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11 best kids’ wooden and plastic-free toys that will inspire their imagination

Put away the screens and get away from flashing lights and grating sound effects with these alternatives

Rebecca Moore
Friday 09 October 2020 10:23 BST
Look for those made from FSC-certified forests
Look for those made from FSC-certified forests (The Independent)

Parents rejoice… the plastic toy pandemonium seems to be waning with more and more wooden toys filling our nurseries and playrooms.

And sales seem to be on the rise too, with John Lewis & Partners’ annual nursery trends report from 2019 stating that sustainability is a key trend, with sales of its wooden toy range up 15 per cent compared to 2018.

Without the flashing lights and grating sound effects, wooden toys really allow children to engage their imagination.

But just because there’s no need for batteries doesn’t necessarily mean they’re planet-friendly play.

Look for toys made from wood from FSC-certified forests, or other sustainable materials (here’s looking at you Plan Toys) and choose items free from chemicals, especially if you’re buying a toy for a baby.

With the help of our two-year-old and four-year-old testers, we put a range of toys through their paces looking closely at the materials used, the design quality and aesthetics and cost but giving most points for those that truly held their attention and allowing imaginations to run free.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: Kids’ wooden toys

Sometimes you can’t trump the classics and we love Brio’s figure eight set as it’s Scandinavian in style, made from FSC certified wood and most of all ensures hours of play. We were also impressed with Little Dutch’s Montessori-inspired rainbow stacker for its sustainable qualities and Instagram worthy appeal.

For more gift ideas, check out our round-up of the best kids’ play kitchens and remote control toys

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