The best natural toys for preschoolers! Below we have listed an amazing collection of natural preschool toys. Quality eco-friendly preschool toys made of natural materials make great gift ideas for Christmas or a birthday.
We also have a list of fantastic open-ended toys for pretend play that we highly recommend for preschoolers. We hope you find these lists useful when purchasing gifts for your children.
Related: Eco-Friendly Gift Guide for Kids
Best Natural Toys for Preschoolers and How They Benefit Child Development
If play is the work of early childhood… All preschool toys are educational because children learn through play! However, preschool toys made of natural materials provide a rich sensory experience for the developing child that most of the competition can not.
How do natural preschool toys benefit child development?
Natural preschool toys benefit child development because of the sensory experience that they provide. Preschool toys made with natural materials such as wood, wool, organic cotton, and silk, provide the sensory input that preschoolers need to develop and grow into fully functioning human beings.
Natural toys for preschoolers can also help children develop their creativity and imagination because natural toys tend to be more open-ended than their plastic counterparts.
This is why our family tends to favor Waldorf and Montessori inspired preschool toys made with natural materials. Below we have listed some of the best natural toys for preschoolers.
We have placed these awesome toys for kids into categories so you can easily find the type of preschool toy that you are looking for. Each category shares the benefits of each type of toy and how it aids child development.
Related: Eco-Friendly Toys for Toddlers
Preschool Toys: Lacing & Threading Toys for Fine Motor Development
Lacing toys are wonderful for developing the fine motor muscles in the hand. In this day and age with screen time on the rise our preschoolers need good tools to develop the fine motor muscles in the hands.
Sewing with burlap and yarn is a great activity to help preschoolers develop their hands, and sew are lacing toys–see what I did there? I made a punny! You can also use preserved fall leaves to make your own lacing cards!
Fine motor skills help prepare the child for writing and handwork such as art and crafts. These lacing toys also develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and problem-solving skills.
- Lacing Beads
- Wooden Cheese Lacing Game
- Apple Threading Toy
- Montessori Wooden Lacing Toys
- Lacing Button Toy (photo below)
Shapes, Colors, Sorting and Matching Toys and Games for Preschoolers
Shape, color sorting and matching games help children learn their colors and shapes as they classify the objects.
- Preschool Bee Hive (this preschool toy is also great for fine motor development)
- Seven Friends in Seven Bowls Sorting and Matching Game – Seven adorable little wooden “peg dolls” are each a unique color of the rainbow with 7 matching rainbow cups that can be used for sorting, stacking, counting, and more. All colors are certified non-toxic, water-based stains, and completely safe even for babies!
- Homemade Memory Matching Game – A memory matching game you can make and use with almost any paired items. Match up the items to win!
- DIY Rainbow Peg Dolls for Pretend Play and Color Matching Games – Our homemade version of Grimm’s Rainbow Peg Dolls with matching storage boxes that can be used for color or body shape matching games. (photo below)
Eco-Friendly Building and Engineering Toys for Preschoolers
Preschool building and engineering toys help preschoolers develop hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, and STEM Skills. They also help build dexterity and problem-solving skills, develop the imagination, and inspire creativity.
The Best Wooden Marble Set for Preschoolers (and their parents) Ever!
- Quadrilla Vertigo Marble Railway in Wood – This amazing marble set one of our favorite toys. It comes with a booklet that shows you how to set it up in multiple ways. Once your child begins to figure out how the pieces work they can begin to design and build their own marble runs!
Best Building Blocks for Preschoolers
Wooden building blocks are one of the classic toys of childhood. When I was a child my brothers and I spend hours building with them and using them to construct anything and everything we could imagine.
Building blocks are fantastic for pretend play because they inspire creativity and help develop the imagination. They also inspire kids to think creatively, embrace challenges, and be persistent!
Playing with building blocks can benefit preschoolers in so many more ways. They can improve and develop hand dexterity, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, reasoning abilities, and problem-solving skills, and logical thinking. A few of our favorite eco-friendly building blocks are listed below, or you can make your own DIY building blocks.
Develops problem-solving & reasoning abilities, supports logical thinking, improves dexterity & spatial awareness.
- Standard Wooden Building Blocks – This wooden block set contains 60 natural finished, smooth-sanded hardwood blocks to inspire hands-on, imaginative play. It is packaged in a handsome, wooden tray for easy storage. Standard building blocks are ideal for introducing early math concepts, including shapes, parts-to-whole, and sorting.
- Brain Box Wooden Building Blocks – Brain Blox building toys inspire kids to think creatively, embrace challenges, and be persistent. This building toy encourages children to engage in constructive, imaginative, open-ended play that is FUN! These wooden blocks help kids learn math, physics, & engineering concepts through hands-on learning. Perfect STEM toy for ALL ages!
