It’s that time of the year to shop for the loved ones, and little people, in your life. To help support small businesses, I have put together my favorite products from Etsy and other small retailers (though a few are from Amazon for sheer convenience).
As I am part of several wooden toy and open ended play groups, these products come highly recommended.
This Christmas gift guide is ALL about wooden toys. It’s difficult to shop at, and find, businesses that foster a more environmentally friendly, sustainable method of production. Most of the toys listed below are made in Germany, Poland, Russia, and Thailand by small businesses.
This list *isn’t* about the big box manufacturers, it’s about the small, family grown companies that want the toys to last generations.
Skip the beeping and batteries, the branding, the fast fashion and return to the simplicity and elegance of wooden toys.
Share this list with your friends and families needing advice on what to buy for Christmas.
Also check out the Montessori toys & development small business list (coming soon) and the desi/South Asian toy and book lists (coming soon).
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate. It doesn’t cost a penny to you to click and shop, but I get a small commission by purchasing through the links below. This help fuels my sleep-deprived mom of 3 self with caffeine, fruit, and nuts.
Please note that some of these sellers are overseas so shipping times may vary. Also be sure to communicate with the seller if you want a custom order or need rush shipping.
It’s ridiculous how cute these peg dolls are. You can buy ready made peg people or have Jen custom make dolls to look like you. Exclamation point!
The Blockbuster Brands of Wooden Toys
Grapat – Made in Spain
Grimms – Made with love, and by hand in Germany, Grimms wooden toys is by far the powerhouse of the wooden toy world. Loved by children in endless open ended building of ball runs, peg people, and whatever landscapes a wooden block can bring, the Grimms toys are loved.
I own only a few Grimm’s toys, but expansion is on my horizon. The toys have a higher price point, but if you want quality, know the source of the materials, handmade items, then they are worth every penny.
We LOVE the large rainbow, 1001 nights, building boards, and semi circles. I plan to buy the stepped roofs, large stepped pyramid, moon houses.
Ostheimer – Made in Germany by hand, the gorgeous wooden animals and people are treasured in households across the globe. There’s something magical about holding a handmade wooden animal.
Holztiger – Also a German company making wooden toys by hand, Holztiger is a household name. Available at a more economical price point than Ostheimer, Holztiger animals are uniquely special.
Tegu – Tegu opens the world of wooden builds through magnetic play. Each wood piece have magnets on the ends and can connect with each other. Safe for one year olds and up, Tegu toys hit the stride with 3-6 year olds. While they are on the pricy side, they have good resale value and can be used for years. Like Lego, the Tegu block sets can be combined and built to make massive creations or pocket sizes bits.
Plan Toys – Made in Thailand, these wooden toys are made from rubberwood, a renewable resource.
You guessed it, they sell wooden trees. Different shapes and sizes and colors, pair them with wooden blocks, a cityscape or roadway, and the kids are good to go.
These rainbows are SO popular that as soon as they appear for sale on Etsy, people snap them up. These toys are made in the USA and are oh so gorgeous. Like Grimm’s rainbows and Ocamora rainbows, Myers have a special place in people’s hearts.
Skandico Toys is a Russian toy shop with a focus on blocks and puzzles. Their colors are from Germany and the wood is lime wood, a popular tree used for block making. They have several block sets so they worth investing if you want to keep the same color scheme.
A made in the USA shop, outside everywhere features lots of different wooden animals. Some are highly detailed in painting while others are simplistic. You’ll find favorites for sure.
An up and coming woodworking shop from Russia, their whale, penguins, and ducks have phenomenal detail. Some of their products are one faced painted, so may disappoint if you want them painted on all sides.
Want a ball run that is made from wood AND made in the USA? Look towards Amish country and you’ll hit the spot.
Russian Nesting Dolls – ROSTOK Toys
Paint your own Russian Nesting Dolls. These are beautiful and are worth the price tag and the shipping. I have a couple sets and love them…now to just finish painting them!
Star and Moon Stacker – Timber Wolf Concepts
Teaching children how to balance, this stacker will delight little ones (2+ years old). Made in the USA wooden toys.
Wood Toy Car – Timber Wolf Concepts
From the same toymakers as the star stacker, these wooden cars are handmade and perfect for little roadways.
Weather Peg Dolls
wooden dinosaurs with magnets
More toys to be added to the list!