Wooden toys: 7 reasons why they are preferable to plastic toys.
I'm about to tell a story about wooden toys that will undoubtedly make me dislike many and certainly made my mother-in-law dislike me but it is fully inherent in the subject and therefore I will not hesitate! When my son was about to turn two, I let relatives and friends know that we would not accept plastic toys. I was quite obsessed above all with the aspect of health and eco-sustainability, not as much as with that of pedagogy and I wanted to eliminate plastic from my child's toys. I didn't ask for expensive or impossible-to-find games, even a little gift was fine as long as it wasn't plastic. Well, obviously on my mother-in-law's birthday she showed up not only with a plastic toy, but with the biggest plastic toy she could find, a mega ride-on car!!! Well, after two years of unsuccessful requests, I said “enough!” and sent her home with her car under her arm!
The reality is that my mother-in-law has always showered my son with a flood of very low quality plastic toys that have almost always broken after a few weeks or even a few minutes. All this makes no sense and in this article I will explain why wooden toys are preferable to plastic ones.
1. They are more eco-sustainable
There is no doubt that the production and disposal of wood has a much smaller carbon footprint than that of plastic. Wood is a natural and recyclable material that decomposes easily and in much less time than plastic. We are experiencing a very strong climate crisis and if we don't take action now, things will get exponentially worse and our children and grandchildren will be the ones who will pay the price for our daily actions. Throughout childhood a child receives an immense amount of toys, if even half of them were made of wood or other eco-sustainable materials, then the impact would be immense.
2. They are safer for children
This concept is especially valid for younger children who tend to put everything in their mouth and even suck on the toy. If we choose toys made "well", possibly handcrafted by small companies that make safety a focus, then wooden toys will be much safer than plastic ones. First of all we always talk about natural materials, compared to materials created in the laboratory. Unfortunately plastic contains substances that have often proved to be harmful to the system, carcinogenic substances such as BPA (Bisphenol A), endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, etc. Of course, even here you need to know how to choose which wooden toys are the best, there are large companies that mass produce wooden toys, dyeing them with toxic enamels. These should be avoided. Try to understand which company you are buying from and what its philosophy is, where the games are made and by whom.
3. They are more durable so they cost less in the long run
At first glance it may seem that a wooden toy is more expensive than a plastic one, but is that really the case? Meanwhile the wooden toy has a higher quality than the plastic one , if it falls it will hardly break and this will mean that the expense will be appreciated in the long term because it will prove to be more durable. Also a beautiful wooden toy is a special gift for future generations. It is what we define as a “heirloom toy”, which means heirloom toy (obviously intended in a good way). It can be passed down from generation to generation whereas a plastic toy is usually short-lived.
4. They encourage unstructured play
Another reason why wooden toys "cost less" than plastic ones is that often plastic toys are designed and produced in a consumerist perspective where the The goal is to sell as many toys as possible. Then games are created with well-defined instructions and very limited uses that are suitable only for children of a certain age group after which they are abandoned. Just think of one of those devices where the child presses the key and the noise comes out. How long will it take to play before you get bored or overcome the cognitive difficulty? Instead wooden toys are almost always open-ended and stimulate unstructured play which in turn encourages creativity and divergent thinking, as well as socialization and communication and math skills. Thus a simple Grapat ring that can be hung on the gym when the baby is newborn, becomes a teether around 4 months old, then is placed in the treasure basket towards the 10 months. Now the baby is one year old and will roll the ring. Around the age of two, however, the ring will become a pond in the creation of a small world. And so on ad infinitum. Because physical reality has limits, fantasy doesn't! What does this mean? Less games and more uses even over time.
5. They offer balanced stimulation
Newborns come into the world with a very low sensory stimulation threshold. They are very susceptible to being overstimulated by things that we adults don't even notice: the noise of the television, the sunlight, a slightly rough blanket, a fart that doesn't seem to come out! The plastic toys that we find on the market are often sound or/and give off lights. This makes them particularly fascinating for children who are immediately captivated by them. But they can also have the effect of hyper stimulating on a sensory level and make the child nervous. Better to opt for the calming effect of a beautiful wooden toy and I'll explain how in the next paragraph.
6. They help children calm down and focus
And here we come to the next point: wood calms! A study published in 2017 found that compared to other materials (marble, tile and stainless steel), tactile stimulation of the palm with white oak wood significantly reduced the concentration of oxy-Hb in the left/right prefrontal cortex, which is associated with prefrontal cortex activity, and significantly increased the ln(HF) component of HRV, which reflects parasympathetic nerve activity. These results indicate that contact with wood induces physiological relaxation. Relaxing to concentrate on the game seems to me a trump card!
Even just looking at the Magic Wood Sound Tree is relaxing!
7. They are more beautiful!
I will never understand why kids toy has to be synonymous with hot pink and other colors that have the effect of an eyesore. Why can't a game be educational and also beautiful? We know that today it is recommended to give children accessible and usable spaces in all areas of the house but especially in the living areas. Children must have the opportunity to interact with their toys even outside their bedrooms. Why then can't we aspire to have a perfectly furnished living room but must instead tolerate the havoc of aesthetics that are often found in toy stores? Here, this rarely happens with . Wooden games, elegant, timeless, with calm and harmonious colors, adapt very well and, indeed, give an extra touch to the environment.
How much beauty is there on these shelves? I glimpse among the many
- the houses of Grapat,
- the puzzle of the busy bee by Stuka Puka,
- the tender pear by Babai Toys,
- the Tickit woodland saplings and
- the puzzle geometric shapes by Wooden Story.
I hope that with this article I was able to explain why we should think about buying wooden toys at least in part: they are super beautiful, super safe and super useful for development. Tell me yours in the comments, share this article if you liked it. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to write to us. And if you're in the mood for shopping you can find our huge selection of wooden toys here. See you soon!
Ho scoperto l’importanza dei giochi in legno sui social, e devo dire che mi sono piaciuti sempre più. Trovo affascinante tutto ciò che puó essere creato con la fantasia con questi oggetti. Fortunatamente in tempo con entrambi i miei figli.
E il vostro sito è pieno di queste meraviglie. Complimenti 🥰
Bell’articolo interessante 💙
Sono entrata nell’universo dei giochi in legno solo ora, col mio terzo bimbo.. è un mondo meraviglioso, che affascina, rilassa, rapisce e diverte… ed è bellissimo sedersi per terra in 5 ad inventare giochi sempre nuovi! 39 sett.
Vero! I giocattoli in legno sono di gran lunga migliori rispetto a quelli in plastica! 40+6 :)