Why wooden toys are good for children?
1. Wooden toys are safer than plastic toys
Some plastic toys are cheaply made and break easily. But wood is strong, sturdy and durable. BPA and PVC, two chemicals both commonly found in plastics. Some plastic toys contain toxic chemicals such as PVC, BPA, lead, arsenic, phthalates, chlorine and other chemicals. These toxic chemicals can lead to several harmful effects including changes in hormone levels.
But good quality wooden toys don’t contain these chemicals. They are recyclable and biodegradable, so they are more environmentally friendly. What’s more, no paint is used on wooden toys, even if they are used, they are usually free of toxic chemicals. When wooden toys are produced, are materials are sustainably sourced and certified.
Wooden toys are certainly safer for infants.
2. Wooden toys stimulate creativity
Open ended toys allow children to explore different ways to play with it. Wooden toys are often open ended which can spark children’s creativity. When children play with things that don’t serve an obvious, single use, their imagination can be stimulated. According to the annual TIMPANI toy study in 2015, it was found that a simple wooden cash register scored well in the creativity category.
In addition, they can inspire creative and imaginative play in children due to their open-ended nature. For example, wooden blocks, wooden tiles, etc. They also help to stimulate children’s senses, develop problem-solving skills and cognitive skills, as well as hand-eye coordination at the same time.
3. Wooden toys encourage social interaction.
Wooden toys are simple in nature, unlike electronic toys. They allow children to explore with different sorts of creative play. Also, they allow social interaction among players.
Some electronic toys give out sounds and there are other interactive features. Children can play with them on their own. On the other hand, wooden toys don’t have light and sound effects or other interactive features. Thus, children have to play with others. In this way, interactive play is encouraged.
4. Wooden toys can help your children concentrate better.
Most of the times wooden toys don’t have extra components. They are simple and plain. This can help your children concentrate better. Playing with wooden toys can set children’s minds and bodies at ease because wood has a connection to nature. According to a recent report distributed by Planet Ark’s Make It Wood, wood can improve mental and physical wellbeing. And classrooms with a lot of wooden chairs and tables can increase learning pace, improve test results and concentration. Wood is beneficial to a child’s health and wellbeing.
5. Wooden toys are durable and sturdy.
Good quality wooden toys are durable, unlike plastic toys. They are more durable than other toys and they never go out of style. It’s possible to be passed down to the next generation as they don’t follow trends.
What are the things to consider when buying wooden toys?
1. Check if it is made from real, solid wood
Choose wooden toys which are made of solid wood, e.g. walnut, alder woods and maple from FSC certified forests. These are safe options, especially for babies. Be aware that some wooden toys are not made of solid wood. Instead, they are of composite wood such as plywood, MDF and press wood. These are harmful because they require toxic adhesives to bind different pieces of wood together. These harmful wooden toys emit formaldehyde which affect children’s breathing. You can ask the manufacturer if they use formaldehyde-free glues.
2. Check to see if the wood is sealed, finished or treated.
Choose toys that use food-grade plant-based oils like beeswax and jojoba oil instead of polyurethane lacquers. To make wooden toys more durable and look brighter, many wooden toy manufacturers treat their wooden toys to protect the wood.
The safest choice is untreated wood, completely natural solid wood for babies and young infants.
Both composite wooden toys nad solid wood toys are safe for older children.
3. Check if the wood is painted.
Many paints used on wooden toys contain heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. This harms babies and young child’s neural development. You can look for water/ vegetable-based paint / food grade dyes. Confirm this with the manufacturer if you find the labels do not tell about type of pain they use.
Make sure that the wooden toys don’t use formaldehyde adhesives.
The toys finishes with non-toxic wood and paints.