5 reasons why wooden toys are better than the plastic ones
I am always the first person to play with newly-bought wooden toys. It is, of course, all about my serious professional quest for therapeutical adoptions (functions), but underneath I simply LOVE these toys. Wood makes me smile, evoking the best memories from my childhood when the wooden blocks were always at hand. I also remember my dad making for me the wooden doll cupboard that was my favourite toy ever.
Nowadays, wooden toys are available in many shapes and sizes. A kitchen set, grocery or tool kit can be the best friends of boys and girls of nearly all ages. Wood is warm, friendly and universal. Wooden toys are not battery-hungry, and they are much more durable and thus safer than the plastic ones.
There are also other reasons why we should go for them:
1. SIMPLICITY – the process of making a wooden toy requires more effort due to the simple fact that wood is hard. Therefore, wooden toys are simple, symbolic and bit crude. Cars lack blinking lights, dolls don’t cry and horses can gallop thanks only to the imagination. The shapes are modest. The colours are often bit faded or restricted to the natural wood colour. All such proprieties add to the child’s development, creativity, symbolic play instead of luring them with the overstimulating options that the plastic toys offer. It is also beneficial for language development, as most wooden toys are perfect for role playing, building dialogue and expanding vocabulary. Additionally, every time we hand our child a beautiful wooden toy, we invite them to meet an example of great skill and artistry.
2. GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY – wooden toys are paradoxically better for our home budget. I say paradoxically because they are more expensive than their plastic counterparts due to the less efficient and thus more laborious manufacturing process. However, they stay with kids longer and are usually passed to the next generations. Besides, by buying mainly reliable and solid items we reduce the amount of the rubbish toys that create ‘visual noise’ without any educational value. Spending on good quality wooden toys seems to be a great investment, judging by the number of years when in play and the number of children using each single wooden toy.
3. ECO-FRIENDLINESS – wooden toys are better for kids’ health and for our planet by creating less waste. Toy production is safer for environment because wood is a sustainable natural material, unlike synthetic plastic or rubber derived from petrochemicals. Some wood manufacturers additionally avoid painting or varnishing their wooden toys and use only vegetable oil to finish them. Eco-friendliness also includes non-toxic paints and recyclable packaging.
4. DURABILITY – wood outlasts many other materials. Sufficient to recall all incredible examples of wooden architecture or artifacts that most of us have seen in the museums. They are all beautiful, and as time passes they become even more sophisticated. The same applies to wooden toys, which are not so easily broken and can thus survive many sharp manipulations.
5. MANUFACTURERS – most of wooden toys are made by craftsmen according to the long tradition skills of a particular place. Many of the toys also preserve traditional designs by recreating the old patterns and shapes. There is no place for mass production or hasty decisions. By spending on a wooden trolley or a car, we support a designer, craftsman, artist – and quite often all those three persons in one.