Friday, September 5, 2014

Top 5 Unique Wooden Toys that I am Dying to Add to My Collection

I love wooden toys.  I love how they don't fade or break, how they have a little bit of substance when you hold them in your hand and how they last forever!  By forever, I'm talking generations.

My grandma had a freestanding wooden elephant puzzle in her house.  It was white and I think it had four or so pieces.  My cousins and I adored it. It was always out in the house, and as I grew up the silly elephant stuck around.  I think my grandma ended up having to repainting it (possibly a number of times) because the white started to look a bit dingy with so many little hands carrying it around, but it never broke and it never grew old.  Twenty years later my grandma still has that puzzle!

With those thoughts in mind, and my general preference for solid wood, over its more disposable plastic counterparts, I bring you my list of Top 5 Unique Wooden Toys that I am Dying to Add to My Collection!

**This post contains Amazon links which support Top 5 Friday when you purchase through them, yet don't cost you anything extra. See Disclosure Policy for more information. 

1. Animal Upon Animal

So this is both a toy and a game (are those separate things? Maybe?) This game comes with 29 carved and painted wooden animals that are built to be stacked on top of each other.  The game is suggested for children 4 and up and I suspect that this is one that would be interesting for the whole family as you try to build a tower out of uniquely shaped animals.  Sounds like a good way to work on hand eye coordination and the pieces look like fun to play with even the game doesn't appeal to you or your child. 

2. Marble Runaround Marble and Blocks Building Set 

Okay, so the Marble Run isn't exactly a new idea, but how great is that this toy is both a marble run and a set of building blocks?  I take it to mean that I could get this for my toddler and let him enjoy just the block, and when he grows up and is less likely to try to eat the marbles I can show him how to add those to the set and BAM!  It's a brand new and still a totally awesome toy.  Also I looked at a handful of the plastic and wooden marble run toys on amazon, they can be expensive!  Like $100+, yikes!  This particular one is made of wood, looks awesome and right now it's listed for only $35.

3. Begin Again A-Z Puzzles

These puzzles are beautiful.  Not only that but the patterns on them are so unique, the painting is colorful and they've made them even better learning tools by having lettered pieces. The puzzle comes with a wooden box, but can also be built free standing (yes, I am totally reminiscing about my grandma's elephant puzzle).  One side of the puzzle has capital letters the other side has lowercase letters so your child has a chance to learn both, and the puzzle can be built face up, face down or standing on it's side. The puzzles come in varying degrees of difficulty, the butterfly is suggested for 5+, the dinosaur for 3+.  These also have a great animal puzzle that seems similar to the Animal Upon Animal game and an Alphabites Puzzle, that is shaped like a bunch of food - when all the food shaped pieces are removed from the box, the box is shaped like a serving tray, complete with plate and napkin.  I'm tell you, these are worth checking out!

4. Connectagons

These are flat pieces with little cut out edges that can be merged together to create tall intricate looking towers. They come in all sorts of shapes; butterflies, sea critters, happy faces etc.  The look like another great way to work on fine motor skills and it seems like a tower made out of these might be a little more stable than a tower made from blocks.  Also (judging from the pictures) these little creations end up looking like a fun bit of 3D art work.  If you've got a little builder and your looking for something new to challenge them take a peek at these.

5. 1-2-3 Grow With Me Wooden Walker/Ride-on Toy/Trolley

This looks amazing! For $125 you can have a baby push toy, a ride on toy with a wagon and a shopping cart!  There are so many ways to use this!  It's made of wood so I feel more confident about it's durability and how nice would it be not to have purchase a bunch of big, space taking, toys that your child is going to out grown and then be faced with the option to getting rid of them or storing them for future use.  At least with this one you can play with it for year, and when it comes time to think about storage you've only got one, semi compact toy to store.  We live in a tiny apartment and I am dazzled by the looks of this one. 

Have you tried any of these toys?  If so what was your experience?  Do you have any wooden toys your can't recommend enough?  Let me know in the comments!

*This list of Top 5 list is based purely on personal opinion, it has not been verified or backed up by marketing research or consumer interest.