You guys know how much I love wooden toys. I would choose wooden toys for Bubboo any day, over plastic or battery-operated ones. There’s something very rustic, very charming about wooden toys that I fail to find in the mass market plastic and soft toys. Moreover, most of these wooden toys are hand-made, so you end up supporting a craftsperson when you buy one. Wooden toys are also, often, require far more creative application of the mind on the part of a kid than other store-bought ones, definitely something I wouldn’t compromise on. These toys bring me as much happiness – shopping for them and playing with them – as they do to Bubboo. They are a huge hit in our house, and I am sure most kids (and parents) would be charmed by them. So, if you have a toddler in your house and haven’t discovered wooden toys yet, I would urge you to begin, right now. There are a whole lot of wooden goodies out there, waiting to be found. Also, if you can, I would suggest you buy them directly from the craftsmen at Channapatna.
Here are some of our favourites, picked up from here and there, over the years.
A wooden train and rattle from Channapatna that I picked up at Dastkar, when I was pregnant with Bubboo. These were the very first toys that I picked up for the little one, so they are hugely special to me. The bub loves them to bits, too.
This wooden rattle with sleigh bells that I was looking for here, there and everywhere, after spotting a similar one at the pediatrician’s office. I finally found one when Bubboo was just about to turn one. Both mother and bub love it to bits.
The husband and I have passed through Channapatna several times over, on several road trips, and have always, always been attracted by the wooden toys on display on the toy stores along the highway. Through all of these road trips, I harboured a secret desire – one to buy a rocking horse for my kid from Channapatna, once he/she was born healthy and safe. So, on our recent trip to Mysore, we ensured that we made a pit stop at Channapatna just to buy wooden toys, and a rocking horse was among them.
Now, Bubboo loves, loves, loves her rocking horse, and her Amma goes nuts clicking pictures of her on the horse! A dream come true, this one is for me.
And you know what? The rocking horse cost us just a fraction of what it retails for in kids’ toy stores and online stores like Amazon!
I love looking at photographs of Russia, and dream of visiting the place some day. I love Russian Matryoshka dolls. Till we get to visit Russia in real life, though, we visit Malleshwaram market and pick up beautiful wooden Matryoshka dolls off pavement vendors.
The little one loves opening up one doll after another, and discovering yet another doll within. I don’t let her play with the smallest doll of all, though, as it could pose a choking hazard. Cute, right?
The bub loves me reading Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar to her. So, I thought it would be a great idea to get her this pull-along wooden caterpillar from Channapatna, recently. And, yes, she loves pulling it along wherever she goes!
A wooden xylophone that I picked up at Jayanagar market, a while ago. Both the bub and I love striking notes on it!
A set of joker dolls that I bought from a roadside vendor in Malleshwaram market. They occupy pride of place in our showcase these days, and the bub loves getting them out to play every now and then!
A joker puppet that I bought in Channapatna. I plan to begin telling stories to Bubboo using this puppet, very soon. Till then, Bubboo loves looking at me pulling the string and making the puppet move!
And, oh, it felt so, so, so great to make Bubboo meet the very ‘Aunty’ who hand-made her toy! Worth it to drive to Channapatna just to give your child such an experience, I say!
Because we love Ganeshas, and love collecting them in different poses, colours, and materials, we had to buy this wooden Ganesha from Malleshwaram market. It now sits, amidst our other Ganeshas, in our pooja room.
A wooden elephant puzzle that I picked up from an arts-and-crafts store in Vidyaranyapura. The bub isn’t up to assembling it yet, but she loves watching me doing the puzzle. And, of course, I love assembling it!
A bouncy doll that we got in Channapatna. The bub loves trying to pat it to sleep, and giggles with glee when the doll refuses to sleep, rising up from the ground every single time. 🙂
She calls this one ‘Bobby’, BTW. Because it bobs. 😛
We got home this wooden abacus from the arts-and-crafts store in Vidyaranyapura, too. The bub is too young to really use it, but she runs off with it to the bedroom at times and pretends to count ‘One, two…’ at times, when we all bother her too much. 🙂
She loves watching me count on it, too.
This wooden aeroplane that we picked up in Malleshwaram market is a hot favourite at our place. I love its bright colour, and the bub loves sliding it along on the floor as she walks beside it.
Aeroplane from a Malleshwaram market roadside stall
A toy wooden watch that we picked up in Channapatna, because Bubboo keeps insisting on wearing her dad’s huge watch. She loves it to bits, and wears it to the park on her evening walks, these days!
Well, that’s all about our favourite wooden toys. Do you have wooden toys that you love, too? Show me, please!
Read about my other interesting little discoveries in the course of the parenting journey: