Wooden toys are becoming more and more popular but are they really worth it? Here are 8 benefits of wooden toys for babies (and toddlers and little kids too!).
There are so many benefits of wooden toys and spoiler alert, I love them and highly recommend wooden toys, especially for babies. Wooden toys are safer, more durable, and can be a great alternative to screen time; you will be shocked to learn the average amount of screen time our kids get these days (keep reading below to see).
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Favorite Wooden Toys
If you are looking for some good tried-and-true wooden toy ideas here are some of our favorites:
- CoCoVillage Wooden Activity Cube – beautiful neutral colors with fun and engaging activities that your baby will love! We also love that the top comes off for toy storage!
- CoCoVillage Shape Sorting House – a perfect neutral shape sorter made of wood. You will want this gorgeous toy on display and will love the excellent quality!
- Montessori Wobble Stacker – simple is often the best and this is especially true with this stacker toy! This has been one of my kids favorites since before they could even sit.
- Solid Wood Building Blocks – a baby and toddler favorite that can lead to hours and hours of open ended play. We love the durability and quality of these blocks!
- Hide & Find Drop Box Toy – another fun favorite for babies 9+ months. A great stage based toy to help support your child’s development!
Benefits of Wooden Toys
Here are 8 benefits of wooden toys for babies and toddlers.
Wooden toys are often more neutral shades and more aesthetically pleasing to look at. This can help kids feel less overwhelmed as the colors tend to match and be more subdued compared to traditional toys.
As the parent, you matter too! Wooden toys often provide a modern aesthetic and can be put on display in your playroom, living room, bedrooms, and so much more! They can create a more calming space and cut down on decor costs if you put them on display.
Wooden toys don’t contain any of the toxic chemicals that plastic toys may contain (BPA, PVC, or phthalates). Wood is naturally antimicrobial so harmful bacteria can’t grow on them like they do plastic toys. Additionally, studies have shown that contact with wood and wooden toys can induce relaxation, which is especially helpful since young children are especially prone to overstimulation.
Foster Creativity and Independent Play
Plastic toys that flash and make sounds might easily hold your baby’s attention for the short term, but simple toys that allow for open ended play can help foster creativity and imaginative play – two skills that will help your child thrive and grow in the long term.
Wooden toys can help teach children problem solving skills and help them be more independent, especially montessori-style toys that might not look much like toys at all (kids tend to love these toys the most!).
Wooden toys are extremely durable. They generally won’t chips, warp, or break like plastic toys do and will last much longer than traditional plastic toys. Good quality wooden toys will last for decades!
Good for the Environment
Unlike plastic, wood is renewable and is a biodegradable material. Wooden toys are often more durable which means they won’t be thrown away as often, only to build up in a landfill. Wooden toys are also frequently made from sustainably sourced wood, which means less harm is done to the environment and wood can be grown and used indefinitely.
More Cost Effective
Wooden toys have a reputation of being expensive, but I often find that they are actually similarly priced compared to their plastic counterparts. When you consider that wooden toys will generally last longer and that they hold their value and can be easily thrifted or passed down, they might actually be a better investment than buying multiple sets of plastic toys that degrade and break.
Support Early Math & Science Skills
Simple wooden toys can actually be a great way to teach kids about math and science! Open ended toys like wooden blocks, wooden peg people, and this abacus toy are great for teaching counting, sorting, patterns, and simple math. Additionally wooden toys can teach kids about their senses, textures, and physics.
Alternative to Screen Time
Did you know that the average child spends 6 hours in front of screens each day (some studies point to even more!)? While I am not completely against good quality screen time, I do agree that these numbers are alarming. Screens can be overstimulating and cause behavior problems in addition to taking away from essential time for physical activities, forming relationships, learning, and sleep.
Wooden toys can offer a calm and quiet way for kids to play and learn about the world around them, without the overstimulation from screens. This wooden balance board is a great alternative option to screen time!
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