When I had my first child I often asked myself ‘are wooden toys better than plastic?’ because I honestly has no idea. Plastic toys have been dominating the market for years, especially with the influx of foreign-manufactured toys. They are popular because they are cheap and usually come with electronic parts. But wooden toys are making a comeback. Thanks to Montessori, wooden toys are getting attention and support.
Are wooden toys better than plastic? Wooden toys are definitely better than plastic because wooden toys are beautiful. They have a natural look and feel to them that provides a good sensorial experience to children. Wooden toys are safe, and durable, enhance their early childhood education, help children learn practical life skills, and develop good character traits.
In the world of toys, the debate between wooden toys and plastic toys has been ongoing. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that wooden toys have a distinct advantage over their plastic counterparts.
When it comes to the question of whether wooden toys are better than plastic, the answer lies not only in their environmental impact but also in their impact on a child’s development. In this blog post section, we will explore why wooden toys are better and delve into the reasons why they are considered superior in terms of both sustainability and promoting healthy development.
The first thing you should ask before buying a toy is “is it safe?” This question can be broken down into sub-questions like:
- Is the paint used safe?
- Are there small parts that can be pulled off or broken off easily that can be a choking hazard?
- Are there sharp edges?
- Are there pinching points?
- Does it have batteries? If so, is the battery box securely shut and cannot be accessed by the child?
Plastic toys usually get a yes to all questions. Plastic is made from synthetic ingredients that are not safe for children especially when injected. Plastic also breaks off easily.
Wooden toys on the other hand are durable and very well-made. They do not break easily and they are made from natural materials. Wooden toys are safe to put in their mouths.
Wooden toys are realistic and are based on real objects. They are passive toys that require the active participation of the child. It allows children to manipulate and move the parts giving them confidence in their abilities and practicing their independence.
Wooden toys like push toys, walkers, and ride-along toys help kids move freely on their own. Child-size cleaning toys train children to organize and clean up after themselves.
Plastic toys usually come with electronic parts with sounds, music, and different movements. This makes the toys active while the child becomes a passive audience. This does not help the child much.
Because wooden toys are simple and require manipulation and movement, children get to dream up any scenarios for playtime. It fires up the child’s creative thinking in their playing habits much more than plastic toys.
With wooden toys, the possibilities are endless. Wooden blocks can be turned into castles or trains or anything they can imagine. Wooden toys are versatile.
Plastic toys meanwhile are not versatile. Their use is set to a specific play.
While plastic toys mostly offer entertainment and consume time, wooden toys enhance early childhood education.
Wooden toys teach pre-math and early language skills like number and letter literacy, spatial awareness, critical thinking, problem-solving, and cause and effect.
For example, wooden stacking toys teach children about gravity and other forces while learning about numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. All the while improving their fine motor skills too.
Wooden toys are great activities for solo play but even greater for playing with others. Young children have more fun when they are playing with you, other family members,s and their friends.
Social play develops teamwork skills. Children learn to wait for their turns, encourage others, respect others’ pace, respect differences, and develop patience, grace, and courtesy.
Plastic toys are very specific in their use. While some toys are meant to be played with others, most do not encourage teamwork and develop good character traits as much as wooden toys do.
Wooden toys are versatile. Their use can evolve as your child grows. Wooden toys can be reimagined into anything your child wants them to be.
For example, balance boards can be used as a tunnel, a seesaw, or a bridge as they outgrow or master the balancing activity. Wooden toys can grow with your child because they are durable and strong enough to withstand wear and tear. They can endure the beating and rough playing of children.
Plastic toys do not last. Even if they are designed to grow with the child, they will most likely break before they see another year.
Wooden toys are made from natural materials. Wood is biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. It does not fill up landfills as plastic toys do.
Wooden toys are also handcrafted and not mass-produced in factories, unlike plastic toys. Factories of plastic toys use synthetic ingredients that are harmful to the environment. They also use large amounts of fuel to power their plants which contributes to global warming.
Wooden toys are not just great for the environment, they are also beautiful and provide a complete sensory experience for children.
Are Wooden Toys Better for Development?
When it comes to children’s development, wooden toys have proven to be better than plastic toys. Wooden toys offer a range of benefits that contribute to a child’s growth and learning. Firstly, wooden toys provide a sensory experience through their natural textures, colors, and scents, engaging multiple senses and promoting sensory development.
They also encourage imaginative play, as wooden toys often have open-ended designs that allow children to use them in various ways, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills. Additionally, wooden toys are durable and long-lasting, promoting sustainability and reducing waste compared to their plastic counterparts.
Examples of wooden toys that support development include building blocks for fine motor skills, puzzles for cognitive development, and pretend play sets for social and emotional growth. Overall, wooden toys offer a holistic approach to development, making them a preferred choice for parents and educators seeking quality play experiences for children.
Are all wooden toys good? Not all wooden toys are good for your children. For it to be good, it has to be age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate. You should also choose wooden toys that are within your child’s range of interests to be effective.
Why are wooden toys costly? Wooden toys are handmade, not factory-made. It is made with natural materials and it takes time to craft. If you think about it, wooden toys are actually cheaper in the long run because wooden toys are durable and will last longer. They can also adapt and be used into something else. This means you buy fewer toys.
If you are looking for a difinite answer to the question ‘are wooden toys better than plastic?’, the simple answer is yes! Wooden toys are definitely better than plastic because wooden toys are beautiful. They have a natural look and feel to them that provides a good sensorial experience to children. Wooden toys are safe, and durable, enhance their early childhood education, help children learn practical life skills, and develop good character traits.
Wooden toys are just better overall. We all know that plastic is not good for the environment so anything that is not eco-friendly is also not good for our kids.