Why should I consider switching to wooden toys? Have you ever asked yourself after returning home from a shopping trip “Why did I buy that junky plastic toy?” Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of plastic toys accumulating in your house that are being ignored? Do you feel like you are constantly searching for the “right toy” that will entertain and teach your child for even 30 minutes? Does your child seem bored after only moments, jumping from toy to toy never to enter “that engaging play zone?” Your constant search for the “perfect toy” has left you with a playroom full of unused plastic toys destined for a landfill. For additional information to think about when buying toys, read my 3 questions you should ask when buying toys. Here are my 5 reasons below to switch to wooden toys and avoid the plastic ones:
1. Wooden toys are open-ended and promote creativity
Plastic toys usually come with batteries, buttons, a character theme, and are often a one-trick pony. When a plastic toy “tells” the child what to do or how to play with it, creativity is lost. The child asks the toy “What buttons do I push, what sounds do you make? How am I supposed to use this toy within its theme?” The toy dictates and controls the child. This is very limiting to the child’s imagination and concentration development. Most wooden toys are sound free allowing the child to make up the dialogue or noise during play. Wooden toys offer more basic open-ended play where the child dictates what the theme of play will be.
Your child becomes the driver and controls the toy, not the other way around. Today she/he can make a barn with the wooden blocks and tomorrow it will be a space station. The sky is the limit when your child has the opportunity to create anything! This is where the magic happens. When your child is in that deep play zone, learning, creativity, and concentration develop.
2. Plastic toys are made with chemicals
It’s no surprise to anyone that plastic toys are made with chemicals. No matter how safe the plastics are said to be, they are still a cocktail of chemicals that are unnatural and never biodegradable. Plastic toys are produced using “acceptable amounts” of toxins in the manufacturing process. It is best to buy wooden toys for babies as their systems get overloaded quicker with toxins than adults. They also mouth and ingest toxins more than older children as it is part of their development process. When their hands are wet, the skin can also absorb toxins from plastic toys. Switching to natural or unpainted wooden toys or water-based dyes on wooden toys are best for babies and toddlers.
3. Switching to Wooden toys are better for the environment
Plastic toys are filling landfills fast and will sit and pollute the planet never biodegrading or breaking down. Once new plastic is produced, it stays with us forever, leaching chemicals into our soil at landfills. Wooden toys are biodegradable with minimal to no plastic parts, making them a more sustainable alternative. Switching to wooden toys is an easy sustainable swap that your family can make to help the planet! Also, wooden toys tend to be more “heirloom quality” instead of “landfill quality.” You may pay more for some wooden toys, but your grandkids someday could experience the same enjoyment your children did. Most wooden toy packaging is cardboard-based with limited plastic and often doubles as the storage for the toy. This helps eliminate the need to buy another plastic toy bin for storage.