Wooden toys have become far more popular in recent years, and rightly so  – with plastic falling out of favour due to its impact on the environment, they are the perfect alternative for planet-friendly play.

Not only are wooden toys much more stylish than plastic clutter, they’re better value, too. They might be more expensive in the first instance, but wooden toys and sturdy and longlasting – many will withstand years of robust play and still be fit to pass down to future generations. 

With no batteries or flashy interactive features, wooden toys inspire children to use their imagination more during play. But remember that just because something is made of wood rather than plastic doesn’t mean it’s eco-friendly.

Look for toys made from wood from FSC-certified forests or other sustainable materials such as rubber wood, and choose items free from chemicals, especially if you’re buying a toy for a baby.

Finally, make sure you know where the screwdriver is before you buy, as many wooden toys need to be assembled.

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Muro mega pack: £189, My Muro

This is a fabulous toy for babies and toddlers. With the help of educational psychologists, it has been designed to help children explore their senses during play. It’s the sort of thing you see Instagram mums showing off about and while it’s expensive, it’s also brilliant value because you can add more pieces as your baby grows, creating your own unique activity centre. The board is made from sustainable birch plywood while the accompanying toys are made from rubber wood.

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Wooden Story natural stacking toy: £37.95, Scandiborn

Oh, how we love this stacking toy, designed to help kids use their imaginations. It’s made with wood from FSC certified suppliers and natural eco-certified paints, beeswax or botanical oils, with no toxic ingredients. It comes beautifully packaged in a reusable box filled with wood shavings – the perfect wooden toy to buy new parents for their baby.

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Cam Cam Copenhagen harlequin dolls’ bed: £90.13, Cam Cam Copenhagen

This wooden doll’s bed with the signature harlequin pattern is a beautiful alternative to all the plastic accessories that doll-loving tots love to accumulate.  It’s made in an environmentally friendly production process and you can buy matching bedding and a mattress for the complete set. You’ll need to assemble this but it’s easy to do – no screwdriver required.

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Jo Jo Maman Bebe plant and pick veggie patch: £28, Jo Jo Maman Bebe

Our five-year-old tester absolutely loved playing with this wooden vegetable patch. It comes with an array of fruit and veg including carrots and strawberries, plus animal puzzle pieces that slot into the lid and a cute little wooden watering can. Best of all, the pieces all fit neatly inside the veg patch when it’s time to tidy up.

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Plan Toys wooden kazoo: £10, Royal Opera House Shop

Plan Toys produce ethically made toys from sustainable wood and non-formaldehyde glues, as well as recyclable packaging and water-based inks. This wooden kazoo is a lovely little musical item that you can combine with others to start your own band. We expected it to make more noise than it does, but we’re not complaining!

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Le Toy Van honeybake mixer set: £39.95, Le Toy Van

Our five-year-old tester is a huge fan of Le Toy Van wooden toys and has been amassing quite the collection but this is easily one of her favourite items. It’s made from durable, sustainable rubberwood and decorated with non-toxic paints. This is perfect for any aspiring bakers in your household.

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City of London wooden train set: £50, London Transport Museum Shop

As wooden train sets go, this is beautifully made and very reasonably priced. It features all the important iconic London sights including the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. As exiled Londoners, we love it and happily keep it on display at all times – it’s not the kind of toy you feel the need to tidy away.

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Kid's Concept racing car set in pink: £38, Mama and Max

We were delighted to discover this pink racing car set. It’s considerably smaller than we expected it to be but that’s actually a bonus – it takes up less space and stores away neatly. The track is made of simple puzzle pieces which slot together easily and it comes with three race cars, four cones, a goal banner and a depot.

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Brio my first railway farm: £23, Amazon

Brio is hard to beat when it comes to wooden toys. Well-made and built to last, we think this farm set is a lovely introduction to train related toys. It comes with five wooden animals which fit into the animal wagon, ready to be transported to the farm by train. Each animal makes sounds which are activated automatically when you place them in the meadow. Hours of fun.

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Great Little Trading Company construction site set: £65, Great Little Trading Company

With a working crane and no less than 26 accessories, this wooden construction set will delight little ones who love all things digger-related. It comes with a construction vehicle, wrecking ball, road closure barriers and traffic cones.

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Plum peppermint townhouse: £149.99, Plum Play

This toy is very cleverly designed – on one side it’s a wooden play kitchen and on the other it’s a townhouse-style doll’s house with a chalkboard roof. We think it’s ideal for siblings who share a room, and our five-year-old tester has yet to tire of playing with either side. If only more toys were this versatile, and designed to save space.

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Best Years wooden puzzle clock: £14.99, Best Years

Our six-year-old tester took an instant liking to this wooden puzzle clock, and thoroughly enjoyed testing her newly-acquired time-telling skills. It’s ethically made and truly beautiful – one of those toys we don’t feel the need to cram out of sight in the toy box at the end of the day.

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The verdict: Wooden toys

The Muro mega pack is our best buy – it’s innovative, built to last and offers endless hours of entertainment. The Le Toy Van honeybake mixer set also kept our five-year-old tester absorbed in hours of imaginative play.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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