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Best Wooden Toys & Gifts for Kids

2021-12-08 by Melissa & Doug
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Wooden toys are classic for a reason: they’re made to last and built to inspire a child’s imagination. At Melissa & Doug, wood is in our roots! Our first hit product was the Fuzzy Farm wooden puzzle. We use wood whenever we can because it’s both natural and renewable. In fact, Melissa & Doug is the #1 preschool brand for wooden toys. That’s why it’s important to us to replace the wood we use through our global reforestation partnership with One Tree Planted. (Read more about our commitment to sustainability here.)

Child playing with Melissa & Doug Vroom & Zoom Interactive Dashboard

The 10 Best Wooden Toys for Kids (and Why They’re Great)

We believe in the power of well-crafted, durable, safe, imagination-inspiring toys. Check out some of our favorite wooden toys, from  blocks and puzzles to kid-sized play sets to arts and crafts kits and everything in between.

Fresh Mart Grocery Store 

Kids playing with Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Age: 3+ 

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: Kids will love going to the grocery store with this sturdy, wooden, over-sized, free-standing play space where they can take turns being the grocer or the shopper.

Fun features: Pretend play reaches a whole new level with these realistic features: a beeping “scanner,” a hand-crank conveyor belt, a card-swiping machine, a keypad/calculator, and a cash drawer.

Skills: Social-emotional, language development

How to wow: Make the market complete with the 70-piece companion collection (including an apron, conveyor belt divider bar, and play money), this grocery basket with play food, and a shopping cart!

Safari Chunky Puzzle 

Melissa & Doug Safari Chunky Puzzle

Age: 2+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: If we’re thinking of things that kids love, animals and puzzles generally top the list—so this chunky puzzle with wild animal pieces is sure to be a favorite.

Fun feature: The eight easy-grasp animal pieces also stand upright for when they want to leave the safari for other pretend play locales.

Skills: Problem solving, fine motor

How to wow: Combine it with some other chunky puzzles to a) make a mega puzzle party and b) mix and match the standing-upright pieces for some imaginative pretend play (personally, we’re loving the idea of dinosaurs and Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy hanging out with the safari animals).

Standard Unit Blocks 

Two boys playing with Melissa & Doug wooden blocks

Age: 3+ 

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: Wooden blocks are standard for a reason—they’re classic toys that inspire kids to build towers, castles, and anything else they want. 

Fun feature: This set of 60, natural finished, smooth-sanded hardwood blocks is packaged in a wooden crate for easy storage.

Skills: Gross motor, fine motor, and early math concepts (shapes and sorting)

How to wow: Have a different kind of block party when you gift these with this colorful, 100-piece set—kids will have a blast mixing them together to create natural and primary-colored structures.

First Play Jungle Activity Table

Melissa & Doug First Play Jungle Activity Table
Age: 1+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: This hands-on multi-activity table features gears to turn, a tube to roll, beads to slide, flaps to open, a wheel to spin, and easy-to-grasp pieces to flip, push, and pull! Sturdy wooden construction, paired with whimsical jungle-themed designs, make this a long-lasting and welcome addition to any playroom.

Fun feature: The bold colors and beautiful, original artwork will look great in any playroom or bedroom.

Skills: Gross and fine motor, sensory development

How to wow: No need to wrap it! Simply set it out to surprise your baby with new stimulation for their senses!

Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy 

Boy pushing Melissa & Doug Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy

Age: 1+ 

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: This wooden walker is a multisensory push toy that features three alligators who chomp as kids walk.

Fun feature: You and your little ones will love the bright colors and artwork: cattails on the handle supports, fish on the wheels, and spinning butterfly and ladybug beads.

Skills: Gross motor, fine motor, hand-eye coordination

How to wow: Choose another toy that also helps kids build motor skills to make one exciting present!

Stacking Train

Melissa & Doug Stacking Train

Age: 2+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids:  Load up the train with bright, colorful shapes and get learning off to a rolling start! The 15 easy-to-grasp wooden blocks slot onto rods on the flatcars, providing a great opportunity to practice fine motor skills. For even more play value: The blocks can also be used for stacking, building, and sorting.

Fun feature: The smooth-rolling train cars detach to shorten the train or let children play with the cars individually.

Skills: Fine motor, color & shape recognition

How to wow: Go big with a jumbo version that also doubles as great decor for a nursery or playroom.

Top & Bake Pizza Counter

9465 Top & Bake Pizza Counter

Age: 3+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: Kids can serve up the best slice in town with this all-in-one pizza-making set! Start with felt sauce and cheese on the wooden crust, choose from wooden toppings (pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and peppers), then “bake” in the pizza oven built into the storage and serving counter.

Fun feature: There’s a reusable menu card for taking orders, play money, and a delivery box to make the ordering experience even more realistic!

Skills: Counting, sorting, social-emotional development

How to wow: Add the Slice & Toss Salad Set to create a well-balanced meal. 

Created by Me! Birdhouse Wooden Craft Kit 


Age: 5+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: This kit makes it fun and easy for bird-loving and crafty kids to build and decorate wooden birdhouses. 

Fun feature: The kit includes wooden panels, screws, four pots of paint, and a brush so kids have everything they need to build, decorate, and hang their own birdhouses.

Skills: Creativity, fine motor

How to wow: Double down on the arts and crafts theme by bundling the birdhouse kit with any of these other craft kits.

Wooden Fold & Go Barn

Melissa & Doug Wooden Fold & Go Barn

Age: 3+

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: Young MacDonalds will enjoy “down on the farm” fun with this fully assembled, wooden barn. The two-story bright red barn is stocked with seven realistic plastic farm animals, a wooden ladder and a folding corral.

Fun feature:  Chunky handles lets kids take their bit of “country” wherever they go!

Skills: Language development, creative thinking

How to wow: Pair it with the Take Along Show Horse Stable.

Vroom & Zoom Interactive Dashboard  

Melissa & Doug Vroom & Zoom Interactive Wooden Dashboard

Age: 3+ 

Why it’s a great wooden toy gift for kids: Kids will love taking the wheel with this interactive, sturdy wooden dashboard that has a horn, signal, hazard, gas tank countdown timer, gas cap, and GPS.

Fun feature: It’s equipped with a phone and radio that plays clips of music from four stations!

Skills: Hand-eye coordination, creative thinking

How to wow: Bundle this with any of these car-themed gifts for the little car aficionado in your life!

These are just 10 of our top wooden toys. Check out more of our favorites here!

Looking for more of the best gift ideas for kids of all ages?

10 Best Toys for Babies and 1-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 3-Year-Olds

10 Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds

5 Holiday Gifts that Wow

Best Holiday Toys & Gifts  for Kids Who Love . . . 

Best Throwback Toys & Gifts

Best Stocking Stuffers

Happy Holidays!


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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