Wooden Toys VS Plastic Toys
Posted by Penny Lefoy on
When we are choosing a toy for our little one there are many factors to take under consideration and one of the most important one is the material that the toy is made of. Why is the material such a crucial influence to our decision? First of all, we should consider whether the material could cause any danger to the child, or if it is a high-cost material. Durability is also something we need to examine.
Plastic and wooden toys have been manufactured for years. But what are the main differences between the two?
What makes wood so special?
Wood has definitely a more traditional substance. Wooden toys have been mainly associated with handcraft. So art is certainly involved in the manufacture of a wooden toy. Most of wooden toys, nowadays, are handcrafted. Any kind of plastic toy can also be made out of wood such as trucks and cars, wagons, small balls, climbing structures, books with simple stories, blocks, peg boards, puzzles, dolls or puppets, train sets, dollhouses, workbenches and musical instruments. Wood is a natural material that can give your child a rich sensory experience.
In this article you can find out the most important advantages of traditional wooden toys over modern plastic ones.
- High Cost of Batteries
In comparison to plastic or any short of electronic toys, wooden toys are simple and do not need batteries. In which case they can save parents a lot of money and hassle having to go out and buy new batteries every so often. Even researchable batteries can cost a lot in electricity.
When buying a wooden toy, a parent can be certain that the toy doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. A lot of plastic toy manufacturers had to remove their products from the market because the material that they were using was considered to be a hazard for children, containing toxic substances. Parents that have younger children should definitely take this issue under great consideration as the younger the child the more they tend to place the toys in their mouths. This happens because they want to engage with their plaything by chewing it, touching it or throwing it away in order to fully understand its function.
- Recycled Materials
Wooden toys are often made of recycled materials. So by buying wooden toys for your children not only you let them experience the advantages of a simple toy but you are also taking environmental responsibility. Plastic toys are not biodegradable where wood can be recycled. In this case, giving quality toys to your children can also mean taking care of the environment.
- Safe and Durable
Wooden toys usually have round edges instead of pointy, sharp ends which makes them safer to play with. Of course this could also depend on the manufacturer and the brand name. On the other hand, plastic toys can break easier than wooden ones which means that the little plastic pieces can be a threat for a child to swallow and choke. Durability is another advantage of toys made out of wood as they can last longer in time where any other kind of material would wear off a lot quicker.
- Educational and Creative Playtime
The simpler the toy, the more effort the child would have to make in order to invent the game that involves the toy. This means that the kid would have to use their imagination and creativity as long as the toy can trigger their curiosity. So, the toy must work as a trigger for the imagination rather than doing all the work, in which case the child remains passive. In other words, a good toy is 10% toy and 90% child. This means the simpler the toy, the more educational and creative the playtime will be.
- Natural Toys inspire Mental Peace
A plastic or electronic toy that works on batteries and usually makes loud noise or is flashing different color lighting can be over-stimulating for a child. It may even cause unwanted anxiety instead of actual entertainment. On the other hand, a child playing in a quiet room having as its only stimulation a beautiful, traditional, wooden toy could be a very peaceful, calm and happy experience for your little one. In general, holding something made out of wood or other organic materials has a positive psychological effect on children as well as adults.
- Problem-Solving and other skills
Wooden toys do not work like electronic toys that can tell your child what to do. Most toys, nowadays, give instructions to the child about the way they should be operated. Wooden toys inspire and trigger the imagination of the child in order to discover the way the toy works. Playing with wooden puzzles or blocks can also help a child to develop problem-solving skills from an early age. The weight of a wooden toy is also making the kid aware of their hand movement while playing. Children with sensory disorders will especially be benefited when playing with wooden toy. In addition, the extra effort that should be made turning the wheels of a wooden wagon is exactly the practice and exercise that a child with delayed development of fine motor skills needs.
So why do wooden toys are considered to be more beneficial for a child? They are in many ways a lot safer than any other material and sometimes made out of recycled materials. They can last longer than other toys which means that they could also be passed on to the next generations as their simple functions will always trigger the imagination of a child. Kids will always love to play with wooden wagons, puzzles and blocks.
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