Are Wooden Toys Better for Child Development
Knowing which toys are best for your child can be so difficult due to there being hundreds of different brands and types of toys on the market. From wooden puzzles, to wooden stacking blocks and even wooden rattles, do any wooden toys genuinely work better for child development? In this article, The Early Teacher will discuss whether wooden toys are truly better for child development, and which wood is best for kids toys.
So, are wooden toys better for child development? Wooden toys are better for child development because they rely more on the child’s initiative, problem solving skills and imagination, due to there being no audio or electric parts to guide them. This means that the child will develop cognitively just by figuring out how to play with the toy.
Keep reading to find out more about wooden toys, including whether they are better than plastic toys, and if they are more sustainable than plastic toys.
Do Wooden Toys Help More with Child Development?
Wooden toys can be better for child development because they give children the opportunity to figure things out for themselves. Typically, wooden toys are more traditional in style and don’t incorporate the use of audio instructions or visual guidance. This means that when using the wooden toys, children are completely left to their own devices to figure out how the toy works, which in turn, encourages them to use and develop problem solving skills, initiative and their hand eye coordination.
Another reason why wooden toys are good for child development is because they are often classic in style. They tend to be more neutral and have generic themes, in style, which means that they don’t go off trend and your children don’t get bored of them. This is significant with regards to child development because it means that your child will play with them for longer, meaning that they have longer to develop their cognitive skills on a deeper level. This is an important skill as children grow.
Furthermore, wooden toys are also good for child development because they tend to last a lot longer than poor quality plastic toys. This means that not only do they get used for a longer period of time and therefore encourage more cognitive development, but that they are durable enough to withstand generations of play. For example, you may find that some plastic toys will only last a couple of months of use from your energetic toddler, so when it comes to having another child you would have to repurchase the same toys.
Wooden toys, on the other hand, are built with such quality that they can be shared between siblings, and be passed down to new generations. This is a benefit because it means that the siblings get to share knowledge and teach each other, which is all part of the development of children. It is also better for the planet and your wallet!
Are Wooden Toys Better Than Plastic Ones?
Wooden toys can be better than plastic ones for many reasons but the most significant reason with regards to children is that they typically don’t use harsh chemicals and paints. As a parent with a young child, more often than not we are worried about what our children are putting in their mouths, but wooden toys are typically made with natural products and tend not to use harmful chemicals in their colourful decorative paints, which means you don’t have to worry about your child playing with them.
Wooden toys can be better than plastic ones with regards to durability. Wooden toys are produced on a much smaller scale than plastic toys and often to a higher durability, which means they can last for years, and even be handed down to other children once your child has developed past the toy's recommended ability level.
Are Wooden Toys More Sustainable?
In current times, it is becoming increasingly more prevalent that we need to make more of an effort to reduce the impact we have on the planet, and organisations such as the Climate Coalition are working hard to spread awareness on how factors such as how plastics are impacting the environment.
Some plastic toys contribute towards the current climate issues due to them containing harmful chemicals including PVC, phthalates, and bisphenol-A. These toxins may only be in plastic children's toys in small quantities but 80% of these toys end up in landfill each year where these toxins still get released. Whether in small amounts or not, it is still a significant factor to consider when choosing which toys are suitable for your family.
Wooden toys can be more sustainable if you choose products that hold certain sustainability standards, and more so if you pass them on to be used again by others when your child grows out of them. Below we have listed some of the main sustainability certifications for you to look out for when you are next looking to purchase a wooden toy.
The Forest Stewardship Council Certification represents products that have been produced using wood from forests that have been managed and sources sustainably.
Fair Trade Certification:
A product that holds a Fair Trade Certification is one that has been produced with the farmers and workers deal in mind, therefore ensuring that mass production for large profits cannot be exploited.
Carbon Neutral Certified:
Products that hold a Carbon Neutral Certification are either produced from carbon neutral companies or from companies that have purchased offsets to the value of their annual emissions.
EU ECO Label Certification:
Products produced under the EU ECO Label Certification meet high environmental standards the whole product life-cycle, right from raw material extraction, all the way to distribution and disposal.
Are Wooden Toys Popular?
Despite wooden toys often being much better quality and better for the planet, they tend not to be as popular because they don’t make musical noises, flash bright lights, or come in as many themes from popular kids television shows as plastic toys.
However, this is not to say that they are not good toys, in fact they can actually be better at engaging children and developing their cognitive skills through play as they don’t have these additional features. The simplicity of the toys mean that children have to figure out the toy for themselves, and use their imagination which contributes to their overall development as they grow.
Which Wood is Best For Kids Toys?
Hardwoods tend to be the first choice of material when making wooden toys because they are longer lasting, more dense, and less likely to splinter, dent or show any wear and tear. Typical hardwoods used for toy making include beech, birch, walnut, maple and oak.
Wooden Toys at The Early Teacher
The Early Teacher provides a range of sustainable toys and wooden toys to help entertain your children whilst also encouraging their cognitive and emotional development. With a variety of wooden toys, chosen with your child’s development and enjoyment at the forefront, The Early Teacher can support you in selecting the ideal wooden toy for your child’s development needs.
For more information on the wooden toys available at The Early Teacher click here.