Eco-novice's Favorite Kind of Toy: Wood Stacking Toys by Grimms

In my six-plus years as a parent, I've acquired and discarded a large number of toys. Some toys broke, some were made of possibly toxic materials, others were too annoying for the adults or overstimulating for the kids, and many quickly lost their appeal and were soon ignored. So I now have some well-defined preferences when it comes to owning toys.

Eco-novice's Toy Preferences

  • Quality over quantity
  • Natural, sustainable, and completely non-toxic materials
  • Aesthetically-pleasing
  • Open-ended to facilitate creativity and imaginative play
  • Durable
  • Appealing to a wide age-span (including adults)
  • Created by a business I can enthusiastically support
  • Worth saving for the grandkids

If I had it all to do again, I would own only these types of toys. In every way, our Grimm's toys fit perfectly with this philosophy.

Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower

Grimm's Wooden Blocks Are:

  • Handmade in Germany
  • Made of sustainably harvested woods (including alder, lime, maple and cherry woods)
  • Made with non-toxic water-based stains in rich, gorgeous colors
  • Have no finish, varnish, lacquer or paint. Unlike paint, the color cannot chip off.
  • Have the texture of unfinished wood (not slippery like painted wood) which makes them easier to build with; stain rather than paint also means you can still see the beautiful grain of the wood
  • Inspired by the philosophy of Waldorf education
  • Encourage open-ended imaginative play as well as effortless, playful learning
  • Encourage building, creativity and a sense of design
  • A colorful complement to any unfinished wood set of blocks you may already own

Grimm's Stacking Houses

One of my youngest child's most cherished toys is Grimm's Stacking Houses. These five colorful house shapes make a fun little nesting puzzle for little ones, and my 2yo seems to get a type of thrill from stacking these houses together that she doesn't get from completing two-dimensional puzzles. This stacking toy is also wonderful for inspiring imaginative play by all my kids (ages 2, 4, and 6). I think they would make a fabulous gift for a child aged 9 months up and above.

Grimm's Stacking Houses

They make lovely little dwellings for dollhouse dolls, peg people, little animals, the three little pigs, beloved vehicles, and so on. My children tend to make cities and towns whenever they get out the blocks, and these houses make a fun addition to the child-designed buildings. The largest house measures 5.3" wide by 5.1" tall x 2.75" thick/deep.

Grimm's Giant "Boat on the Water" Stacking Tower is not a toy I think I would have picked out myself (I was sent the toy for review), but it has become a real favorite at my house. This stacker makes a relatively challenging puzzle if you want to use the pieces to make the floating boat. But kids will soon discover that the pieces are wonderful to stack in any order and rotate any which way, creating endless lovely abstractions.

Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower

Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower

I also love having a set of blocks that are not flat, which offers greater variety and challenge when combined with traditional block sets.

Blocks pictured include those from Grimm's Boat Stacking Tower,
Stacking Houses, and 100 Large Stepped Counting Blocks
(vehicles, animals and robots not included).

Grimm's recommends the Boat Stacking Tower for ages 1+. I would put the ideal age range around 18 months and above. The large pieces are pretty heavy, and completely assembled it weighs quite a bit, although my 2yo manages to lug it around when she wants to. We keep our Stacking Houses and Boat Stacking Tower displayed on a shelf in the family room when not being used. They make too lovely a decoration to store them inside a bin or cabinet.

Grimm's Wooden Baby Beads make a perfect first toy for baby. The beads are just the right size for baby to grasp, shake, and mouth. The twelve balls are each about an inch in diameter, strung together with strong elastic, and (unlike most Grimm's toys) treated with pure food-grade vegetable oil to protect the wood from baby's saliva. We don't have any babies at my house currently, but my children still enjoy clacking the balls together or rolling them along each other or even slipping the toy around their wrist like a bracelet of oversized beads. And I still find my teething 2yo occasionally gnawing and sucking on the beads.

Other Grimm's Toys We Know and Love

We also own and play regularly with:

Grimm's Color Charts Rally Building Blocks Set

Grimm's Set of 100 Large Stepped Counting Blocks in Storage Tray (4x4 Size)

Grimm's Stacking & Nesting Bowls

You can find my full review of these other three Grimm's toys here.

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Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Natural Family Shop provided the Stacking Houses, Boat Stacking Tower, and Baby Beads to facilitate their review. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure policy here.


  1. What wonderful baby toys! Is the paint safe? My daughter sucks the paint off toys (part of her sensory issues), so we avoid a certain other wood toy brand that she loves.

    1. I also specifically wanted colorful wood blocks where the color was completely safe. This is not paint that can chip off/ come off like other wood toys -- the wood is actually stained. My daughter has sucked/ bitten them and I've never seen the color bleed or come off on hands/ mouth. I don't think it's possible. I think it would be worth trying at least one toy. Although "non-toxic" is not always a guarantee, these toys are manufactured and sold in Europe where the standards are higher and better enforced. If you are still concerned I would contact Grimms.


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