Wooden toys for kids is not a recent trend. It has been around for centuries.
The earliest toys were made of wood and were basically models of the tools used for hunting and gathering food.
These toys were used to prepare the kids for the time when they would have to use a real weapon.
Small scale commercial production of wooden toys started in the middle ages in small shops.
Wooden toys for kids have charmed kids for thousands of years.
However, the popularity and production of such toys declined steadily through the centuries as manufacturers tried cheaper and more modern materials for toy making.
Plastic toys are a relatively recent phenomenon when the toy manufacturers opted for plastic due to its material properties.
Although wooden toys for kids are not as popular as they were the charm and appeal of such toys is unmatched (or at least we think so).
Simple, elegant and durable are the three words we use to describe wooden toys.
Here in this post we are briefly going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both wooden and plastic toys.
You, as a parent, should know which of the toys available on the market are suitable for the children and which are not and.
Let’s first talk about the wooden toys.
- Wooden Toys for kids
Wooden toys are easily the most durable toys you can find in the market.
They will last you at least a generation of play if cared for properly. The main advantages of wooden toys are:
1. These toys do not contain toxic PVC
2. Wooden toys do not break easily. Thus the chances of kids accidentally swallowing a piece are less
3. Wooden toys are easy to clean. A simple wipe with a wet cloth and a couple of hours in the sun will clean the toy
4. Wooden toys are environment friendly and recyclable
5. Wooden toys encourage open ended play and stimulate imagination
6. Wooden toys do not contain harmful chemicals like plastic toys
7. Wooden toys are classy and last a long time
Wooden toys for kids however have some disadvantages when compared to plastic toys. These disadvantages are:
1. Wooden toys may be more expensive than the plastic toys.
2. Vintage and antique wooden toys may be painted with a paint that contains lead
3. Wooden toys are heavy and may hurt the child if it falls on them
4. Wooden toys can split and splinter thus leaving a child open to injuries
5. Wooden toys can have sharp edges sometimes that may cut or scratch a kid
- Plastic toys
Now let’s talk about the plastic toys.
The plastic toys started being mass produced in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
These toys are generally cheaper than the wooden toys.
Plastic toys contain pthalates and formaldehyde which are harmful for the kids.
Plastic toy are also made from PVC which is unsafe and is considered a harmful plastic.
The plastic toys are not environment friendly and contain recycling problems.
The main advantages of plastic toys are:
1. The plastic toys are well made and look visually appealing
2. Plastic toys are washable and can be cleaned easily
3. Large variety in terms of shapes, colours and sizes are available in toys
4. Plastic toys are not very pricey
5. Plastic toys have a variety of features inside them. For example fancy lighting, loud noises etc.
Disadvantages of plastic toys:
1. Some plastic toys contain PVC which is a harmful plastic. Kids chew on the toys and these harmful chemicals can be easily ingested
2. The plastic toys cannot be recycled like the wooden toys
3. Plastic toys are not as sturdy and durable as wooden toys
4. The plastic toys generally have one use. They are close ended toys.
5. Plastic toys generally have small parts that can break off. These small parts can then be easily ingested by the kids.
As we always say it is important to have a balance between different types of toys, Be it plastic or wooden.
Even more important is that toys should be bought for creative or learning function and not with a purpose to buy peace for some time.
Parents should also keep in mind that some countries, which have a bad reputation in terms of manufacturing practices and usage of harmful materials, flood the toy markets with cheap toys.
Such toys should be avoided since the quality of the material may not be according to the safety standards.
In the end, it is important for parents like us to realize that a child’s fantasies sometimes are not to be fulfilled.
Getting them every toy they lay their eyes on is not a right solution. Buy fewer toys but never compromise on quality and safety of the kids.
Also, be environment conscious and teach the kids the same.
Spend time with your kids and enjoy each and every moment of it.