Whoever follows me on Instagram knows that I am a massive lover of toys. I’m pretty sure it is in my genes as my dad collected vintage tin toys when we were little. I am very happy to have a few of his pieces in our home. They are a wonderful memory of a fantastic man and father.
The best thing is though, that I am now allowed to play with them. When we were younger he was very hesitant to let us even touch them as he was petrified that we would break them. Now who would think a 6 and 4-year-old would do such a thing!?
I don’t like all toys though, actually I dislike a lot of them. Plastic mass produced toys with one specific purpose are definitely not my thing. Especially those that make noise! If someone buys your child a noisy plastic toy, you might want to analyse if they are your real friends, or if they are trying to make your life more difficult….
It must be the teacher in me, but in my opinion toys need to have an educational value and allow for open ended play. As a mum I have grown a special interest in wooden toys, here are my top reasons why wooden toys are the go to toy.
1. Wooden toys stand the test of time.
I think we have to be honest here- children are super skilful in breaking toys! We know that that truck will bump into walls and be launched off the stairs. If that specific truck is made from timber, the chances are higher that they will damage your wall rather than the toy itself! Not sure if that’s a better problem to have, but hey – the truck is what it is about here. That same truck will be played with when your child is 3 and when he is 8, simply because it will grow with your child’s interest (and it has not broken after 5 uses).
2. Wooden toys will encourage imaginary play
Some wooden toys come in the shape of a car, train or possibly even a bus. Some of them are kitchen items, or shaped as food. These toys will lend itself for hours of role-play with endless possibilities and real-life scenario’s on how to use them. Then there are the basic wooden toys, such as blocks, sticks and open-ended puzzles that allow your child to be creative and use them for whatever they would like them to be. Open ended imaginary play is incredibly important for your child’s development, and there is no better way to do it than with high quality pieces. Is there anything better than a stack of blocks that will function as a castle one day, and the fence for a zoo the next?
3. Wooden toys encourage conversation and interaction.
When a child plays with a toy that makes noise and has flashing lights, or somehow interacts with a child, this child is more likely to engage in solo play. When playing with wooden toys there is a higher chance that children will invite other people into their play, which is great when developing their social skills. Also, because the wooden toy doesn’t supply the alarm, the siren, or the bells, the child will be providing all the sound effects that are suitable for that scenario, which again, keeps them in control of the ‘function’ of the toy in that specific situation and allows for wider use of a toy.
4. Wooden toys are safe to play with
When purchasing high quality wooden toys, the timber used will be safe and no toxic glues or paints will be used. You don’t have to worry about any possible chemicals that are unknowingly a part of the toy, which means they are safe to be chewed on. Besides that, as we said before, they don’t break very easily. Therefore you don’t have to worry about little pieces coming off, or sharp edges that your child can hurt itself on.
My last reason on why wooden toys are a great purchase is one a bit more for me, than for the child, but:
5. Wooden toys are aesthetically pleasing
I have to be honest here, besides all reasons mentioned above. I also just really like the look of wooden toys. The timber fits nicely into many interiors and look good on shelves. After all, we don’t necessarily want to live in a toy store. By having wooden toys as the staple of your child’s collection, tidying up becomes less crucial, because they look good anyway, even while hiding under the sofa, or on the dining table!
I hope I convinced you that wooden toys are the way to go! They look good, are safe, last for years and offer hours of play. Imagine your child handing their favourite toy to their own children when growing up? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? I think it does, please check out www.happygoducky.com. They have the most fantastic collection of toys available!
Images provided by Happy Go Ducky and White and Wander.