The wooden toys are gone for some time, supplanted by plastic ones, but a few years ago have returned to the fore. What are the reasons for their success? Why are they preferred for children?
Wooden games are the most suitable for children, available in different formats and for every occasion: from educational toys to outdoor or table toys , they are recyclable and safe, and do not neglect design.
Why choose wooden toys?
Because they are reassuring, first of all for parents. Their success is mainly due to their parents, as they are the first to be seduced by these toys and buy them for their children.
At a time when everything that is plastic is seen as something serial, the need to go back to the roots, to something beautiful and well done is important. There is therefore this nostalgic dimension.
But the reasons for always preferring these games are many. A wooden toy is:
- solid, beautiful, well made, synonymous with craftsmanship.
- durable, sturdy and ages well.
- safe , it does not contain toxic substances.
- ecological , recyclable and also recovery.
In fact, wood is a warm material, which smells, is alive and ecological.
The ability to pass toys
These toys usually last much longer than plastic ones. They can be left to children and grandchildren. This possibility of passing on toys from generation to generation does not detract from their charm.
Quality instead of quantity
They are quality objects, and their price is generally higher than that of toys made of plastic or other materials.
In this way, they invite you to privilege quality over quantity. So, if you want to invest in a wooden toy, choose a beautiful piece, with an accurate workmanship, which will last over time, and not many of low quality, which will break immediately.
A game for every need
Toy train, cooking sets, constructions… More and more brands offer wooden toys. There is a wide choice, all carefully designed and in bright or natural colors.
Let’s find out better!
Wooden games for children
There are wooden versions of almost all the games that were born in other materials , from the meccano to the little theater, from the cooking kit to the mini-shop. There are also accessories to furnish a dollhouse or to dress up and care for your favorite soft toy.
Then there are also wooden versions of the most classic board games, from chess to backgammon, from dominoes to the game of the goose. There are also games for the little ones: rattles, shapes to build …
A little classic is the mechanic’s kit , so why not have one made entirely of wood? Like this one from Nuheby, where you can find a box with small work tools. Suitable for all children, boys and girls, aged 3 and up.
Or this work table from the historic Italian company of wooden games Sevi :
Wooden toys to build
There are 3D puzzles in which laser-cut wooden shapes, therefore very precise, must fit together to create an object, which can also move, such as a dinosaur, a clock, an airplane … They are the evolution of the Meccano of the past , whose pieces are made of birch plywood. It can also integrate a small mechanism for movement, which will make the creation even more realistic. For example this working Robotime clock , suitable for kids aged 12 and up.
For little girls who love bijoux, a little pastime cannot be missing to create bracelets and necklaces with colored wooden beads and leather straps. This one from Melissa & Doug pairs shimmering butterflies with small multicolored wooden beads at a smart price.
Another wooden game that copies the electronic version, but allows you to build always different figures, is this from Coogam , a 40-piece wooden ‘ Tetris ‘ version that is also a puzzle: perfect for stimulating the intelligence of the child.
Wooden garden games
Let’s start with a classic of garden games, a tree with branches large enough to support the weight of the swing will suffice . This one by Pellor has a wooden seat with adjustable cord.
Outdoors you can play many games that require agility, balance and coordination. If you are lucky enough to have a nice garden why not put a climbing frame in it ? This one from Wickey is a kind of wooden playground complete with climbing tower that is every child’s dream.
For the little ones who are starting to get curious about bikes, but don’t know how to ride them yet, this bicycle without pedals can help to acquire a sense of balance . There are many types and models. We offer you this beech wood from Janod- Little Bikloon . A game, but also a clever trick that will prevent the child from going from the stage of the wheels to learn to ride a bike.
And the Indian tent is a beautiful game to pretend to be someone else and dream of another life hidden inside. This Indian tepee is striped, by Moritz & Moritz .
DIY wooden games
The dream of every boy between 4 and 10 years – besides football of course – is probably the train and the cars . So why not join, fathers, grandmothers, uncles and parents and on the occasion of an important party or a milestone reached and reward the child with this fantastic Kidkraft set complete with table, in which to create your own fantastic city complete with mountain with waterfall and crossroads road?
