Welcome to our ‘ What types of wood are suitable for children’s toys? ‘ article.
Toys are essential for every child as they allow them to develop skills, refine coordination, and learn shapes and colors, and much more. They also accompany us into adulthood and old age, with beneficial effects for example on the ability to concentrate. For example, think of the game of chess.
Wood produces safe, ecological, and biodegradable toys. However, not all types of wood are suitable for this purpose and therefore in the creation of toys special attention must be paid to:
- Type of wood
- Origin of wood
- Final treatment
Different types of wood suitable for children’s toys
The chemical-physical composition of the wood itself, a renewable raw material widely present in nature, makes this material ideal for making toys.
However, not all types of wood are suitable for this purpose. For example, some types of wood tend to chip more than others in the event of a collision, with the risk of injury. Others contain substances that can be released, for example, the resin in fir wood chestnut and tannin: a water-soluble substance with an unpleasant and staining taste that makes this wood difficult to use, especially for objects that can be put in the mouth.
Among the species of wood indicated for the making toys includes:
It is endowed with a series of characteristics that make it the primary wood for making toys. Beech is a tenacious and compact wood with good hardness and a low tendency to chip, a fundamental characteristic in toys and especially those intended for babies and children. A beech toy with rounded edges in the event of a strong impact, for example in the event of a fall, can dent itself but will not chip.
It is suitable for toys made from large blocks, for example with the carving or turned technique.
Like beech, oak is also a hardwood and therefore tenacious and compact. Oakwood turns out to be harder than the beech wood. This wood is suitable for making hard toys. Its workability and other characteristics are similar to beech wood.
Maple is a light wood with a pleasant grain, resistant to stress and wear. It is used for example for making musical instruments (which could be included among the toys).
Alder, Pear, Cherry, Cedar
These reddish-colored woods can be used for the creation of toys, for example, to obtain pawns for board games such as Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, and others.
Basswood or Linden
Limewood is suitable for carving. Sturdy and flexible, it is suitable for making gymnastic wooden toys.
Conifers: Pine, spruce, and fir
The use of coniferous wood for making toys must be carefully evaluated as this type of wood tends to chip in the event of impacts or other mechanical stresses. Their use is however not recommended for the construction of toys that are handled by the little ones.
Toys for all ages
Wooden toys for infants 0-3 months
After birth, in the first weeks of life, the most interesting and stimulating toy is the face of a parent, mainly mom. The infant cannot yet see clearly, and their mother’s face during feeding is at the optimal distance for his eyesight. However, the sense of hearing is well developed, which is why all kinds of rattles or wooden music boxes (of course with moderate sound intensity) can arouse curiosity for the child.
At this time, fun and daily care of the baby are inseparably combined. Gentle speaking to a child, carrying, rocking, making faces, smiles – all this is extremely interesting and engaging for young ones. At 2 months of age, colorful wooden carousels hung above the cot can also arouse interest; provided that they are inexpressive colors (preferably contrasting, e.g. black and white, red and black, white, and red, yellow and blue).
Wooden toys for kids aged 3-6 months
During this period, babies begin to discover their bodies and the space around them. The baby’s main pleasure is getting to know his body (sucking his toes, watching his feet, taking them to his mouth) and exploring the immediate surroundings (grabbing toys, pulling hands-on objects hanging above his head, putting them in his mouth).
Toys at this stage are those that they can suck or shake to make noise. They can include rattles, wooden dolls, teething toys, textured balls, or board books. Because the baby’s visual acuity is constantly evolving, it’s worth putting on toys in vivid colors: red, white, and black.
Mats or blankets as well as all kinds of toys with different textures that can be gripped or chewed are great.
Wooden toys for kids aged 6-9 months
At this stage, the child begins to improve the mind, hand, and eye coordination. The child can pick up nearby objects more and more precisely. They also begin to move more freely (crawls), which is why objects that move are starting to attract a lot of interest.
Children love to discover new shapes and textures. Perfect at this age will be everyday items such as wooden spoons, wood vehicles with wheels, wooden cubes, large balls, push and pull toys, and large soft blocks, and all kinds of toys that emit a natural, subtle sounds (e.g., rain stick, maracas, bells).
Wooden toys for kids aged 9-12 months
It is a time of dynamic exploration of the environment and increasingly bold attempts to move. Babies of this age are crawling, standing at the furniture, and starting to walk. During this stage, all kinds of pushers (not to be confused with walkers!), wooden Jigsaws, wooden dolls, and doll beds, spinning tops, string toys, and manipulative toys, e.g., wooden blocks, can be stacked on top of each other.
