Picture a children’s playroom and you’re likely to imagine traditional dollhouses, soft, smiling teddy bears and colourful trainsets.
Wooden toys have always had a classic appeal, and for good reason too. Wooden toys symbolise a hard-wearing, traditional and strong product. Something that is built for play and to last generations. But there’s many more reasons to invest in wooden toys than just for their sentimental appeal.
Read on to find out why wooden toys trump their plastic counterparts any day of the week.
Investing in lasting wooden toys means that you will be able to keep them in the family and pass them down from sibling to sibling and then generation to generation. This saves you having to buy something brand new for every child when a lick of paint will make it all brand new instead.
You should also consider how wooden toys can become part of your family’s history. Think how nice it would be for your children to play on the same rocking horse your grandmother once used?
Wooden toys are a great way to have a useable family heirloom that can be enjoyed by many generations, each creating their own special memories.
Wooden toys encourage imagination
Unlike plastic toys, which tend to be all-singing, all-dancing (and more!), wooden toys are usually much less complex. Moveable wooden toys will feature a simple wheel mechanism, or pulley system, allowing your child to learn how the toy works, without being distracted by flashing lights and noisy sounds.
Wooden toys are simple, encouraging your child to develop their own imagination and creativity skills without having the toy think or talk on their behalf.
Think back to your own childhood and you might remember a wooden aeroplane or abacus set you might have owned. These toys would have lasted you years and eventually became part of your own wistful memories of times gone by.
Classic wooden toys, such as coloured building blocks, appeal to every generation. After all, young children will always want to create and destroy towers of blocks!
Compare this to most plastic toys on the market today, which have a very short lifespan. They tend to be produced around trends, which quickly go out of fashion and end up discarded or in the bin.
Opt for wooden toys instead, and never be worried about your toy being replaced by another fad again.
Remember the last time your child broke one of their favourite plastic toys? How frustrating was it knowing that you can’t repair the electrics in the plastic toy, nor glue the broken plastic back together?
With wooden toys you don’t have to worry (as much) about breakages. Sure, the wooden aeroplane might get trodden on, but you’re much more likely to be able to repair it effectively. Wooden toys can also be repainted and varnished numerous times, creating a new look, or to appeal to different children through the generations.
Plastic toys can be harmful
Did you know that plastic toys can contain chemicals that are harmful to humans? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in plastic toys to make them shatterproof. There have been some studies conducted that have linked BPA to the onset of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.
Since 2011, the EU has banned BPA in the production of baby bottles. However, plastic toys produced in China, where regulations are not as strict as the EU, still run the risk of containing BPA.
BPA isn’t the only threat. Phthalates is a chemical used to make plastic more flexible. Worryingly, it too has been linked to cancer and reproduction system damage.
Why put your child’s health at risk with plastic toys, when you can invest in chemically-free, safe and affordable wooden toys instead?
Better for the environment
Think about all the toys you have bought your children in the past. Over the years, many of these would have ended up in the bin, for one reason or another, clogging up landfills across the country.
Wooden toys are much more environmentally friendly. They don’t fill up rubbish dumps, as they are a biodegradable and renewable resource. It’s also worth noting that toys stamped with the Forest Stewardship Council seal of approval have been produced from a sustainably managed forest. So you can have peace of mind that you’re doing your bit for the environment too.
Whichever way you look at it, investing in good quality, timeless wooden toys makes sense. Not only do they last longer, can be handed down through the generations and are better for the environment, but they also have that charming, nostalgic appeal and can add to the aesthetics of a warm and traditional family home.
John Bellusci is a Writer for one of the leading online boutiques for children’s toys and baby gifts– Cottage Toys.