A Short History of Wooden Toys

A Short History of Wooden Toys

A Short History of Wooden Toys

Current educational “play” involves a lot of technology and applications; children appear to be almost glued to their devices. This makes me reflect on my own childhood, where us and the neighbourhood kids would be outside exploring. If it was a rainy day, I would be inside playing with my wooden cars and trucks (yes, I was the girl that didn’t play with dolls). I wonder what has changed… Let’s take a look at the evolution of wooden toys before these technological advancements and the internet came into our world.

Wooden toys first appeared during the ancient Greek and Roman empires. Discoveries by archaeologists showed a variety of dolls, horses and carts, all carved from multiple single pieces of wood that could be slotted together.

During the Industrial revolution technology improved, along with the availability of the range of toys. By the 1700's, German toy-makers began to produce wooden toys, traveling around Europe to market their products. Over the next century, manufacturers started creating detailed and intricate wooden toys including the jack-in-the-box, wooden trains, doll houses and toy soldiers.

In the early 20th century, another war was taking place but technological advancements took another leap. New materials such as plastics, metals and rubber became cheaper in the manufacturing process of toys and sadly the production of wooden toys slowly declined.

Nowadays, we are becoming more aware of the impact our choices make on the environment. Namely we would like our world to still exist for future generations! We reminisce about the purity and imagination that wooden toys offered, so it’s only right for them to make a comeback!

At Woodsprout Toys, we have a variety of stock from educational wooden puzzles, to balance bikes and doll houses. Wooden toys not only encourage growth of imagination but they support cognitive development, gross and fine motor skills, and social and emotional development (see The Role of Wooden Toys in Different Types of Play). These toys are all made of durable and sustainable wood that will last for generations to come!


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  • What a great blog post! I’m going to share parts of it with my year 1-2 class tomorrow. I agree that electronics have a place but imaginative play inspires kids to think, write, listen, speak and create. All important skills for problem solving. Well done Woodsprout!

    Jenni Garland on

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