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Best wooden dinosaur toy for ROARING pretend play

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Some kids are crazy about dinosaurs. A lot of kids actually. What magical creatures!

Take for example this wooden play set from Tender Leaf with 8 dinosaurs in a box. A very sturdy set and perfect for children's hands. With us they almost always participate in fantasy play.

In this guide, I take a look at the 5 best wooden dinosaur toys and what you should pay attention to when purchasing.

Best wooden dinosaur toy

Let's take a quick look at the top picks. Then I'll take a closer look at each of these options.

Overall best wooden dinosaur toy

Tender LeafDinosaurs Playset

The 8 pieces are made of sustainable wood and it feels like it will last a long time. Perhaps even for the grandchildren.

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Best cheap wooden dinosaur toy

Melissa & DougThick Dinosaur Puzzle

This set is great because the puzzle pieces are nice and thick. This means you can also stand them upright and use them for pretend play.

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Best wooden dino transport

KidKraftDinosaur Bucket Train

It is a fairly simple set for little ones with 56 pieces. Children especially like the working brontosaurus crane.

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Best wooden dinosaur toys for babies

Little TikesWooden Critter Dino

This one from Little Tikes is suitable from 1 year old and there are plenty of activities to do. Of course a wire path with beads, what baby toy can do without?

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Best creative wooden dinosaur toy

Melissa & DougDino Stamps

Stamps are so much fun, my son also had a lot of fun with them in his toddler years and the dino theme is of course beautiful!

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Wooden dinosaur toy buying guide

Because dinosaurs suit so many ages, it is important to check whether the toy is appropriate for your child's age.

Age

With children under 3 years old, you don't want pieces that are too small for them to swallow.

Even sharp pieces such as with the Tender Leaf set are not such a good idea. Then choose the Melissa & Doug puzzle instead.

In addition, you want to look at your child's developmental level and whether the toys will be fun for them. For example, a little stamping can be done from 2 and especially 3, but a train set is still difficult for a 2-year-old.

Here I've arranged the different sets on this list by age:

blue blue Age fromYellow Yellow Best ageGreen Green Age to

Replayability

Is it fun to play with? That has to do with the ease of play without frustration and the accessories that come with it.

I've rated each set for replayability on a scale of 1 to 5 to give you an idea.

Sustainability

Once you have a set that your child likes and is age appropriate, you want them to be able to play with it for a while.

That's why we've rated each set for durability. How long will it last without breaking.

Some sets like Melissa & Doug's are quite sturdy, but the Tender Leaf set can take even more and the paint stays on better.

Other sets use plastic for the parts, such as the Kidkraft train, which will not last as long if it is played with vigorously.

Sustainability is also rated on a 5-point scale.

Best Wooden Dinosaur Toys Reviewed

Overall best wooden dinosaur toy

Tender Leaf Dinosaurs Playset

Product image
8.9
Toy score
Features
3.8
Replayable
4.7
Sustainability
4.9
Best for
  • Good size for toddlers
  • Very sturdy and durable rubber wood
Less good
  • Very pricey

What a nice set for children from 3 years old. A little younger is also possible, but then I would stick with it.

Pretend play starts at about 2,5 so before then they will be walking around or sucking on it on their own anyway.

Due to the sharp corners, it is slightly less suitable for this.

The 8 pieces are made of sustainable wood and it feels like it will last a long time. Maybe even for the grandchildren :)

Tender Leaf is a good brand that makes wooden toys from renewable rubber trees, so that's definitely another plus.

The size is just right for toddlers to play with.

Best cheap wooden dinosaur toy

Melissa & Doug Thick Dinosaur Puzzle

Product image
8.6
Toy score
Features
4.1
Replayable
4.5
Sustainability
4.3
Best for
  • Puzzle and figures in 1
  • Sturdy wooden pieces
Less good
  • Paint may scratch off with use

This set is great because the puzzle pieces are nice and thick. This means you can also stand them upright and use them for pretend play.

For example, it has 2 functions in one, instead of just playing figures like the Tender Leaf set.

The pieces are also more rounded and suitable from 2 years. There is a pteranodon, ankylosaurus, apatosaurus, T-Rex, triceratops, stegosaurus and hadrosaurus.

The wood clearly feels a bit cheaper and it is not rubber wood either. You notice this especially in the paint that scratches off a bit more easily.

But Melissa & Doug does contribute a lot to replanting forests to keep it more sustainable.

Best wooden dino transport

KidKraft Dinosaur Bucket Train

Product image
8.8
Toy score
Features
4.6
Replayable
4.7
Sustainability
3.9
Best for
  • Lots of activities like the working bronto tap
  • Good price for a large set
Less good
  • Lots of plastic used

This set is also very nice from 3 years. That's good too, because it can serve as your child's first train set. The rails also fit on others wooden toy trains (more reviewed here).

It is a fairly simple set for little ones with 56 pieces. Children especially like the working brontosaurus crane.

It comes with a sturdy plastic bucket so that's handy to store everything in. It's just a pity that the volcano serves as a lid.

This saves space in the box itself, but it sticks out so you can't put other things on it or stack crates.

It is also a pity that quite a lot of plastic has been used. The dinosaurs are sturdy and made of wood, but the plastic feels a bit cheap. Clearly savings have been made.

I do think they have saved on the right things to deliver a very affordable complete set.

Best wooden dinosaur toys for babies

Little Tikes Wooden Critter Dino

Product image
8.5
Toy score
Features
4.1
Replayable
4.2
Sustainability
4.4
Best for
  • Nice beading wire that moves through the dino
  • Very sturdy toy
Less good
  • The bump effect is nice but makes playing more difficult

This one from Little Tikes is suitable from 1 year old and there are plenty of activities to do.

Of course a wire path with beads, what baby toy can do without? Funny that the beads can go through the body of the dinosaur. Thus, the whole toy is used in the game.

A nice addition is that it swings back and forth when your child plays with it.

It's cute at the same time and your baby can push it to make it rock. But it also makes the game a bit more difficult.

A bead game is hard enough at this age so I think they wanted to put too much into one toy.

Best creative wooden dinosaur toy

Melissa & Doug Dino Stamps

Product image
7.9
Toy score
Features
3.6
Replayable
4.4
Sustainability
3.9
Best for
  • Sturdy stamps
  • Dino theme is fun and the volcano a good addition
Less good
  • Ink is not that good

Stamps are so much fun, my son has had a lot of fun with them in his toddler years too. If your child is crazy about dinosaurs, a dino stamp is of course beautiful!

There are 8 stamps with dinosaurs on them plus 5 colored pencils.

Those pencils didn't really work for me. You always have a bunch of those. Then they could have added a stamp for the money, but oh well.

The stamps that come with it are nice and there are 2 colors with washable ink.

They can make their own world here full of dinosaurs and a volcano. They might even color lava flows or some grass with trees.

In addition to the volcano, there are 7 dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pteranodon, Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus and Velociraptor.

The ink could have been a little better. You really have to stamp it on white paper or you won't see it. So you may need to have a second set of ink pads ready when you give this as a gift.

Conclusion

There are a lot of dinosaur toys for sale, but unfortunately most of them are plastic. If you also want to add sensory play to your child's play, wood is the way to go.

Also read: these are the best wooden toy brands we've come across

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.