I’m often asked for wooden/open ended toy recommendations so with Christmas coming up, I thought it would be perfect timing to put all my current recommendations here in the one place to make it a bit easier for you! I’ve had to try and keep it down to just a few sentences each product otherwise this blog will be a mile long as I would generally have so much to say about each product!
Please note, a lot of the Grimm’s items mentioned will currently be out of stock. The next restock is due early December in time for Christmas so please keep a look out for restock updates so you don’t miss out (I will be sure to share on my Instagram once there is a set date). Each product has a clickable link via the light grey text.
Bead Maze: Bead mazes are great for fine motor skills and tracking. They are perfect for babies to sit and play with but in saying that, Elijah STILL plays with his at 3 and a half!
Grimms Medium Rainbow: While I don’t think the medium rainbow offers as many play opportunities as the large rainbow, I do think it’s a good option for younger children. It is perfect size for little hands and a simpler puzzle to stack since it is only 6 pieces. Comes in 3 different colour options.
Musical instruments: What kid doesn’t love noise? Instruments are a great way to introduce your baby or child to music exploration and you can start them at any age! We have a huge selection of Baby Noise instruments that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Moov Baby: I cannot rave about Moov Baby equipment enough! It is so fantastic for developing gross motor skills of all ages. I really love the sentiment of redirecting a child’s natural urge to climb rather than just telling them not to do it and restricting it altogether. Not only is this equipment for climbing but they offer so many open ended play opportunities as well!
Grimm’s Blocks: Had I known how amaaaaazing Grimm’s blocks are, I would have invested in a set or two much earlier than we did! We got our first set (the elusive Large Stepped Pyramid) for Elijah’s 3rd birthday and it has been much loved ever since. You can’t really go wrong with any of their gorgeous sets though!
Grimm’s Stacking Bowls: These beautiful stacking bowls come in 6 different colour options. They are perfect for stacking, building, use in sensory play (think dried rice and chickpeas etc), imaginary play, they really are a great versatile set to have!
One Year +
Way To Play: Elijah and I love these flexible rubber roads so much that I am adding another set to our existing roads this Christmas! They’re so great for imaginative play and you can create all sorts of little cities and small worlds with them. The Grimm’s slimline cars are a great addition to go with these roads as they are perfect size for it. As are these little road signs from The Freckled Frog.
Grimm’s Large Rainbow: If there was only one Grimm’s item I could recommend it would be this. It is a great starter for a Grimm’s collection. Not only does it look beautiful in any playroom/play space/bedroom but it is such a fantastic open ended toy. Elijah stacks it, builds towers, makes ball runs, ramps. The hype around this particular toy is definitely warranted and it’s worth every cent! Comes in four beautiful colour options.
CollectA Animal Figurines: I really love collecting these animal figurines as they are a fabulous resource and tool to assist in early learning. They provide creative and opened ended play opportunities whilst also being durable enough to be used in all sorts of sensory play scenarios. I particularly love the realism of each piece which really helps with the educational aspect.
Play Kitchen: we got Elijah’s play kitchen when he was about 18 months and it has been played with almost daily ever since. Ours is the Ikea kitchen that has been made over.
Friends in Bowls: This beautiful set is a perfect introduction to colour matching for young toddlers whilst also providing creative open ended play with the peg people. It’s also great for developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Elijah still loves to colour match even at 3 and a half and also loves to use peg people during his imaginative play so this is definitely a set that will grow with your child.
Brio Train Set: I feel like a beautiful wooden train set is a staple piece for any child’s toy collection. They provide endless fun and unlimited building opportunities as children can create their own miniature worlds with them. I really love the quality of the brand Brio however there are more affordable (and very similar options) from Ikea and Kmart.
Happy Little Architect: This brilliant building set is a big favourite in our playroom. It’s a really great toy for fine motor skills as well as imaginative, open end play. There are several different set options to choose from but the natural set is my personal favourite!
Magnetic Fishing Game: A super affordable game that would make for a great stocking stuffer. Perfect for hand-eye coordination and concentration!
Le Toy Van Stacking Animals: These super cute stacking animals are really great for working on fine motor skills, concentration, and balance. They also are great to use as stand alone figurines for open ended play. These are suitable for 12 months + but we got them when Elijah turned 2 and I found that was the perfect age for him to play so well with them.
Wooden Garage: I don’t have much to say about this other than Elijah uses his literally every single day. Ours was gifted from the UK so I can’t find the brand we have available in Aus but I have linked a similar one I’ve found by Hape. Matchbox cars are the perfect size and fit.
Marble Run: Oh boy where do I even start with this one. Elijah got this soon after he turned 3 and it has been a HUGE hit!! Not only super fun for him to play with once the run has been built, but he thoroughly enjoys the building process just as much and surprised me when he even began building full runs all on his own! It comes with a booklet of instructions of different ball run variations to build so you will never be short of options! Ours is the “vertigo” set but there are a few different ones to choose from. The age limit recommended by the manufacturer is 4+ but Elijah got it soon after 3 as he had long stopped putting things in his mouth at that point but it’s still used under supervision.
Connetix Magnetic Tiles: These are magnetic tiles that provide endless fun. They are great for motor skills, encourages imaginative and creative play, and enhances math, geometry, and science skills. There are two set options available; 62 piece set and 100. Elijah and I love these so much I have bought some for my nieces for Christmas!
Australia Set: This brilliant Australian set is only a new addition to our collection but Elijah has been loving it so much that I couldn’t not include it in this blog. It’s an awesome 23 piece set that is great for imaginative play and role playing. Elijah has been acting out little scenes with this set and it’s just the cutest thing to watch!
Clicques: I am seriously in LOVE with our wooden peg dolls that are Clicques. They have the sweetest design and are all handmade and hand painted. What’s not to love?! They are made with magnets that they can be pulled apart and switch all their clothes around and mix and match.
Tree House: These beautiful treehouses are a great alternative to a dollhouse for something a little bit different yet still offers similar play opportunities. Elijah has the smaller one and it gets used so much we will be upgrading to the bigger one for his birthday coming up in March! Such a great piece to have for hours of imaginative play!!
So there you have it, my top picks for Christmas. There’s so many toys I love that I could have kept going and going so I had to draw the line somewhere! I hope you have found this helpful. any questions, leave them down below!
Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored. None of the links provided are affiliate links. Some of the items have been gifted as part of collaborations but not for the purpose of this blog. All of these opinions are completely my own.