11 Reasons Why Wooden Toys Are Better Than Plastic

Why wooden toys are worth the investment

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By Max Bender

wooden toys

Wooden toys vanished for a considerable period, overshadowed by their plastic counterparts, but in recent years, they are making an unexpected comeback. What factors contribute to their renewed success? Why are they considered a better choice for children?

Wooden toys have a lot of advantages, due to their organic, non-toxic, and naturally antibacterial composition. In contrast to plastic toys, which, when damaged, may produce sharp, uneven edges and small parts that can be swallowed. Additionally, wooden toys boast greater durability and recyclability. They are recyclable and safe, and do not neglect design.

Let’s delve deeper into their advantages and the reason why they justify a greater investment.

Why choose wooden toys?

The choice between wooden and plastic toys is subjective, with each type possessing its own set of merits. However, a growing number of individuals advocate for the superiority of wooden toys, attributing several advantages to them. This article delves into 10 reasons why many people believe that wooden toys outshine their plastic counterparts.

Durability

Wooden toys are renowned for their durability, often surpassing the resilience of plastic alternatives. They can withstand robust play and are less prone to breakage or cracking, making them a reliable choice for parents seeking long-lasting playthings.

Environmental Impact

A compelling reason to opt for wooden toys lies in their eco-friendly composition. Typically crafted from sustainable and renewable resources, wooden toys are biodegradable. This eco-conscious approach contributes less to environmental pollution compared to the production and disposal of plastic toys.

Many wooden toys can also come from recycling other wooden objects, so they are less of an impact on the environment. Alternatively, make sure to pick toys made from wood coming from sustainably managed forests.

Aesthetics

Wooden toys exude a timeless and classic aesthetic that appeals to many. Their enduring charm often makes them cherished items that can be passed down through generations, fostering a sense of nostalgia and connection.

Creativity and Imagination

Simplicity in design is a hallmark of many wooden toys, allowing children to unleash their imagination and creativity during play. This open-ended play encourages problem-solving skills and fosters a more imaginative approach to entertainment.

Safety

Safety concerns surrounding toxic chemicals in certain plastics have led some to argue that wooden toys are a safer option. High-quality wooden toys are typically crafted with non-toxic paints and finishes, ensuring a safe play environment for children.

Additionally, wooden toys are typically difficult to swallow, and they rarely feature the sharp edges commonly associated with plastic toys that can cause scratches.

Sensory Stimulation

Wooden toys offer a unique sensory experience through their natural textures, smells, and sometimes even sounds. This multi-sensory engagement can be instrumental in supporting a child’s overall sensory development.

wooden toys
Wooden toys are often considered beneficial for the growth and development of children for several reasons.

Longevity

Designed with durability in mind, wooden toys often prove to be timeless and long-lasting. Their robust construction makes them suitable for passing down to younger siblings or even future generations, contributing to a sustainable approach to toy consumption. The prospect of passing these toys from one generation to the next only adds to their enduring charm.

Educational Value

Many wooden toys are intentionally designed with educational purposes. These toys serve as tools for developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive abilities in a fun and engaging manner.

Less Electronic Influence

In an era saturated with electronic gadgets and toys, wooden toys stand out as a more traditional and less electronically influenced option. With no electronic components, screens, or batteries, they promote more active and imaginative play, fostering a healthier play environment.

Support for Local Artisans

Choosing wooden toys crafted by local artisans or small businesses contributes to supporting local craftsmanship and the economy. This conscious choice aligns with the values of those who prioritize sustainability and community engagement.

wooden toys
Many wooden toys are crafted with an artisanal touch.

Quality over Quantity

These items exemplify quality, typically commanding a higher price compared to toys crafted from plastic or alternative materials. This inclination encourages a mindset that values quality over quantity. Therefore, if you are considering investing in a wooden toy, opt for a well-crafted, aesthetically pleasing piece that promises durability over time, as opposed to acquiring numerous low-quality ones that are prone to quick breakage.

As tou can see, while the preference for wooden toys may be subjective, the outlined advantages provide a compelling argument for their appeal.

A toy for every need: some cool ideas of wooden toys

Toy train, cooking sets, construction… More and more brands are offering wooden toys. There is a wide choice, all carefully designed and in bright or natural colors.

Let’s find out more about them!

