If you walk through the aisles of toys at your local toy store or giant retailer, it is easy to get lost in the world of bright-colored plastic contraptions with buttons, lights, and music. I admit that we have our fair share of fun, plastic toys at our house, but I wanted to share that there are also some really great wooden, fabric, or handmade toys that your child is sure to love. These types of toys encourage interaction, foster imagination, and a lot of times will hold a child’s attention for longer than press-the-button plastic toys. I also like supporting companies that are committed to developing safe, non-toxic, and educational toys for our little ones.
Plan Toys and Haba are two of my favorite brands as they make beautiful wood toys that are colorful yet non-toxic. They are well-made, but can be a little pricey. Melissa & Doug also makes a lot of wood toys (as well as fabric toys and puzzles) that are a bit less expensive. The Plan Toys Cone Sorting toy , Haba First Blocks, and Melissa & Doug Stacking Train are a few of the wooden toys that we have in our toy box that Rylan loves.
You don’t have to purchase from a major toy brand, however. I have found some beautifully crafted handmade toys on Etsy. I love to support small business owners, especially when they are local. Manzanita Kids sells handmade toys designed to nurture creative play. We have the Organic Wave Toy and Stacking Puzzle. So far, Rylan enjoys putting the pieces in and taking them out. I like that it is the kind of toy that will grow with him. We also have a handmade wooden airplane and a rocket made by MM54Creations . These toys are solid with no stains, screws, hinges. They are really well made as they have already survived quite a beating on our hardwood floors. Playing “rocket” or “airplane” with Daddy is now a favorite pastime.
Etsy also has some really cool handmade memory and color matching games. For Rylan’s first birthday, I ordered him a customized quiet book (you guessed it…from Etsy- did I mention I love that site?) Playsilks are also great for creative play as they can “be” anything from a blanket to a cape. There are also so many creative DIY ideas on Pinterest, such as play kitchens from cardboard boxes (they can be absolutely beautiful) and make your own playdough.
Do you have a favorite wooden or handmade toy? Or a favorite DIY toy or idea? Please share!