Are Wooden Toys Worth the Investment?
Oh, wooden toys, how easy it is to swoon at their instagrammable style sat neatly on top of a toy box or perched on a nursery shelf. Most modern parents have seen the aspirational images and know what a beautiful
addition wooden toys can be to a sustainable household... But why are wooden toys really a worthwhile investment and how will they change your child’s play for the better?
Benefits of wooden toys
Here’s a look at some benefits of wooden toys for kids and the answers to your most common questions when it comes to investing in plastic-free play:
They bring the natural into your home
When your children can’t be playing outdoors, there’s something beautifully grounding about wooden toys. Brilliant for the senses, even painted or lacquered wooden toys have a soothing, solid appeal that plastic toys
Naturally appealing to a child’s sense of touch, research has shown wooden toys provide a more tranquil play experience than plastic- lowering anxiety and allowing your child to focus on the qualities of a toy without
the distraction of intricate details, lights, sounds or other battery operated features. And it’s not just children who will have a more tranquil play experience with wooden toys! As a parent you can relax knowing you won’t be willing the
batteries to run out as soon as possible...
They encourage open-ended play
Childhood is at its most beautiful when children can play without limitations… When their imagination and creativity is the only driving force and the adventures they go on are not dictated by the toy set in front of
them! Without the prescribed directions-to-play of many plastic toys, wooden toys can be wonderful prompts to get them started with open-ended fun.
3. What wooden toy types are there?
Wooden toy designs are typically rooted in open-ended, imaginative play. Think wooden toy food, wooden play kitchens, wooden construction toys and wooden rocker toys. Anything that provides a blank canvas for your
child’s imaginative adventures!
Are Montessori wooden toys best?
Montessori toys are defined as toys which allow your child to manipulate, explore and use the toy as they wish, for their own ideas. They’re designed to give your child creative freedom and expression, allowing their
play to go wherever their imagination takes them.
Of course, any toy which brings our child happiness and encourages them to explore their own world of play is a winner in our book (it doesn’t have to be a Montessori toy). However, Montessori specific toys have been
proven to support child development and enhance creativity in ways other plastic toys may limit your child’s play possibilities.
Many wooden toys (like wooden building blocks, wooden balance boards or wooden stacking arches) would be classed as brilliant for Montessori play!
They do their bit for the planet
Are wooden toys better for the environment?
Yes, when ethically sourced and manufactured, there’s no doubt wooden toys are better for the environment! Wooden toys are known to last much longer than most plastic toys, and due to their timeless aesthetic can
easily be passed down the generations. When they really have run out of play life, wooden toys can be recycled easily. Unlike much of the plastic currently used in toys.
Are wooden toys better than plastic?
Whether you consider wooden toys better than plastic toys really depends on the criteria you set for the best possible playtime for your children - and it’s never useful to judge yourself or your child for the toys
they play with if they’re experiencing the joy of childhood fun!
You may find your child spends hours playing with plastic toys as part of their open-ended play adventures, and we should never consider their play ‘inadequate’ because of the tools they use to explore and imagine.
However, ultimately many plastic toys are not designed for the open-ended play which children need most - and they don't offer the environmental benefits of wooden toys either.
Are wooden toys safer?
Wooden toy safety is often a concern for parents considering buying wooden toys for the first time. Wooden toys can be heavier and more solid than plastic toys. Which doesn’t always suggest they’re safe for young
explorers to get their hands on (especially in the pushing or throwing stage of toddlerhood!).
But as with plastic toys, all quality wooden toys will be tested to the highest of safety standards and come with guidance on the appropriate age for use - meaning wooden toys are just as safe, if not more so, than
plastic. With the advantage of being stronger, wooden toys often outlive many plastic toys which are easily snapped or cracked.
When covered with an eco-friendly, low toxin lacquer wooden toys also have the added safety benefit of using less chemicals than plastic toys. Capikooa toys are covered in a water-based lacquer which are considerably
less toxic and more environmentally friendly than most.
Are wooden toys antibacterial?
Yes, wooden toys have a naturally antibacterial quality so they will not be as impacted by germs as plastic toys. That’s not to say that wooden toys shouldn’t be regularly cleaned, however they are easier to keep
cleaner for longer.
Are wooden toys hygienic?
Yes, with their naturally antibacterial quality, wooden toys are more hygienic than plastic, fabric, or metal toys.
How do you clean wooden toys?
Due to their porous nature, wooden toys need a different cleaning approach to plastic. Never soak or immerse wooden toys in water, which may cause the wood to swell and damage. Instead, wipe with a cloth and warm soapy
To dry your wooden toys after cleaning, let air dry. Drying in natural sunlight is a particularly good way to kill any leftover germs (although be wary of very bright sunlight which can cause some wooden toys to fade
in colour or crack).
At Capikooa, we’ve picked a lacquer for our balance boards which will reduce UV fading as much as possible.
- They’ll last longer...
- Hello, family heirloom!
Nobody wants to have to clear out toys regularly... Having to persuade their children to let go of plastic rubbish (they don’t really play with!) to charity shop it, or, if too broken, take it to the dreaded landfill.
As parents, it’s the dream when we purchase a toy they love and yet can withstand hours of imaginative play and still have life left in it! Quality wooden toys do just that. Meaning you’re able to hand toys down the
generation or pass on to a friend when your little ones have outgrown them. Much better for the planet, and your conscience.
Our wooden balance boards were designed to be treasured for decades to come! Let’s summarise...
What are the benefits of wooden toys?
The five main benefits of wooden toys are:
- They’re great for the senses (bringing a touch of nature into your home)
- They encourage open-ended development-boosting play for your child
- They do their bit for the planet (they’re sustainable!) and can be passed down the generations
- They’re often safer than plastic toys (great for your peace of mind)
- They’re typically more durable too - perfect for endless hours of imaginary fun!
You might have guessed it... at Capikooa, we love wooden toys! And all of our
wooden balance boards are designed and made to reflect all of the benefits wooden toys have to offer.
Browse our collection now.