Why are wooden toys better than plastic

Why wooden toys can better than plastic

Wooden toys have certainly gained popularity in recent years with “traditional” toys making a comeback. For some, it’s about the look and feel of the toys, for some it’s the fact that wooden toys are often more open-ended, and for many, it’s the environmental impact of plastic.

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Children will often be attracted to the latest flashy all singing all dancing plastic toys. They are drawn towards the bright colours, lights and sounds that provide instant gratification but can actually be overstimulating, allow little room for creativity, and can even have a negative neural impact.

Yet despite the fact that children are more likely to pick the plastic toys there are plenty of reasons why wooden toys should also be in your toy box.

Choosing well made sustainable toys

Picking high-quality toys from ethical manufacturers means you not only get durability and longevity but you are choosing toys that are made from a biodegradable and renewable resource.

It can be hard sometimes not to want to buy the latest shiny character toys that our kids are asking for, but with the current environmental situation we really should be thinking twice before buying cheap plastic toys that won’t last more than a year or two at most before ending up in the bin.

Not all plastic toys are bad but unless you are buying second hand (which is a great option for plastic toys, then generally wood is better for the planet.

Wooden toys, on the other hand, tend to be simpler, last longer and be better for the environment. We’ve carefully chosen our suppliers because they are ethical and use only sustainably sourced wood. Many wooden toys are actually made from rubberwood, a waste product from the rubber industry. Trees are harvested when they no-longer produce rubber and new trees are planted in their place.

Simple toys that promote creativity

Choosing simple toys that require a child to use their imagination is far better for their development. Open-ended toys mean children naturally create their own narrative and rather than following the toys lead and acting out a story they’ve seen in their favourite cartoon they draw together all sorts of experiences to create their own story.

Simplifying toys has been shown to improve concentration, lead to better interaction and help with the development of a variety of key skills from critical thinking and problem solving to fine and gross motor skills.

Not only do these toys promote imaginative play, but they also provide a connection to nature, even while children are playing inside. The feel of the wood and the weight of it are much more grounding than the feel of plastic, and of course, wood is a naturally safe material.

Possible negatives of plastic toys

The possible negatives of plastic toys can be both environmental, the ecological cost of using plastic for toys that will most likely end up in the landfill, and personal for your children.

Toxic plastics can be dangerous for children, and although good quality toys will have been safety tested it is always worth doing your own research to make sure you are happy with your child playing with and chewing on these toys.

With all singing all dancing plastic toys it is also worth thinking about the impact of overstimulation on development.

A place for plastic toys

A preference for high-quality, durable, sustainably made, open-ended wooden toys shouldn’t mean you can’t have any plastic toys. There are some great brands out there that make sustainable plastic toys (such as Green Toys that are made from recycled milk bottles) and some styles of toys that just don’t work if you make them from wood.

Lego for example, just like a set of wooden building blocks can be played with for years and lasts for generations. Bath toys generally don’t last nearly as well if they are made of wood, though rubber bath toys are fantastic. And if you don’t have room for a piano then a plastic electric keyboard is a pretty good substitute.

 

Next up we ask "Do kids need a play kitchen?".