In Wooden Toys We Trust
Today, I’ll take you one step closer to finding the perfect American-made wooden toy — with a list of over 20 wooden toy brands who proudly carry the “Made in USA” label.
Rest assured, your choice to buy American-made toys does more than you might think.
Even a single purchase in support of local businesses benefits our nation far beyond the cash register where it takes place.
By buying wooden toys made in the USA, you’re protecting the rights of hard-working Americans, promoting environmentally-friendly manufacturing standards, and doing your part to build a brighter future for the entire country.
I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.Lee Greenwood
American-Made Wooden Toys Hall Of Fame
1. Bannor Toys
Made in Iowa
Bannor Toys is one of the few brands on the list, which I believe has become a household name for American wooden toy collectors. Classic, timeless, and beautiful, Bannor Toys offers a wide range of wooden toys, blocks, and letters.
The people at Bannor toys believe in toys that foster children’s imagination in a way the electronic toys just can’t — and they’ve put together a tidy toy collection to help parents do just that.
For a special piece of Americana, I especially like their wooden baby rattles that come in the shape of a state, so you can choose whichever state you’re from.
2. Uncle Goose
Made in Michigan
In my opinion, Uncle Goose is one of the trendiest wooden toy brands out there. They make wooden letter blocks, each with its own contemporary twist.
Alphabet blocks in Japanese or Arabic? Blocks with planets and constellations? Now that’s what I call “thinking outside the blocks”!
Yep, they can customize blocks to spell out a name or word of your choosing, too. For blocks that make a deep and lasting impression, look no further than Uncle Goose.
3. Smiling Tree Toys
Made in Minnesota
Smiling Tree Toys is a purpose-driven brand for families who love — and love protecting — the earth.
They offer an all-natural range of keepsake wooden toys with an organic wood finish. What’s really special is they will etch a name into the surface of the wood, making it a perfect keepsake for years to come.
When Smiling Tree Toys say they care about the environment, they mean it. They actually plant a tree for every toy sold. To date, that’s 33,000 trees and counting. That’s a cause I can really get behind.
4. Maple Landmark
Made in Vermont
Maple Landmark offers one of the widest varieties of wooden toys of any brand on this list. Toys, games, trains, puzzles — you name it, they make it. As an All-American brand that stands for quality, all Maple Landmark’s products are guaranteed for life!
What I really like about their toys is they keep a consistent color choice across their entire product line. Most toys stick to the basics with primary colors and usually keep part of the toy unpainted, so you can still appreciate natural wood. It gives you a feeling of quality and authenticity through and through.
5. Homi Baby
Made in Utah
Homi Baby specializes in minimalist wooden ladders and dollhouses fit for babies and toddlers. On their website, they only offer about two dozen different toys. I love it when someone focuses on what they’re good at and takes it to perfection.
Made by moms and dads in the USA, each toy comes with a parent to parent guarantee, and that’s a brand you can trust! I’m really happy to recommend this “less is more” wooden toy brand.
6. Papa Don’s Toys
Made in Oregon
Papa Don’s Toys stands by its brand values, offering a product line where each toy incorporates primary color round pieces with a natural wood frame.
Handcrafting wooden toys since 1973, some of their most unique toys are a turtle pull toys complete with stacking rings on the shell, and a wooden fishing pole that comes with three colorful fish. I hadn’t heard about Papa Don’s before, and I am blown away by their classic yet bold design choices.
7. Tobo Toys
Made in Tennessee
Tobo Toys is revolutionizing how we play with cars and trains. Their flagship toy is a versatile set of roads and tracks that can be connected in limitless ways and played with all kinds of toy cars and trains.
The track pieces are made with injection-molded wood that contains zero plastics! How cool is that?
8. Roy Toy
Made in Maine
For an outdoorsy family or as a gift for Grandpa, these classically designed natural wood toys are enjoyed by generations, and sure to bring back fond memories of a simpler time!
Nowadays, most cabins have central air conditioning, so the visual appeal of a rustic log cabin is something we need more of.
9. Timberworks Toys
Made in Missouri
I’ll tell you what — tomorrow’s famous architects are playing with Timberworks Toys today.
Their signature toy series is all about modular building blocks that will let your child construct wooden block cities and buildings. Think Lincoln Logs, but for the 21st century.
They also offer a really unique modular panel dollhouses. While not as grounded in open-ended play as other wooden toys, for me it’s refreshing to find a wooden toy brand focused on construction.
10. South Bend Woodworks
Made in Indiana
South Bend Woodworks specializes in personalized wooden name puzzles, making each letter of a name or word into a puzzle piece — a thoughtful gift for toddlers made to last a lifetime.
But that’s not all, South Bend Woodworks offers quite a few styles of building blocks and vehicle toys, too. From the heart of the Midwest, these guys are bringing classic wooden toys back into style!
