In the ever-evolving world of toys, games, puzzles & children's entertainment - it can sometimes be hard to see what choices will be best for your child. Will the item be engaging? Fun? Represent value for money? Or is it just going to be another toy to pass on or add to Facebook Marketplaces in 6 months? Let's have a look specifically into the world of wooden toys and see if they still have a place in our toy box.
The Environmental Pro's of Wood
Probably the most obvious advantage of purchasing & using wooden toys would have to be their environmental benefits. Long term, using a wooden toy is environmentally friendlier than plastic toys. They are generally made of sustainably sourced wood products. Meaning, the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests which replace the trees they harvest, create no or minimal disruption to their surrounding environment and ensure the landscape will remain in place for future generations. Another environmental health advantage is that most wooden toys are either decorated with non-toxic paint or none at all! Lastly, wooden products are biodegradable and can be recycled.
What Do Wooden Toys Bring in Terms of Development & Education?
It is true that most toys - be it plastic or wood have either educational or developmental properties. But what precisely makes wooden toys different? Generally speaking, most wooden toys have been hand crafted and not mass produced. Their designs have been carefully curated for optimum engagement, enjoyment and learning. The simplistic, wholesome nature of wooden toys cultivates imaginative play more than other toys. With traditional wooden toys there is more 'space' for kids imagination to run wild.
For example, a simple Wooden Pull Along Puppy - it's a dog on a string, but to a child it could be their new puppy that they are taking on walks, feeding and playing with. A Wooden Dolls House with furniture - simple, but a child can sit for hours and play out an entire family situation within those 4 small walls. Wooden Peg Puzzles are a fantastic way for children to hone in on their attention & fine motor skills as they concentrate on placing the correct pieces in the spaces. Wooden Threading Beads are another great, multi-purpose product. Fantastic for creative, artistic play while making the family some lovely necklaces to wear. That task alone will also require fine motor skills and hand eye coordination as they thread the cotton through the small holes.
These toys require thought, concentration & imagination. There are no bells and whistles. No bling. They are what each child chooses to make them.
Durability & Value for Money
Wooden toys get 5 stars in this department! Given the designs of wooden toys have essentially stayed the same through the generations, we know that they will be toys that you and your children will want to hold on to. They will become and remain firm family favourites & will be used again & again - giving you the best possible value for money.
Wooden toys are strong & durable and for items like wooden blocks, trains, puzzles and pull along toys - they will last through your family's play time years and then can be passed onto the next family.
I think it is fair to say that we have all looked at a toy (or toys) and thought one or several of the following ...
- That is so ugly
- How can I hide this so I do not have to look at it
- This will not match our colour scheme at all
- My living room looks like a preschool!
The great advantage of wooden toys, is that they blend seamlessly into current design schemes. Current interior decorating trends lean towards minimal, organic & clean lines - something that simple, wooden toys fit easily into.
Reminiscing about your own childhood filled with wooden toys is also a strong driver and can weigh heavily in purchasing decisions. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing as we remember all the games we played as children, times of joy and happiness - it can also act as a trigger to share those memories with your children and grandchildren. Sharing your experiences, memories & games can act as inspiration for the next generation, cultivating imagination & creativity.
The Verdict: Wooden Toys as Popular as Ever
As we have discussed, wooden toys are typically classic, inter generational, top selling toys. These products keep being re made for a reason - they are well loved (meaning loved & well used) and stand the test of time!
In this era of ever changing toys, where a new range drops monthly to cater for the latest hit TV Show (I'm looking at you Bluey. But seriously what a show!) it is nice to have a wooden toy to touch. To bring us back down to nature in some way. We may be inside playing with them, but we are far closer to nature by holding a hand-crafted wood item.
The tactile feeling of wood and the simplistic nature of their designs are the perfect solution to balance out the tech heavy lifestyles in our children's modern day lives.
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