Wooden toys are often seen as the superior choice for children due to their durability, safety, developmental advantages, and respect for the environment. If taken care of properly, wooden toys can last a lifetime, making them a great investment for parents and grandparents who want to pass down sentimental value to their younger children. Wooden toys are also beautiful and long-lasting, and some of the earliest toys ever discovered were made of wood. Wooden toys are safer for babies and toddlers than plastic toys because they are BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free.
They also offer endless possibilities for imaginative play and will last for years. Wooden toys tend to be quieter than plastic toys, allowing for a quieter play environment free from the noise (not to mention lights and movement). Wooden toys also promote learning more than plastic toys because of the simplicity and open nature of their design. Maria Montessori preferred “real toys made of natural materials such as wood because they are healthy, safe and inspiring for children”.
Blocks and other wooden toys can be transformed into anything a child wants them to be, and they can follow the child's development from simple symbolic play to complex imaginative play. More specifically, touching wood physically calms children down, meaning that playing with wooden toys can have a neurological impact on a child's brain. Although the initial cost is higher than that of plastic toys, the lifespan of a wooden toy is significantly longer than that of a plastic one. In conclusion, wooden toys are more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and healthier for children from a developmental and physical point of view due to the high levels of toxic chemicals involved in the manufacture of plastic toys.
Is there such a thing as the perfect toy? If so, wooden toys may be the closest thing.