11. TAG Toys
Made in California
TAG is an acronym for “Think and Grow”, which makes a lot of sense because this brand specializes in educational wooden toys. If you’re a Montessori parent or homeschooler, TAG Toys are probably your top choice.
I really appreciate how TAG Toys spells out the educational benefits of each toy for you. Lots of other brands try to sell you on the common idea that “just because it’s wood, means it’s educational”.
TAG Toys, on the other hand, details out exactly which skills and learning objectives each toy will help achieve. If you’re just starting out with educational toys, this kind of advice is extremely helpful.
12. Lapp’s Toys
Made in Pennsylvania
If you’re into unpainted wooden toys, Lapp’s Toys is definitely a brand you should check out. Made from pine, birch ply, maple, and poplar, their products focus on the quality of wood. Completely natural, sometimes with a few painted details and metal or plastic parts, their toys are safe and non-Toxic.
My personal favorite is their selection of wooden semi-trucks. It doesn’t get more American than that.
13. Whittle Shortline Railroad
Made in Missouri
Owners of the web domain woodentrain.com, you’d be correct if you guessed these guys have been making wooden train toys for a while!
Whittle Shortline Railroad traverses the line between children’s toy and model replica. Their wooden train engines and cars are proportional to the real thing, painted to match real-life locomotives, yet fully compatible for use as a playtoy.
By recreating famous American trains like Metra and Santa Fe Yellowbonnet, this brand is a diamond in the rough for true train enthusiasts.
14. North Star Toys
Made in New Mexico
If you’re a fan of classic wooden push and pull toys, enjoy simple wooden animal figures, and appreciate natural woodgrains — then you’ll be very excited to meet North Star Toys.
All of their toys come unpainted to show off the natural beauty of the wood itself. I personally fell in love with some of the red cedarwood toys they offer. That beautiful reddish-rosy tone is something I’ve never seen before.
15. Wild Apples
Made in New York
Wild Apples (under the name ArksAndAnimals on Etsy) is the expert when it comes to wooden toy figurine sets. Noah’s ark, nativity scenes, zoo animal sets — they put together collections of quaint wooden figurines.
But that’s not all, they’ve craft other timeless wooden toys too. One of my favorites is the wiggle worm push and pull toy, which has segments with wooden hinges — so it really does wiggle.
16. You Name It Toys
Made in Minnesota
You Name It Toys offers over 100 different styles of 2D wooden puzzles, most of which you can personalize with a custom name. The company is called “You Name It” because you literally add your name to it.
I wanted to do something with that pun, but they beat me to it!
The other product I really like is their hand made “Big Belly” wooden savings bank. It’s like a fun wooden piggy bank that comes in various styles — not just “pig”. You deposit a coin into its mouth and watch the coin roll down the animal’s throat into a glass belly. It’s a really fun way to teach your kid to save!
17. Greenleaf Dollhouses
Made in New York
Greenleaf Dollhouses makes the most intricate and detailed traditional wooden dollhouses you’ve ever seen. Expert miniaturists look to Greenleaf for their exceptional design and life-like detail and a full range of dollhouse furniture. Everything you need for world-class pretend play!
18. Maine Toys
Made in Maine
Maine Toys is a family woodcraft business making traditional toys for children using locally sourced wood. Don’t let their out-of-date website fool you, they offer all kinds of top-quality all-natural wooden cars, trucks, riding toys, push and pull toys, doll furniture, and more.
What’s really unique is all their toys come unpainted and unstained, so it’s perfect. I just love their large log truck, which is a semi-truck with natural tree branches stacked on the rig.
19. My Unique Wooden Toys, LLC
Made in Indiana
A list of American-made wooden toys just wouldn’t be complete without mention of Amish carpentry. My Unique Wooden Toys, LLC is home to a collection of Amish built wooden toys.
Everything from handcrafted wooden games, to marble rollers, to stick horses, to guns barns, to farm play sets — My Unique Wooden Toys is a wooden toy brand whose proud of their American roots.
20. D and ME Wood Toys
Made in Montana
Another mom and pop woodshop with toys for kids, D and ME Toys makes all sorts of wooden cars, trucks, trains, push and pull toys, and more.
One unique characteristic is that they often use different wood types — both dark and light shades — to construct a single toy. So the finished product ends up looking like a macadamia nut cookie with both chocolate and vanilla chips.
Made-In-USA Wooden Toys Honorable Mentions
In my search for America’s best wooden toys, I ran across several awesome brands that I really like but for one reason or another don’t exactly qualify as a textbook-definition “wooden toy brand”.
I thought it would be a disservice to ignore them completely, so I decided to give honorable mentions. And here they are — close-but-no-cigar toy brands I think you will enjoy just the same.
Made in Honduras
Tegu is an industry leader in magnetic wooden blocks. I love their fresh designs, and the fact that most magnets are inside the blocks without showing on the surface means this brand has mastered their craft.
