Dolls & Toys — 24 July 2012
Gnome Home Give Away

Woo hoo… Just in time for summer fun, imagine your flower fairies, wee folk or little gnomes moving into this little wooden gnome home. And for about a 3 minute investment, this little sweet home may be yours.

Entering to win this gnome home is easy…

Simply use the comment form below and write at least 3 sentences about why you think wooden toys are better than plastic toys.

Winner will be drawn from names of people who leave comments, randomly on August 1, 2012 and notified via email.

Good Luck!


Thank you to everyone who participated in leaving a comment and sharing with the world why wooden toys are so much better for young children! For parents looking for a reason to choose wooden over plastic, please just read some of the comments below.


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If you cannot see the video, the winner is Jesse Kitt.

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(49) Readers Comments

  1. I think wooden toys are better than plastic toys for many reasons. The quality is much better, plastic toys get dirty faster and break easier, where as I can count on my wooden toys to last, and I know I will be able to pass them on to my children’s children. I feel comfortable with letting my child play with wooden toys, knowing they are safe, and aren’t made with any toxic chemicals. I love the appeal wooden toys have, the simplicity. My children are much more apt to use their imagination with wooden toys than with plastic toys, especially the plastic toys that do all the work for them! This gnome house is so sweet, and I just know that my boys (and my daycare children) would enjoy playing with for hours and years to come!

  2. Wooden toys have soul. They are a piece of something that had once been a living thing. Wooden toys are often completely unique with their own grain and characteristics. I love the idea that someone sat with this and put their energy into it.
    Plastic toys came from a mold. They were melted and poured and cranked out amongst a sea of sameness without any thought of spirit into them.
    Plastic toys crack, break and crush. When I clean out the kids’ room, it’s littered with tiny scraps of the stuff and I wonder how much money was wasted on these things. They can’t be repaired, re-purposed or salveaged in anyway.
    The wooden toys, though are resilient. Even if broken, they can be sanded, nailed or glued. They can be painted, altered, re-made, even added to. They continue their life since in many way, they still have the roots of their tree in there somewhere looking to live on. My kids can take these things with them into their adult lies and pass them on to their own children.

  3. 1) wooden toys last. my kids play with toys that i played with!
    2) they encourage more creativity, in my opinion. more open ended options.
    3) no battery operated toy headaches for this mama!!

    This is a beautiful gnome home, my 3 children would treasure it dearly!

  4. I just think wooden toys look nicer. Also, they smell nicer (ever sniffed a new, off-gasing plastic toy?). And being battery-free, they also sound nicer…no beeps or squeaks, just their own deep quiet combined with the sounds of little thoughts, imagining new worlds…

  5. I think wooden toys allow more room for imagination and creativity. Because of this a child can play with them much longer as their play grows more complex. I have wooden toys that were mine as a child and I still love them. The quality is better and they last to hand down to the next little ones.

  6. When you hold a wooden toy, a hand-made one, in your hand, you can feel warmth. It is as though the maker’s soul polished the piece, and left an imprint. A machine molded, plastic toy is cold, and could never have the same connection to the child.

    The child who receives the gnome home will be very blessed!

  7. It’s funny you would ask, as I was just thinking about this topic this morning! :) I love wooden toys and so do my children and I honestly think it’s because they are a piece of nature in art form. There is something about natural toys that just seem to pull the magic out of kids, not to mention the quality is so much better. I love to see my girls’ faces when I have created a new wooden toy and I love to sit secretly listening while they play with them for hours … creating the most amazing stories! This little home would be sooo loved at our house! What a wonderful giveaway!! :)

  8. I love wooden toys for many reasons. They have a “soul” since they are made out of something living. They are more visually appealing. They last longer. They are more classic looking. They can be passed down from generation to generation and only get better with age.

  9. Beautiful! I love wooden toys because they can be passed down as heirloom toys, & they can be fixed if they get broken where as plastic toys cannot. & they can naturally decompose over time so no harm to the earth. I also personally love their natural look. Plastic is too visually stimulating.


  10. Wooden toys carry the memory of the toymaker and give children an appreciation of the creative process and work that went into the toy. They are generally simple and allow children to use their own creativity in their play. The natural beauty in a wooden toy makes it a treasure for the child, and it therefore usually cared for as a treasure, and not a replaceable plastic toy.

