The last 50 years or so has seen a profusion of plastic toys appear on the market and replace almost every other material. In recent years there’s been somewhat of a backlash to this and wood has once again become popular as a toy building material for some. Hape Toys are a toy maker that specialises in sustainably grown, preferably educational wooden toys.
The company was founded in 1986 and has grown to employ over 1000 people in their native Germany designing their toys “Using natural materials, water-based paints, and strict quality and safety standards”. Last year they started a new line made entirely of Bamboo and this has proven popular. They’ve also started several social initiative including funding multiple schools and are building an Early Childhood Education and research centre.
That’s things to please the parents – it’s likely your kids first question will be what are the toys like? If I had to sum them up in two words I’d go for ‘Timeless design’. There are shakers, puzzles, instruments, bikes, cars, houses, wooden books (yes really), props for roll play, tents and a whole lot more. They seem to be aimed at between about the ages of two and 8 with a few outliers for older and younger.
They’re available via the Hape website, via Amazon or from some stores. Prices are reasonable – not the cheapest but market rates and they’re tough enough they could be passed from one set of kids to the next. If you’re considering a sustainable and socially aware present for your or someone else little one this Christmas they’d make a good choice.