When it comes to toys, parents often find themselves in a dilemma: should they invest in wooden toys or opt for the cheaper plastic ones? While wooden toys may be more expensive up front, they can actually save you money in the long run. Wooden toys are often passed from one sibling to another, or from one family to another, for many years, as they are tough enough to survive many children. Most wooden toys are produced in smaller quantities and not on a cheap production line. They are not made by machines, but by artisans who assemble them by hand, which raises the price due to the longer build time and skilled labor. When it comes to cost, there are quality toys that stand up to rigorous play made of both wood and plastic.
However, higher-quality wooden toys tend to be much more expensive than their plastic counterparts of similar durability and resilience. Although it is often said that a good wooden toy can be transmitted from generation to generation, the same is true of a high-quality plastic toy that has been well cared for. Wooden toys have been around since the 1700s when German toy manufacturers began manufacturing a variety of wooden toys for sale to the general public. Even today, most wooden toy manufacturers offer their own variant of Noah's Ark toys and rag dolls that are still made using traditional artisanal techniques. Wooden toys are BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free, making them a great choice for parents looking to avoid chemicals.
However, some wooden toys may contain heavy metals such as lead or cadmium. When wooden toys break, there is often a chance that they will splinter, which can cause irritation and pain in children, as well as more serious problems if swallowed. Wooden toys made from certified sustainably sourced wood are a much more environmentally friendly option than plastic toys. Wooden toys have been an important part of childhood since the beginning of civilization and, although today's children are very different from those of thousands of years ago, many of their favorite toys are similar to those that have existed for centuries. In short, wooden toys are safe for your baby, offer endless options for unlimited play and will last for years playing. When buying a wooden toy for the first time, it may seem more expensive, but in the long run, high-quality toys always pay off.
Some plastic toys are as open to children's interpretation as their wooden counterparts, and are just as capable of awakening children's imaginations and encouraging them to explore their own narrative. Ultimately, the decision of whether wooden or plastic toys are right for you or your children is yours.