As parents, we want the best for our children, which is why when it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts and birthday presents, we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by the choice and selection available in stores. Today, we’re welcomed by aisles and shelves full of bright and colourful plastic toys, mass manufactured with high-ticket prices but not always the quality we’d hoped for. Often, the most durable and sustainable toys are overlooked by excited toddlers and parents, but here are a few great reasons to choose classic over new, and why natural play time can be best for your child.
Wooden toys offer durability.
How many times have you unpacked a toy only for the plastic to split or break just hours later? Whilst plastic toys certainly have merit to be enjoyed by children of all ages, it’s unlikely they’ll be manufactured to the same quality and durability as classic wooden toys. Wooden toys are built for resilience making them an ideal choice for children who like to play rough, and play lots. Made from solid, quality materials, classic toys such as building blocks, train tracks, beads, wooden figurines and vehicles can withstand many years of playtime, often lasting through generations with little to no damage, with the exception of minor paint scratches. They’re also wipe clean and easily maintained, which means they can be thoroughly enjoyed and shared by several children in play school and nursery settings too.
Natural toys grow with your child.
Wooden toys are future-proof and with little concern they might break or fail in the hands of cheerful toddlers, they’re sure to grow with your child too. From the early baby months, wooden toys often eliminate risks of choking, providing a colourful and safe alternative to plastic options. From there, they’ll take on the rough and ready of inquisitive toddler playtime and even the occasional temper tantrum, before becoming a play piece that can be incorporated into a range of imaginative scenarios, as your child grows and ventures into more complex play. Ideal for home education as your growing child begins to understand physics, geometry, measuring and counting, wooden toys are not just enjoyable, but versatile and resourceful too.
Wooden toys promote focused play.
Let’s face it – children are easily distracted and whilst the introduction of plastic toys will almost always receive an excitable reaction from your little ones, it usually isn’t long before sensory overload triggers frustration. Battery operated toys not only distract with loud noises and alarming sound effects, but they can also restrict and limit the imagination, interrupting your child’s thinking process. With plastic toys being an all-singing all-dancing play piece, there’s not always very much for your little one to control; but wooden toys aren’t usually manufactured with a battery pack. This means your child is encouraged to think and act out the noises and actions independently, creating a more focused play scenario that provides unlimited possibilities for enjoyment.
Designed to improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Visit any early years class and you’ll see an array of wooden learning resources. From basic beads and building blocks, to durable wooden jigsaw pieces – the options are endless. Years of educational research suggest that wooden toys can significantly improve hand-eye coordination, helping children to build and develop some of their most important life-skills. Wooden blocks encourage children to think about physics, weight and measurement whilst they attempt to build towers sturdy enough to not topple over, whilst beading and threading toys teach children to understand distance, placement and colour patterns. Jigsaws and wooden puzzles allow children to understand more about shapes and how items can be visually and physically pieced together to create something whole, improving both coordination and fine motor skills in just one play time activity.
Wooden toys are eco-friendly.
Teaching our children about the ways we can each contribute to a safer and more sustainable world, is important. As they venture through the school years and learn more about eco-friendly practices, reducing carbon emissions and sourcing sustainable ways to live and enjoy life, having your own wooden toys at home is a great way to demonstrate that you’re also pro-active in the movement. Natural toys will last for years, meaning they can be easily recycled or handed down to the next generation of little ones. Pre-loved wooden toys can also be donated to charity shops, hospitals, schools and libraries, where they can be picked up and enjoyed by other children too.
If you’re looking to introduce naturally-sourced, sustainable toys into your playroom, there are plenty of options available through our online store. Free shipping applies to all orders over £50. View our full range here: here.