I am so glad wood toys are making a comeback! I absolutely love them, possibly even more than our kids do. Although our three year old son can compete with me on that concept.
Wooden toys have been around for thousands of years and were probably among the first toys played by humans, including other materials found in nature such as rocks, sticks and clay. In high contrast to the generally mass produced toys of our day that are made with plastic, cloth, synthetic materials and are evolving into electronically driven computerized machines, wood toys deliver a sense of collective human nostalgia and evocations of past imagined happiness.
Not that we don’t like the new stuff, all good toys are fun. But wooden toys take us back in history to periods such as Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome where wooden dolls, carriages, horses and simulated weapons were prevalent among young children. As time and technology progressed, toy makers in Germany were crafting wooden toys for sale to consumers all throughout Europe during the 1700’s.
Wood toy making had evolved into an art with beautiful designs, and toys such as wooden trains, wooden dolls and dollhouses, rocking wooden horses and wooden soldiers would become popular household toys from the 1800’s well into the early part of the 20th century.
The post World War II era would introduce the manufacturing of plastic and other synthetic materials which would prove highly economical to mass produce and very marketable to a modern consumer eager to spend their earnings on an ever evolving world.
Today, many of us are being reintroduced to a collective past with the re-manufacturing of wooden toys, wood puzzle,s wooden blocks and even wooden musical instruments.
The Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks sets are among our household favorite toys. Ordered by my wife and received earlier this year, it was briefly played with then set aside under a family room couch and nearly forgotten. Since our son has recently demanded free range of the first floor beyond the playroom, he’s rediscovered the wooden blocks set and has inspired the rest of us to not only play with him, but genuinely have fun with these wood toys as well.
These wooden puzzles are also a fun and educational collection to our kids toys. Simple and easy enough for the very little ones like our 18 month old girl, they encourage and inspire little minds to solve simple piece placement and puzzle solutions, and cutely identify the appropriate animals or insects with sweet, “disaur” “bur fly” and “fower” identifications.
I’ve introduced Dinosaur puzzles on our dinosaur toys page, but they’re worth re-exploring here because they are good wooden toys as well, and are even painted with earth friendly paints and dyes. Plus, I’m reminded of them every time our youngest girl walks around with the little pieces and yells a tiny, feminine, “roar” and when our son constantly completes the challenging a through z alphabet dinosaur.
This Jumbo Alphabet and Number Blocks set is a perfect addition to her and her brother’s wooden toys collection as well as their alphabet learning toys collection. They’re brightly colored, big and easy to stack and represent all the letters of the alphabet along with numbers 0 through 9, a 50 piece set in total.
This Classic Wooden Abacus is a fantastic wooden toy as well as a great educationl tool that introduces children three to six the concepts of arithmetic, addition, subtraction, pattern recognition as well as color recognition.
I’m so glad wood toys are making a comeback, and today’s wooden toys are being designed with new and inventive purposes while also being made with environmentally friendly materials and finishes.