Plastic versus Wooden Toys

Wooden toys have been around for thousands of years—dare we say since the first caveman whittled a wooden figurine of a woolly mammoth for his little cave kid? Then the 20th century rolled around and by the 1950s, children’s playrooms were flooded with mass-produced plastic toys.

Now, over 90 per cent of toys on the market are made of synthetic materials, mainly plastic; but in recent years, there’s been a definite shift back to more traditional wooden toys. Here are a few reasons why.

Safety first

The materials used in plastic toys can sometimes be toxic and dangerous to your child’s health, especially for babies who are always putting toys in their mouths. However, toys made of wood and decorated with water-based paints are completely non-toxic, natural and safe for your child.

Toys that last more than a lifetime

Plastic toys are often less durable than wooden toys, and many plastic electronic toys quickly become outdated or even unusable as technology advances. On the other hand, wooden toys can be passed on for generations and are typically much more durable than their plastic counterparts. In addition, wooden toys are usually made to provide classic, time-honoured fun that children of any era will enjoy, like riding a hobby horse or racing toy cars, so they’re an appropriate choice no matter the generation.

The environmentally friendly option

Although wooden toys do require wood from trees, they still have much less of an environmental impact than plastic toys, especially if the wood is sourced from sustainable plantations.

The entire lifespan for plastic toys leaves a much greater carbon footprint, especially if the toy is battery-operated. Not only is production detrimental to the environment, but as plastics can take hundreds of years to degrade, their disposal is also bad for the environment. As for wooden toys, they can be easily recycled if necessary, and their durability means they can be passed on for generations.

The better choice for development

For most plastic and electronic toys, your child need only press a button or touch a screen to elicit a colourful and noisy response. Alternatively, the simplicity of wooden toys means they are naturally more interactive, inviting your child to find more creative ways of playing; furthermore, this interactivity supports the development of motor skills better than high-tech toys. The opportunities for play are also greater with wooden toys, as they can be used for all types and stages of play, including sensory, exploratory and pretend play.

How do we know so much about the great benefits of wooden and all-natural toys? Well, we’re the experts! For more information on our high-quality, eco-friendly toys, contact us at The Little Woodpecker today.