Old wooden games
Raise your hand if you haven’t played marbles as a child. Certainly one of the best known games, which can be improvised in any place and with any surface, it will be enough to have some marbles . But we are at home, here is that a box with wooden tracks allows you to extend the fun even on days of bad weather, giving vent to the imagination. This one from Roba is built from 100 pieces, has sound effects thanks to bells and a small xylophone, and includes glass marbles. Suitable from 3 years, it is made of wood with non-toxic colors and EHP certified.
And the girls? The evergreen of female childhood is the dollhouse . There are endless versions of it. One more beautiful than the other. But why not combine the creative aspect with the tradition of wood with this wooden house complete with furniture and accessories, by Pebaro , just waiting to be colored?
For those who do not feel like starting with the DIY, there is always the ready-made option, like this one from Howa , with a set of wooden furniture, it is almost 120 cm high.
Even wooden cubes have always been a ‘pillar’ of childhood education, here is a super-colored version with Goula’s numbers to learn to recognize them .
And finally, the medieval castle, where you can stage battles to the death between evil dragons, brave knights and dangerous enemies, you can assemble and color it yourself, and it is made of plywood, but can be completed with toy soldiers and war machines.
German wooden games
German toy manufacturers have always been synonymous with reliability, safety and excellent materials. For this reason, before giving a small child an object in which the parts could detach and be swallowed, or the paint could be toxic, or worse still be dangerous, it is good to know the manufacturer.
The tradition of wooden toys is really Nordic and in Germany there is a long history of companies that produce playful objects in various essences, mostly beech, since the 1980s. Even today Germany is the nation where the most games are produced in Europe and, coincidentally, the prize created for the toy of the year, the Spiel des Jahres , is German .
So let’s find out the best known and what they can offer.
Let’s start with the best known, the Kaplà , which comes from an intuition as elementary as it is ingenious: rectangular fir tiles, all the same, with dimensions and thickness suitable for building whatever the child can think of. It starts from the box of 100 pieces, complete with manual to get inspired, but you can give space to the imagination. Only advice, better plan to buy one with many pieces (available from 290 pieces) or more boxes. Because with this game the more tiles you have, the better!
Another traditional company is Eichhorn which markets the famous bucket with colored wooden bricks to create buildings of all kinds. Suitable from the age of 2, it is one of the many evergreens of the little ones, which we find in various versions and shapes.
For those who want something more educational also on the food side, and more modern, here are many food kits and accessories to prepare food from Hape , a German company that certifies its products, EN71 and ASTM, according to the strictest standards and realizes all the toys with FSC woods. For example these two breakfast sets with healthy foods:
Even Janod produces the legendary cars with all accessories and places where ‘animate’: service stations, parking lots, garages, car wash, with men and other details all in solid FSC certified wood, careful workmanship and dyed with non-toxic colors.
Finally, they can not miss the train sets of Brio , with environments of all types, complete with accessories, bridges, roads and exchanges.
Ikea wooden games
There is a nice game to stimulate the mobility of small children. It is called MULA and is a thread for passing wooden balls that costs €13.
Then there are the LILLABO trains, for example the 20-piece set €9.95 and FLISAT, a container with wheels for ordering toys, from €30.
Here is a timeless, the red rocking horse, EKORRE for €30.
Safety and contraindications
A wooden toy that is less toxic than one made of plastic or metal , because it does not involve the use of dangerous chemicals. The dangerous aspect is linked to the use of adhesives and paints. Often, however, these objects are not colored, but left natural.
There will be no danger of traces of lead, nor that they contain phthalates , banned by the European Union since 1999 because they are toxic to children.
They have no dangerous electronic components or flammable elements. They also do not contain brominated allergens. However, we must be careful that the different parts are not glued with formaldehyde- based substances .
You must always choose objects by checking the age indicated as most suitable, so as not to endanger the child. However, it is advisable to check that it complies with European regulations: just look for the CE mark (European conformity) on the toy and its packaging.
This mark indicates that it complies with current toy regulations and is safe for children.
Recyclability and sustainability
These games can also arise from the recycling of other wooden objects, so they have less impact on the environment. They can be produced from wood from forests with environmental certification and FSC- marked wood.