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My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys


by Carrie Maraglino

Wooden toys were not something that I was completely aware of until after having Ellie.  Sure I knew they were a thing, but without putting any real thought into it, I filled my baby registry with all the mainstream flashy colors, bright lights and musical sounds that most parents get for their children.  Why not?  They’re fun, exciting, sometimes even really cute!  As thrilled as any little youngster is at getting their hands on the latest new toy that’s in front of them, that thrill can run out pretty fast.  Before you know it, that new flashy toy isn’t as captivating, and most of the toys that I was so excited to give to Ellie just take up space in the toy bin, and get looked over time and again.

 

I then started noticing wooden toys more and more throughout my Instagram feed.  What used to seem dull and frankly even boring to me, suddenly became so charming and super sweet!  The simplicity of these objects just cuts the B.S. out of toy buying in my opinion.

You can find this beautiful Rainbow Caves wooden stacking toy here from PoppyBabyCo!

1. Durability

How many times has your LO dropped something on the ground?  You stop dead in your tracks and wince, but you’re afraid to even turn and look to see what just happened?  Happens all the time over here.

With wooden toys, you never have to worry about the occasional (or repeated) drop on the floor.  Having toys that are so sturdy since they’re made of wood is very valuable, especially to families with more than one child.  Wooden toys tolerate playtime through all ages, so your 8-month-old, and your 8-year-old can enjoy stacking some wooden blocks, or racing some wooden cars together!  While passing toys down from one sibling to the next is already a great idea, not all toys stand up to the test of time as well as wooden ones can.

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

 

More traditional plastic toys that commonly have a lot of buttons or movable parts are more likely to get damaged over time.  Kids can be rough on their toys as we know.  I never like turning on one of Ellie’s current favorites only to find out that it now just repeats the same 4 seconds of music over and over!!  Or that the lights don’t stop flashing no matter how many gentle whacks you give it to knock that crucial piece of wiring back into place!

The most “damage” I’ve encountered so far on any of Ellie’s wooden toys are just some dents and teeth marks.  I love my little teething beaver-baby!

2. Encourages Imaginative Play

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

This is super important to me.  One thing I notice with people these days, not just children but adults too, is that no one daydreams anymore!  Where are all my daydreamers?  We are rarely in a position where we can’t fill a dull moment by looking at our phones.  Sitting in a waiting room, being a passenger in the car, sitting outside on a nice day, these were all situations where you could let your mind wander and who knows where it would end up!

Nowadays, daydreaming gets replaced with electronic surfing.  I’m absolutely guilty of this myself, it's hard to avoid it when technology is such an important part of our lives.  But I do think about the days of playing outside in my yard, on in my room, and all of the crazy stories I’d come up with in my head while playing, it was always so much fun!

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

With wooden toys, since there is no over-the-top stimulation to distract children from their own thoughts, Ellie can decide what she wants to do.  I love watching her think, seeing those tiny baby wheels turning makes my heart so happy!  She can discover new ways of playing on her own, make decisions about how to achieve something, like tacking blocks or arranging her toys a certain way.  Most wooden toys don’t have a specific type of play that they’re intended for, which just encourages children to stretch their imaginations even more!

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

Anything that encourages her to think or create is very important to me.  I’m a little afraid that one day we’ll all be cell phone zombies (she says while checking her Instagram…) but as long as we have the presence of mind to step away from time to time and let our creative selves step back in, I think we’ll be okay.

3. Never Outdated

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

Another great thing about wooden toys is that they don’t go out of style.  No one is going to tell you that you have “last year’s” anything when it comes to wooden toys.  Nothing about them will become outdated.  You won't have to worry about your toys being made with some special kind of plastic that was safe in 2010 but now considered poison in 2020.  You won't have to worry about if it’s still safe for your child(ren) to play with after years and years.

Even though there are plenty of companies who can re-imagine the charm of wooden toys with updated shapes, colors or textures they still maintain that timeless feel!  People of all ages can appreciate the simplicity and fun that wooden toys bring to the table.

4. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination/Fine Motor Skills

Since they typically come in more basic shapes, wooden toys also help children develop hand-eye coordination. Common activities such as building towers out of wooden blocks, or carefully placing the pieces so the towers don’t topple over, require children to pay attention to distance and placement.

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

Children can also use wooden toys to begin to represent concepts such as over, under, beside, up, and down. When they solve puzzles or create patterns using wooden toys they also begin to visually see how items fit together, which also improves their hand-eye coordination. Plus, wooden toy has a little oomph to them.  They aren’t as lightweight as many smaller plastic toys so they are more aware of what they’re holding and what they’re doing (or trying to do) with them!

5. Safe

Finally, another equally important point when considering wooden toys is that they’re SAFE!  Just like I mentioned under #3, there’s never a concern about something toxic within your wooden toys.

If there is ever a sticky situation, its nothing that a little soap and water (or just water really) can’t fix.  Yes, other toys can be cleaned just as easily too, but since there are no electronic components to wooden toys, its easier to clean them however you want without having to watch for water seeping into any openings, or speakers or even the battery box!

Also, since a lot of wooden toys are made of 1 solid piece, you don’t have to worry about something small popping off and getting into your LO’s mouth.  They can try, but you’ll just end up with a lot of teeth marks on your toys like we do!

My Top 5 Reasons for Choosing Wooden Toys

 

I hope you enjoyed my take on the benefits of wooden toys! They are such a great addition to any toy bin, especially since everyone can enjoy playing with them.  I can't wait to keep growing our collection too!

I hope this inspires you to add a few into your LO’s playtime if you haven’t already!

Catch ya next time! XOXO

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