14 Wooden Toys Your Kids Will Actually Love
In an industry that’s still quite unregulated, a lot of potentially harmful ingredients can be found lurking in plastic toys, especially when they come from overseas. If you’re like us – after safe alternatives – then you’re going to want to check out these 10 wooden toys your kids will actually want to play with!
When buying new toys for our little ones, it’s easy to become entranced by shiny plastic, flashing lights, and other bells and whistles. Add to that our children’s demands for the latest fads (LOL Dolls, Beyblades and fidget spinners, anyone?), and it’s no wonder we end up with a living room full of broken plastic gadgets. The worst part: plastic toys can be full of harmful ingredients like lead, PVC, phthalates and bisphenols.
Even though the US has cracked down on the use of these ingredients in household paint and feeding products, they’re often wildly unregulated overseas and can be found contaminating other materials. Since most toys end up in your baby or child’s mouth, it puts them at risk for exposure to neurotoxins, carcinogens and endocrine disrupters.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives, starting with wooden toys.
The benefits of wooden toys
Wooden toys can seem old-school and simplistic compared to the latest generation of battery-operated gizmos, but modern play-based learning programs such as the Montessori Method and the Reggio Emilia approach emphasize the importance of simple and natural materials to enhance learning and discovery. Here’s why we love them:
- Safer: They don’t break as easily as plastic toys, so they’re less likely to harm your child with small parts and jagged edges. They’re also less likely to contain unsafe dyes, paints and chemicals.
- Longer-lasting: Wooden toys rarely break or fade. They’ll not only be enjoyed by your children, but they can also be passed on to friends or handed down to future generations.
- Timeless: The classic designs and heirloom quality of wooden toys mean that even your great-grandchildren will delight in playing with them.
- Sustainable: Wood is natural, biodegradable and recyclable, whereas plastic ends up in landfills.
- Encourage creativity and stimulate the imagination: Whether they’re basic blocks or in the shape of everyday items, wooden toys encourage children to build, create and engage in imaginative play. These types of activities often simulate real-life situations and prepare them for the future.
- Develop reasoning skills and problem-solving: Wooden blocks and puzzles engage children and prompt them to use their reasoning skills as they build new structures and try to fit pieces together. Plastic toys with music, lights and audio commands result in much more passive play.
- Develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination: Stacking blocks, fitting wooden bricks together and stringing wooden beads all encourage the development of neural pathways between small hands and brains.
- Pleasing to the eye: Some wooden toys are so beautiful that they double as decorations in your home.
At The Tot, we only use and recommend toys that pass The Tot Test. This means that we’ve reviewed a brand’s independent third-party testing for each product to make sure they’re truly free of all those nasties. We’ve also made sure your kids will actually want to play with them!
Wooden Toy Picks For Kids Age 3+
- Lead, phthalates and BPA?! Here are the Toxic Materials You’ll Be Shocked To Find In Toys
- Struggling to feel productive? Here’s How To Work From Home With Children During Isolation