Did you know that some of the earliest toys were crafted from wood? You may even have one that’s been in your family for years.
It’s the old-world charm of wooden toys that continues to capture the young imaginations of children from one generation to the next.
Not only are they safe toys for children (as they’re made from natural, non-toxic materials), but you’re doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Durable in nature, wooden toys won’t break like their plastic counterparts, reducing the amount of plastic rubbish that ends up in landfills each year.
Based on years of research (such as Montessori), the educational value of wooden toys is also second to none. Young minds are set free as they creatively play with the toy, developing their logical thinking, problem-solving, motor and language skills.
If you’re a parent wondering why you should choose wood over plastic toys, this handy guide will reveal the top benefits of wooden toys, along with how to choose an appropriate toy for each age group.
You’ll be amazed at how a simple, natural toy will capture your child’s imagination. Let’s explore why.
The Timeless Appeal of Wooden Toys
There’s something about wooden toys, with their timeless charm and durability, that makes them a much-loved toy throughout the generations. As parents hand the toys down to their children, they can share stories and reminisce about why it used to be their favourite toy. Not only do these toys stand the test of time, but they often become prized possessions as the younger family member is finally given the honour of being the new caretaker.
Let’s explore the top benefits of wooden toys:
Durability and Longevity
Let’s be honest – children aren’t always great when it comes to being gentle with their toys! As they’re learning their strength and fine-tuning their motor skills, toys will be slammed together, dropped, thrown or even given the good old mouth test. As wooden toys are crafted to stand the test of time, you’ll find they won’t break easily or wear out as fast as plastic toys tend to do. As a result, they’re the perfect hand-me-down toy that’s built to last.
Safety and Non-Toxic Materials
At some point, you know that a toy is going to end up being sucked, licked or even bitten. It’s one of the ways that children learn about the world around them. One of the best things about wooden toys is that they’re made from natural materials that don’t contain any nasty chemicals. If the toy is painted, you’ll find non-toxic paint has been used to keep your child safe. As a parent, choosing a natural-based toy means you’re doing what you can to protect your child from the harmful toxins that are often found in plastic toys.
Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
For many of us, we’re more aware of our carbon footprint than ever before. When you choose sustainable, eco-friendly toys, it’s a small way you can do your part for a better future for generations to come. Unlike plastic toys that clog up landfills (and often the ocean), wooden toys are recyclable and biodegradable (when they’ve finally seen their last days, that is!).
Educational and Developmental Advantages
With wooden toys being refined over the years based on research and child learning and development methodologies (e.g. those of Montessori, Steiner and Dewey), you’ll find your child enjoys greater educational and developmental advantages over playing with flashy, noisy plastic toys. They’re designed to help children of all ages learn about shapes, sizes, colours and textures as they creatively develop their logical thinking, problem-solving, motor and language skills.
Aesthetic and Nostalgic Value
Nothing compares to the timeless appeal and aesthetic beauty of wooden toys. Some of the earliest toys created were made from wood, and there’s something about a simple yet beautifully crafted wooden toy that still captures children’s imaginations today. Playing with a natural-feeling toy has been shown to keep children calm, allowing their minds to creatively explore the many uses of the toy in a quiet and meaningful way.
Choosing the Best Wooden Toys
Wooden toys are perfect for all age groups, allowing their budding imaginations to thrive with creativity.
Here’s a quick guide for choosing the best wooden toys for kids in various age groups:
- 0-2 years: At this age, your child is starting to explore the concepts of feel, space, shape and movement. They’ll begin by trying to hold onto wooden blocks or balls, listening to the noises they hear as they bang them together or drop them on the floor. As they grow, they’ll master their hand/eye coordination and problem-solving skills as they progress to stacking toys, pull-along toys, puzzles and multi-play problem-solving units.
- 3-6 years: With this age group tending to be more active and needing more stimulation, it’s ideal to choose balance or mini-trike bikes or scooters (that are brilliant for improving coordination), musical instruments, play sets like kitchens or dollhouses, drawing easels, and outdoor cubby houses complete with a sand/water/picnic table for hours of outside fun.
- 7+ years: By now, your child should have well-developed motor skills, so this age is about keeping them entertained for hours. Outdoor cubby houses, bikes and scooters work a treat, along with musical instruments and playsets. Encourage artistic creativity with art easels or promote play and art with a reversible chalkboard table playhouse. Spruce up their bedroom with a study desk, cosy bed and comfy chair, so they have a safe space to unwind after a busy day at school.
Discover HipKids’ Exclusive Collection of Wooden Toys
At HipKids, we’re so anti-plastic that we’ve spent years (since 2006!) searching for the best wooden toys for kids. Tried and tested by our own children, we know you’ll love our range of wooden toys as much as we do.
For unique, on-trend, innovatively designed toys, shop our range of affordable wooden toys today. And don’t forget to sign up for our loyalty program, earn points and be privy to exclusive rewards every time you shop with us.