Wooden toys, in contrast to their plastic counterparts, last longer and biodegrade faster. They’re also generally less flashy, making them popular among parents with more minimalist taste who’d rather not have their home overrun with stuff that looks like this. In fact, a lot of wooden toys can pass for Danish design objects (and wouldn’t look out of place next to a succulent atop a mantle) when not in the hands of a toddler. Wooden toys’ long history in the world (the first written reference to a wooden toy dates back to 500 BC) and popularity in Montessori and Waldorf classrooms also give them both a comforting folksiness and closer proximity to the natural world. Take it from me, a former Waldorf-school teacher and current Strategist reporter who’s spent hours in conversation with child-development experts, toy-trend forecasters, and stylish parents: Wooden toys will not only make your home more stylish, they’ll foster curiosity, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and so much more in your child.
To help you find the right wooden toy, we scoured the internet (and our archives) to curate a list of the best ones we could find, including wooden toys for teething babies, ones for toddlers working on their fine motor skills, toys that encourage pretend play, and even some STEM toys made out of wood. Most things on this list are available on Amazon, but we also found some elsewhere, too, in case you like to shop around.