When people think of baby toys, they don’t usually think of wooden toys. However, with a few precautions, there is no reason why one cannot make a wooden toy for a baby. The great part about wooden toys is that they tend to last longer than plastic toys and can become prized favorites over the years as they get older. They can even be toys that are passed on to your children. Here are some things one should think about when making a wooden baby toy.
1.Size: Babies are small. However, they do manage to put a lot of bigger things in their mouths. When a baby is exploring her environment, she tends to savor everything. For this reason, the wooden toy must be large enough not to fit in the baby’s mouth. The wooden toy should not have small parts that can be removed from the toy, as the baby could do so while playing with it. You don’t want baby to accidentally choke on the toy that was created to entertain him.
2. Coatings: As mentioned earlier, babies tend to put everything in their mouths. They even tend to chew on things while teething. For this reason, you may want to refrain from varnishing or painting the wooden toys. If you decide to paint or varnish the toy, be sure to use a non-toxic coating and to check the toy frequently for damage. If the coating begins to peel off, it may be a good idea to remove the coating and reapply it.
3. Materials: Make sure the wood is not pre-treated. Some of the pretreated wood is sprayed or dipped with an arsenic-type insect killer or a cyanide-type treatment to help the wood resist warping. This can be fatal to the baby if she swallows it. If you are creating a baby toy, consider using natural wood. A softwood is also a good idea because it will give you something if chewed and it won’t splinter like hardwood would.
4. Shape: Make sure there are no sharp edges on the wooden toy before giving it to baby. A sharp edge could easily hurt your baby if you fall on it. To avoid this potentially dangerous situation, the wooden toy should have all edges sanded and all spots sanded to get a nice curve.