Toy designers and developers are always busy finding ways to make plastic toys more attractive and educational for kids, hoping parents will see them as a worthy purchase. Most of them have intricate plastic bits and pieces and all the bells and whistles imaginable, with some made for a specific purpose. Yes, these plastic toys can be part of your child’s development and education. However, you may find that the toys are costing you a lot and your child isn’t learning much from playing with them. On the other hand, toys made from wood can offer much more than those highly advertised and marketed toys that are nothing more than the latest trend. Wooden toys can help your child learn to solve problems, develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, plus much more. The following benefits show how wooden toys are a boon for a child’s education:
Wooden Toys Are Safe and Tactile
There’s no need to worry about your child being harmed while playing with wooden toys because safety is part of their design. Wooden toys don’t tend to break as easily as plastic, lessening the chance of sharp edges or tiny bits breaking off. These toys are made from natural materials and are less likely to be toxic if chewed or sucked. There are no worries about pollution, either, because wooden toys are generally handed down through the generations and won’t end up part of the islands of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean.
Plastic toys are usually lightweight, unlike wooden toys which are robust and tactile and they can help children who have sensory disorders, or whose fine motor skills are developmentally delayed. This is because the weight helps children feel the toys’ movements. The tactile nature of wooden toys also means children have to exert more energy and think more as they play. A toy car’s wheels might not roll as quickly as a plastic or metal car, so the child has to use more effort to make it move.
Wooden Toys Don’t Date
The thing about wooden toys is they are trendy, (despite what you might believe), they stay trendy and have been that way since the 1600s. Our ancestors learned by playing with wooden toys and our descendants can carry on learning with wooden toys because there’s value in the tried-and-true. No matter how the designers and manufacturers tweak the colours, shapes and designs of their wooden toys, they can’t reimagine the classic, wonderful feel of wood. Wooden toys still provide the same educational rewards children have gained for generations.
Wooden Toys are Virtually Indestructible
There’s no doubt that kids can be pretty rough on their toys, with bits missing and broken plastic toys often discarded as worthless. WIth wooden toys, the opposite happens because they’re durable and are often passed down through the generations, with some ending up at antique auction houses worth a lot of money. These toys are indestructible unless you throw them on a bonfire or something, and of course, they get scratched and dented at times, but they’re easy to repair. If they get dirty, these toys are easily cleaned and having wooden toys teaches your child the value of quality products.
Wooden Toys Are Versatile
Investing in quality wooden toys for your child’s education means you’ve used your money for a good purpose to buy something that is versatile and can grow with your child. Toddlers and preschoolers can play simply and imaginatively using basic manipulations of wooden toys. However, the same toys can be played with by older children who can integrate them in more complex imaginative ways. They can use them in discussions about physics and geometry and also in problem-solving. As your child develops mental abilities and skills, the way they use wooden toys also develops with them. Wooden toys can connect with a wide range of age groups so suggested ages on them isn’t necessary.
Nurture Your Child’s Imagination
Playing with wooden toys allows your kids to take control, and playing with wooden cars and household items, for instance, encourages them to use their imagination. Wooden educational toys come in basic shapes, such as triangles, sticks, circles, blocks and arcs, which encourage a child to explore what they’re used for and to find creative ways to play with them. Children can experiment with physics, for instance, by building various structures with the wooden toys or they can learn basic geometry by changing the toys to make geometric patterns. These toys are a first level entry into these subjects and others, to spark an interest and allow them to develop their creativity. Most wooden toys don’t come pre-purposed, so they can further stretch the child’s imagination.
Improve Hand-Eye Coordination and Build Fine Motor Skills
Building towers with wooden blocks, taking great care to place them so the whole structure doesn’t fall will teach children to pay attention to placement and distance. The basic shapes of wooden toys help build hand-eye coordination. Activities like threading a string through wooden beads requires focus and skill and also, wooden toys teach children concepts such as ‘under’, ‘over’, ‘between’, ‘up’ and ‘down’ etc.
Another way hand-eye coordination is improved is by solving puzzles or making patterns with their wooden toys, so the child sees how things fit together. As children handle wooden toys, they also develop their fine motor skills. These toys aren’t moulded to fit into a tiny hand. They can be a bit chunky and awkward to hold and manipulate, which helps children to learn to grasp. Babies and toddlers can learn grasping skills with larger toys, and preschoolers and older children can use wooden sticks, beads and shapes to practice twisting the wrist, and other vital motor skills.
Develop Your Child’s Reasoning Skills
Children who play and learn using wooden toys develop their reasoning skills because these toys don’t come with electronic parts or voices telling them which pieces to choose or the next thing to do. Children build their reasoning skills by manipulating the different sizes and shapes of wooden toys and by organising them into different categories. For instance, a wooden toy might be classed by its colour, size, or shape or how it relates or doesn’t relate to another piece.
Alex Morrison has been an avid SEO expert for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including health, children and community, . As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.