Regardless of age, children’s wooden toys are ideal companions in the playroom. Often more durable and safer, wooden toys encourage imaginative play, promote sensory development, and give children a connection to the natural world. What to know about these wonderful educational materials? Let’s find out in this article.
1. Which woods that wooden toys usually made from?
Wooden toys are toys that are primarily constructed from wood and wood products. There are different woods, which are used to make wooden toys on the market. However, do you wonder what is the best wood for wooden toys and what kinds of woods are in the master toymaker’s favourite list?
1.1 Beech wood!
Beech is a hardwood. It is an exceptionally durable, long-lasting, malleable, and safe material which makes it one of the favourite and most often used in wooden toy production. Beech is eco-friendly, as it is an easily accessible and replenishable resource.
Maple is another common manufacturing material for wooden toys. It is especially popular in babies’ toy production as maple is the safest wood for chewing (teething toys or rattles). Maple’s high density is less prone to dents and keeps it safe from splintering.
1.3 Birch wood.
A cheaper but still highly durable material used in wooden toy manufacturers is Birch wood. Although birch is lighter than beech and maple, it is incredibly durable and high quality.
2. Are wooden toys safe for kids?
It can be said that wooden toys are safe for children, if it meets safety standards. The standard is assessed through the material, paint color, smoothness… of the toys. Of course, wooden toys are made from natural materials and are chemical free (BPA, PSc, PVC). Better still, if you choose FSC certified wooden toys like what we produce here at Melli’s Kids, you are also protecting our environment (FSC stands for The Forest Stewardship Council®, a non-profit organisation which set out the global requirements for responsible forest management worldwide.) It means that the wood used to make the toys comes from a forest that is responsibly and environmentally harvested and audited by the FSC.
3. Types of wooden toys
Wooden Building Blocks and Construction:
There is no doubt that building blocks and construction sets are so popular in children’s playrooms and classrooms. They are foundational to early years and can be considered as the most versatile toys in the toy market.
What are the benefits of block play and why should your kids have them in their playroom? Playing with blocks can “unblock” the key areas of your children’s development, such as: gross and fine motor skills, speech and language, cognitive development, social and emotional skills, creativity and imagination.
Details about block play benefits
Music is essential and it benefits your child in many areas. Pavarotti once said, “If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them.” As a parent, it’s our responsibility to encourage and foster the musical development in our children by exposing them to music as much as possible.
You will be amazed at what music can bring to your little one. Start to introduce music to your child’s life at a young age so they receive long life benefits through musical activities such as singing, listening to music or playing an instrument. Children of all ages can benefit from musical play in many areas: brain development, language development, social and emotional skills.
Details about musical toy benefits: link
Educational wooden toys:
Educational toys are toys that are made from wood/wood products and can stimulate children’s learning while playing. Educational wooden toys are so much more than flashcards. They are designed for children to have fun, and at the same time, are expected to promote intellectual, cognitive, emotional and physical development.
There are different educational wooden toys (which help enhance different skills) to choose from, such as Montessori materials, puzzles, blocks and construction sets, etc. Importantly, you need to observe your child closely to know what (s)he is currently interested in and what your child’s development stage is, so that you can choose suitable and age-appropriate educational wooden toys for him/her. Let’s make playing time fun, enjoyable and get the most of its benefits.
Pretend Play toys:
Pretend Play toys: Pretend play (or dramatic play/imaginative play) is important in a child’s development as it helps children:
While pretend play brings incredible benefits to your child, it’s your responsibility to provide her/him with suitable pretend play toys to encourage their learning and development. Wooden pretend play toy range is a great choice as they are safe, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly.
Details about pretend play benefits: link
Toy cars and vehicles are popular choices for children around the world for reasons. They not only provide hours of fun, entertainment, but also help build motor, cognitive, social skills, as well as support STEM learning. You can support your child’s learning through playing by choosing the right toys depending on your child’ interest, development level and age group.
Sensory Toys are the toys that help stimulate any of a child’s senses. Sensory play has a significant role in a child’s health and development. Sensory play includes activities that engage touch, smell, sight, sound, taste, movement, balance, or spatial awareness. Through participating in sensory play, children can also develop their cognitive skills and explore the world around them. Generally, most children love sensory play and there are so many benefits they can get from it. For babies, sensory play can assist them learn and develop new connections in their brain.
Simple sensory activities such as touching or holding wooden rattles or listening to the sound of the rainmaker can help activate babies’ senses.
For toddlers, sensory play helps develop their thinking abilities, expand their vocabulary, and enhance their motor skills.
Sensory bin tool set is an amazing sensory toy for toddlers. For preschoolers, sensory activities encourage them to learn through exploration. As they get older, they often explore things around them more independently and further develop their language. Therefore, providing preschoolers with different sensory activities such as playing with musical instruments, doing crafts, or building different shapes with different objects and materials can help enhance their developments.
4. Benefits of wooden toys (Why choose wooden toys instead of plastic toys?)
- Wooden toys are safe for children: When choosing toys for our little ones, safety is always our priority. Babies and young toddlers love to put things in their mouths. While most plastic toys contain chemicals (BPA, PSC, PV), high quality wooden toys are made from natural materials. They are safe, non-toxic and more hygienic than plastics and other kinds of materials.
- Wooden toys offer excellent educational value: Most wooden toys are open-ended toys without electronics, lights, and loud voices which allow children to use their own devices to interact with. Therefore, wooden toys offer children opportunities to develop important skills, such as problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and fine and gross motor skills. Wooden toys also encourage imaginative play which is an important part of childhood. They offer children endless possibilities. Furthermore, playing with wooden toys can have positive effects on children’s mental and emotional health. Wooden toys also help improve children’s ability to focus.
- Wooden toys are made to last: wooden toys are durable, timeless, and beautiful. They can pass down the generations.
- Wooden toys are environmentally friendly and sustainable: wood is recyclable, biodegradable and a renewable material. When choosing wooden toys over plastic toys, you are not only protecting your baby/child, but also our environment!
5. Care and maintenance guide for wooden toys
- Never soak your wooden toys in water.
- Do not expose your wooden toys to the sun for a long time.
- Do not put your wooden toys in a dishwasher.
- Low temperature (<40oC) ultraviolet can be used for sterilisation.
- Wipe your wooden toys with a clean, wet cloth and air dry them.
- For natural/unpainted wooden toys, if they become un-smooth, use a fine grade sand paper and gently sand the area until they are smooth.
- After cleaning, apply some natural oils (linseed oil, flaxseed oil) or beeswax polish to protect your wooden toys.
Whether you’re looking for a new wooden toddler toy, a foldable educational toy or toddler puzzle, or quality wooden pretend play toys, we’ve got it all. We are committed to providing you with high quality wooden toys, including educational toys, puzzles and more, which promote your family’s early learning skills.
Melli’s Kids goal is to bring you the highest quality products and offer you the widest range of wooden toys which is not durable and safe for kids, but for our planet. Ethically crafted from sustainable, tactile rubber wood, original and traditional wooden toys will be a real investment in play for generations to come.
Source: Melli’s Kids