Wooden toys have been around for millennium, yet plastic toys have invaded our society since the 20th century and are now the most common type of toy. But the benefits for wooden toys are far greater than the plastic equivalent.
- They involve your child. By this I mean your child must physically interact with the toy, there is no button to press, then your child sits back and watches it do it’s thing. Your child must manually push, pull, turn, or connect parts of the wooden toy. This leads to a more active mind.
- Less chemical toxicity. Wooden toys do not contain plastics or other toxins usually found in toys. They are made of natural materials and hence are safer for your child in this respect.
- Texture. Your child will be able to explore the various bumps and grains of wooden toys. They will be sanded down and some may even be slightly painted, but the texture is still different than a completely smooth piece of plastic.
- Less impact on the environment. Wooden toys require wood, possibly glue or screws and occasionally some paint. This is far less impact on the environment than plastics and batteries containing such chemicals as (dependant on battery manufacture and whether rechargeable or not) zinc chloride, alkaline, lithium, NiMH and lead acid. Plastics take hundreds of years to degrade, wood takes years, or a few days if you throw some termites (white ants) on them The manufacture of plastic also requires vast amounts of resources. Wood has less resource cost especially if it comes from sustainable plantations.
- Less danger. Swallowing a battery can be harmful or fatal. Swallowing small pieces of plastic is also a health hazards from the chemical leakage while it is in your child’s body. Wooden toys do not have anything this harsh on or in them.
- Can be used for generations. Wooden toys tend to last generations, where as plastic toys, even with the long lifespan of plastic, tend to get broken and thrown in the bin. An example is with my children, playing on a rocking horse that is over 50 years old. It has had some minor repairs, but it brings kids joy today as it did 50 years ago. I imagine this will be used for many more generations.
- The learn more. Toys in where your child presses a button and it tells them the alphabet or says I love you, will be no where near as much as they would learn having to interact with a toy. Learning to control and move things and actually having to think to interact will teach them far more valuable things at that stage in their life. Alphabets should be learnt in the real world with you explaining them and showing them how they are applied in things such as books and signs. I don’t think I really need to say this, but the only place a child should be hearing the words I love you, is from their family.
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