Plastic toys cannot be compared to the natural beauty that wooden toys bring to the party. That is why despite being thousands of years old and having to compete with more sophisticated toys, they still survive as popular toys today. They are simple and elegant and have a feel of quality, so they end up being passed on to younger siblings and future generations.
The first toys, which were made about 4,000 years ago, were made mostly of wood. Small carved wooden pieces were used in games similar to chess and Roman children used larger models of horses and chariots as role play toys. The first puzzle was also made of wood, having been invented by a cartographer named John Spilsbury, to help with the teaching of geography. In the Middle Ages, wooden puppets saw it used in street performances for children. The Victorian era saw the advent of wooden dollhouses that were very elaborate and expensive. And after World War I, wooden models of airplanes and other vehicles became popular.
Today, with society more aware of the environment, wooden toys are receiving renewed interest. They are made from a sustainable, renewable source, generally do not require batteries, and can be easily recycled. You can find locally made handmade wooden toys that protect the environment from transport fumes and also support your local community.
Wooden toys are also much safer for our children. Plastic toys can release toxins if young children chew on them, but wood does not contain germs. They also encourage more creative thinking in our children by being adaptable to so many different games. They are not a single-purpose toy that limits the imagination and encourages a short attention span. They are available for all age groups in a wide range of toys, from shape sorters to building blocks and model craft kits. Most are educational in nature, allowing your child to develop motor skills or problem solving skills through fun play.
As with everything in life, there are always people who try to circumvent the proper procedures to make safe and environmentally friendly toys. So don’t just assume that because a toy is made of wood, it was made properly. The wood may have been acquired illegally or the paint may be toxic. Buy from reputable manufacturers using FSC certified wood and water-based paints.
Children learn through play, and the toys they use during this playtime shape the way they perceive the world. Many toys mimic real life, such as play kitchens, houses, and vehicles so that children can learn skills and how to function in society through a fun environment. As such, you need to provide your children with the right kinds of toys that encourage independent thinking and creativity while honing their movement, logic, and problem-solving skills. Buying toys that are environmentally friendly and explaining this to them will encourage them to live by these values as adults.