It’s often tough to resist giving in to your children’s demands for the latest, flashiest toy advertised on TV, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Wood toys are a great way to provide your children with entertainment and education without shelling out a fortune on the newest talking, light-up plastic toys.
Wooden toys have been around for millennia, and some of the first toys in history were probably made from wood. But there are plenty of reasons why they’re just as popular today as they were back then. Kids still love to play with toys made of wood. Because they rely on imagination and creativity, their appeal lasts much longer than plastic toys. Parents often tell me that their kids lose interest in those big fancy toys within a few days, but that they’ll play with toys like blocks and construction sets for years. I think this is because when kids play with wooden toys, they’re really playing, as opposed to just being entertained or distracted. Wood toys also play well with others—with a little imagination, they’re easily combined with other toys.
Their aesthetically pleasing designs, often making use of bright colors and geometric shapes, engage a child’s senses immediately. Wood toys for babies and younger children stimulate a children’s sense of sight, touch, and sound (and maybe taste!), while wooden toys for slightly older children provide challenges and encourage problem-solving. This is part of what makes wooden toys so wonderfully educational. They’re a great way for young children to hone their hand-eye coordination and motor skills, and wood toys help kids develop creativity and foster their artistic abilities.
And as a parent you can rest easy knowing that your children’s wood toys are safe and environmentally friendly. If your child chews on his or her toys (like many do), then wood toys with natural, non-toxic paint or dye will cause no harm, whereas many toys today are loaded with plastic, chemicals, and PVC. Most wood toys use much less wasteful packaging. They also need no batteries, which can harm children and end up in landfills.
Plus there’s the simple aesthetic appeal that owning a well-made wood toy can bring. Not only are they a pleasure to have around the house; they will often last for years, if not generations. After all—do you really think your kids will be passing down that plastic robot action figure with all the bells and whistles?