We all know plastic isn’t great and that wooden toys have a certain visual appeal to them; most of us can attest to a wooden toy passed down through generations of family – but what is it that makes sustainable, wooden toys that much more special than the latest educational technology?
- Wood makes better memories
Wooden toys bring a certain degree of nostalgia with them, and who doesn’t love to share those special memories with their own children. When it comes to classic wooden toys, you might still have some to pass down to your children from your childhood.
- Wood is just better quality
Wood is a really durable material for toys – it doesn’t break down over time, it doesn’t shatter, it simply wears out very slowly over a long period of time. Also, most wooden toys are handmade, and the quality craftsmanship ensures the finished product is of the highest standards – most wooden toys will outlast plastic toys.
- Wood is better for health
The bad news is, the more contact we have with plastic the higher the chances of health issues like asthma. Thanks to plastics leaching toxic chemicals called phthalates, children with a propensity for mouthing everything will be at greater risk if they are chewing on harmful materials.
Better Buying Tip: Always look for BPA and phthalate free plastic when possible, or try out some natural ‘plastic’ baby toys made from natural cellulose.
- Woods is better for safety
Accidentally stepping on and breaking your child’s favourite plastic truck is no doubt rather painful and could cause injury from the sharp broken plastic and other small parts – not to mention the tears and possible trip to the toy store for a replacement. Wood, well, it just doesn’t do any of that.
- Woods has better vibes
A familiar and almost poetic substance, toys made from wood provide a greater tactile experience for a child, which fosters the connection with the world around them. A grounding experience, it provides children in an urban environment with the opportunity to connect to and understand nature through play.
- Woods is better for brains
Simple wooden educational toys are still the very best choice over any educational iPad app created. Because these toys are more open ended and organic, they inspire children to imagine the countless possibilities for that toy.
When children are given playthings with elements that they themselves can manipulate, because the toy – like wooden blocks – has the ability to be transformed, you’re instilling a sense of control and mastery over their own environment. The child will naturally transform from mere spectator to active creator and in turn they become more willing active creators and participants in life.
- Wood is better for emotions
The truth about those high-tech toys and apps is they will only teach your child simple cause and effect while over stimulating little brains, which most parents will attest to causing some very unhappy emotions. Creative, interactive play with quieter, more inviting wooden toys is actually calming and makes for happier kids. It’s difficult enough for a small child to deal with daily stimulus without being bombarded by special effects, blinking lights and automated instructions from noisy, demanding toys.
- Wood is better for the earth
When you buy ethical products made from sustainably sourced wood and more natural, eco-friendly materials you are not only getting a longer lasting, lower waste product but you are also supporting sustainable resources. These ethical companies often use non-toxic paint and recycled packaging, bringing it full circle.
- Wood has better ethics
Voting with your wallet for said ethical companies allows for growth not only for that business and their suppliers but for the entire industry and sustainable production and manufacturing as a whole. There would be few things better for our home planet right now than for sustainable practices with this kind of ripple effect to be successful.
- Wood has a better impact on your wallet
Wooden toys are actually cheaper – for real. Although their initial purchase prices may be higher, the quality and lifespan of wooden toys far outweighs the benefits of cheaper plastic toys in the long run. Wooden toys will not only be enjoyed for longer thanks to their durability, but they can be passed on to younger family members, friends or kept for future generations or even given away to someone in need.
Better Buying Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, high-quality wooden toys in good condition can be sold second hand when your child outgrows them.
- Wood just looks better
Classic modern educational toys made from wood are a material symbol of timelessness, authenticity and refinement. There is a clear visual appeal in the common minimalism of chunky wooden toy design that looks great in any home. A few wooden blocks lying on the rug in the lounge versus the cluttered colours of plastic, beeping, honking, flashing toys – well you can see our point.