As parents, we always want the best for our kids. That includes the toys that our kids play with. But is there such a thing as a perfect toy? If so, wooden toys may come the closest.
Did you know that toys made out of wood have more benefits for your children compared to plastic toys? Maria Montessori favored “real” toys made of natural materials like wood because they’re healthy, safe, and inspiring for children. They’re also beautiful and durable; some of the earliest toys ever discovered were made of wood.
Here are 7 reasons to choose wooden toys:
HIGH QUALITY OF PLAY
I’m sure you know this already but when children are playing with toys, they aren’t just keeping busy; they’re doing some serious learning, too. Many studies have found that unstructured playtime (e.g., open-ended, simple wooden toys, for example) is both valuable and favored over structured play.
Wooden toys typically offer more open-ended and imaginative play. Since these toys do not have a single, obvious use, they spark children’s imagination and creativity are activated. While they tend to be simpler in design, have less or even no distractions (such as sounds and lights), they naturally open up endless possibilities for children. The simplicity of wooden toys also encourages dramatic play and construction
THEY ENHANCE EARLY EDUCATION
While plastic toys might offer sound effects and flashing lights, studies show that wooden toys can actually improve children’s numerical, literary, spatial awareness and problem-solving abilities. This is because many wooden toys come in the form of puzzles and building blocks, where little ones have to build patterns or are encouraged to create something new.
Even just stacking blocks one on top of the other can help children to develop their motor skills as they begin to find out how gravity and other forces work against them. This is especially great for children that have just turned one and over.
THEY HELP CHILDREN FOCUS
Research suggests that playing and learning environments featuring natural elements like wood help children concentrate, focus, and even calm down more than other types of spaces. More specifically, actually touching the wood physically calms children down, which means playing with wooden toys can have a neurological impact on a child’s brain.
THEY ARE LAST LONGER AND SAFER FOR YOUR CHILD
There’s a reason wooden toys tend to be the ones most donated, handed down, and inherited. They’re not indestructible, but they are durable—as long as you take care of them. Wooden toys offer durability and longevity which increase their potential to last for generations.
We all know how harmful plastics can be for the environment – especially when they break easily. They cannot be fixed and have to be thrown away. Wooden toys are practical, ethical and sustainable choices. These toys are usually more environmentally friendly as compared to plastics. Plastic toys are often more brittle while battery-operated toys usually have a risk of malfunction or obsolescence.
THEY ARE BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
By purchasing a wooden toy that’s sustainably sourced and made from certified wood, you’re playing a small part in reducing the amount of plastic waste. Wooden toys are mostly biodegradable and therefore will not contribute to waste in the landfills. Buying toys made from natural materials can help you do your part in reducing your carbon footprint, reducing waste, and cultivating a sustainable lifestyle for your family.
MORE USES = FEWER TOYS
Less is typically more when it comes to toys for babies and toddlers, who can get overwhelmed by too many choices. Children naturally form closer bonds with playthings—and go deeper with their play—when there are fewer to choose from. The open-ended nature of wooden toys allows children to create their own ways of playing and spend more time with a single toy.
CHEAPER IN THE LONG RUN
Wooden toys are durable and pretty much unbreakable if they’re made from good wood materials. don’t require any batteries or light bulbs, so you’ll definitely save money on those over the years as you do not have to keep replacing them
A simple, beautifully-crafted wooden toy can capture a child’s interest without overwhelming them, and inspire their imagination without directing it. Choosing between wooden or plastic toys shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing approach. As with anything, it’s always a good rule to exercise moderation. There’s room for some plastic; not all of these toys stifle your child’s imagination. But items that are made from quality wood or natural materials are both healthier and allow children to think more creatively during playtime.