  11. I love everyone’s comments!! Our house just feels good filled with treasured wooden toys…they provide my children with endless opportunities and as a parent I worry less when they are built well with non-toxic materials. The natural concept to wooden toys also let’s their imaginations flourish. The sounds and wonder that comes from their imagination at play is something I would love to capture in a bottle!!

  12. I love wooden toys because they are special. There is something intangible to me about a wooden toy. It has a sacredness to it that plastic will never have. Perhaps it’s that it lasts a long time, or that it’s made from a tree, or you can see the workmanship, the thought that my great grandchild may play with it. It’s all of those things and more.

  13. I love wooden toys because of the innocence of the toy as well as the creativity that went into making the toy perfectly reflects the innocence and creativity of the child (or adult?!) playing with the toy. They go hand in hand and they are both absolutely beautiful!!

  14. Wooden toys have a calm beauty that I’ve never seen replicated in plastic. They are far more durable than their plastic counterparts, and have a permanence about them that goes beyond the physical. The connect children to nature wherever they’re found. Wooden toys are works of art, to be treasured, rather than mass produced trinkets out of molds and assembly lines. They are open ended. They don’t smell of chemicals. They are far more environmentally friendly than plastic. If any toys have souls, it’s the ones made from nature.

  15. Wooden toys are ascetically pleasing. Instead of a room filled with noisy, bright colored plastic toys we have a playroom that’s peaceful and filled with beautiful things. My children are able to be inspired by toys that were made with love and they can be passed on!

    My daughter is having a fairy themed birthday and she would adore this as part of her gift. Thanks!

  16. I think wooden toys are better than plastic toys, first and foremost, because I don’t like to think that the plaything my child will outgrow is going to end up in a landfill with not potential to be anything else. I love that a wooden toy offers a different experience for my child, carrying with it the scents, tastes, and textures of the living thing it once was. I love the gentle sheen that a wooden toy carries after many years of being lovingly played with. I love that they instill in my children a sense of care, pride, and independence as they rub the toy with beeswax to keep it hydrated.

  17. 1) If a wooden toy gets scuffed, my children can sand out the scuff and apply a non-toxic,nourishing bees wax.
    2)It is open ended… it might not always be a Gnome home… it could be a stable, a house or even a cloud, or the moon (seeing the star could stimulate other heavenly options)
    3)Wooden toys are beautiful. By providing them for our children, we are reflecting beauty to them and they then learn they are beautiful and are worthy of beauty.

  18. 1. Wooden toys are simpler and more safer than common plastic toys and allow a child’s imagination to flourish.
    2. Wooden toys help bring children closer to and more comfortable with Nature.
    3. Wooden toys also last longer and are more durable than plastic toys which if taken care of, can be passed down to other generations.

  19. Wooden toys are magical, really. They just ooze good energy and beg the imagination to come alive. My sons always seem more calm and centered playing with wood toys too, rather than destructive behavior that comes out with plastic or flashy toys. In fact, it’s almost as if they are subconsciously trying to destroy the loud, unnatural toy the way they throw them and bang them around! Whereas, wooden toys are inherently cherished by my children, who play lovingly with them as if they are really alive. But then, the wood is really alive, isn’t it? Alive with the spirit of the tree from which it came, the hands that carved and painted it, and the love given to it by the child! You can’t say that about a plastic, factory made toy :)

  20. Wooden toys have a soul attached to them, which makes playing with them enriching on a different level than a plastic, manufactured toy. Wooden toys are most often handmade, which means each was cared for and crafted, unlike a plastic, molded toy. Wooden toys are beautiful, whether painted or unpainted. If they become scuffed, or marked, it just creates more character to be passed down to the next child who plays with that toy. I love wooden toys.

  21. Wooden toys have a certain feel to them that plastic just can’t replicate! You can feel the soul of the tree in the toys, almost. And, my kids understand where wooden toys come from – they have helped to build them. Plastic is like this foreign object that they cannot comprehend the roots of. Also, whenever we are somewhere that there are plastic toys, I find myself repeating over and over again – “Please be careful. That is plastic and it could break!” Not only do our wooden toys not break as easily, but it is as though my children are instinctively more respectful with them than they are with plastic. And also, I feel so much better about the wood being in contact with the children, and that it isn’t leaching chemicals into the air, their mouths or skin.

