Are Wooden Toys Better for Babies?
For most parents, wooden toys are familiar from their childhood and bring back memories of fun times.
It is not uncommon for grandparents to hand down wooden toys that were used to entertain their children and toys that they used throughout their childhood.
It is rare to see a plastic-made Barbie Dreamhouse or hollowed Pokémon Charmander figurine shared through generations.
As most non-wooden toys are played with, shared with friends, or sent on epic childhood battles, they are easily broken, cracked, or smashed.
Playing with a broken toy at any age can be hazardous, and plastic pieces can be extremely sharp.
The short answer is yes, wooden toys are better for babies, but other than longevity, what are the other benefits?
- Are Wooden Toys Better for Babies?
- 5 Benefits of Wooden Toys
- 1. Wooden Toys Last Longer
- How Long do Wooden Toys Last?
- Can a kid have too many toys?
- 2. Fewer Toys can Result in More Enjoyment
- 3. Are Wooden Toys Better for the Environment?
- 4. Are wooden toys Better for child development?
- 5. How is creativity and imagination important for child development?
- How to Clean Wooden Toys
5 Benefits of Wooden Toys
1. Wooden Toys Last Longer
Toys constructed from natural wood are more durable and safer for babies than other toys. They are not indestructible, but it will take significant time and effort to tear wood toys apart or destroy them.
How Long do Wooden Toys Last?
Due to the longevity of these toys, they are often handed down from generation to generation within a family, inherited, or gifted to other families with babies or young children.
Wood toys are generally solid pieces of wood and will not crack, break, or become fragile during playtime, unlike common-day plastic toys.
Also, they are usually more cost-friendly than other toys and are rarely out of stock.
Can a kid have too many toys?
2. Fewer Toys can Result in More Enjoyment
The saying, “less is more,” is not far from the truth in most situations, especially regarding baby toys. A large assortment of vibrant, colorful, noisy, oversized toys may work great in some circumstances.
Still, in reality, it is easy for babies to feel overwhelmed and overstimulated by so many options, noises, and colors.
It is okay to keep it simple for babies and toddlers still soaking in everything they see, hear, touch, and taste.
Wood toys, specifically wood blocks, provide open-ended play.
Babies will be less distracted by other toys, feel more connected to a smaller selection, and find they can transition from one activity to another by giving the blocks a different purpose at any given time.
Concentration, focus, and calming techniques are enhanced through the use of wood toys.
A study was done in 2017 by the National Institute of Health that proved physically touching and playing with wood toys had a positive neurological impact on children and indued physiological relaxation.
3. Are Wooden Toys Better for the Environment?
Wood toys are made using natural wood resources, giving them a timeless and appealing look. Being sustainably sourced, these toys are created from trees that will not harm the environment they are coming from.
Social, ethical, and environmental performance are three factors used to determine sustainable sourcing.
When a wood toy is no longer safe to play with, it can be recycled and turned into something new or donated to a skilled woodworker interested in recreating the used toy into a unique masterpiece or keepsake.
Since wood toys last longer and are easier to recycle than most plastic toys, every wood toy purchased or created helps reduce the amount of plastic waste that eventually gets thrown away and becomes an environmental threat.
4. Are wooden toys Better for child development?
Wood toys are an original STEM tool. Wooden puzzles and different shaped wooden blocks are essential to kickstart an early education, teaching shapes, connections, sorting, and patterns.
Stacking and balancing blocks requires the use of motor skills.
Cognitive skills are used when patterns, relationships, and size order have been recognized. Dexterity and hand-eye coordination are improved with wooden toys, too, since no magnets or interlocking pieces will hold towers, roads, or walls together.
Babies may not grasp the educational aspects of toys until one year of age, but the sooner a child starts forming a connection to their toys, the more involved they will be as they age.
5. How is creativity and imagination important for child development?
As children grow, so do their creativity and imagination. Other toys can be purchased to introduce or further complement already established interests, but that is as far as they can go.
Pre-made designs, non-flexible pieces, and purposefully created toys are great when wanting to play specific games.
Still, open-ended toys provide the opportunity to create anything a child desires while being able to quickly and easily change it to something else without needing anything else other than the idea.
outside-of-the-box ideas are what today’s standard tools and appliances came from; perhaps inventors of the past also used wooden toys as entertainment when they were young.
How to Clean Wooden Toys
Wooden toys are naturally antimicrobial and have antibacterial properties. Due to their antibacterial properties, wood toys will not need as thorough cleaning as plastic toys.
While plastic toys are frequently fully submerged and soaked in cleaning agents, wood toys should never be submerged since they are very porous and swell.
Instead, use a cloth or sponge and warm water with mild soap to gently wipe the wooden toys clean.
Water-diluted white vinegar or apple cider can be used to disinfect wooden toys. After cleaning, allow the toys to air dry.
Avoid using chemical cleaning products for wooden furniture since they will be toxic if a toy is mouthed after cleaning.