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I know you've seen these... They are all over social media... Inspiring the most amazing creations! And now we found the perfect set of Magnetic Tiles in South Africa.  IMAGIMAGS available from Timeless Toys. But first... What are magnetic tiles? Magnetic Tiles are...

IMAGIMAGS: Magnetic Tiles in South Africa

I know you've seen these... They are all over social media... Inspiring the most amazing creations! And now we found the perfect set of Magnetic Tiles in South Africa.  IMAGIMAGS available from Timeless Toys. But first... What are magnetic tiles? Magnetic Tiles are...

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Gift Guide: Wooden toys made in South Africa

by | Nov 20, 2020 | Gift Guides, Just Kids, Play + Learn | 0 comments

When it comes to supporting local, one of the easiest ways we, as parents, can do so, is by buying wooden toys made in South Africa! There’s just something extra special about a toy lovingly crafted from nature… It’s a win for your child, and a win for your home – seeing as wooden toys are usually pleasing to the eye as well. But back to why our children enjoy playing with wooden toys…

5 benefits of playing with wooden toys

  1. The feel! Touching, feeling, even smelling wooden toys get’s all the senses going. Little ones gains a better sense of volume, shape, weight and spacial awareness simply by picking up a wooden toy. It’s sensory play that helps strengthen, builds and connect all those growing synapsis and neurological pathways eager to form in young minds. Basically a child’s entire mind is turned on  instantly when touching wooden toys. Wooden toys are usually also far less noisy, flashy and overstimulation providing kids with calm play experiences that keep them happily learning and playing for longer periods of time.
  2. The look! Wooden toys are timeless and always a beautiful edition to any room. The simple design invites play and usually hold more than one function providing for open-ended exploration. (Click here for a list of our must-have open-ended toys.)
  3. Quality and durability. Wooden toys are classic, wholesome and non-intrusive. They have been proven to stimulate, educate and provide wondrous play, generation after generation. In fact, a lot of wooden toys can be passed on as treasured family heirlooms. Quality wooden toys are far more durable and less prone to breaking when dropped, knocked over or played with. Plastic can be brittle and electronics always call for special care. Even after your child has outgrown a certain toy your are likely to be able to sell it or have a sibling enjoy the benefits too.
  4. Wooden toys tend to be a safer option. Plastic toys, especially cheaper brands tend to break or crack when played with roughly, potentially exposing sharp edges. Plastic toys may also contain small parts which could pose a choking hazard. And even to this day you will still find toys be made from toxic substances such as BPA, PVC, lead paint and so on. So PLEASE read the packaging.
  5. Wooden Toys are kinder to the environment. Wooden toys made from sustainably sourced, certified wood are much better for the environment. Wood is renewable and an organic substance that can be recycled. A lot of wooden toys are actually biodegradable too. We all know our oceans and continents are being overrun by our overuse of plastics. It’s time we start looking at our homes, our shopping preferences and favourite toy brands to do better. (I’ll be sharing a blogpost soon regarding the steps we are taking to change the way we shop for our girls’ toys.)

Best wooden toys made in South Africa

A beautiful new, locally made, wooden toy brand we love is…

Wild Willow Toys

Best Wooden Toys For Kids

  • Bespoke all natural artisanal, handmade wooden toys.
  • Inspired by Montessori and Waldorf principals.
  • All natural – BPA, Phthalate and PVC free.
  • Made from hardwoods less likely to splinter.
  • Chew safe, unpainted and only treated with coconut oil.
  • Handmade in South Africa

Best Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

Wild Willow Toys offer a selection of baby and toddler toys but even Eliana and Lia couldn’t resist playing with these.

Best Wooden Toys Made In South Africa1

The Sling Shot and Magnetic Fishing Game (Not suitable for babies under 18 months) were clear favourites but…

Best Toys For Hand Eye CoordinationBest Wooden Toys Made In South Africa2Best Educational Toys South Africa

How sweet is this little Christmas Tree Stacking toy? It would make for a lovely stocking filler.

Best Wooden Toys Made In South Africa3

Wild Willow Toys have loads of pretty puzzles, rattles, lacing and threading toys as well as dinnerware. Be sure to checkout their online store at They are offering 25% OFF SITE WIDE UNTIL 27 NOV 2020.

Other favourite brands for wooden toys made in South Africa

Educational Toys and Learning Aids


This lovely local brand, with its wooden toys and kits aims to reignite a love for timber crafts in homes all across South Africa. Children get to learn and play creatively as they build and explore. Mom and Dad can even join in the fun.
Stumped Wooden Toys Made In South Africa


Cabin Kids

We fell in love with Cabin Kids since day one and their products made our 2020 homeschool experience far better. Their play-based learning and nature driven approach have become the norm in our home. It’s a given, if they launch a product, we’re sure to buy it.

Cabin Kids Wooden Toys South Africa

Frankie & Friends

Frankie and Friends launched during the Covid19 national lockdown by Kirst, a grade 1 teacher with a passion for wooden toys and making learning fun! From decor to play and learn and even dolls. Frankie & Friends make thoughtful products sure to enrich the lives of any little one.

Frankie Friends Wooden Toys South Africa

Nectar & Ink

Thoughtful educational resources sure to assist with homework or homeschooling. And the most adorable shadow-puppet set – these make loadshedding an “event” in our home.

Nectar And Ink Wooden Educational Toys And Resources South Africa

Busy Bean

You’ll find an entire collection of laser cut educational resources in their “Local is Lekker” section. Great for maths and literacy.

Busy Bean Wooden Educational Toys

Create your Day

Natural toys and activities that promote open-ended play and inspire children to connect with nature. Create Your Day creates timeless products – together with incredible local craftsmen and creatives – that bring children back to the basics, away from technology. Products that promote creativity, imagination and learning through play: Explore. Play. Create.

