Because a wooden toy usually doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a more modern synthetic toy, it’s not able to move, talk, play music or make you a sushi-roll by itself, like some of its plastic counterparts. (OK, I may have been exaggerating with the sushi-roll bit, but still!). Yet the wooden toy’s lack of ability to move without aid is not necessarily a tick against it. Toys are one of the first tools with which a child learns, and further on, are the main channel through which they develop and nurture their imagination. If a toy doesn’t move by itself, guess what? Your child must interact with it more, which in turn increases and boosts creativity and helps your child learn.
I still remember the feel of my favourite wooden toy from when I was a child. Weighty, smooth and solid, it was something that outlasted all of my plastic and soft toys. A wooden toy is far less likely to crack or break when dropped from a moving pram, which anyone with a child will recognise as a highly likely scenario.
Because wooden toys are more durable, it means there are less of them being thrown out and replaced, making them a more sustainable choice from the start. Wood, while harvested from trees, is far, far more sustainable and eco-friendly than plastic or other synthetic materials, and there are a range of toys available that are made from recycled wood.
Some of the most educational toys are traditionally made of wood. Remember the wooden abacus that used to take pride of place in your family doctor’s office? what about counting and building blocks? These old classics are perfect for your child’s development, and bridge the gap between toys and learning tools.
Next time you’re thinking of purchasing a toy for your child or a child you know, consider one made of wood. The benefits to their education, imagination and the environment make them the perfect multi-functional gift.