Why Wooden Toys Are Better Than Plastic Toys For Children?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to children’s toys. Most parents would agree that the best kind of toys are the ones their baby plays with – no matter plastic or wooden. But when it comes to purchasing a plastic or wooden toy, the chance is high for a plastic purchase. Affordability alone has plastic winning over wooden.
Aside from being wallet friendly, plastic toys are washable, lightweight and comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes and forms. Nowadays, most plastic toys are also BPA-free making it safer for kids and a no-brainer purchase for parents. But sometimes, safer is not safe enough.
For example, children chew on their toys. Plastic toys contain plenty of harmful chemicals such as phthalates, BPA or PVC. Studies have shown that these chemicals can mimic or suppress normal hormone regulation and have health concerns related to early puberty, obesity,and increased risk or cancers. Lead in toys have led to many product recalls in the past, even under the most popular baby brands. Also, plastic toys can chip making it easier for your child to swallow the pieces and become a serious choking hazard. If you are an eco-conscious mom, you also know choosing plastic contributes to the release of more harmful chemicals in the environment; which inevitably affects your baby’s health and future (just saying).
Unfortunately, wooden toys come with a stigma of being old school and uncool. Who wants to be playing with wooden cubes on a foam playmat when everyone else is playing Peek-A-Zoo or Rumble in the Jungle on iPad? It can be said that parents being adverse to technology is at risk of stunting his/her child’s development and growth. But this implies that the magic of imagination can be conveniently traded in for instant entertainment and distraction.
Before writing off wooden toys, consider the following:
Wooden toys are hard wearing
The fact that most wooden toys are handmade, quality craftsmanship ensures the finished product is of the highest standards (without defects). This is the reason most wooden toys outlast plastic toys. Wood, as a material resource, is also stronger than plastic. If your child sits on a plastic fire truck, stands on a plastic toy truck or drops his/her favorite plastic musical caterpillar, there is a great chance it will break leaving sharp bits and edges that can cut. Compared to a wooden version of the same toy, the likelihood of breakage from regular daily play is very slim.
Wooden toys are less distracting
Traditional wood-based toys are designed to be simple. They play an essential role in a child’s development by getting the child to focus and increase attention span without the use of fancy electronics. When the child plays with a wooden toy, it allows them to be in control and keep their minds clear while they think through different scenarios and problem solve. There is no disruptions from alarm bells, music and flashing lights that can deter the child’s thought process. This encourages their imagination and problem-solving skills.
Wooden toys aid in developing life skills
When it comes to developing a child’s vital skills, toys like wooden building blocks and slot-in puzzle shapes hone their hand-eye co-ordination and problem-solving a lot better (and safer) than filmsy, sharp-edged plastic toys and complicated electronics. Wooden toys help children develop reasoning and analytical skills when given different shapes, colors and sizes to build or organize a certain project. Children can solve puzzles and create patterns by visualizing how everything fits together.
Wooden toys are quieter
Wooden toys do not pollute your home with chemicals and they also do not pollute your home with unnecessary noise. Unlike battery-operated plastic toys that produce incessant beeps, alarm bells (and it’s the loud high pitched kind that gets on your nerves after 30 seconds) and flashing lights which require you or the baby to switch on and off, wooden toys are quiet and only respond when played with. When baby goes to sleep, wooden toys are alseep as well.
Wooden toys are easy to maintain
Due to their simple designs and polished flat surfaces, wooden toys are easier to wipe down and disinfect. But unlike plastic toys, wooden toys do not lose their shape or appearance after long use.
Wooden toys are actually cheaper
While many find that plastic toys are more practical than wooden toys based on cost factor, considering the lifespan and durability of wooden toys actually makes wooden toys friendlier on the wallet than plastic toys in the long run.
Wooden toys can be reused and recycled
When your baby outgrows the wooden toy, it can easily by pass on to another baby. However, if you intend to discard the toy, wood is a natural resource and can easily be subject to recycling. This means that apart from the entertainment and educational aspect of a wooden toy, you are also proactively preventing further degradation of the environment.
Wooden toys are environmentally friendly
The fact that you invested in a wooden toy, you have actually reduced your carbon footprint from the start. You know that toxic materials were not used to make the toy and you are not exposing your baby to latent chemical by-products. Having a wooden toy is like having a connection to nature. When your baby holds a wooden toy, he/she can touch and smell the wood from the tree. It is like being a integral part of the natural world.