- 42 Piece Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set -These are the eco-friendly version of Magna-tiles. Our family has a lot of fun constructing things with these blocks. You can create things that can’t be made with regular blocks because they are magnetized.
- Wooden Castle Building Set – Surprise your preschooler with the most exciting and thrilling wooden castle building block set! Build bridges, arches and towers that will transport your preschoolers to fantasy land. help spark your child’s imagination and creativity while promoting the development of essential skills with these unique wooden blocks for preschoolers!
Grimm’s Wooden Toys: Building Blocks, Puzzles, and Pattern Blocks
Our whole family loves Grimm’s puzzles and building blocks because they are so beautiful. When they are sitting on shelves they look like gorgeous works of art. They are timeless and adults even like to tinker with them.
These types of building toys and puzzles help children develop the roots of logical thinking and prepare the brain for future math and geometry skills. Mix any of these sets with other wooden blocks to create incredible building projects.
We would purchase every single one if we could afford them all! They are a bit expensive but totally worth it. A few of our favorites are listed below, but you really must see the whole collection of Grimm’s wooden toys for children. Your preschoolers will LOVE them!
- Small Stepped Pyramid of Wooden Building Blocks – Preschool children love to stack, arrange and build with this set of 100 modular cube forms. In the process of play, they’ll be introduced to mathematical concepts such as counting by multiples, proportion, sequencing, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even decimals. Learning has never been so much fun!
- Grimm’s Color Charts Rally Building Blocks Set – This colorful block set can be used in many creative ways. One of our favorites is setting up domino runs and creating elaborate patterns with them.
- Large Set of Colored Nesting Boxes – Nesting boxes can be used in many ways. They make great houses for pretend play when stacked on their sides. They can hold small toys and animals, and help children begin to discriminate size. Grimm’s nesting boxes also come in natural, and there are also nesting bowl sets available. Square boxes are more difficult for children to stack and nest than round bowls.
- Grimm’s Large Four Seasons Elements Building Set – These colorful solid wood shapes can be used as puzzle pieces or creative building blocks. This set combines well with other building blocks from Grimm’s collection. This gorgeous wooden puzzle consists of a stacking rainbow, flame, cave & wave that represent each of the 4 Elements: Air, Fire, Earth, & Water.
- Romanesque Wooden Blocks Building Set with Tray – The innovative shapes in this wooden building block set can inspire little builders to create grand castles and other medieval structures. These gorgeous wooden blocks for preschoolers are great for imaginative play, storytelling, and acting out fairy tales!
- Grimm’s Large Shapes & Colors Building Set – This building set contains 5 stacking wooden trays, each holding colorful building pieces of a different geometric form: triangle, cubes, dominoes, cylinders & stepped blocks. Your preschooler can discover new and unique ways to combine the shapes.
- Grimm’s Handcrafted Bell Tower – Older children can put together this amazing bell tower–wow!
- DIY Rainbow Colored Wooden Blocks – Our easy homemade version of Grimm’s classic rainbow cubes!
- DIY Waldorf Square Wooden 3D Geometric Puzzle – Our homemade version of Grimm’s square 3D Puzzle! (photo below)
Best Wooden Puzzles and Pattern Blocks for Preschoolers
Puzzles are wonderful for keeping little ones busy as they develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor, and spatial skills. They also help your little one develop logic as they work to find a solution.
When children work on puzzles they are literally training their brains to problem solve. Successfully completing puzzles leads to feelings of confidence. Below are some durable (and beautiful) wood options.
- Personalized Name Puzzle – Get a wooden puzzle made with your child’s name. One of the first activities of early literacy is learning to recognize and spell our name.
- Wooden Alphabet Puzzle Board – This simple wooden alphabet puzzle can help preschoolers develop fine motor skills, shape orientation, and letter recognition.
- Number Snail – A beautiful puzzle that can help children learn numbers and count.
- Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle – Putting together this puzzle will help children learn the order of the alphabet and the differences between lower and upper case letters.
- Learning Box with 4 Educational Puzzles – Four of BeginAgain’s best selling educational puzzles in one box! Animal Parade A-Z, Number Snail, Balance Boat Shapes and Colors and Cat Family.
- Make a Square Wooden Eco Brain Teaser Puzzles – This puzzle pack is great for developing preschool learning skills such as shape and color sorting, number counting, and hand-eye coordination.
- Pattern Blocks and Boards – Set of wooden shape blocks and colorful patterns to complete that includes 120 shapes and 5 boards. A classic math manipulative and learning activity for preschoolers. Great for spatial awareness, color recognition, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving.
- Tangram Handmade Organic 3D Wooden Brain Teaser Puzzle – Fair trade handmade wooden puzzle toy with premium grade wood and holistic and eco-friendly processes.
