Our Story

Welcome to the Wooden Horse!

The Wooden Horse Story


fairy costumes

The Wooden Horse is living proof that "small is beautiful." Our old-fashioned, homegrown, neighborhood toy store is still thriving after three decades of taking "smallness" seriously. 

Over the years we've devoted ourselves to keeping the true spirit of childhood alive and well. The only "bigness" you'll find in our store is in the hearts of our knowledgeable and caring staff. Our cozy nooks and crannies invite exploration and discovery, and our toys recall simpler days, when playtime evoked wonder and delight.

We take our responsibility to the children we serve seriously. Our unique staff training program, Wooden Horse University, confers upon its graduates a special degree, a "Masters of Applied Play". It is an interactive peer-led series of courses designed to turn out "graduates" who understand child development, the critical nature of play, and the value of open-ended toys.

Originally established in 1971 in Los Gatos, California by Karen Scarvie, The Wooden Horse has received numerous awards. Among them is a Playthings Magazine Award for Store Design and Best Toy Store in local readership polls many times over.