It is also a period of learning the concept of object stability (the toddler begins to understand what it means that something appears and disappears), that’s why they love hiding objects one at another. An excellent gift can also be a booklet that stimulates learning the first words and encourages the issuing of spontaneous sounds.
Wooden educational toys for children from a year old
Wooden educational toys for children from a year
At this stage in life, psychologists recommend the use of toys made from natural materials. For example, a wooden cube toy, a wooden board made of wood with various buttons, bells, moving particles, rattles, musical toys, in-frame frames, or pendants on a stroller/crib.
It is important when choosing a toy to consider its weight, it should be up to 100g, exclude sharp corners/edges, shoelaces at gurney’s. Others should have a limiter and a thickness of 2 mm or more, the toy should not have scuffs nor a rough surface.
Wooden toys for kids aged 12-18 months
This is a stage of improving newly acquired skills of free movement, that’s why the possibility of free movement is the most important thing for babies at that time. Pushers, building blocks, rocking horses string toys, and rides (for self-pushing) that help develop motor coordination continue to be enthusiastic.
At this age, children are also increasingly aware of the purpose of objects, they imitate parents and imitate everyday activities: they try to brush their hands or teeth, take out kitchen aids, try DIY. Picture books that practice searching for characters, elements, and develop perceptiveness are also a good gift.
Wooden toys for kids aged 18-24 months
During this time, children spend their time mainly improving small mind skills and manipulative games using toys and everyday objects. It is worth giving the child access to simple toys: allow pouring rice or beans, splashing water, or playing with kitchen accessories – wooden spoons, bowls, pots.
At this time, it is also a great joy to assist parents in various household chores, i.e. cleaning (own cloth or sponge will bring a lot of joy), cooking, DIY. Closer to the second birthday, motor skills are so developed that children are happy to try cross-country bikes and scooters.
Wooden educational toys for children from 3 years
Recognized wooden educational toys are puzzles that develop fine mind skills, attention, and imagination. An interesting toy for ages from three years is a wooden toy house. You will find puzzles, mazes, laces, building kits, wooden cars, and much more.
An excellent gift during this period will be tools for playing in the sand (buckets, molds, paddles, but also more non-standard accessories that will allow the child to have creative fun, e.g., a funnel), various blocks (magnetic, wooden, large Lego), toys for threading, sorters, etc.
Wooden toys for preschool age
- 3-4 years old
This is the period of the first real conscious construction games and the beginning of the so-called themed games. Until now, the child has been manipulating toys in an unorganized manner, but now begins to plan and create more and more conscious, complicated, and multi-stage constructions.
A perfect gift for a preschooler is all kinds of building blocks that will stimulate the imagination, support motor and cognitive development, and puzzles and age-appropriate board games.
Also, at this age, children start playing with their peers in an organized way, there are gender-related games, role-playing, dressing up (e.g., playing at home, cooking, etc.). Whenever possible, it is worth organizing the child’s space for free games, e.g., a mud kitchen in the garden, where it will be able to freely use various accessories, it can be equipped with metal pots, bowls, and wooden spoons.
A lot of joy can also be caused by various simple costumes that will allow the child to play various characters or heroes (butterfly wings, mask, cape, shield, etc.).
Early preschool age is also a period of high activity – preschoolers love to be on the move. At this time, you can think of a pedal bike (rather without side wheels), scooters, garden swings, trampolines, and other aids that will help children channel a large dose of energy.
- 5-6 years old
This is a period of further flourishing of construction and thematic games. There is a fascination with various professional groups. During this period, children develop the ability to understand verbal commands (until now, understanding of the rules expressed by showing dominated), so board games, books, creative sets will be a good gift (colored markers, paints, cut-outs, glitter crayons, and other trinkets will work well) and construction and all kinds of puzzles.
Many children at this age love physical activity, the first sport fascinations and interests of football, swimming, karate, and ballet begin to appear. It is worth supporting these nascent passions!
Best toys for the early school period
At this age, the fascination with the peer group dominates, therefore themed games in which children engage in groups predominate. At this age, children are usually able to read, which is why books for reading or audio-books can be a great gift. Still, a hit gift will be construction and creative toys, age-appropriate puzzles, or more complex board games.
When choosing the right toys, in addition to the age category, it is primarily important to take into account the individual preferences of the child and his temperament. In this way, we increase the chance that the toy will inspire genuine joy and will last longer. We also encourage you to focus on quality, not quantity.
Final thoughts – What types of wood are suitable for children’s toys?
As you can see throughout a child’s early years and up to the age of 10, there are many wooden toys that will stimulate, entertain, and simply provide hours of fun. These safe and natural toys will and can be passed down from child to child as the lifespan of a wooden toy is a lot longer than a cheap plastic toy which you’ll be lucky if it lasts 2 years.
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