Why buy wooden toys for children? Chances are good you know at least one parent who sings their praises for durability, sustainability or magical powers to boost creativity.

Some ideas for wooden toys that make great gifts for the holidays:

Etsy seller TwentySevenUK offers a wooden racing car that can be engraved with a child’s name and a special date. (Etsy via AP)

Wood on wheels

Cars, trucks, construction vehicles, emergency vehicles: Wooden toys that move are everywhere. Look no further than Melissa & Doug, the mass producer with a wide variety. The brand is available everywhere. The company makes a Stacking Construction Vehicles Set for ages 3–6 that a child can stack together in different ways. A set of three costs $17.

On the handmade emporium Etsy.com, the shop TwentySevenUK sells a small wooden racing car that can be engraved with a child’s name and a special date. Each car is $43 (with free shipping to the U.S.) and comes in white, yellow or green.

Wooden train sets can be added to for years. Check out the world of Brio for classic good looks and fun themes.

Kitchen toys

There are lots of wooden play kitchens and toy appliances out there. If you’re not confident about gifting a full-size kitchen, go for a miniature set. Tender Leaf Toys, which makes a beautiful array of wooden toys, has the Dovetail Kitchen Set intended for a dollhouse but perfectly suitable as a stand-alone gift for $45. Tender Leaf makes lots of other cool kitchen toys, too, including a colorful Espresso Machine complete with coffee pods that drop and a milk jug for $40.

Table games

From tic-tac-toe to backgammon, lots of table games come in wood. Aerin makes a very fancy Jenga Set, the classic balancing game, with blocks made of beech, stored in a cream or brown shagreen box with brass detailing for $1,100. It also sells a French Solitaire Set that includes a circular board crafted in Italy from ashwood, with 33 brass balls for $2,750.


A little too steep price-wise? Head to Amazon for a nice looking tic-tac-toe table set in wood for $10, or a plywood 4-in-a-row game for $18.


Circle stackers for infants and toddlers are plentiful, but one Etsy seller, SouthBendWorks, makes a lovely version in multicolored hardwood for $40.

Pottery Barn Kids carries a wooden Dollhouse Pet Set for $29, complete with a rabbit and its hutch, a dog and its doghouse, and a cat and its cat bed. There are also food bowls and food, including a carrot for the bunny.

How about a throwback? A company called Novanatural.com sells a set of wooden stilts for ages 6 and up in oak hardwood for $64.