There’s a growing trend of cool toys filled with the latest tech hitting the market. Now, instead of inspiring imaginative play, many toys just throw a screen of some sort in front of the faces of your kids. That’s fine once in awhile, sure, but there’s also a growing a trend of parents who want to take the screens away from their children and go back to classic toys, by doing things such as buying wooden toys for kids.
There are all sorts of fun wooden toys kids will love (or toys for babies), and there are numerous reliable toymakers like Melissa & Doug, Gold-Leaf, Manhattan Toy, and more. But what wooden toys are well-made and deserve your hard-earned money?
Here are the top 10 best wooden toys for kids in 2016:
1. Hape Coral Reef Activity Center
Admittedly, the price tag on this one is a bit of a stretch, and it’s more intended for offices or stores to keep kids distracted. But as far as activity centers are concerned for offices, the Hape Coral Reef Activity Center strikes a perfect balance between price point and awesomeness. It features six sides of fun activities, including a turtle maze challenge, a fish face with moving eyes, and more. It’s crafted from high quality Baltic Birch plywood, and hand painted with an impressive sea-themed look. If you own a business and are considering an activity center to keep your patron’s children amused, this is the one to go with.
Price: $508.30 (15 percent off MSRP)
2. Plan Toy Tea Set (Solid Wood)
When you’re a little kid, nothing beats a quality toy tea set. However, the tea sets that are usually found in big box retailers are cheaply made, using thin plastics that break easily. The Plan Toy Tea Set is a much better-made toy made entirely of wood. In fact, PlanToys uses wood from rubber trees. The tea set consists of a teapot, a sugar bowl, two tea cups, two saucers, two tea bags and two pieces of sugar. The wood is high quality, and the cups are even able to hold real water.
3. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center
For a more affordable activity center for the home, check out Manhattan Toys’ Tree Top Adventure Activity Center. It stands at nearly two feet high (the perfect height for your little one). It’s colorful and it’s incredibly busy, with plenty of things to move, pull, push, twist and spin. It’s a wooden toy for kids that will keep them busy for hours.
4. Orbrium Toys 12 Pcs Wooden Engines & Train Cars Collection
There’s a lot to love about Orbrium Toys’ 12 Piece Wooden Engines & Trains Collection. Let’s take a moment to appreciate that it comes with a beautiful wooden frame to display the cars and trains. The set includes tender, coaches, convertible coach/hopper car, magnetic tanker load, hopper cars and cabooses. The set is the number one bestseller on Amazon in the Toy Trains category.
Price: $27.99 (44 percent off MSRP)
5. KidKraft Noah’s Ark Shape Sorter
KidKraft’s Noah’s ARK Shape Sorter is one of the best wooden toys for kids because of how colorful it is. The pieces are well-designed with cute art that catches the eye. It’s a great teaching tool for kids to learn about the story of Noah’s Ark early in life. And, even the boat comes preassembled, so you don’t have to put anything together (that’s a huge bonus for us parents, isn’t it?). It comes with 17 total pieces, including two giraffes, two lions, two monkeys, two pandas, two turtles and two elephants. It’s one of the best baby toys available.
6. Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set
If you’re looking for great wooden food toys for your kids, you’re going to want to see the Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set. You might have noticed that your kids always want to cut their own food, so you know they’re going to have fun pretending to cut this wooden food as well. The pieces are colorful and well-made, and it’s another well-crafted Melissa & Doug toy.
7. Vintage Wooden Toolbox with 13 Tools
Kids love pretending to help their parents, don’t they? I know my three year old loves to be daddy’s little helper when I’m putting something together or fixing something. This Vintage Wooden Toolbox with 13 Tools is a perfect gift for kids. It’s a well-made wooden toolbox (admittedly, it looks more like a briefcase), and it comes with 13 tools including a wooden drill, hammer, wrenches, and more. They’ll be Tim the Toolman Tayloring-it-up in no time!
Price: $34.99 (30 percent off MSRP)
8. EverEarth Jr. Size Ramp Race
Wooden car toys are usually blocky, but the cars contained in the EverEarth Jr. Size Ramp Race kit take a more rounded approach. They have a minimalist look to them, and they’re all painted vibrant colors. Your children will have fun figuring out how to get the cars to go down the ramp, and the toy helps to teach grasping and holding skills.
Price: $21.99 (12 percent off MSRP)
9. Rainbow Sound Blocks
For a wooden toy that thinks outside of the box, check out the Rainbow Sound Blocks. These cool little shakers each sound different. It’s made from rubber wood, and it’s painted and dyed with non toxic coloring. Each block is hollow, and contains different beads that create different tones. At first glance, it doesn’t look like much of a toy, but watch the video above, and you’ll understand how your child will become consumed by these noisemakers.
Price: $34.99 (22 percent off MSRP)
10. Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench
Another great wooden workstation that your kids will congregate around is the Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench. It’s tested to be safe and durable, so it can stand up to whatever your kids throw at it during playtime. Each table is crafted by hand, with expert care given to each piece. Each workbench comes with tools, a functioning vise, a tool rack, and hardware. It also comes with a book of ideas to help get your child’s own ideas flowing.
Price: $78.99 (21 percent off MSRP)
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