wooden toys

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
Claripup
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:49 pm
Location: Finedon - UK

wooden toys

Post: #204846 Claripup
Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:50 am

Hi,

I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but... a friend of mine has recently started making wooden "things" on a wood lathe (sp?) and wants to start selling things as a part time/hobby business. After a bit of discussion we worked out that most adults spend most of their money on food, technology and children.

He seems to be of the opinion that people wouldn't spend money on wooden toys, cribs ect as they can buy plastic ones cheaply at superstores, ebay etc. Where as I think that there would be a small demand from eco friendly parents for uk made toys from uk trees.

What do think? Also would you spend more money on something like a crib or a mobile that you could buy it in a 'chain' store much cheaper?

Also what could he make? he has made rattles, a teething stick (looks like a honey drizzler but from soft fruit wood) and a load of random things (mushrooms, thistles etc) that coud be hung on a mobile or free standing play bar. is there anything else you would buy for a small child/baby that he could make?

Surely with the amont of natural/reuseable/fair trade baby products there should be a spot in the market he could fill?

Thanks in advance
Clare

prison break fan
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 907
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:44 am
Location: West Sussex

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204847 prison break fan
Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:04 am

Hi Clare, It sounds like a lovely idea, but I think he is right to feel that people would rather buy cheap plastic toys. I am not including the people on this forum!! A few years ago I paid quite a lot of money for a beautiful hand carved Noah's Ark, with all the animals, for my grandson, who was not impressed with it! Neither was his sister a year or so later. Now it is just too good to throw away, but useless!. It is definitely the parents who buy wooden toys, but the children don't want them. What about kitchen utensils? I have a wonderful wooden pestle and mortar hand made locally and would buy nice spoons etc. Just a thought. pbf.

User avatar
battybird
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 655
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Kent / central portugal

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204848 battybird
Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:28 am

One of the toys our boys played with most, for longest, was a pull along cart with wooden bricks of varying sizes. They used it to build houses etc with the wooden train sets. For marble mazes, a maze to "train" the hamster (!!!) as well as fortresses. The individual bricks sometimes got lost and turned up at odd intervals and were used as door stops! I think it was a present, it was plain, with unvarnished wedges, squares, rectangles and trinagles. I am convinced that they learned early geometry from it. My youngest, now 24yrs with a son of his own, spent ages looking for a similar toy but did not find one he was happy with. Dont know whether your friend could produce a similar thing...or whether it would sell? :dontknow: I have to say that if I had been asked when the boys were young which would be the most used toy, I would not have picked this one :? The market today seems geared to toys that "do" everything for the child, rather than let them use their imagination!
It must be so hard to have a skill and have to find a niche in the market!
Good luck
The cockerel makes the noise, the hen produces the goods!! anon

crowsashes
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: plymouth, i can see cornwall :P

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204865 crowsashes
Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:45 pm

my little one loves his wooden toys! he has train sets/ building blocks/ abacus ( yup he plays with it ) / a wooden pirate ship! all of them are very much loved and always played with. i cant bare to buy plastic toys at all never have done and intend to keep hold of my little ones toys should i or he need them in the future.

the best wooden toys i can think of are the ELC type trainsets. if they could perhaps make 'stuff' to add to these im certain they would sell. things like train sheds or stations - maybe even small houses - people.

dolls houses and dolls house furniture is always popular. ive been after one and im always caught out at the last moment on auction sites. im not talking super expensive decorative ones but one that can take a fair bit of playing with.

best thing would be to google wooden toys for ideas ( i did and some are beautiful!)

decent home wares are something im after. i can never seem to find good quality kitchen utensils.
wooden candle holders, spaltulas and spoons, real wood photo frames etc are things im after rather than just cheap fake wood and plastic.

the one thing though i really wish i could get my hands on is one of those 30/40s wooden radios but with digital as this darn country thinks we no longer need or use traditional radio. :scratch:

