Children born in the last decade are born to technology: they have never known the world without home computers, and by the age of two, each of them would likely have watched a video or played a game on a smartphone. Just as physical books are rising again in spite of e-books, however, wooden toys are also making a resurgence — and for a good reason.
Playing with traditional wooden toys is a great way for kids to learn what everyday life was like for people in generations past. Many schools also teach young students about other cultures by letting them play with traditional toys ranging from Japanese kokeshi (wooden dolls) to the cup and ball of native tribes. These tend to be wood, as they are more durable and easily preserved than toys made from cloth, paper, or other natural materials.
Durability and Eco-friendliness
Increased globalisation and ease of transportation have changed our culture in many ways, one of which being that store-bought toys are now made as cheaply as possible. Not only are these toys more prone to breakage, they usually can’t and won’t be repaired. In contrast, wooden toys are more durable and can be passed down to younger siblings or other kids, making them a better investment of your money and more meaningful keepsake for your children. When wooden toys break, they can be easily fixed with glue or other wooden parts. According to woodworkers, wooden toys are also harder to mass produce, so many are still being made by hand. By buying fewer toys that will soon end up in a landfill or incinerator forever, you are doing your part to protect the world in which your children will grow up.
We’ve looked at the past and future, but most importantly, wooden toys simply look and feel better. The weight and texture of wood have a tactile appeal that helps promote development in children, which is why experts often recommend wooden toys to children with delayed development. Bare wood can even be gnawed on babies and does not give off toxic gases or shed paint chips. The attractiveness of wooden toys can be appreciated by both kids and parents as well — wooden toys easily double as home decor in any room. According to The Guardian, the simplicity of wooden toys promotes creativity and thinking skills in kids, who easily grow tired of electronic and gimmicky toys.
Although wooden toys are a throwback to simpler times, kids today are no longer limited to basic blocks and dolls. With all the beautiful and complex options to choose from online, it is possible to find wooden toys to suit any age and personality: your kids will thank you for it.