Choosing toys for your kids can be a challenge. It can be a difficult task given the numerous options available, each with its pros and cons.
A lot of childrens toys include plastic and electronic parts - not ideal for babies and toddlers, and not good for the planet, either.
An attractive alternative would be to go for wooden toys - a great option if you wish for children to stay away from anything plastic. With a simple and reduced design, combined with beautiful colouring and a naturally textured surface, wooden toys are suited to children of all ages, and are played with over and over again.
Today, we will explore the benefits of wooden toys and how children can be encouraged into deep play through the simple design and unstructured nature of wooden toys.
What Are The Benefits Of Wooden Toys?
1. Encourages Imaginative Play
Wooden toys work well to encourage a child’s imagination. Children between the ages of 3-6 years old draw out their imaginations.
At this stage, they start drawing inspiration from places that do not exist. Although animating and associating objects with a specific meaning start as early as age 2.
Wooden toys make it easier for children to do so - they can play with them while letting their imaginations run free.
Toys nowadays are usually plastic and often come with electronic parts. They come with flashing lights, sounds and voice prompts that tell the child how to play with them. Wooden toys do away with this aspect, letting the child play with the toy as they desire.
Wooden toys allow free play - one day the toy is a tunnel, the next it's a rollercoaster, the next, who knows! Children will find all sorts to do with wooden toys and are only limited by their imaginations; younger children will colour match, count and arrange, and older children will create elaborate structures and add to imaginary scenes.
2. Encourages Creativity
Part of the aspect of imaginative play is creativity. Wooden toys work great in encouraging creative thinking.
The materials themselves without instructions, the only premise is to let children play, without time, slowly. Wood is a material that incites, invites, causes the creation of diverse worlds which are fantastic, realistic and yet entirely imaginary.
A wooden toy allows the child to have complete control over the game they play. In this case, they produce their own sounds and have the object work on the behaviours they desire. It allows the children to simulate situations and scenarios and create endless imaginary worlds.
While the voices and sounds from electronic toys appeal to children, they tend to limit the applicable uses to them.
When compared to wooden toys, that changes completely. This lends well towards open-ended play.
3. Helps Develop Motor Skills
Wooden toys can help children develop in various aspects, particularly in hand eye coordination, motor skills, counting and colour sorting, for example. Coloured wooden blocks are great for this.
Children arrange and rearrange wooden blocks according to how they desire, creating structures by stacking them together or by shuffling them around. The interaction practices their motor skills, targeting their hand-eye coordination.
They can learn with colour sorting and creating patterns, and they can reinforce and practice counting in a fun way with games.
4. Helps Mathematical Logic
Going back to wooden blocks, you can see how such toys also help with exercising and developing logic.
Consider the case of when they stack up blocks and build houses and buildings, they would notice how to have everything in the right alignment by trial and error, or to make sure the blocks will stack and balance properly.
With the uniformity of the blocks, the children can get a reference on the measurements, and will understand how some blocks are easy to stack and balance, and others less so.
Other toys also help children learn and practice basic counting and colour matching. These items include counting blocks and mandala pieces, the various shapes and sizes of which can be counted and sorted depending upon their characteristics.
5. Safe To Play With & No Toxic Materials
Our wooden toys are made from sustainably sourced wood and are painted in water-based paints and non toxic stains - no plastics or nasty paints to worry about!
This is a distinct advantage compared to other toys made of plastic or metal, which often have lots of small parts and pieces or have been made from potentially toxic materials.
Some of the plastic toys tend to be brittle and may end up breaking into pieces, depending upon the method used for manufacture and the quality of the material. Cheaper plastic toys produce sharp edges when broken, which could cause injuries to children when left unattended.
Some toys can also have smaller pieces that would prove dangerous. More so when these small components come from broken pieces from the toy. Handcrafted wooden toys are entirely different - how they are made, the materials they are made from and the paints they are coloured with.
It's ok if your child sucks or chews on them, they are easy to clean and easy to maintain.
6. Durable & Built To Last
Wooden toys are exceptional, heirloom quality. When your child has outgrown them, they can be passed to a younger sibling or friend. Many of the pieces look great as ornaments on a table too!
You notice the quality when you look at them. They tend to last longer when compared to other toys.
Compare them to plastic toys - wooden toys tend not to break after hitting the floor or other hard surfaces. Wooden toys can take much punishment and still maintain their shape afterwards, what with all the banging and whacking a toddler or young child is prone to do!
This is what makes them so attractive. Despite the years that would pass, these toys look timeless that it would fit well from one generation to another. This is why they stand out as fitting gifts for families leading an all-natural lifestyle and for parents who want their children to play with open and unstructured materials that are simply an expression of their imaginations at any given moment in time.
7. Environmentally Friendly
We have spoken before about how environmentally friendly wooden toys really are, especially when they are hand crafted from sustainably sourced wood and coloured with safe, water-based paints.
Choosing wooden toys work out well as environmentally friendly gifts. Aside from wood being both durable and timeless, they also come from a sustainable resource. These do not involve the use of chemicals that can harm children.
As part of the manufacturing process, the wood used for these toys come from forests within the EU. These forests have proper conservation regulations to ensure that using trees from these areas do not impact the environment negatively.
Wooden toys also use non-toxic water-based paints. This ensures that the child would not ingest harmful chemicals in case they end up putting the toys into their mouth.
8. Quiet to Use
Wooden toys do not make any sound when used - it's up to your child to make the sounds for whatever toy they are using or whatever scene they have created. Due to not having any electronic components to them that would playback any sound effects, they allow children to use their imagination. Wooden toys also tend to come in whole pieces instead of a toy comprised of smaller parts.
As wooden toys do not create any sound, this becomes an advantage for parents, and you can worry less about annoying beeps and repetitive songs.
9. Cost Effective
When compared to other toys, wooden toys tend to be cheaper. They may look expensive when compared to plastic toys. However, a wooden toy lasts longer when compared to a plastic one, which tends to break easier.
The longevity and durability of wooden toys, which we mentioned earlier, allows the child to play with them a lot more and a lot longer. They focus on the toy even more and it gets to stay with you without choosing to replace them.
With quality wooden toys, they can last longer and can be passed down to siblings, friends and even generations.
Try Wooden Toys For Your Children
Wooden toys provide your child with a better experience when compared to plastic toys. It gives your children a lot of benefits, letting them enjoy and focus on the toy and dive into their imaginations. You let your children develop with wooden toys, allowing them to create worlds and scenes from simple wooden blocks and shapes, allowing them proper deep, free play.
You can check out our selection of wooden toys today!