We've all been there, Christmas morning, the presents open, the kids eager to play. Then it happens. Two double A batteries required.
The world of play has changed drastically over the last 30 years. Children no longer have their old trusty and favourite toys filling their bedrooms. Toys were once heirlooms with sentimental value that were passed from parent to child. Old trusted traditional toys have been replaced with garish plastic toys. Flashing lights and batteries do the work the imagination used to do.
Bedrooms are full of plastic toys that end up broken and forgotten as the new latest trend takes its place. Plastics end up discarded and unloved and eventually find their way to ever over-flowing landfill sites.
In recent years people are becoming more eco-conscious. The dangers that plastics pose to children are more exposed now than ever before. As we all push towards sustainability, it stands to reason that our old favourite wooden toys are making a come back.
Reasons to Avoid Plastic Toys
Plastic toys are full of toxins that are harmful to toddlers and babies. One of the common plastics found in children's toys is PVC (vinyl). PVC and other toxins can be difficult to trace.
Flashy toys that overly stimulate children, work in the same way as our mobile phones. As a society, we have become dependant on the instant rush of excitement. When our phones buzz we feel the need to answer them immediately. The thrill we feel when we hear the bing is the dopamine being released in our brain.
The same is true of babies and toddlers. The immediate rush they feel from the flash and stimulation of techy toys is an instant dopamine hit. Plastic and modern toys get our kids hooked on dopamine from an early age.
This can interfere with the child's natural development and ability to regulate their emotions. Wooden toys keep things simple. They allow the child's imagination and creativity to develop naturally.
Modern toys and gadgets expose children to too many experiences, noises, sensations and activities. This results in them being cranky, upset and jerky. Sometimes they might clench their fists and unclench in what can seem like excitement.
It's not uncommon to see kids at parents and tots groups ending up reacting like this. Kids can go in calm and happy and quickly succumb to overstimulation.
Wooden toys reduce the risk of this happening. They are simple and effective.
Why Choose Wooden Toys?
Let's face it wooden toys have a rustic charm. They're timeless, beautiful to look at and hark back to a simpler time where childhood was cherished.
These are just some of the reasons that we love them. But telling a two-year-old their toy is charming is not going to be enough of a reason to pry them away from the talking caterpillar.
The biggest draw of the wooden toy is that they promote play and encourage the child's own imagination to do the work. The Montessori school of thought believes that children should be able to explore their toys naturally with all their senses.
Plastic toys don't allow for this kind of exploration.
Benefits of Wooden Toys
Wooden toys are far superior to plastic in many ways but one of the most notable is their durability. Babies and toddlers are not careful or gentle with anything. Wooden toys are built to stand up to toddler wear and tear.
Another benefit of wooden toys is their safety factor. Wooden toys aren't filled with the same toxins and carcinogens as their plastic counterparts.
Wooden toys remove overwhelming bright colours and flashing lights. The child's imagination does the work instead of batteries. This encourages creative play and helps children develop creative skills for later in life.
Another big positive is the interaction between parent and child. Many plastic toys don't encourage collaborative play. They focus on hyperstimulation which keeps children from playing with others. We absolutely love this wooden tool box. Not only is it eco-friendly and sustainable, it also promotes fine motor skills and creativity.
Problem Solving Skills
Wooden toys encourage children to develop problem-solving skills. These skills help children to invent new ways of playing and encourage curiosity. Wooden toys help children with hand-eye coordination and help to develop their imagination naturally.
Developing hand-eye coordination is like a mini workout for the eye. They have to learn how to make their eyes and hands work in conjunction with each other and bright plastics don't always encourage this. We love toys like this Colourful building block set that promote this perfectly.
Wood is the Future!
The benefits of wooden toys for babies and toddlers are second to none. They allow children to develop at their natural speed. They encourage and help develop problem-solving skills and creativity. They naturally stimulate imagination and they help develop hand-eye coordination.
Wooden toys are free from toxins, eco-friendly and sustainable. There is a wholesomeness to wooden toys that plastic just can't match.