These Wooden Toys Are So Pretty They're Basically Works of Art

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Remember the good ol' days when a kid's idea of "play" meant building a fort using a cardboard box and some sofa pillows? Now, when you walk into any little one's bedroom you're inundated with the latest and greatest in high-tech gadgets and toys, complete with loud sounds and even louder colors. These 12 stripped-down, modern wood toys get back to the basics of fun, and allow kids the space they need to let their imaginations run free. And the best part is: they'll look pretty darn good in the life-size Barbie dream house that you call home, too.


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1. Little French Car, $26.99

Stop traffic, or at least the pitter-patter of your little one's feet, with this handsome mini French car. Beautifully crafted to fit perfectly in the palm of your munchkin's hand, they'll never want to put it down, instead opting to spend countless hours participating in imaginary car races or taking adventurous road trips.


2. Kutulu Ortus The Wooden Horse, $56

Not your average toy horse, this noble steed will definitely make a lasting impression with every kid on the block. Made in the Czech Republic using sustainable practices and skilled craftsmanship, this stunning stallion was built to last.


3. Auris Children's Harp, $210

What better way to make beautiful music than with your mini-me and this gorgeous seven string harp? Complete with tuning fork, this is one instrument that the entire family can enjoy year after year.


4. Cinqpoints Archiblocks, $75

Share your love of architecture with this set of modern building blocks. The edges and angles of this 16-piece collectible are designed to promote an appreciation of balance and composition — which are two key components of any memorable structure.


5. Architectmade Oscar, $129

We know how difficult it can be to look into your little one's big doe eyes and say "no" when they ask for a puppy. So next time they request a furry little friend, turn their frown upside down with this adorable life-like dog named Oscar. His wooden body was designed to imitate all of the actions of a real dog, without having to clean up after it.


6. Hohner Whale Shaker, $12

Crafted by Hohner, a German musical instrument manufacturer, this cute sea creature is more than just a whale-shaped toy. It's also a fun shaker, made from eco-friendly rubberwood, that your tiny tot can use to march to the beat of their own drum.


7. Permafrost Shipping Set, $116

Perhaps the fanciest collection of toys in the toy box, this assortment of wooden boats was presented at the London Design Festival in 2013. Made from 100 percent sustainable FSC certified wood, this royal blue shipping set includes every vessel — from a tug boat to a submarine — for your tiny seafaring captain to set sail.


8. Mur Natural Blocks ( 30 piece set ), $38.99

You can pretty much never go wrong with a classic set of wooden blocks, especially when the collection is as beautiful as this one. The stripped down and simplified design will inspire your small wonder to put their creative genius to work.

9. Sarah & Bendrix Pull-Along Bear, $32

Handmade from sustainable wood, this little pull-along bear will be the perfect partner in crime for your active tike.

10. Spartan Shop Japanese Wooden Tops ( set of 4 ), $28

The beauty of simplicity and the artistry of craftsmanship are hard to miss when looking at this set of striking Japanese wooden tops.

11. Anthropologie Wooden Elephant Pull Toy, $20

Whether it's being dragged around the house by your rambunctious toddler, or it's being used for an Insta-worthy nursery shelfie, this colorful elephant can easily brighten up anyone's day. Thanks to its cheerful design, this charming toy on wheels exudes a playful spirit that's simply contagious.

12. Crate & Barrel Etched Wooden Blocks, $49

Learning the ABCs has never looked so good or been so much fun. Designed by artist Elizabeth Olwen, these poplar wood blocks feature delicate etchings and charming white-painted motifs that arouse the imagination and inspire creativity.