Create Your Day Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

Imaginative Play

Lil Peanut

Lil Peanut Wooden Kitchens South Africa Just A Mamma Blog 8616

Wooden play kitchen made by parents, for parents (and little ones) that value quality! We absolutely LOVE our Lil’ Peanut kitchen (a gift from last Christmas) and 12 months later it’s still one of the best loved toys in our home PLUS it looks brand new too. We highly recommend going for a Lil’Peanut kitchen and because these are all handmade you can even customise and design your little one’s kitchen to your taste. It’s a really special gift enjoyed by girls and boys alike.

Land of Lark

Another local brand that we simply can’t get enough of. We love Land of Lark so much, we did an entire feature on their proudly South African playmats and open-ended wooden toys. CLICK HERE to read more about them.

Land Of Lark Wooden Toys South Africa

And can we just take a moment to swoon over their recently launched play house… IT’S INCREDIBLE!

Land Of Lark Wooden Play House

Land Of Lark Wooden Play Hous

Rubie Roo

This newly launched online toystore is all about open-play and I had to include their “Rubie Frame” in our list of wooden toys made in South Africa.

Rubie Roo Wooden Doll House

Locally made in Cape Town from birch plywood and hand painted with non-toxic milk paint. 53cm (l) x 68cm (h) x 20cm (w)

Oakling & Me

This local father-son duo is making me wish I was a little girl again with their whimsical handcrafted wooden toys. Their charm lies in the mindful details added to every product. Fancy play kitchens, quirky food sets and personalised handyman kits.

Oakling And Me Wooden Toys South AfricaPersonalised Wooden Toy Toolkit Made In South Africa

The cutest item however has to be their “Toolbox Transformer Lorry”. The truck turns into a tool box that is removable, and then easily attachable again for transporting ease.

Wooden Toy Struck Made In South Africa

Liv Bespoke

Handmade decor and minimalist toys.

Liv Bespoke Wooden Toys And Decor South Africa

Open-ended Play

Thornewood Treasures

We’ve been Thornewood Treasure fans for years. Ever since we bought our large rainbow stacker and peg dolls. They are 100% wood, 100% handcrafted and100% South African with family at the heart of it all. Thornewood Treasures wants to help create a childhood rooted in safety and stability where little ones can play and grow, explore, expand and develop their full potential. And also one day, look back at that childhood with fond magical memories. Their toys are made from natural materials and use only non-toxic, lead-free, water-based paint, stains and sealants. They are open-ended and multi-dimensional, inviting creativity and problem-solving, cooperation and communication.

Thornewood Treasure Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

Imagine Play

Based in the Midland, KZN, Imagine Play designs and manufactures a wonderful range of toys inspired by nature. They want to encouraging children to explore the exciting world of open-ended play and limitless creativity by offering toys that promote healthy, simple, good-old fashioned fun.

Imaging Play Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

Something for Baby

GROW baby

Based in Cape Town, GROW baby designs, assembles and manufacture all their products locally. They deliver world-class, quality products that compete with only the best in the world and adhere to the highest international standards.

Grow Baby Wooden Toys South Africa


Classic baby gyms frames with the COOLEST felt dangling toys. They put a smile on mommy and baby’s face.

Krokenoster Baby Gym

Something Special

Good Shephard Toys

Good Shepherd Toys is a small family business that handcrafts wooden toys made with love, and designed to nurture a wholesome childhood in accordance with Christian principles. They make the most beautiful biblical sets and figurines as well as animals and beloved child literature characters. These are definitely tiny, forever treasures.

Good Sherpard Wooden Toy Sets

Grandpa Georges Woodwork

Grandpa George is 90 and he makes the most incredible puzzles, blocks and trolleys.

Grandpa Georges Woodwork

Tiger Lily

Precious, personalised and minimalist baby rattles. We still have Ava’s in her baby box, waiting for her own baby one day.

Tiger Lily Wooden Rattles South Africa

Kids Furniture & toys

Declan & Leah

Furniture, bedding, decor and toys. Core to this local brand is quality, functionality and practicality. All items are designed and made with their little customers best interests in mind.

Declan Wooden Toys South Africa

Their modern doll house is top of my own want list!

Declan And Leah Modern Wooden Doll House

Dovetail Studio

Cute, minimalist kids furniture and storage options for bedrooms and playrooms.

Dovetail Studio Wooden Kids Furniture South Africa

For older kids

My Tiny Doll House

This is something completely different and definitely more of a “mommy-and-me” project. The beautiful Karin from Lovilee blog is bringing the dollhouse revolution to South Africa, starting her own local tiny dollhouse emporium that offers Modern Dolls Houses, miniatures and DIYs. I can’t wait to start this mother-daughter hobby with Eliana.

Wooden Dollhouse South Africa My Tiny Dollhouse
Instagram stores worth a mention…

Grandpa’s workshop 

Sensory tables, learning towers for the kitchen, foldable indoor climbers and many more lovingly, handmade items. They also offer FREE DELIVERY in South Africa.

Granpas.workshop Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

June ‘n June Handmade

Sweet balancing blocks, nature sets, peg sorters and more. This account makes me want to join in the play.

June N June Wooden Toys Made In South Africa

* Please note, we are not saying all plastic toys are bad. In fact, plastic toys will always have its place in our toybox. We are just far more strict about the types and the quality of plastic toys we let into our home. (Find some of our favourites HERE). We also try to be mindful of the abundance of plastic toys our girls are exposed to ensuring they experience many different types of play. It’s not always easy and in the past we have made some really bad purchases but it’s never too late to make changes.

. Did I leave out a local brand you love? Please let us know in a comment below. We are always on the search for more quality local makers to support.

Wooden Toys Made In South Africa



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