Natural Play

The Dos and Don'ts of Wooden Toys

The Playful Peacock

At The Playful Peacock, we LOVE all things wooden. Wooden toys are nostalgic, they are charming and most importantly, they are safe!  

The wooden toys available on The Playful Peacock do not include harmful elements such as  polyvinyl chloride or phthalates. Another bonus of wooden toys? Wood is naturally antibacterial, removing bacteria naturally rather than festering for ages. This means you don't have to stress about your little one picking something unsavory up or always catching a nasty bug!

That being said, not all wooden toys are made the same, so it's important to be mindful to avoid toys made of cheap or low-quality wood, made of plywood composed of toxic glues and even formaldehyde. This is the point of this blog—to share our insight on why wooden toys rock and how to best care for them so you can enjoy them for years to come. 

Wooden toys never go out of style—can you imagine the burst of joy you could have as a grandparent when your kid passes on a wooden toy to their child?! It's possible. 

They aren't just timeless for play but support the environment, too. They are resilient, biodegradable and often made of sustainable wood. Due to the lack of toxic glues and nasty chemicals, wooden toys from responsibly sourced wood does not contain nasty chemicals which means its much kinder the planet


To help them stand the test of time, and keep meaningful play for generations, there are a few things to be mindful of when caring for your wooden toys. 

The Dos 

Wooden toys should be wiped down regularly with a dry cloth. While high quality wood has natural antibacterial properties, mean germs will not stay on wooden toys as they tend to on toys made of plastic, rubber, or other materials. This means you certainly don't need to clean them daily, but giving them a refresher every couple of weeks will help these toys in great condition. 

Always wipe extra moisture off and allow the wood to air dry. Be sure to never leave your wooden toy to dry in the  direct sunlight.

Wipe your wood with a little bit of olive oil or beeswax to replenish moisture and give it that beautiful finished look, being sure to remove any residue. 

Carefully wrap all wooden toys in cotton before storing wood toys in cotton or canvas with silica gel bags to prevent mold and decay. 

While wooden toys are naturally very durable and strong ( one of our favorite features), sometimes kids can be a little rough with their toys! Regularly check your little one's toy and repair any breaks or broken pieces with glue or clamps rather than replace the toy. Gentle sanding and a little bit of natural wood glue can fix most little damages if they do occur.

    The Don'ts 

    Never wash wooden toys with bleach or harsh chemicals.

    Never submerge wooden toys in water - they will expand/warp.

    Avoid leaving wooden toys outside overnight or for a long period as the weather and elements can affect the appearance and shape and can even lead them to crack or break. 

    Never store your wooden toys in damp areas or in direct sunlight. 

      Some of Our Favorite Wooden Toys  

      We’re so happy to see that the wooden toy market has grown in recent years with a return to natural, open ended play for children. Parents are choosing more intentional, eco-friendly options that can stand the test of time. 

      When selecting wooden toys, be sure to check that the brand uses hardwoods (not plywoods), and that they source their wood sustainable—look for “FSC Certified!” You will also want to ensure it is responsible and ethically made with principles and preferably hand made, rather than mass produced. 

      Another beauty of wooden toys is that they do not typically offer sound effects or movements programmed in, which encourages children to develop their listening, verbal and sensory skills as they get super creative and imaginative when playing! 

      Plus, the weight, rich smells, and texture of the wood in wooden toys can be deeply invigorating and exciting for a child’s senses, as they can get lost in the moment, playing for hours! 

      With so many special wooden toys, it's always challenging to pick just a few, but here are a few of our favorites:

      Wooden Toys Are Forever 

      We hope that the above tips and tricks for caring for your wooden toys will support the maintenance of your toys for generations to come. While wooden toys can be an initial investment, they are worth every penny as they can last forever! 

      What do you love most about wooden toys?