Welcome to our ‘ 7 Advantages of wooden toys | Benefits for your child ‘ guide.
In this high speed, screen, and data-driven age, finding unplugged recreation for your children is all the more important for their development and wellbeing. Wooden toys may appear pretty basic, but you will be blown away by the benefits of introducing your child to these traditional toys. More and more parents are recognizing the benefits of wooden toys and enjoying great results and fun times with their children. In this article, we explore 7 key advantages of wooden toys that every parent needs to know. We hope you will find it helpful in providing constructive activities for your little one!
1. Wooden toys make excellent props for role play
Educational experts increasingly understand how important role play is to your child’s development. They spend hours on your hip or by your side while you cook, clean, or visit the store to buy groceries. They are learning – observing the things you do and want to have a go too. It is, therefore, no surprise that your children will want to
- play house
- chopping vegetables
- pouring tea
- doing the shopping
- work with tools
… and more. Children love imaginative play and delight in being able to play at grown-up tasks.
Wooden playsets are safe and hard-wearing and make a great addition to any toy box or dressing-up chest. Because wood can be shaped very easily it can be used to make all sorts of objects, like pre-sliced chunky wooden fruit and vegetables, wooden animals, or toy trains.
Wood is great for fashioning objects from the world around your child that they can handle and enjoy safely as sharp corners are sanded down and items can be made to a size that is just right for their little world. They will really enjoy it if you join in too, get down to their level and let them pour tea in that wooden teacup or cook you a meal in the play kitchen.
2. Stimulate your child’s creativity with traditional wooden toys!
Wood is such a versatile material for children’s toys! It can be shaped into almost anything but one of the most beloved of wooden toys are those simple solid wood blocks that come in a range of shapes sizes and colors and can be used to build almost anything. For young children who have yet to master pens and pencils or modeling clay, wooden bricks can be made into just about anything,
- from houses
- to big rigs
- to spaceships
- to robots
… the list goes on. We’re sure that kids can come up with an infinite number of ways of building with wood or making up joyful games with other toys like spinning tops or skittles. This kind of wholesome and healthy play really stimulates their creativity and concentration which will definitely spill over into other constructive activities you plan together.
They can try alternating colors and shapes of wooden blocks which is also a great way of learning about patterns.
If you are crafty, why not try painting, dyeing, or staining your own wooden toys with your child? They’ll make great memories for later years when they are grown.
3. Handling wooden toys boosts dexterity!
One of the wonderful benefits of the range of wooden toys available is their ability to build up manipulative skills and strengthen the muscles of the hand. We need dexterity, skill, and ease in using the hands for all aspects of everyday life from peeling a banana to tying a shoelace, and though these abilities develop naturally there is no harm in encouraging the process with wooden objects and items little hands can hold. Use of wooden rattles, wooden teething rings, and building blocks will all challenge the admittedly clumsy handling of the first months and years and move your children on to refined manipulation needed for skilled manual tasks like writing or turning the page of a book.
Playing with wood toys will give young hands the workout they need working the abductor and adductor muscles that are so vital for the ‘pincer’ grip and fine adjustments of the individual fingers to whole hands.
The purposeful movements first tried out on wooden games, played with enthusiasm will definitely attune fine motor control by building the circuitry of the brain needed to direct precise movements subconsciously. Tactile wood with diverse textures and finishes will also build sensory perception needed to grip and hold objects well.
4. Wooden items help your toddler zone in on spatial awareness
If you can find the time, there’s nothing better than a fun afternoon on a rug or carpet with a box of simple chunky wooden blocks. Unleash your inner architect and build tall skyscrapers! See how high you can go before it all comes crashing down. Or perhaps an expansive fortress with high walls and towers. You may not know it but as your child sets one brick on top of the other, whether they succeed or fail they are building spatial awareness.
This is an innate skill that is again, developed subconsciously. Playing with bricks simply helps them exercise their skill. With time and patience, they will learn the limits of where to place the bricks without toppling the tower, just give them a try. The best thing is that there is absolutely no pressure, with building activities with your wooden toys they will be doing it all themselves.
5. Playing together with wooden toys is great for bonding.
We hear so much about attachment and bonding, but what does it really mean? It is essentially taking the time to build a great relationship with your child which can be a foundation for leading them through the formative years of life and providing the comfort and security they need. It’s hard to find the time that is required to do this well but setting aside a few hours for a playdate with quality wooden toys will certainly sow the seeds of a fruitful relationship.
Teaching your child how to play with wooden pull toys or alphabet bricks will pay you back in the time they will eagerly spend practicing your play together or by themselves. This is because they will remember what you talked about and shared in your time together. Better still, if you have some basic carpentry or painting skills, you could make some delightful classic wooden toys for your son or daughter which will definitely become treasured items. The lessons of seeing a parent make something with their hands will definitely last a lifetime!
6. Wooden toys are the ideal choice for non-toxic playthings.
Contemporary toys are manufactured with all sorts of materials which sometimes may have dubious provenance. Harmful substances that can make their way into your child’s toys include:
- Flame retardants
Adverse effects of these chemicals and surfactants can span anything from gastrointestinal tract problems to endocrine disruption to a raised risk of cancer. Now parents are more aware of the damage these substances can do, there is a greater demand for the use of safer materials in toy manufacturing. Being an all-natural substance, wood is preferable, especially when it is coated on non-toxic paints and finishes. Confidence is an important thing for parents, so knowing you are providing your child with wooden toys means that you can relax and let them play and explore more freely.
7. Start to build basic literacy and numeracy with classic wooden toys
Alphabet bricks and the humble abacus are the stuff of future Einsteins and it’s never too early to run through your letters and numbers with your child using these traditional wooden toys. We believe that these are the best educational toys for the early years and are all you need to get your little one pre-reading, recognizing colors and shapes, and appreciating the principles of addition and subtraction.
No fancy electronics are needed, just the simple natural repetition with your son or daughter until the basics stick. Encourage them to count and show how you combine alphabet letter bricks to spell words like their name. A humble abacus may initially be used for little more than percussion, but it is in fact an ancient primitive computer from the Middle East that can be used to crunch some pretty large numbers. Wood toys like these are also hard-wearing and will be suitable for siblings of varying ages.
Rounding up: What’re the advantages of wooden toys ?
Wood is a fantastic material for simple parent-powered play which will really build up your child in so many positive ways. One of the best things about wood toys is that they are long-lasting, and if you have a large family, they will make great hand me downs, or you can donate them to other families. Try out some of the ideas we have shared and let us know how they have worked out for you. Any wooden toy tips, tricks, or recommendations? Reach out and let us know in the comments section below!
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