In trying to do our bit for the environment, we have found a love for wooden toys. As a result, I would say the toys in our house are 95% wooden, a combination of new and second-hand.
I understand that wooden toys might not seem accessible to everyone, but I do think that the quality and function of wooden toys are much better and because of this, they are worth the money. I have also found that often, even buying them new can work out cheaper than plastic toys, and they are many places you can buy them pre-loved.
Wooden toys are often - not always, some companies just use them to seem better than they are - made by ethical companies as well, as sustainability and ethical companies often go hand in hand.
Why are plastic toys so bad?
I am not condemning plastic toys, of course, we do have them and they're certainly times where they serve a purpose. As with everything, whatever small changes you can make will help o make a difference, and this is just another way in which we can consider the environment.
According to Green Journal even though plastic toys have a longer life cycle than single-use plastic, they are still contributing to the climate crisis because they are made from fossil fuels, and when they are finished with or broken, they often end up in a landfill.
As I discovered last year when I wrote How to Have a Sustainable Christmas 41% of plastic toys bought at Christmas will end up in the landfill almost straight away! If that's at Christmas time alone, I dread to think what it's like the rest of the year. It's so important to teach children to take good care of their toys, to pass them on to other people, or donate them, and even where possible, learn to repair them when they break.
Some of our favorite wooden toys
I thought instead of going through every single wooden toy we have, I'd just do a selection of some of our most played with toys/brands, including our MOST played with toy.
Duck Woodworks Balance Board - This balance board is fantastic for all sorts! It's not just used for balance, and climbing on - it's a shop counter, a fort, a slide, a race track - you name it, it can pretty much be it!
Lanka Kade - We've got quite a lot of Lanka Kade now, but nothing beats their wooden figures! They are so durable and beautifully made. We've got vehicles, and puzzles too!
Plan Toys - Plan Toys, along with Lanka Kade, is one of my favorite toy companies. We've got a few of their products now as well, but the dinosaurs are a firm favorite! We also love the toolbox robot and the doctors kit - we love them all, let's face it!
Big Jiggs - We've got a few Big Jiggs puzzles, but what the kids really seem to love is the animal shape sorter. I bought this from a friend and gave it to my son for his first Christmas. He still plays with it now, and our daughter is starting to love it.
Melissa and Doug - Our son loves planes, so last Christmas I spent a bit of time on eBay looking for second-hand plane toys when I came across a wooden plane with a luggage carrier, suitcases, and pilot. I couldn't believe it! It's really lovely as well!
The Ikea Moose - This was another second-hand gem, Gumtree I think. Our son is really getting too big for it but he loves it, although he will not call it a moose, to him it's a horse. It's a really fabulous toy! Our little girl pulled herself onto it for the first time the other day, so it's going to be sticking around for a long time I feel.
This is just a small glimpse into our favorite wooden toys. We have many more than this... a pirate ship, numerous Grimms toys, and some that I don't even know the brand of. What I've been saving till last though is our well-loved wooden kitchen!
This wooden kitchen was bought for my nephew years ago, and when we decided we wanted to buy our son a kitchen, my sister said we could have it because her boys didn't really play with it anymore.
The Christmas we gave it to him, we asked anyone who wanted to buy him a gift, to buy him something to go with it. There is always something to add to it, and one day we hope to have a playroom where can be expanded.
This kitchen comes with an ice cream station, teacups, kettle, a stand mixer, sushi, many fruits and vegetables, a cheese board, pots and pans, plates, a toaster, jams, honey, milk, pizza, and fast food, to name a few.