Look into any parent of a young child’s home (including ours) and you’ll most likely see a sea of plastic toys, many electronic with music with flashing lights (my least favourite!).
I have to say that I am not a fan of plastic toys, not least for how they are produced and the time it takes for the plastic to break down in landfill (often longer than 700 years). They are also not the most aesthetically pleasing, and are full of nasty chemicals linked to illness in later life.
I much prefer wooden kids toys. Wooden toys are (if you choose correctly) sustainable, degradable and free of the chemical risks that plastic toys possess. They can also be real hand-me-down pieces.
Of course, we have plastic toys bought for us and I do not discourage my daughter from playing with them. However, since the age of about 6 months old, when she started showing an interest in toys, her preference has been for wooden kids toys.
Our first purchase, found in a charity shop, was a wooden shape sorter in the shape of a house. She adored banging the blocks together and other toys barely got a look in. Since then our collection of wooden toys have grown and she still loves her wooden toys as much as ever. Her current favourite is a red London bus from Habitat – hours of fun taking the people in and out of the bus!
Here is the rest of our collection:
As wooden kids toys are so durable, even though they all look like new, we actually found most of these in charity shops, and the walker came second-hand from eBay. The bus was the only toy we bought new, as a Christmas present, and the jigsaw was a gift from a family member.
If you’re looking to buy a special toy for a child in your life, perhaps for a birthday or Christmas present, then here is a run down of some other great wooden kids toys I found on the internet, separated into age groups:
Links: 1/ 2/ 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
Links: 1 / 2. Canterbury Toy Shop / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
Links: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Most of the wooden kids toys I’ve showcased here are from sustainable sources or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited – if you are uncertain of the provenance of a toy then do contact the manufacturer. You can also find a list of international and UK FSC accredited products and suppliers here on the FSC website.