Oh, the quintessentially playful and delightfully mischievous monkey — what better animal to be made into a toy?
I swung from branch to branch in search of the best wooden monkey toys, and found a handful of wooden monkeys, chimps, and gorillas that’ll make any monkey-lover go “ape-solutely” bananas!
Let’s swing right in! Here’s my hand-picked list of the most “appealing” wooden monkey toys on the market.
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Kay Bojesen Wooden Monkey
You’ve probably seen it before. Alongside the Curious George cartoon, Paul Frank pop-art monkey, and the Helen Cooke sock monkey — the Kay Bojesen wooden monkey toy is one of the most iconic monkeys around.
Due to its popularity, I’ll go into quite a bit of detail about its different styles and where to buy it. If it’s not your style, don’t worry — just skip ahead to the next sections. There are plenty of other types of wooden monkey toys to spark your curiosity.
Kay Bojesen is a Danish designer who invented his exemplary wooden monkey toys in 1951, and the design hasn’t changed much at all since then.
The toy’s signature features include near life-like body proportions, with movable jointed limbs, and hands like hooks so the toy can hang like a tree monkey.
Official Kay Bojesen Monkey
Each year, new lines of Kay Bojesen monkeys are released with a few new design features. That’s how they manage to keep the brand alive after all these years.
Wooden monkey toys from the official Kay Bojesen brand are so expensive — you might even wonder how it could be considered a toy. They run in sizes including mini, small, medium, and large — with most monkeys at a price tag ranging from $100 to $2000 — and certain large models over $2,000.
That’s over my budget for sure. (Don’t worry, all the rest of the monkey toys we’ll look at are more affordable.) But if you’re in love with the Bojesen brand, be sure to shop from an accredited seller, like Trouva. The official Bojesen website lets you find trusted stores near you.
Kay Bojesen Monkeys on Amazon
If you’re a big fan of the Bojesen style, but weeping at the sight of a thousand-dollar toy — the good news is you’ve got options!
A limited selection of Bojesen monkeys is available on Amazon. But be cautioned, the Bojesen brand doesn’t have an official Amazon shop, so if you choose Amazon for its convenience, you’d better be sure it’s a seller you trust.
Kay Bojesen Monkeys on Etsy
When it comes to vintage Bojesen monkeys, Etsy lives up to its reputation for tasteful nostalgic items. You’ll find all sorts of Bojesen monkeys from years past — from the mid-century to date. Surprisingly, they’re usually much more reasonably priced than buying new!
Nordic Monkey Toys
While the patent to be called a “Kay Bojesen” goes to the Bojesen brand itself, lots of monkey-loving wood craftsmen have taken inspiration from Bojesen’s archetype, and created their own spin-off wooden money toys.
Also known as “teak monkeys” — with the same swagger as the original, at much lower prices, nordic monkey toys (Bojesen imitations) are worth a quick peek before you go with the original.
Wooden Monkey Puzzles
I’m a huge fan of wooden puzzles for kids — and these funky monkey jigsaw puzzles are no different! They’re fun, challenging, and an all-around worthwhile educational learning tool for toddlers and young children. Made of wood and in the shape of a monkey — these are an excellent gift for any child who’s into monkeys!
Teaberry Wood Products, a family-run woodshop in Indiana, can hand-make a monkey puzzle especially for you. With curved hands, a curly tail, and a banana in hand — after your kid pieces it together, you can hang this monkey puzzle just about anywhere.
This handmade wooden jigsaw puzzle is perfect for when your child is learning how to spell big-boy and big-girl words. Fashioned in the shape of a macaque with the letters M-O-N-K-E-Y carved right into its body, your little ones will keep engaged when learning how to spell animal words. Bears Wood Crafts is a family business in Florida, so parents can feel good about supporting small business, too.
Yes, I know gorillas aren’t the same as monkeys, but they’re both primates, and they both make great wooden toys. The independent woodworkers at Puzzleson offer an awesome selection of gorilla-shaped wooden puzzles. With blue butts like a baboon, these chunky puzzle block pieces are good for a laugh, too!
Wooden Balancing Monkey Games
Lots of parents choose wooden toys for their developmental benefits, including fine motor skills and spatial awareness. Monkeys are known for being agile and highly-coordinated, so why not let your kid learn from the master? These balance-centric wooden monkey games will do the trick!
With a tree-shaped wooden balance beam and 6 cute gourd-shaped wooden monkeys, this game is played by hooking the little monkey arms to both sides of the tree — while making sure the tree doesn’t topple over. The Plan Toys brand is well known for their quality, affordable, and eco-friendly wooden educational toys — taking conscious measures to keep the jungle growing strong!
Shaped like a monkey standing on a tipsy banana, your child can place wooden fruit pieces on either side of the monkey to shift the weight and learn balancing skills. Recommended for ages three and up, the Blue Orange brand’s monkey toy is made for group play but can be just as enriching as a solo activity.
A similar concept as the rocking monkey we just looked at, but this one’s hand-sawed by the independent toymaker Jolly Sawyer. The rounded bottom piece is shaped like a banana, and the balancing pieces are tiny baby monkeys with cartoon-like big heads — sure to give your kid a big smile!
Wooden Stacking Monkey Toys
You’ll definitely see some similarities between stacking toys and balancing toys. They both include monkey pieces to stack together and encourage eye-hand coordination. Without rounded bottoms or balancing levers, these monkey stacking toys are unique, I suppose, because they’re more like monkey-shaped building blocks.
A set of colorful monkey-shaped wooden blocks that kids can stack and sort to their hearts’ content. Match colors to build up your kid’s color-recognition, or stack them on top of each other to strengthen fine motor skills. These tiny monkeys by Spiekind are an entire jungle of endless open-ended play opportunities!
Part puzzle, part stacking toy this natural wood monkey toy is one of my favorites on the list. The base piece is a staunch gorilla with a gang of monkey pals piled on his back. The toy is completely open-ended, letting your child build stack and start any way he or she pleases — but the monkey pieces are shaped in a way that they fit together a lot like a puzzle. Kudos to Puzzleson for the creativity on this one!
Wooden Monkey Figures
Sometimes simple does it! The simpler the toy, the more your kid will stretch his or her creative-muscles come up with imaginative play scenarios. To a boring adult, these wooden monkey figurines are just solid blocks of wood crafted into a monkey shape — but to kids, they’re an entire world of playtime possibility!
Two tones with dark wood for fur and light wood for the face, the toymakers at Mikheev Manufactory make beautiful simple wooden Waldorf toys — and their collection of monkeys follows suit.
I saved the very simplest for last! The Happy Bungalow brand in Ohio offers wooden monkey shapes as simple as could be — one like a monkey sock puppet, and one like a gorilla. You can even choose whether to order your toy with or without a natural beeswax finish.
Over to you!
There you have it — a fun list of the “Ape-solute” best wooden monkey toys. I hope you’ve found a nice monkey gift for the monkey-lover in your life — even if that’s you!
Yes, I was surprised not to find a single Curious George toy that caught my curiosity enough to be added to the list. But when it comes to quality and aesthetic design, I don’t monkey around.
Let me know about your favorite monkey toy in the comments below!