With the popularity of online shopping and the digital door wide open for anyone with Internet access to see, shopping for the best toy for your child can become quite daunting. Then you go to the malls and see a wide array of toy options as well.
Action figures from various studio franchises, toys from fast food restaurants featuring beloved cartoon characters, and those classic toys which continue to compete with more current ones are all fighting for your attention (and your child’s).
Then you pass by an electronic gadget store and someone in merchandising hands your child a tablet showing him how he can have fun with it. Your child looks at you questioningly, seeking your approval. Do you get that toy for him, or should you continue searching?
Sometimes overlooked by well-meaning parents, wooden toys have been making a comeback as parents like you search for child-safe and eco-friendly toys that can be passed on from one child in the family to another.
Should you buy your child something made of wood, then? Take a look at this list of reasons why wooden toys stay classic and are always the better option for kids.
Wooden toys are tough.
It will take more than the weight of your little one to break that wooden toy truck down. Unlike plastic toys which can easily break or chip, wooden toys are built to last longer. The fact that most wooden toys are handmade helps ensure that they meet high-quality standards of craftsmanship. This is precisely the reason why, with a bit of care, wooden toys can become a family heirloom.
Wooden toys stimulate your child’s imagination.
Without the fancy voice, sound and lighting effects common to certain types of plastic toys, wooden toys are simply made. Instead of feeding your child’s mind with stimulus from sound and light, it is your child that will have to use his imagination. In doing so, your child’s mind is engaged, and it will be your child who will be directing the play, not the other way around.
Pretend play is very important for your child’s development of creative, social, emotional, language, thinking and reasoning skills which are all fundamental to their growth.
Wooden toys are sustainably made.
Taking your household on the eco-friendly route? Starting with your child’s toys is a great way to plant the seeds of environmental responsibility in him in a fun and creative way. Wooden toys are made from sustainable sources bearing the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) seal of approval. So even if you dispose of your child’s wooden toys, you can either give them away or recycle them without any fear of adding to the burden on landfills.
Wooden toys help develop fine motor skills.
Wooden toys challenge children’s sense of order, coordination, agility, and balance. If your child is playing with a bunch of wooden blocks in odd shapes and sizes, he has to find a way to organize them so that they don’t fall off or collapse. Your child will learn to master those little fingers and hands in order to build a tall tower, knowing how a little bit of extra pressure can bring a whole tower tumbling down.
Unlike plastic toy cars, wooden toy models are usually weightier so your child will also need to exert more effort to get those wheels turning. Again, getting a wooden toy car to move is a lesson in coordination and strength. Your child learns to apply just the right pressure and energy to move the wooden toy car to achieve the desired speed. And since your child is the one in control using a cord attached to the car, for example, he learns to navigate his way around, over and under obstacles.
Wooden toys are cheaper in the long term.
Finally, some parents shy away from wooden toys thinking that plastic ones are a cheaper alternative. So not true. Precisely because of their durability (and safety), wooden toys are definitely a more practical purchase. What’s more, wooden toys can teach your child so many things that plastic toys simply cannot. Wooden toys remain a classic simply because they are created to enliven your child’s time for hours on end with educational and highly imaginative, creative play.