too. Now is a great time to offer up toys that can be the base for role play for years to come. Looking for a toy that will stand the test of time? A wooden play kitchen or market is just right for this age. They'll love being able to pretend to wash up, make dinner or even have their first go at bartering... more money pwease! Whether it's for your living space or their playroom, there's some stylish options by Sebra, Bigjigs and Le Toy Van that are perfect for 2-3 year olds.
Show us a toddler that doesn't like playing with vehicles? They are mad for them! We can understand having an interest in nice-looking cars and we love seeing modern brands designing vehicles for toddlers made from wonderful wood. Plan Toys with their Wautomobile, Le Toy Van with their Campervan and Tegu with their Magnetic Racer are a few top picks that vroom their way into the hearts of any car crazy tot. As well as being fabulous fun, they are a great toy to encourage dexterity and imagination, inspiring grand road trips on the living room rug.
FOR 3-4 YEAR OLDS
They’ve hit the pre-school age and with this comes a whole lot of new learning, including enhancing those social skills, using pretend play more readily and expanding their numeracy and literacy skills too. Kid's Concept and Tenderleaf Toys are great brands for taking their interest in pretend play to the next level. There's everything from ice cream stands and waffle makers to garden-themed sets to get their role play juices flowing.
If you want to introduce toys that are going to help prep them for all the learning at school, a puzzle or toy that helps them with numbers is a great pick. Grimm's open-ended toys provide plenty of playing opportunities for preschoolers. Either set up an invitation to play or let them freestyle with what's in front of them. The sorting bowls can be used in loads of ways, helping them develop their counting and fine motor skills at the same time. Classic World and Tender Leaf Toys have some great wooden puzzles that provide a bit of a challenge for this age. They'll love tackling toys with colours, numbers or shapes to sort.
And there we are, a cool list of just some of the great wooden toys for each stage. Get lost in our selection of wonderful wooden toys right here.