Welcome to our ‘ Why Choose Wooden Toys Over Plastic Ones? ‘ article.
Are wooden toys better than plastic ones? To answer this question, you need to better understand the topic. I must admit that I have always been inclined to buy toys made of wood, thanks to living next door to a wood carpenter who made Rocking Horses.
When it comes to your children, you always want to choose the best. Nowadays, 99% of the commercially available children’s toys are made of plastic and metal. There are some very common and specific toys made of natural wood, wooden train sets spring to mind. But this still only accounts for a very small portion of toys sales and this makes me sad. Because wooden toys form an important part of our heritage and culture and are safer than plastic toys.
How many times have we been assured that plastic or painted toys are safe, and after that, we learned about the detection of lead paint in the toy? Kids put everything they play with in their mouths, and plastic, painted toys, and metal are probably the last things you would like to see in your child’s mouth. Not to mention small parts falling off and becoming a choking hazard.
Wooden toys are the most suitable for children, available in different colors and for every occasion: from educational toys to outdoor or table toys, they are recyclable and safe, and are designed to last.
Why Choose Wooden Toys?
A wooden toy is:
- solid, beautiful, well-made, synonymous with craftsmanship.
- durable, robust, and ages well.
- safe, it does not contain toxic substances.
- ecological, recyclable, and also recycled.
The value of wooden toys
Let’s reflect on some of the differences between these two types of toys. Plastic toys: easily break, as a result of which the child may be injured on sharp edges. Wooden toys, by contrast, are more durable. If you step on a toy truck made of plastic, there is a good chance that it will break, possibly leaving behind sharp debris that might hurt your child; in the end, such a toy is only good for the bin.
Wooden toys encourage your children to use their creative abilities when they either create toys themselves or play with them. Simple activities, such as making cookies in a toy kitchen or riding a wooden horse, develop your child’s creativity, imagination, and visual development.
You are probably wondering why parents often offer their children simple wooden toys instead of cheaper plastic toys. Many people think that plastic toys are more practical than wooden ones because of their cost. Although plastic toys are cheaper than wooden ones, in the long run, the victory remains with the latter.
Wood is a natural material that, if grown and used economically, can form a substantial part in helping the environment. That is, in addition to providing entertainment for your child, you can also take part in preventing harm to the environment. Also, children become more attached to toys made of wood.
Since when have you seen a plastic toy being passed down from generation to generation?
High-quality wooden toys contain natural anti-bacterial properties. A quick wipe down of the wood with a slightly damp cloth is sufficient to keep it clean. Plastic toys, however, have no anti-bacterial properties. Bacteria can linger on plastic for 24 hours and can cause the transmission of diseases. Although both wooden and plastic toys can be easy to clean, plastic one’s crack more easily and can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Wood on the other hand, with its anti-bacterial properties, causes bacteria to die off quickly. Learn how to safely clean wooden toys in our wooden toy care guide here.
On the other hand, wooden toys are designed to amuse, distract, and stimulate children’s learning. The texture and smell of wood stimulate the senses and invites children to touch, feel, and explore with wooden toys.
Wooden toys don’t run on batteries. This fact implies the active participation of children when playing with them, so it provides more freedom and effectively promotes the different capacities of children such as imagination or reasoning.
So, in Summary, Why Buy Wooden Toys for Your Kids?
1- They are warm to touch: Wood as a natural element, it has life, cracks, some are more polished than others, it has a peculiar smell, and it has a soft and pleasant touch that children usually like.
2- They are more durable: Think carefully about the wooden toy you are going to buy because I assure you that it will last you, not only all the growth of the child but also several generations.
3- They give more value to the toy: A plastic toy is normally something provisional, something temporary that will be with us for a short time, therefore it encourages the consumerist philosophy of I buy, use for a short time, and then buy another. Wood gives the toy a more solid look and is often perceived by the child as something that should last longer. With which in the long run money is saved.
4- They promote imagination: That they do not have batteries, nor are they electric, together with a simpler design makes the child have to bring it to life and, therefore, encourages their creativity and imagination. The simpler the wooden toy, the more creativity unfolds.
5- They are less dangerous: They are usually well made and, being simpler, they do not usually have many loose parts that can come off with the consequent risk of suffocation. Be careful about the type of paints used because some of them can be toxic, so even if they are a little more expensive, make sure they are of good quality and non-toxic.
6- They are natural, biodegradable, and renewable: They are 100% ecological, so we will be educating our children with respect for nature from an early age.
With all these reasons, we can only say that plastic toys are also useful but can be left for other moments such as the beach, the pool, the bathtub, to play outside when it rains.
When are Wooden Toys Safe?
You play it safe if you choose toys made from untreated or at most waxed solid wood. This is free of chemical ingredients and therefore completely harmless to your children. However, if the toy is made of wood-based materials such as plywood, caution is advised. You should also take a close look at varnished, shiny wooden toys, which may also be glued to it: paint and color can contain health-threatening heavy metals and adhesives are toxic.
Whether Plastic or Wood: What You Should Pay Attention to When Buying
As you can see, you cannot effectively protect your children by simply choosing wooden toys instead of plastic toys. To ensure that you buy pollution-free toys for your children, you should pay attention to the contents and test seals on the packaging for both variants. If the information is completely missing, the purchase is generally not advisable. You should take a close look at the seals of approval: The CE mark, for example, only guarantees that basic European guidelines have been complied with and is the responsibility of the manufacturer or, in the case of imported goods, of the importer.
Quality testing is generally carried out at the manufacturer’s request and the criteria include not only pollutants but also flammability and mechanical safety. The quality standard bodies proceed very precisely in the tests and set significantly lower limit values for pollutants. If a toy passes the quality test of such an independent body and is awarded a seal of approval, you can easily access it and make your child happy – whether with a toy made of wood or plastic.
Lastly, wooden toys are durable and difficult to break, so you will have made a good investment with your purchase while reducing the chance of children being injured by them.
Buying toys for your children or as a gift for someone else is a fun thing to do. But not only that, you’re creating memories and helping to stimulate a child’s mind and help with their development.
Wooden toys are tactile and durable and help build those lasting memories.
No matter what wooden toy you buy for your child just sit back and relax in the knowledge that you have purchased a safe and stimulating toy and your children will love it!
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