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.

4. Wooden toys grow with your child

Can you think of any plastic light-up baby toys your eleven-year-old will play with? This is a definite “no” in my family. Most plastic toys are theme/tv character-based that your preschooler will quickly lose interest in as they grow the popularity dwindles. Many wooden toys will last from toddler to preteen. For example, when you buy standard unit wooden baby blocks for your 1yr old, your child can get 10 years of play from these.

My older children still love building and creating with these blocks. This is very economical for your wallet and sustainable for the environment. This type of “open age” toy can enrich your child for years to come because there are 1001 ways to create and not get bored. I have seen toddlers to teens who love both Keva planks and Kapla. It is awesome to know that your toy investment can last years in your home.

5. You need fewer toys for your child if they are the right toys! Be a toy minimalist!

Think of your toy box as a “box of creativity” for your child to create an open-ended play. If you have fewer toys working together as creative tools, there are endless ways to play. For example, various sized wooden plank-type blocks, plus wooden balls will allow the child to make a ball run. A set of wooden Lincoln Logs can allow a child to make a house or a shop or farm.

Basic wooden figurines or figurines can be made into any character or person to play with buildings. When the child has the right tools to manipulate/build and create, they stay engaged and play longer. Wooden toys are more esthetically pleasing to the parents as well as the child. Simplicity in the home offers an easier time for your child to focus on play and not an overwhelming mess of plastic toys around him/her. Having 10 of the right toys for your child is better than a room full of plastic toys just sitting around collecting dust! When your child has the right toys, you too will enjoy playing/building and creating with them.


In summary


In a world of endless plastic toys accumulating in your house, making the conscious decision to switch to wooden toys is not only an investment in your toys but most importantly it’s an investment in your child. Look here to see my Top Wooden Toy Block Sets. Thank you again for reading my blog. I’d love to hear from you! Are you making the switch?

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