Wooden Mechanic’s Kit

Wooden versions of nearly every toy originally made from different materials are available, ranging from Meccano to toy theaters, cooking kits to mini-shops. Additionally, you can find accessories to furnish a dollhouse or to dress and care for a favorite stuffed animal. Classic board games also have wooden renditions, including chess, backgammon, dominoes, and goose games. Younger children can enjoy wooden games like rattles and building shapes.

A timeless favorite is the wooden mechanic’s kit, offering a charming alternative to traditional versions. Picture a wooden box complete with small work tools, suitable for all children, boys and girls, aged 3 and up.

Among these creativity-stimulating wooden toys, you’ll discover similar options such as doctor’s kits or pizza-making kits. The diversity of wooden alternatives provides a wholesome and enduring play experience for children of various interests and ages.

Wooden toys to build

Engage in the fascinating world of 3D puzzles featuring laser-cut wooden silhouettes that require precise fitting to create movable objects like dinosaurs, clocks, or airplanes. These puzzles represent a modern evolution from the classic Meccano, utilizing birch plywood for their pieces. Some variations even incorporate small mechanisms for added movement, enhancing the realism of the creations. Take, for instance, a functional clock designed for boys aged 12 and up.

For young girls with a passion for jewelry, a delightful hobby involves crafting bracelets and necklaces using vibrant wooden beads and leather webbing. There are many options, combining shimmering butterflies with tiny multicolored wooden beads at an affordable price.

A wooden game that mimics the electronic version, allowing the construction of ever-changing figures, is the wooden adaptation of ‘Tetris‘—a puzzle game that serves as a perfect tool for stimulating a child’s intelligence. These wooden alternatives provide a diverse range of entertaining and educational activities for children of various interests and ages.

Wooden outdoor games

Let’s kick off with a timeless favorite among outdoor games—a classic swing that only requires a sturdy tree with branches capable of supporting its weight. Find a version featuring a wooden seat with an adjustable rope.

Out in the open, a multitude of games beckon, demanding agility, balance, and coordination. If you’re fortunate enough to have a garden, consider installing a climbing structure. There are even wooden playgrounds available on the market, complete with a climbing tower, fulfilling every child’s dream.

For the little ones eager to explore the world of bikes but not yet ready for pedals, a pedal-free bike can aid in developing a sense of balance. With numerous types and models available, we recommend one crafted from beech wood. It’s not just a game; it’s a clever strategy to help the child transition smoothly from the initial wheel stages to mastering the art of bike riding.

And then there’s the enchanting Indian tepee—a delightful prop for imaginative play, allowing children to pretend to be someone else and dream of different lives hidden within. The Indian tepee stands as a dream come true for children of all ages.

Do-it-yourself wooden games

Another popular option is train sets and toy cars. Consider rewarding the child with a set that includes a table. With this, they can fashion their own imaginative city, complete with cascading waterfalls, mountainous landscapes, and intricate road junctions.

wooden toys
A classic wooden toy that enables children to unleash their imagination and creativity during play.

Old-fashioned wooden games

A dream toy for little girls? The timeless essence of female childhood often revolves around the cherished dollhouse. With countless enchanting versions available, each seemingly more beautiful than the last, why not merge creativity with the enduring tradition of wood? Consider an all-wood dollhouse, complete with furniture and accessories, eagerly awaiting the touch of vibrant colors.

Additionally, wooden cubes have long been a cornerstone of childhood education. Opt for the brightly colored versions, as they tend to capture and hold the child’s attention effectively.

wooden toys
Anybody said Jenga?

Safety and contraindications

A wooden game possesses a lesser degree of toxicity compared to its plastic or metal counterparts because it does not involve the use of hazardous chemicals. The potential danger lies in the application of glues and paints. However, in many cases, these items remain uncolored, left in their natural state.

With a wooden game, there is no risk of traces of lead, and they do not contain phthalates, which for example have been banned by the European Union since 1999 due to their toxicity to children. Furthermore, these games lack dangerous electronic components or flammable elements.

They are also free from allergenic brominated substances. It is crucial, however, to ensure that the different parts are not bonded with substances containing formaldehyde.

Certifications

One should always choose items by checking the age indicated as most suitable, so as not to endanger the child. However, you should check that it complies with European regulations: just look for the CE mark (European conformity) on the toy and its packaging. This mark indicates that it complies with current toy regulations and is safe for children.

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