User avatar
Bikil
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:28 pm
latitude: 40° 46' N
longitude: 111° 58' W
Location: Salt Lake City, UT USA

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204876 Bikil
Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:22 pm

I'm in the US, so wouldn't be buying, but wanted you to know I'm another parent that tries to get their child only wooden or fabric toys. We have some plastic ones, often ones that have been given us by others, but for the most part we try and get her wooden or fabric toys. So we are the kind of people your friend wants!
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
- Douglas Adams

User avatar
contadina
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 807
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:11 pm
Location: Puglia, Italy

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204921 contadina
Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:03 am

Most of the parents I know both in the UK and Italy - prefer to spend a bit more on wooden toys because they last longer, are more eco-friendly and have a timeless quality about them. All of them get given well-meaning plastic tat from family and friends, however, but there is definitely a market for both. Also, wooden toys are usually the ones which get kept as momentoes and passed onto the next generation. Good luck to your friend; so long as they make good quality items they should do well.

Tippychooks
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:13 pm
Location: North Devon

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204928 Tippychooks
Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:10 pm

wooden food for play kitchens. I have spent a fortune on wooden cakes, pizza, vegetables etc for a wooden cooker set. There are some fab ones but mostly imported: sustainable local ones would be better. Children like the ones they can cut up the best. I like the fairy cakes!

I'm not sure about baby toys - I think people would worry about dirtiness and splinters (wrongly obv.). I would concentrate on play food and toddler bricks and toys. Spinners or old fashioned toys may work too.

Claripup
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:49 pm
Location: Finedon - UK

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204971 Claripup
Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:54 pm

Thanks all for the replies - I have forwarded you comments on to him and he seemed to really like the suggestions, I could see him itching to get back to his workshop to try some of them out *mutters about boys and their toys* :wink: :flower:

organicsi
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:56 am
Location: Slovenia

Re: wooden toys

Post: #204997 organicsi
Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:19 am

Hi there is quite a good market in wooden blanks like egg cups, napkin rings, wooden eggs etc. people paint them, do woodburning or even carve them. These would sell as long as your friend can make them cheaply enough.

User avatar
bonniethomas06
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1245
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:24 am
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: wooden toys

Post: #205003 bonniethomas06
Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:44 am

Just to add to the general vibe, I have decided that my children (if I can ever afford to have any!) will ONLY have wooden toys! And more importantly will never watch TV, they will read books instead. And grow stuff. And frolic in fields etc. Naturally, they would prefer fruit to crisps and chocolate, and spurn computer games for birdwatching....probably :wink:

Seriously though, I knowl lots of children who love their wooden toys (especially those dogs you can pull along) and many parents who much prefer wood to those annoying plastic bits of tat which crunch underfeet and have little bits their kids can choke on. Hope your freind does well, I am sure success depends on where he sells - cooky market stalls and from a nice website would surely attract the right clientele?
"A pretty face is fine, but what a farmer needs is a woman who can carry a pig under each arm"

My blog...

http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com

User avatar
citizentwiglet
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Just outside Glasgow

Re: wooden toys

Post: #205036 citizentwiglet
Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:33 pm

There is a huge gap in the market for reasonably priced, INTERESTING wooden toys. You know what kids are like - particularly very young ones (before they have an imagination) - do they want the wooden pullalong duck? Or do they want the enormous, plastic flashing, bleeping, imported from China, battery guzzling beast that cost about the same? They want what their eye, or ear is drawn to, and unfortunately at that age, it's the thing that flashes and makes noises to the extent that mummy wants to throw it out of the window within minutes....protect them from plastic at home, and prepare from 'I don't want to leave it' chaos when they fall in love with something at a friend's house, or toddler group.....!

Saying that, there are the old favourites that are plain and simple and would be better in wood - ring stackers, hammer and pegs, wooden blocks. Then, as they get older and have imagination, then yes - the train set has been a winner in this house, as has the ELC wooden blocks of varying shapes and sizes which get used by both my 21 month old and my 4 year old, and has been FAR more popular than the 5000 odd Megabloks I am constantly standing on.

