Getting new toys for my kids is probably something I enjoy more than they do.
They generally just like to rip open the box, have a short play, then ask when Peppa Pig is going to be on the telly. My toddler doesn’t really bond with a new toy for a few days.
I love finding one that’s a bit different, or reminds me of something I had when I was little.
Toys get ever more complicated with each year – blimey, what an old fogey thing to say!
But it is true. If it doesn’t have 50 light and sound functions plus 100 buttons, programming that enables it to have a conversation about the merits of Peppa Pig vs Paw Patrol and the ability to tuck your child into bed – oh, if only – then it’s falling behind.
I find that I’m being drawn away from these types of toy more and more. It’s not that I don’t think they have a place in my kids’ playtime. It’s just that I find the wooden toys so much more appealing.
I think they look beautiful and I happily have some lined up in a shelf in my baby daughter’s nursery. It brings a gorgeous splash of colour to the room.
Their texture and the nice clattering noise they make when jumbled together stimulate memories of my own childhood.
I think the toys with simpler functions also encourage a bit more imagination.
Building a tower with wooden blocks requires a lot more thought than repeatedly jabbing a button to hear a toy smartphone ring.
Also they are so much less annoying. A well-meaning relative bought my toddler a toy laptop which has the most irritating American accent ever and you can’t turn the volume down. I’ve been considering taking a screwdriver to the battery cover for weeks.
These are some of my children’s favourite wooden toys:
The classic wooden blocks
These can keep my eldest entertained for hours. She loves stacking them up and then smashing them to bits again. They’re also great for teaching her about letters and numbers.
My toddler gets so much out of this toy. The colours are beautiful and it’s great how many different shapes there are. I confess to not knowing the names of every single one, so I always have to wing it when my daughter asks. My baby isn’t quite up to figuring out the puzzle yet but she loves holding the shapes in her hands.
This bendy dog is great fun. It has a tail on a spring so that it wags away and is bendy, so is easy to drag around the room. Much cleaner than a real dog!
My mum tells me I had something similar when I was little. This block has four pegs that you push down and then release to make them pop out. It’s simple but my toddler loves it.
I’ve seen some DIY geniuses have made their own versions of this which are just amazing. I wish I was that crafty! This is a good substitute though. The only problem is do I want to teach my child how to open locks?
This clever play food by Melissa and Doug can be stuck together with the Velcro attached to each piece. Then your child can use the wooden knife to cut the fruit and vegetables into pieces. I bought my toddler a little shopping basket so she can pretend she’s at the supermarket.
I have drunk countless cups of imaginary tea courtesy of this pretty little set which was a gift form my toddler from a good friend last Christmas. She loves stirring the tea with the little spoon and setting everything out on the little tray.
Do you have any favourite wooden toys? Do you prefer the more modern toys? I would love to hear from you.