Wooden toys have been around for many, many years and we have seen it gaining its popularity again in recent years, especially in Malaysia. So why are simple wooden toys beneficial for your child?
Durable and Long-lasting
For starters, wooden toys are more durable. Let's be honest, our children go through a stage of exploration in the form of throwing and dropping items, testing out the force of gravity AND our patience (right?). Good quality wooden toys can endure rougher treatment from our children, not breaking apart when being thrown on the floor.
Wooden toys definitely stand the test of time. We've known friends who have had wooden toys that they played with when they were young and have now passed on to their kids. We're talking decades!
Wooden toys are generally associated with simple toys; blocks, stackers, arches, wooden loose parts, animal and tree figurines. Basically toys that are simple and may not look like a lot. But you'd be surprised by how much these simple toys have to offer.
Open-ended play or free play is a concept where we allow our children to lead the play. No rules, no criteria, just plain play-anything-you-can-imagine type of play. Toys like blocks and stackers, also known as open-ended toys, sets as a tool to allow our children to unleash their inner creativity and imagination.
Take blocks for instance. A block is not just a block but can be more than that. My children have used to build walls to a building, a barricade for a farm, an army tank, as staircase, and even as a salt and pepper shaker! The possibility is truly endless.
Parent-Child Bonding Time
We want to be able to spend time with our child and it's not about the quantity of time but rather the quality of time. Expanding on the concept of igniting the creativity of our children, we as parents want to provide that initial guidance to our child. As simple as the toys may be, the initial play may not be intuitive to our children.
This is our opportunity to be their guide and role-model how the toys can be played. This is to provide them some context on the concept and you'd be surprise once that door of possibility is open, the ideas and imagination will be infinite.
Environmentally Friendly and Safe
Most quality wooden toys are made from sustainably sourced wood. In other words, brands are consciously making an effort to replant trees or use material that are grows very fast while making the toys.
Another important aspect to any toy that is of high consideration for any parents is the safety of the product. Quality wooden toys are typically certified with established certifications like European Union EN71, China Gb6675, ASTM and CPSIA, just to name a few. Key thing is most wooden toys are naturally made, free from any toxic materials, free from toxic paint, giving parents a peace of mind when our children are playing.
Closer to Nature
As much as we want to bring our children outdoors, closer to nature, sometimes time or the current situation may not permit. Having wooden toys, coupled with the natural woody scent may provide some calming effect to the child as they play. Being able to feel the natural state of wood, allows us to speak to our children about nature too and the importance of the environment to our everyday lives.
We are definitely not saying that wooden toys is the only type of toy that we should introduced to our children. Choosing between wooden and plastic toys shouldn't be an all-or-nothing approach. Having said that, with the benefits of wooden toys listed, it'll be good for parents to explore not just the possibility of the product but the concept of having minimalist simpler toys.