  22. There is nothing worse than a house overflowing with plastic “junk.” Wooden toys are pleasing to the eye and allow for a greater capacity for imaginative, open-ended play. Even though wooden toys are often expensive, I would much prefer giving my children one special present that I know will last for years. I love that wooden toys can generally be used for a variety of purposes. A little “home” can easily become a barn, a fire station, a castle… whatever the imagination wishes! When my children play with wooden toys, their play is generally much more fluid and collaborative. They don’t fight as much over “things” because they are living into the world they are creating.

  23. Wooden toys are hand crafted in turn supporting someone else in their creative endevors. Wooden toys are more natural and allow for natural play. I love simple wooden toys because my children create their own unique story to play out. One of the main reason I enjoy wooden toys is because they are much more beatiful than plastic toys. In a small home, I require our posessions to be funcional and beautiful. Wooden toys fit that description!

  24. Wooden toys exist more in context for children. Where does a plastic toy come from? Who made it? What is it exactly? Wood is much more real and accessible, connected directly with the natural world. A child can look outside and see trees bending in the wind, go out and touch wood in its living form. And I think this is one of the reasons why we all find wood so beautiful to see, touch, smell: it is a pure part of nature, just as we are!

  25. They are:

    Just like my daughters :)

  26. Wood is less toxic than plastic, and wooden toys are less harmful for the planet to produce (forestation regulations).
    Wooden toys allow for the imagination to flow, since plastic toys are so bright and horrid!
    Wood is nature, and it will develop the child’s sense of touch through natural matter materials…much better than developing your sense of touch to polyester or plastic.

  27. Wooden toys are better than plastic because they have warmth, they have character, they are natural, if they are carved or sanded that energy and creativity that was used to create them is carried in the toy. I think they are more beautiful and versatile also. I think they are more inviting too and I also think they are timeless…they can be handed down, because plastic toys are related to fads and pop culture.

  28. Wooden toys are better than plastic toys in several ways. My two oldest girls are almost four and three. We began our transition from plastic to wooden several months ago. Since doing do, the three biggest changes I have seen in my children are:
    1. More imaginary and creative play with the wooden dolls.
    2. Less fighting over the plastic toys.
    3. Satisfaction with what they have. They are not desiring other toys as much.
    I am grateful for the changes in our home. It has brought more life and positive energy. We spend more time talking, singing, and creating now. I think because there is not as much sensory overload going on.
    Momma is much more at peace too. :-)

  29. Wooden toys is a way to bring nature inside. To have a living tree shaped into something artistic, creative, and fun, brings imagination to everyone. It’s grounding to the soul, and brings peace to those who play with it.

  30. We like wooden toys better than plastic toys because they smell good, they feel good and yes!, don’t worry ‘cos Mummy very probably CAN mend it!! :-))

  31. They don’t make noise, most are open ended and thus inspire creativity and imagination, and they are an awesome way to incorporate your children’s belongings in your home while looking beautiful.

  32. Wooden toys offer a tactile approach to play. It is so important to learn a sense of CONNECTEDNESS as a child. Wooden toys and, in my opinion, imaginative play; allow children to stay truly connected with their feelings, emotions, senses, etc. Wooden toys are mostly simple and this is good for allowing a child to create the kind of play they wish. It gives them a sense of independence and freedom to choose the play, the interaction, they wish to convey. Wooden toys generally smell really good too 😀

  33. Wooden toys are a much more sensory rich experience. The feel of the grain of the wood, the weight of the wood, and the smell! ( plastic toys smell awful) . Also they DO last longer and are usually more open ended and build imagination.

  34. Wooden toys are oh so cool…. ask any child who has played with them for just one day!

  35. Wooden toys allow for so much creativity and allow access to the imagination. They are so easy to carry in a pocket, a basket, or to place into any scene a child wants to create. And they make a great toy for home or travel!

  36. Wooden toys are (or were) alive, so they have a “spirit” of their own.
    Wooden toys have a unique texture, smell and personality; no two are quite the same.
    Wooden toys love you back.

    They also last longer; meaning both that they don’t break as readily and that children will play with them longer. There is a magic about them connecting them to the very first toys that children ever played with – probably sticks and rocks and what’s wrong with that?

