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Why Are Wooden Toys Better?

Posted on May 24 2019


It's no secret that wooden toys are completely back on trend since we've all come to realise just how much damage plastic is doing to our Earth. Even the major retailers are switching to natural materials to meet the demand of the earth conscious consumers. If you head over to instagram you'll see 100's of natural play accounts showcasing their collections of wooden toys. 

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why wooden toys are better

Photo by Adrienne Hunter 

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But is there more to it besides the obvious environmental impact...?

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Why are wooden toys actually BETTER for baby and toddler development?

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Here are three compelling reasons.

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1. BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Active toys (most battery operated toys) make passive learners. Basically - the more a toy does FOR you,  the less work your brain needs to do. Passive toys (most wooden toys) make ACTIVE learners. A wooden toy needs to be pushed,  pulled, manipulated,  explored - it needs YOU to make it work rather than the batteries. There is a level of brain activity and imagination needed to interact with wooden toys which battery operated toys do not offer as freely. Babies' and toddlers' brains are developing at a rapid rate and the way they learn to learn can set them up for a lifetime of creativity.

 

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wooden toys are better

Photo by Such Great Heights 

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2. OVER-STIMULATION

Bright plastic flashy toys can be over-stimulating for little minds.  This one is especially important for babies. As a baby, EVERYTHING is new and exciting and stimulating - even something as simple as a rock or a leaf.  The natural world provides enough stimulation without the need for bright flashing lights. We'd even argue that in the first year of life - babies do not even need toys, let alone ones designed to stimulate through lights, music or bright unnatural colours. Give them natural materials to explore, play them real music and show them the lights of a real sunset.

 

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Photo by Carly Kruger

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3. CHEMICALS

Plastic toys often contain (and leach) chemicals into your home and bodies. This is especially dangerous for small babes who still mouth their toys. You may be aware of the recent reports linking hormone disruption with the chemical bisephenol A (BPA) used in plastics. This is just one of the many chemicals found in plastic toys. PVC (vinyl) is another nasty chemical to avoid when shopping for toys, and can contain known carcinogens like phthalates. 

 

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learning tower kitchen helper

Photo by Rosie Harris

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LETS FACE IT
Half the time your kids aren't even going to want to play with the toys you have bought them - wooden or not. They are probably more interested in emptying the cutlery drawer or hanging out under your feet (that's when a learning tower / kitchen helper stool like above comes in handy) so less is usually always best. A few thoughtfully chosen, open ended wooden toys can replace an entire play room of plastic. 

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What is your little one's favourite wooden toy? Tell us below!

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And while you are here, check out our range of carefully selected wooden toys.

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