Another favourite in our house is a little wooden magnetic fishing set.....

So, in other words, with the exception of things like shape stackers (which I believe are pretty well covered by wooden toy manufacturers anyway), I'd look at focusing on the older age group - the 2 years and older, and concentrate on pieces that can be added to, and used for increasingly sophisticated play, like train sets, blocks, wooden zoo / farm animals, play food. Parents will value it as something that won't be outgrown in a year, can add to it at birthdays/Christmas (thus keeping customers coming back to your friend regularly), and the children will still be playing with it long after they've outgrown Fisher Price....
I took my dog to play frisbee. She was useless. I think I need a flatter dog.

http://reflectionsinraindrops.wordpress.com - My blog
http://www.bothwellscarecrowfestival.co.uk - Scarecrow Festival
http://bothwellcommunitygarden.wordpress.com - Community Garden

circlecross
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 517
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Sunny Cumbria

Re: wooden toys

Post: #205275 circlecross
Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:26 am

yes, train sheds, stations etc - spaceships - not much out there in spaceships for the discerning eco-parent, toys big enough to fit action figures in? We went through one summer making lego contraptions big enough to get the Thunderbirds guys in. Or cash in on latest crazes, eg kennel for Slinky, stable for Bullseye etc. Good luck.

User avatar
Bikil
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:28 pm
latitude: 40° 46' N
longitude: 111° 58' W
Location: Salt Lake City, UT USA

Re: wooden toys

Post: #205323 Bikil
Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:39 pm

Oooh, would LOVE a spaceship!

We get a lot of wooden toys from Melissa & Doug, they have a website if you just google that. They make wooden food, wooden "classic" toys, and all kinds of cool stuff. Might give your friend some ideas.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
- Douglas Adams

User avatar
citizentwiglet
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 848
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Just outside Glasgow

Re: wooden toys

Post: #205994 citizentwiglet
Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:41 pm

Ohhh...if we are talking about spaceships...I'll tell you what's easier - CASTLES! We made Ellis a cardboard castle that he loved so much he destroyed just by playing with it constantly. We eventally procured a Fisher Price Imaginex castle from Freecycle for him for Christmas, and he plays with it every day, he adores it. If there would be a way to make a sort of 'jigsaw' castle....i.e. bits of wall that slot into each other easily so they can build their own designs easily, that would be great. (I'm thinking a sort of 'slot' design where they can slip pieces together easily, you know, big slits in the wood that fit over other bits - sorry, I'm not remotely technical, rather than the fiddly 'buttons' that you have to man-handle into little holes with the force that only an adult has!).

Moving from castles - farm sets. Painted boards with duck-pond, paths, pig and chicken-runs etc, and then the wee buildings to go with it...the farmhouse, the barns, the stys, the chicken-coops. Again, things that parents can come back to him for repeat business as they build up the farm. They might need to buy the actual animals (Ellis has inherited my huge collection of Britain's scale model animals - it does seem to be a nightmare buying animals to scale, I was in ELC recently and their dogs were bigger than their cows); but a lovely farm set is a thing of beauty!
I took my dog to play frisbee. She was useless. I think I need a flatter dog.

http://reflectionsinraindrops.wordpress.com - My blog
http://www.bothwellscarecrowfestival.co.uk - Scarecrow Festival
http://bothwellcommunitygarden.wordpress.com - Community Garden

User avatar
Bikil
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:28 pm
latitude: 40° 46' N
longitude: 111° 58' W
Location: Salt Lake City, UT USA

Re: wooden toys

Post: #206257 Bikil
Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:41 pm

So many fabulous ideas! I wish we had all of these things available around here! Can someone in the US (that is not me, hee!) start making all these things?
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
- Douglas Adams


Return to “Eco Parenting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests