| Kerene Barefield

Christmas Gifts: Say Goodbye To Plastic And Hello To Wooden Toys



With Christmas just around the corner, the hunt for Christmas gifts is now on, including new toys for the children. In our household, we are big fans of wooden toys, not only because they are sustainable and eco-friendly but also because they are built to last. If you want to help save the planet this year, while putting a smile on your little ones’ faces here are three of my favourite companies to find the perfect Christmas gifts. 

Christmas Gifts

Hape Toys

Hape Toys is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials. The toys are both creatively designed and eco-friendly. All of the products meet, and more often, exceed the strictest international standards for quality and safety. Each product is developed to enhance a child’s developmental skills. The use of natural materials, water-based paints, and strict quality and safety standards make every Hape toy an investment that kids will love and parents can trust. From the beginning of the design process, through production and delivery, to the consumer’s final unwrapping of the packaging, Hape toys are a collaboration of global thinking and responsible ecology.

Christmas Gifts        

The kids love making music at home, so the new Hape Drum and Cymbal Set is the perfect gift. This triple drum set comes with a symbol and two easy-grip drum sticks. It is great for young children who are just beginning to explore and love to make new sounds.  To go alongside this, the Mini Band Set is a lovely beginner’s instrument set for little ones to discover the joy of making music. The set includes a ukulele, tambourine, clapper, rattle and rainmaker. It is great for family sing-alongs. For the younger ones, Baby Einstein’s Magic Touch Drum is a great Christmas gift.  This magic drum creates a different note for each animal. The electronic component to this classical wood toy lets you control the volume and switch between two different modes, to play classical tunes or let them move to their own tunes. Your baby will love this toy for its sounds and its bright colours. This toy will make your baby feel like a rockstar while developing their creativity.  I can’t wait until Christmas morning when the children open their Hape musical toys, but maybe I should buy myself and my husband some earplugs! Hape toys are available from amazon.co.uk 




Hippychick is a family business which was born in 1999, at a kitchen table in Spaxton, Somerset. The back-saving Hipseat was the first product to be inaugurated into the portfolio, and one which would become the very backbone of the Hippychick business. More problem-solving innovations for parents followed and within a few years, Hippychick had fully-fledged with offices, an expanding warehouse, and a growing team of staff. Twenty years on and Hippychick is a business with a portfolio that has increased from one product in 1999 to 1200 in 2019! Hippychick is now a name that parents recognise, know and trust.  It’s almost like a Kitemark in an industry where safety and quality are everything, a sure bet for sourcing Christmas gifts for kids. 

Christmas Gifts

Hippychick do a lovely range of wooden toys in their product range, which are of high quality and last the test of time. My little girl is only 18 months but she absolutely loves a broom, mop or duster – which can be rather annoying when you are just trying to get the house cleaned and also pretty hazardous when she is dragging around a full-size mop . So when I saw the Moover cleaning set I knew that it would be perfect for her and it is also super cute. Made from wood and in a lovely turquoise colour, the set includes a dustpan and brush, sweeping brush, spray bottle, cloth, mop and comes with a tidy rack to hang all the equipment. The look and quality of the set mean that I don’t mind it being out in the house and don’t instantly want to hide it away in the playroom. It’s great that we can now hove fun doing the chores together and there is no more fighting over the broom! Another one of my favourite toys from the Hippychick range is the Classic World Cutting Puzzles – not only is this great from hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, visual perception skills and beginning vocabulary but it perfect for pretend play. It’s a classic toy which will be played with for years to come. 



Melissa and Doug

Melissa and Doug create award-winning children’s educational toys that are beautifully crafted, often wooden toys, innovative and educational. Melissa and Doug design all their educational toys with your child’s development in mind, fostering vocabulary development, fine and gross motor coordination, and a strong sense of purpose for boys and girls of all ages.

Since my little ones were young they have enjoyed playing and learning with Melissa and Doug toys. We have everything from the wooden farm to puzzles which are brought to life with sounds, all have brilliant educational values. Recently my little boy started school and has been increasingly interested in what day of the week it is and what the weather is going to be, so when I saw the Melissa and Doug daily magnetic calendar I knew he would love it. The wooden calendar allows children to display the day of the week, date, weather and special events. It includes 82 magnets, including years, months, numerals for dates, days of the week, holidays, special events, emotions, and a sliding temperature indicator. It is really well made and looks great hanging in his room. Toys which encourage children to make up stories and get involved in imagination play are so valuable to their development, so make the perfect Christmas gifts this year. The Melissa and Doug Safari Truck is perfect for this. The alligator, zebra, rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus, and lion fit into the sides of the wooden truck toy through die-cut slots, so this exciting toy is also great to help with fine motor skills. It includes a male and female ranger which fit in the cab of the truck or come out to tend to the animals on the preserve.  Melissa and Doug toys are available from amazon.co.uk. 


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