Toddler playing with the Janod pastel wooden stacking train

Why do wooden toys make such great gifts for babies?

It’s no secret that I love wooden toys. There’s a whole section devoted to them in my sensory-play shop, and you’ll often hear me singing their praises over on Instagram (come and say hi!). 

But why do I love them so much? And why are they such brilliant gifts to choose for babies and young children? Here’s why: 

Wooden toys encourage imaginative play 

Wooden toys are usually simpler in design and have fewer bells and whistles (and lights and buzzers and squeakers) than toys made from plastic. That’s not to say there aren’t many marvellous plastic toys out there (there absolutely are, and I stock plenty of them!), but I just love the open-ended play potential that wooden toys generally provide. 

Take this gorgeous wooden stacking rainbow by Studio Circus, for example. Not only does it make a beautiful (and gender-neutral) nursery decoration for tiny babies, but once they are old enough it can be played with in all kinds of creative ways. Children will stack it, knock it down, put it back together, build their own creations and even incorporate it into imaginative games – making the pieces into tunnels for trains, hills for cars and see-saws for dolls, amongst other things! 

Wooden toys are a more sustainable choice 

Wooden toys are also a better choice for the planet, because wood is a naturally renewable, biodegradable and recyclable material. There is very little waste during manufacturing, and any chippings can be used as fuel or sawdust. 

By contrast, plastic does not decompose, and plastic toys are far more likely to break than wooden ones. Unfortunately, once they are broken the only way to dispose of plastic toys is usually to send them to landfill. 

Wooden toys can last a lifetime 

Another reason they’re a more responsible choice is that wooden toys last and last. They’re incredibly durable, easier to repair and can be updated with fresh paint and a revamp if they need a new lease of life after a while. 

Many wooden toys go on to be passed down through generations of a family to be loved, played with and passed on again. And it’s easy to see why! There’s a certain timeless charm about them, and their open-ended play potential means they’ll appeal to children’s natural curiosity in years to come as much as they do today. 

A wooden play kitchen like this one from Jumini is a great example of a classic wooden toy that could easily become a treasured heirloom, providing little ones with hours of imaginative fun and free-flowing play. 

Wooden toys are often safer 

It’s a fact of life that babies put everything in their mouths – it’s an essential part of how they explore and make sense of the world. But as parents and carers, we need peace of mind that the toys we give them to play with are completely safe. 

Wood is a natural material, which means that when you choose wooden toys you have no concerns about BPAs or harmful toxins lurking beneath the surface.  

Wooden toys are perfect for sensory play 

The very nature of wood opens up a world of sensory experiences: it can be warm or cold, rough or smooth, wet or dry. It can also have a variety of different smells, and it makes lots of different noises when it’s tapped against other materials. It can be painted in different colours or left in its natural hue. And, of course, it can be cut and carved into all kinds of shapes and sizes –the possibilities are endless! 

There really is a wooden toy out there to support your child through every age and stage of their development. From honing their fine and gross motor skills to teaching cause and effect, problem-solving, social interaction and language development; wooden toys are ideal for helping little ones make sense of the world. 

Wooden toys don’t need batteries! 

Every parent will be familiar with this scenario: it’s Christmas morning, your child has been gifted a toy they love, they rip it out of the box and demand to play with it instantly… but you don’t have the right batteries for it. Cue the meltdown! 

Most wooden toys are good to go as soon as they’re out of the box. Instant fun with minimal stress! 

Wooden toys make beautiful gifts for children 

Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, Christmas, a new baby or you simply want to treat a special little someone; you’ll never go wrong with a wooden toy. 

Wooden toys just look beautiful. They slot effortlessly into any home décor (perfect if you’re gifting to a child with style-conscious parents), and the fact they also tick all the boxes for safety, longevity, being environmentally friendly and supporting children’s development makes them a truly thoughtful and memorable gift. 

What’s not to love?! Shop wooden toys now >>>

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