The brand was founded by two New Zealand born brothers, who grew up in the United States, and after various mission trips decided to build their wooden toy factory in Honduras — for reasons related to social responsibility.
The company is largely based in the United States, but the manufacturing is done in Honduras. So, they’re not exactly made in the USA. If it weren’t for this small caveat, Tegu would be a top contender on the list.
Made in Minnesota
Beka Inc.’s wooden building blocks are some of the most unapologetically “made-for-building” blocks on the market. Block sets come with special shapes like towering columns and prong-shaped bridges — and the pieces are quite large, which gives children a really unique play experience.
It was a difficult decision for me to categorize Beka Inc. as an honorable mention, and not in the actual list of USA-made wooden toys. To be fair, however, Beka does offer lots of non-toy product types, like furniture, art easels, and weaving looms.
Made in USA (Headquartered in California)
Before you blow a gasket wondering how the heck I let a non-wooden toy brand into the mix, let me explain. Green Toys products are made with 100% recycled plastic materials. Yes, their products are synthetic, but they’re as environmentally friendly as could be.
Let’s face it, there are some places plastic toys work better than wooden toys, like in the bath or the sandbox.
Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, remember one of the main reasons wooden toy connoisseurs like wood in the first place, is because wood is eco-friendly. I applaud Green Toys for their innovative green approach to synthetic toys, and I think it’s worth an honorable mention here, even if it’s not wood.
Made in Colorado
The reason I left Little Colorado out of the list is that their main focus is on play-centric wooden furniture. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s not exactly a toy.
In fact, if you’re a Waldorf parent or educator, Little Colorado is perfect for you. They offer a wide range of children’s furniture, including wooden play stands, chairs, toy storage boxes, and more.
Palumba & Camden Rose
Made in Michigan
In addition to imaginative playroom furniture and functional wooden home accessories, they’ve got a fantastic selection of wooden toys. From wooden animal figurines to odd-shaped building blocks to children’s toolsets — they’ve got you covered.
I fully support Camden Rose inventory and the eco-friendly principles they stand for, but I had to exclude them from the list just because they offer a wide range of furniture and cloth products. Call this one very honorable mention!
Made in Illinois
The Cubbyhole is a small business specializing in personalized wooden puzzles, stools, coat racks, and children’s furniture. They ONLY personalize, and I appreciate that, but since lots of their products are furniture-focused, I had to exclude them from the list.
Elves & Angels
Made in Maine
Elves & Angels is a magical brand focusing on wooden play kitchens, play stands, and dollhouses. They describe their products as heirloom quality because they’re made to last through generations.
Like other American brands I’ve mentioned, I decided to leave Elves & Angels out of the list, because they offer a few too many non-wooden products. Not a bad thing, but it means they’re not specifically a wooden toy brand.
Made in Pennsylvania
Channel Craft is a manufacturer of authentic American toys, games, and puzzles. I had to exclude them from the list because many of their other products are made with non-wood materials, but I’m giving them an honorable mention since they’ve got a nice selection of wooden train whistles, airplanes, boomerangs, and basic craft kits.
Snake Eyes Yard Games
Made in Minnesota
Since I intended the list to be for children-appropriate wooden toys, I had to leave Snake Eyes Yard Games out. But as a manufacturer of jumbo-sized wooden yard games, Snake Eyes is a solid candidate for an honorable mention.
Tailored towards people frat-boy age and up, Snake Eyes’s signature product is their yard dice, which comes with six chunky dice that are more than a handful. For a nice family activity to pass the day, check out their collection of American-made wooden yard games.
Ranking The Best American-Made Wooden Toys
If you’ve made it this far, then you must really care about your wooden toys being American-made. So, you deserve to understand which criteria I used to build this list.
You guessed it, “Made in USA” is the number one requirement! But since you’re wondering, here are the other things I considered, when choosing to include or exclude American wooden toy brands:
- The toys are manufactured in the United States of America. Complete due diligence of a complex globalized supply chain is no easy task, but I did my best to vet each brand. At the very least, each brand’s website writes that their toys are made in the USA.
- The toys are age-appropriate for children. I intentionally leave out some baby-specific and adult-specific wooden toy brands.
- The brands focus on wooden toys. We exclude brands that offer wooden toys only as an add-on to their main product line made with other materials or other types of products.
- The brands have a website. We exclude brands who only have a web-presence Amazon, eBay, or Etsy for example. It’s 2020, and if you’re a reputable American brand, a website is a must.
- I like the toys. I haven’t excluded any brands just because I don’t like them, but you will find that the highest-ranked brands offer toys with contemporary design and a forward-thinking perspective.
Over to you!
There you have it! The ultimate list of wooden toys made in the USA. I hope you’ve found your new favorite wooden toy brand, and can feel proud — knowing you’re making a patriotic purchase.
- Which American toy brand is your favorite?
- Did I miss any brands you think should be added?
- Are American-made wooden toys the best in the world?
- What’s your take?
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.