Buying a Traditional Wooden Toy – an Anecdote

When I recently asked a friend of mine what I should buy her little baby I was surprised when she turned around and said, “I’m not sure?  Something traditional, some blocks or something”.  Being such a vague response, I could only presume that the friend in question was probably fed up of people asking her the same question time and time again.  Either that or perhaps she didn’t want to come across rude and ask for something specific that she might have had in mind.

Wooden Toys by Janine via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Wooden Toys by Janine via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

All in all the answer got me thinking, traditional toys is probably the way to go with small children and especially those that could still be considered babies.  My girlfriend and I recently saw a toy by a very well known brand onto which the parent clips their mobile phone and downloads an app, for babies – The world has gone mad.

I often pop along to the Winchester market on a Saturday and every time I go I see a stall holder who specialises in traditional wooden toys.  The kind of toys my friend was talking about I thought.  Amongst these toys there was everything that you could expect, from classic wooden railway pieces and train sets to wooden tray puzzles and jigsaws.  There were toys for all ages; with each so well made and sanded down they would have made lovely gifts, but they weren’t quite what it was I was looking for.

Seeing the wooden toys had given me an idea for a great gift, wooden cooking toys.  I remembered seeing them before and the ones that I had in mind were beautifully painted and really high quality, hopefully meaning that they’d last a long time!  There’s something about playing ‘home’ when you’re a kid that for an adult conveys a quaint, whimsical feel of your own childhood.  Having not had much luck offline I turned to the internet.

I found the perfect website,  This website has a good selection of more traditional toys for children made by brands who appear to specialise in that particular area.  Amongst the toy selection I found exactly what it is I was looking for, a range of traditional wooden cooking toys from Bigjigs.  In the end I opted for some ‘cutting vegetables’ that break apart as though they’re being cut! They’re truly inspired.  Needless to say, my friend and her daughter loved them a lot and I should think that they will last a good few years to come.

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