Wooden toys usually have very particular characteristics that provide our boys and girls with benefits by using them in an unlimited way, developing skills and creativity.
Surely you have heard many times that wooden toys are better than plastic ones.
But why? Is it another fad or are there well-founded reasons behind that statement?
Today we present you 8 main reasons why we can consider wooden toys as a quality material for learning and development in the early years.
1. Weight and presence.
Wooden toys do not have the lightness of plastic toys. They are toys with greater presence. Children have to hold them consciously and firmly, stimulating, in turn, the motor skills of the hands.
In addition, that ultralight toys seem to downplay the importance of the object itself and the game.
Do you feel the same in your hand with a very cheap plastic car than with a wooden car?
2.Stimulates the sense of touch.
Wooden toys, especially if they are not painted, provide a pleasant sensation when touched. Not all wooden toys feel the same. There are more sanded, less, some in which the irregularities of the wood are noticeable, others that are not... all of this offers sensations that the children's brain registers, almost without seeming to, while they play.
They favor the imagination.
Wooden toys are much less elaborate than plastic ones, they do not incorporate lights or sounds. It is the child who has to imagine everything he wants that toy to do, nothing is given or done. Being less structured they are more versatile.
4. They reduce consumerism.
Plastic toys tend to be more fragile, break more easily (especially if they are cheap) and cause you to have to buy new replacement toys. On the contrary, wooden toys are more expensive, we buy less but of higher quality. Something that is essential so as not to enter the wheel of buying, using, throwing away.
5. They age better and are intergenerational.
Wooden toys, far from breaking or becoming ugly over time, age beautifully. And in case they break... they can be fixed more easily than plastic toys. They can be passed from generation to generation, because the toy is still just as beautiful and functional.
6. They accompany the child during different stages of his growth.
Wooden toys, being less structured, tend to be more timeless. By this I am not referring now to the fact that the same toy can be passed from generation to generation, but that it is used for many more years by the same child, since a toy of these characteristics rarely looks very childish or very adult.
7. They save money.
Even though it may be thought that they are more expensive, by buying fewer materials but of higher quality, the same toy can last several generations. All this ends up assuming an economic saving.
6. They connect with nature.
Wood is a natural material that responds to the biological expectations that children have at birth (in relation to the sense of touch). Our brain expects to touch our mother's skin and natural materials (trees, stones, earth...). Certainly not plastic.
In addition, using materials that come directly from nature helps children understand the relationship between nature and the production of everyday objects. With the wood of the trees you can make toys, kitchen spoons, furniture, etc. Explaining to a child where his plastic toys come from is going to be much more complicated, without a doubt.
HOW TO CHOOSE WOODEN TOYS
- There are many wooden toys on the market, but not all of them are safe. Quality has a price, even if we don't like it. Regarding safety, we recommend wooden toys that are not painted or varnished, since in the case of being for small children, many of them put them in their mouths. Failing that, look for the paint to be non-toxic, preferably water-based. It is important to know where the product originates from, let's look for brands that are responsible with the environment
- Whenever we can, we buy the most natural toys possible, since the less color they have, they will also be more timeless and versatile. Although children prefer painted, of course, and some also go well to give color to the home!
AND ARE PLASTIC TOYS “PROHIBITED”?
There are some excellent plastic toys, such as duplo or lego that allow the development of imagination, concepts of logic, composition of space, etc.
And besides, there are moments for everything. Plastic toys are ideal for:
- Going to the beach, pool or on a trip
- Use in the bathtub
- Play outdoors (they resist rain and bad weather better)
Information extracted from earth in hands and the montessori method