You may never have considered wooden toys made in USA as gifts for your child or kid relatives. But there is an entire tradition of wooden toy trucks and cars, trains, puzzle blocks, nested dolls, Holgate toys and other classic toys that make beautiful and safe heirloom gifts. Toys like those that your wood Carvin’ grandpa may have once crafted with his skillful hands out of a block of wood and a chisel on his porch or with a lathe in his shop.
Wooden toys have a special meaning for many of us. They are a part of our memories, and they remind us of childhood with its sense of wonder and mystery. Wooden toys, therefore, make for very meaningful gifts. But sadly, few grandpas (or grandmas) make wooden toys anymore, isn’t it?
The good news is some toy makers continue to do so around the world. German toymakers are well known all over the world for their traditional German wooden toys. There are also wooden toys made in the USA, which are of superior quality than the cheaper modern plastic toys kids today play with (I’m sure you’ll agree).
Wooden toys last longer too. It is highly likely that a wooden car or miniature house you gift your kid will become a significant part of their childhood memory when they grow up. It could even become an heirloom that will find a place in a trunk in the attic a hundred years or more in the future!
- How to Buy a Good Wooden Toy
- Old Fashioned Wooden Toys
- Wooden Toys for Toddlers
- Handmade Wooden Toys
- Wooden Toys for Kids 1-Year-Old and Up
How to Buy a Good Wooden Toy
While wood is a good place to start as a material for toys, there are good products and inferior quality products. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re buying a wooden toy.
The toy should be made of quality hardwood, rather than leftover wood from construction. Ideally, you should look for hardwood toys made of wood like maple, poplar, beech, ash, birch, and walnut, among others. These woods are resilient and durable. Strength is necessary for toys that will see lots of use. You also want to avoid softwoods like pine, which are not very strong and makes splinters if it breaks. Also avoid wood like yew, which can be toxic.
If the toy has metal hardware parts, make sure it is only stainless steel. You want the hardware pieces to be non-toxic and non-rusting. Make sure the toy is sanded smoothly, with rounded corners and no sharp points or the chance of making splinters. Further, check that the glue used is safe and non-toxic glue such as carpenter’s glue. There shouldn’t be any glue that has oozed out and hardened outside the joints.
Check the finishing for safety. Shellac and Tung oil are common and safe natural finishes that smoothly harden on the wood. If the wooden toy is painted, make sure that there is no flaking or chipping paint. Also, make sure that the paint is free of lead.
Of course, it’s also important to make sure that you’re buying an age-appropriate toy. For example, toys for toddlers shouldn’t have any sharp edges or thin protruding pieces that could cause injuries.
Old Fashioned Wooden Toys
There are some old-fashioned wooden toys that continue to be made today. These are toys that most of us will recognize from our own childhoods. Think of wooden rocking horses, trucks; pull toys like elephants, doll strollers, pull carts with blocks in them, tops, wooden rolling animals and more. You’ll also find old style wooden rattles, alphabet blocks, simple puzzles and more.
Your toddler is awaited by hours of enriching block play! This sturdy, wooden block cart features 30 solid wood blocks with a colorful collection of letters, images and numbers for fitting or simple acknowledgment, stacking and sorting activities. A tremendous value that will endure for decades!
A big incentive after opening this merchandise was that the blocks had pictures of animals, fruit, veggies, numbers, etc. in addition to the ABCs. Due to the multi-sided blocks, it is possible to play other types of games (including sorting, identification of recognizable objects, colors, etc). The blocks are pretty small however don’t seem to be choking risks, plus they are stackable for older toddlers. Overall, a great educational toy in a terrific cost in a rolling container that is neat.
On the other hand, there are modern wooden toys like Thomas the Train wooden toys that are upgrades on the simple toys of the past. The Thomas trains are colorful and lots of fun to enjoy with the family.
Wooden Toys for Toddlers
You’ll find lots of lovely and special wooden toys for toddlers, like the stackable train sets by Melissa and Doug wooden toys. Your little one will love piecing together the simple puzzles and First Shapes Toys that this line of toy-makers has lovingly created for the littlest ones in the family.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Push Toy and Activity Walker
Toddlers will be charmed by three alligators as they take turns chomping with every measure! This multisensory wooden push toy encourages discovery and walking. Graphical details feature cattails on fish on the wheels, the handle supports and spinning butterfly and ladybug beads. This cheerful toy encourages gross and fine motor skills while developing hand-eye coordination. Brightly painted with child-safe paint.
Learning is a delightful occasion, and also the Clack & Chomp Alligator Push Toy from Doug & Melissa makes it even more interesting.
Another fantastic advantage of wooden toys – and most parents will agree here – is that they are noise-free! Unlike the modern beeping, whistling and shrieking gadgets that so many kids seem to love!
Handmade Wooden Toys
Then there are the handmade wooden toys that we all love for their beautiful craftsmanship. Wooden toys used to be all handmade, once upon a time. European toys, German toys and those made in the USA would be simple. They’d look and feel very harmonized with the surroundings. You would be able to tell where the toy was lovingly sanded smooth in the corners, and so on.
Many toy-makers today and stores like Amazon, offer handmade wooden toys that bring back that feeling. Everything from handmade organic wooden baby toys and rattles to delicately crafted toy houses and puzzles, wooden cameras and more are there for your child’s pleasure.
