We love wooden toys and what better way to learn about the animals of the world than by playing with beautifully made, hand-painted toys that will last forever and remain treasured.
I had several sets of wooden animals as a child and I played endlessly with them, creating farms and zoos and making up stories around my animals.
Wooden animal toys encourage open-ended play and allow your child’s imagination to freely roam.
It’s wonderful for children to play with beautiful objects and wooden toys not only look good, they feel great to touch and have an organic, peaceful quality to them.
Wooden Caterpillar Playsets
I was so excited to find the Wooden Caterpillar store on Etsy!
Alfira and Eugene are a young couple from Russia, and they have been making and selling handmade, unique wooden toys since 2015 – they have had more than 6,700 happy customers in 76 countries so far!
Wooden animal play sets are one of their best-selling items and are 100% handmade, carved from sustainable oak and ash wood, and finished with organic linseed oil and non-toxic paints.
Each piece has rounded edges for safety in small hands, and is sanded multiple time to ensure smoothness of the wood.
The animal pieces have a fantastic level of detail and the paint is translucent enough for the grain of the wood to show through – as each piece is made individually, so every set will be unique!
The playsets are Waldorf inspired, with the aim of combining education with nature – studies show that this improves everything from health and well-being to creativity, problem solving and literacy skills.
There are 7 distinct animal themes in the playsets – Forest, Farm, African Safari, Arctic, Sea, Dinosaur, and Birds.
The animals can be bought in sets or individually and there are also wooden puzzles within the sets – like putting the tree pieces together or joining the pieces of an exploding volcano!
Forest Animals Set
This big set of Forest Animals includes 9 animals and 5 different trees that include puzzles:
We have Bear, Hare, Moose, Reindeer, Wolf, Fox, Hedgehog, Squirrel and Raccoon PLUS Tree with puzzle woodpecker, Birch tree with puzzle mushrooms, Tree with puzzle birds, Oak tree with puzzle leaf and acorn, and Fir tree.
The puzzle parts that come with the trees are small – so beware with very young children!
You can see the exact measurements of all the pieces by following the links to each set – however some are small and some are large – the animals are sized appropriately and the pieces are perfectly balanced and sit or stand well.
We think the Forest Animals Set is a gorgeous group of beautifully crafted and hand painted animals that will quickly become a loved favourite in any space.
You can easily teach your child to recognise these animals and appreciate the gorgeous forest setting with “living” trees.
All these sets are 100% handmade in great colours and original designs!
Farm Animals Set
This set of farm animals would be a great addition to a play space and bring the life of the farm into your home.
The farm sets comes in two configurations – the Toy Farm Animals Set (above) with 13 farm animals, a Barn, and 2 trees with puzzle parts OR the Wooden Big Farm Playset (below) with 14 animals, a Flour Mill, a tree with bee puzzle and a puzzle apple tree.
You can buy the whole sets or separate elements of them.
The farm animals include the Horse, Donkey, Sheep, Piglet, Cow, Goose, Rooster, Cat, Dog, Duck, Mole, Mouse and Turkey and Chicken (big set).
There’s plenty of stories to tell about farm animals – your child will make up their own stories and make good friends with these gorgeous wooden animal toys.
African Safari Animals
All children love classic African Safari animals – who doesn’t love zebras and giraffes?
This beautifully detailed Safari Animal Set has 12 Safari animals and 4 trees with puzzle parts.
Safari animals are fantastic for imaginative play and they look so beautiful and unusual wherever you place them. Build a zoo or let the animals roam freely!
The African Safari Set includes Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Tiger, Hippo, Rhino, Zebra, Crocodile, Turtle, Cobra, Camel and Gorilla, plus Tree with a parrot, Tree with a monkey, Baobab and a Palm tree with coconuts.
The Safari animal trees are works of art on their own!
We love these Safari animals and trees and the set is bound to keep your child entertained for hours with zoo-keeping activities and safari play.
Big Sea Set Ocean Animals
Let your child explore the ocean world in a close-up and colourful way!
The brightly coloured Big Sea Set includes 12 popular sea animals and a gorgeous and colourful coral reef puzzle.
The set includes the reef puzzle, Whale, Orca, Shark, Dolphin, Octopus, Sea Turtle, Starfish, Crab, Sea Snail, Seahorse, Jellyfish and Manta Ray – all painted by hand with amazing detail!
The beautiful reef puzzle is so colourful and creative, and all these sea creatures are very realistic and inspire curiosity about sea-life.
We love sea creatures and we love this set!
Complement the Ocean Animals with an amazing set of Arctic Animals – the mammals and birds that live by the ocean.
We don’t see many toys based around these creatures and they are beautifully realistic pieces that will be treasured for life.
The Arctic Animals Set is 11 pieces – Royal Penguin, Polar Bear, White Whale, Sea Parrot, Seal, Ringed Seal, Walrus, Sea Unicorn (Narwhal), Lynx, Arctic Fox and Snowy Owl.
Big Dinosaurs Set
All kids love dinosaurs! Transfer your child’s imagination back to prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the earth on the super-continents!
The Big Dinosaurs Set is very special, with beautifully made creatures and two incredible puzzles – an exploding volcano, and an ice-topped mountain.
The figures are quite large and very realistic – these make a fantastic set to teach your child about the dinosaurs through play and interactions.
There are 9 dinosaurs AND a Woolly Mammoth, plus the 2 mountain puzzles AND a prehistoric Fern included in this amazing set
The dinosaurs are T-Rex, Diplodocus, Triceratops, Protoceratops, Stegosaur, Ankylosaurus, Pterodactyl, Archaeopteryx and Ichthyosaurus.
We really love the exploding volcano puzzle! It is 10 inches or 25cm tall and can be purchased separately.
The big dinosaurs set is sure to inspire your child about the magic world of the dinosaurs and the dynamic environment in which they lived.
These beautiful wooden bird toys will help your child identify the birds of the world with 13 well-known bird varieties included.
Each bird is hand-painted with incredible detail and gorgeous colours and look just as fantastic on the shelf as works of art as they do on your child’s play table!
The colourful Bird Set includes the Eagle, Swan, Owl, Peacock, Flamingo, Ostrich, Pelican, Mandarin duck, Golden pheasant, Heron, Ara (Macaw), Toucan and Pigeon.
Woodland Tree Set
Give your animals and birds some green woodland with this unique, Waldorf-inspired set of 14 gorgeous wooden trees.
We really love the Woodland Tree Set and think they make a fantastic window-sill decoration when not being played with!
The beautiful shades of green and unique, abstract designs will fascinate your child and are perfect for sensory development and imaginative play.
Waldorf – Inspired Wooden Toys
The creative team at Wooden Caterpillar make more than just wooden animals!
All their toys are Waldorf-inspired for natural learning, and they are just beautifully made objects that make a wonderful, unique and colourful addition to your home.
Do you use wooden animals in your play space? We would love to know in the comments.