Meet The Little Woodpecker- Why it all began v1

When it comes to the perfect toys for little boys, Little Woodpecker owner Anjla Pankhania is something of an expert. Mum to 4-year old Zack, with a brother for him on the way, she began her London-based eco-friendly toy company because of her desire to help look after the planet which would become her sons’ future.


Anjla married her husband 14 years ago, and had a long marriage of 9 years before baby number one came along. During these pre-Zack years, the couple travelled the world and it was during this time that their desire to live a more sustainable life took hold. During their time in Asia they saw how our reliance on plastics was impacting the environment - “travelling in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam you would have the most beautiful landscapes and then see plastic dumped all over the place.”


This was not the world they wanted for their children and so the idea about creating an eco-friendly toy store was born. Even before Zack came along, Anjla and her husband were committed to doing their bit for the planet, recycling, re-using and switching their car to one which was more energy efficient. “It not like we want to be green warriors…but we truly believe that if everyone does their little bit, considers their actions and impact on the planet, then this will have a huge impact on our and our kids’ future”.


This is the logic they also apply to eco-friendly parenting - small steps, a little at a time. “Eco-friendly parenting is not just about toys, it’s everything you do, like using low-energy bulbs, not wasting water, re-cycling, using washable nappies, making food at home, considering waste. But it’s important not to do everything at once and not make your opinion the opinion of others. Over time, it just becomes natural and you become more aware of things you do. Just take a moment to think about how it’s going to impact the future.” And there will always be challenges – not all products which say they are friendly to the environment, actually are 100% eco-friendly and it can be hard to know which is which. Also, children will always want the toys their friends have, and sometimes this means plastic, from action figures to bricks like Lego (who is taking action to become more eco conscious), so it is important to remember that it is alright to compromise.


The main goal for Anjla is nurturing your child’s creative behaviour. “Lots of plastic toys steer you to play in a certain way. We’ve noticed it is different with the wooden toys – it’s more about imagination - making the sounds and being creative, rather than the toy is doing all that for you”. Along with how eco-friendly they are, this is how Anjla chooses what toys to stock. For her “a toy should be so much more than a toy” - it should inspire creativity and engage their senses, a tool to learn and grow at every level.


Creating a generation of creative, caring, and environmentally-responsible people is what it is all about – and it can start with something as simple as a toy!


Anjla’s favourite

The Kitchens (“the role play is excellent”) or the musical instruments.


Zack’s favourite

The Brio Train set (“Hours of fun!”)