  37. Wooden toys are the ones they return to again and again, because they are so open ended they encourage my kiddlings to come up with the most incredible scenarios and back stories, changing and growing them from minute to minute. They occupy themselves happily for hours at a time, whether its train driving, castle building, making food for dollies or just rolling wooden beads up and down the kitchen table and when I see how some of the neighbourhood kids play with their buzzing and beeping lumps of plastic I am infinitely grateful that my children have a different way. Mainly though, it’s just the sense of peace and satisfaction I have seeing them playing with a piece of oak or beech that someone has shaped and finished with love that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)

  38. Wooden toys last longer than plastic toys. Children use their imagination better with wood toys. Wood toys are prettier :)

  39. For my 8th birthday my mom gave me a wooden horse as a gift. I treasured that thing, it even slept under my pillow. On its belly she carved always and forever and when I lost my mom later that year I continued to keep that little thing with me every where i went since she couldn’t be. 18 years later I am the proud mother of 3 children and that same little horse is still around, and not on a shelf. Thats the thing about wooden toys…. they begin as a tree with a soul of it’s own and they are handled time and time again from one child the next. Played with and enjoyed, their edges and sides become smoothed and eroded with time and fingers of small children letting each one who stretches it’s imagination to give such a basic object life leave it’s mark. Wooden toys stand the test of time, only gaining more character as the years and generations pass. When my children’s children look at the belly of that horse it will still read “Always and Forever” and like their mothers love for them, so to will that little wooden toy be.

  40. They are simple and natural.
    They are calm and inviting.
    They are beautiful and enduring.

  41. Watching my 11 month old daughter discover anew the wooden blocks and other wooden treasures that my 5 and half year son also enjoyed (and enjoys) so much is such a beautiful and exciting thing. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face when I watch children be magnetically drawn to wooden toys, I see it when my own kids are playing with them and another child spots the wooden toys and instantly begins making their way over to investigate and participate. Wooden toys have an effortless beauty that one never tires of and open the door to the glorious world of the imagination in the most magical ways.

  42. I love wooden toys because I think they are better for the planet.
    I like the feeling when you touch them, they calm me and my kids down and bring me back to the present.
    I love that most of them dont need batteries and they are open to use your imagination.

  43. While playing with wooden toys, children come closer to Nature. A once living wood has all the remembrance of being outside among other living creatures, and children can instinctively feel this, and thus the difference between a wooden and a plastic toy. Moreover, wooden toys do not contain artificial or toxic materials.

  44. I love the open-endedness of wooden toys. Usually they aren’t very detailed, leaving children the room to imagine different features or expressions on the toys. I also love that, if broken, they can be fixed with some wood glue and sandpaper. Wooden toys also absorb the warmth from a child’s hands, which you just can’t replicate with plastic.

  45. I love me a wooden toy because
    A) I have four little boys who demolish pretty much anything and everything in their path with the exception of wooden toys. They can withstand.
    B) I have four little boys who can go through a pack of batteries like water, if I let them. Wooden toys =batteries not required= happy mama:).
    C)I have four little boys. Nuff said.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway!!!

  46. I like wooden toys because they talk to the soul, not just your, but your kids and your home. They also talk to the maker as it get its shape. Wooden toys have been around for ever and they will last for ever as long as we love them and care for them. Wood toys are best for our planet and bring children back to nature allowing them to explore more its imagination. I look at this piece and I see a gnomes home, fairy home a home in the sky like a living cloud, fantasy barn for wooden animal or Jesus home under our Christmas three as part of our nativity set. It is a piece that girls and boys can play all year round as long as their imagination let them. It also can be decorated in different ways to form part of a nature table for all 4 seasons. This house have so meany possibilities as your imagination let it. It will be a nice addition to our wood toys and if we care for it like we care of our other wood toys, it will to pass to the next generation. My children will love it!
    Thank you for the opportunity to participate in such nice giveaway!

  47. Plastic is poison. Nature is all that matters. Wood, water, sky, rocks, air, earth, humans, fauna, flora. It’s all connected… except for plastic. It’s foreign and intrusive and it needs to be drastically reduced. For us, for everything, for a healthy survival.

  48. At birth, when our youngest open their eyes, they are drawn to none other than wooden toys. Not cold lifeless hardened plastics of factories…they resonate instead with the magical qualities of fragrant birch, oak, and cedar trees. Just wait and watch the children play, with natural toys and smiles all day!

  49. I choose wooden, over plastic, toys for my family because they originate from nature. The children can feel the wood; my baby can taste it. When it is wet, they can smell it. As a mother i feel safe they are not being poisoned.

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