Wooden Toys for Kids 1-Year-Old and Up
Slightly kids will have lots of fun learning and develop their fine motor skills with stackable rainbows, stackable snowmen, and other bright, friendly classic toys. What’s great about wooden toys for toddlers, as opposed to plastic toys, is that they are tactile. This means the toys have some solidity to them. When your child holds a wooden toy, she becomes very aware of the toy in her hands, as compared to when she’s playing with a lightweight plastic toy. If your child is showing delays in motor skill development, a wooden toy is bound to help.
Hape – Rainbow Wooden Rattle
Shake, shake, tremble! The Rainbow Rattle from Hape supplies young ones with an innovative and thought to provoke rattle to get their creativity flowing. Each section of the Rainbow Rattle tangled up or may be switched about to change the general form of the toy without becoming jumbled. This elasticized the rainbow pattern of rattle makes it a perfect tool for color recognition, while its shape-altering possibility keeps your little one thinking sharp. Made with wood sourced from environmentally sustainable forests. Children stimulate through every stage of growth and help develop and nurture their natural abilities. All Hape products sold in North America meet or exceed all appropriate safety standards.
Wishbone 3 in 1 Original Bike
This multi award-winning balance bike offers much more. Wishbone 3 in 1 trike to bike layout is really lightweight & secure it teaches your baby to walk! Wishbone Bike begins at age 1 with three wheels, perfect for crawlers who desire to walk. Flip the framework and it grows with your child. Wishbone Bike is just one of the smallest AND biggest balance bikes out there. Made from sustainable wood, air-filled rubber tyres, and multi-use recycled packaging, only look within the box! Comes with organic canvas. Huffington Post said Wishbone Bike “establishes the standard”. Best quality function, layout and eco credentials. For 12 months to FIVE years. Identified a TIME Magazine Top 100 Green Design. Wishbone Design Studio creates a best-in-category ride on for kids aged 1 to 6. See also Wishbone Bike in a high gloss Crimson & Green finish or our 2in1 bike with just two wheels. Or attempt Wishbone Bike Recycled Variation for 3in1 function with even more alteration and also a 5-year guarantee! See videos on youtube by hunting construction or wishbone bike introduction or in action.
Worth the cost! His Wishbone bike will be LOVED by your 1-year-old son. It was simple to put together and you will predict pressure free adaptations to the other settings (3-wheeler > 2-wheeler). Over 3 years later this bike is still going strong. You will have 3 children and they all adore Wishbones! Before walking, all 3 were riding.
Dinosaur Kingdom Thematic Kids Wooden Push Toy Cart
Your Little boys will love this cart, and hey the girls like it too! It’s and adorable, solid wood, beautifully designed and detailed wooden push cart from Fantasy Fields. They have outdone themselves with this toy and it should be on every children Christmas list! Hours of fun and adventure are ahead. Your children have actually learned to walk by pushing his Dino Cart around, it’s stable and safe structure makes me feel comfortable leaving him to walk alone. The detail in the dinosaur is amazing and fun for children to look at. This cart is a nice large size that not only can be pushed but can store toys in as well. The little Girls have their doll strollers to push their dolls in, well now your son has his Dino cart to haul around all his stuffed animals and trucks!
Transport toys from one location to the next with Fantasy Fields’ T-Rex Push Cart! Your child will love filling the storage bin with books, stuffed animals, games, and all kinds of things and wheeling it to their next play location. Hand carved and painted T-Rex lines the sides of the push cart, and a strong and sturdy handle serves as a support system for children learning how to walk. Some assembly required. Perfect for ages 3 and up.
Hape – Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
The sound of wooden balls pounding down onto a xylophone that is musical is sure to delight and enchant your child’s interest! With the Pound and Tap Bench from Hape, there are so many different methods to play! Pound on the wooden balls down onto the xylophone and listen as a musical scale plays loudly. Children will adore sliding out the xylophone to play by itself, and learn about the different sounds with these early melodies opening to the musical artwork. Durable kid safe paint finish and solid wood construction make this a toy your kid will love for years to come. Children stimulate through every phase of growth and help nurture and develop their natural abilities. All Hape products sold in North America meet or exceed all appropriate safety standards.
They’ll adore only playing with the balls when your children got it. This toy has grown with your kids and will always be a staple for you when you purchase presents for kids.
Hape- Family Pets – Wooden Dollhouse Animals
The ideal dollhouse is incomplete minus the pets that are perfect! The Hape Family Pets Set features a cat, bunny, and pup, along with their coordinated accessories for tail-wagging fun! Each quality-crafted pet has its own place to sleep, a food bowl, and also a treat or toy with a loving family and to help it get comfortable in a nice, new dwelling. Encourage imaginative thinking and story-telling abilities as children train and play with their smiling, furry pals. Made with wood sourced from environmentally sustainable woods. Solid wood construction and permanent kid safe paint finish make this a toy your kid will love for decades to come. Children excite through every phase of growth and help develop and nurture their natural abilities.
You’ll be happy you bought this, your youngsters will love playing with it and ordering the wooden animals, their houses’ and food.
Clearly, there are many reasons to gift your child or a child that you love a wooden toy. The best wooden toys are beautiful, educational, and safe, help with problem-solving and reasoning, and are great for encouraging your child to use their imagination. Just, like we did when we were kids. Look for wooden toys made in USA for assured quality. You’ll be gifting your child a fine piece of heritage and memory when you give them a wooden toy.