- Wood Building Blocks Stacking Puzzle – This puzzle is modeled after the stacking Grimm Puzzles and blocks listed above, but is a bit easier on the wallet.
- DIY Tetris Inspired Puzzle Cube – Make a homemade puzzle with our easy Tetris puzzle cube tutorial! (photo below)
Eco-Friendly Preschool Toys for Pretend Play
Play is the most important work of early childhood. Children begin to understand the world around them through movement and play. As parents and caregivers, we must provide natural play environments for preschoolers that allow children to learn about the world at their own pace.
Children need toys and play areas to act out the roles and activities that they see adults doing in day to day life. Role-playing in pretend play can thus help preschoolers develop confidence. Feeling confident about yourself and being able to share your thoughts is essential to children’s development.
By role-playing, and interacting with others through imaginative pretend play, children can also develop communication skills and improve their social interactions. These are only a few of the benefits of pretend play for preschoolers.
We have listed a few of our favorite eco-friendly preschool toys for pretend play below, for a few more awesome ideas have a look at 15 open-ended toys for pretend play.
Preschool Toys for Dollhouse Play
- Hape Doll Family – This doll family features six unique dolls with easily bendable rope bodies. These dolls encourage role-play, imaginative play, and nurturing skills. By role-playing, and interacting with others through play, children can begin to develop their communication skills and start to understand social interaction in a better way.
- Family Pets Doll House – This sweet little family pet set is one of my daughters all time favorite toys. Its small size makes it a wonderful travel toy!
- All Seasons Wooden Doll House – A classic 3 story wood dollhouse that encourages imaginative roleplay with friends. This wooden dollhouse features 6 rooms and comes fully furnished with pieces that are easy to move around and arrange.
Preschool Wooden Animal Toys for Pretend Play
- Latches Barn Toy for PreschoolersA cute little painted wooden barn with working latches and locks on doors that open and close to reveal friendly animal pictures. This wooden barn for toddlers includes four 3-inch tall flocked farm animal figures that fit in the barn. This toy can help toddlers develop their fine motor skills, counting skills, colors, and animal recognition.
- Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Wooden Barn with 7 Animal Figures – This two-story wooden barn is stocked with seven realistic plastic farm animals (a horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, dog, and turkey), so it is not 100% natural, but still wonderful for farm play. It is a beautifully detailed, built-to-last wooden barn that comes with sliding doors to let the animals come in and out. The folding corral can be moved around and adjusted to any number of shapes. Inside the barn, each animal can get cozy in its own separate stall until it’s time to play again. This wooden barn is great for imaginative play, storytelling, and fine motor skills.
- Ever Earth Giant Arc Playset with Animals – This gorgeous wooden arc for imaginative play can help children use and develop their imagination and creativity and can assist children to see the world in a new way.
Eco-friendly Play Kitchen for Preschoolers
- Wooden Play Kitchen – This cute little wooden play kitchen for preschoolers comes equipped with accessories, cabinet, oven, and microwave oven.
Eco-Friendly Preschool Workbench
- Small Foldable Workbench Playset – There is no need to assemble this safe and sturdy wooden workbench made with eco-friendly processes.
More Gift Ideas for Preschoolers
Art Supplies for Preschoolers
Head over to have a look at the best art supplies for kids and why a young artist should use them!
Preschool Music Ideas
Pop over to have a peek at our favorite children’s music that won’t drive you nuts.
Best Tools for Preschoolers
Children’s Book Gift Ideas for Preschoolers
Give your preschooler something to read this year. Head over to have a peek at all of our favorite Children’s book lists and gift ideas.
Preschool Games and books for Social-Emotional Development
The games and books are for children from toddlers to teens and are listed in order of recommended ages to easily find age-appropriate recommendations for your preschooler.
We also have a roundup of unique board games for kids and families!
Best Eco Toys for Preschoolers
We hope you enjoyed this collection of the best natural toys for pre-schoolers. Quality toys made with natural materials make great gifts for Christmas or a birthday! Don’t forget to pop over to have a look at our favorite open-ended toys for pretend play. You may also like our collection of eco-friendly toddler toys.
You may also like our eco-friendly gift guide for kids, and our family gift guide with readymade and homemade gift ideas for the whole family!
We also have a whole slew of outdoor learning ideas and nature activities perfect for preschoolers. Just click the link to see them all!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Liked Eco-Friendly Toys for Preschoolers, You may also like:
- Eco-Friendly Baby Toys that Boost Development Naturally
- 2o Eco-Friendly Toys for Toddlers
- 15 Open-Ended Toys for Pretend Play
- Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family
- Kids Books That Teach Important Life Lessons
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