Toys are an essential part of growing up. They are not only entertaining, but they can also be exceptionally beneficial for a child’s development, both physically and intellectually. There are a wide variety of toys available for children of all ages, but for baby, wood toys are often highly recommended. Wooden toys are widely available in most locations throughout the country, and they can offer a number of benefits that cannot be matched by most modern plastic varieties.
Wood has been used for centuries as a toy-making material. The earliest wooden toys were almost always carved by hand and were often passed down from one child to the next. Previous to the 19th century, toys could not simply be purchased at a local store, as toys were not generally mass-produced. However, the Industrial Revolution largely changed all this, and by the beginning of the 20th century, wood and metal toys were much easier to come by. Further technological advances eventually led to plastic toys becoming the norm by the middle of the 1900’s. Today, toys are available in a seemingly endless array of designs and can be purchased nearly anywhere.
With all of the variety in the current toy industry, it can seem a bit confusing as to which toys are appropriate for one’s baby. Wood toys are often recommended over plastic toys for a number of reasons. One of the most commonly cited reasons is that unlike plastic, wood is virtually indestructible. Toddlers have an uncanny knack for destroying their playthings and as such it is important that their toys be able to withstand the kind of abuse that only a young child can dish out. Unfortunately, while plastic toys may be less expensive, they generally do not hold up as well as wood over the long haul.
Wooden toys are also beneficial from a standpoint of safety. Rarely do these toys represent a choking hazard, as they typically do no have small parts that can be swallowed. Furthermore, wooden toys are often left in their natural, unfinished state, meaning that they are completely non-toxic. And those wooden toys that do utilize a finish, the finish is almost always water-soluble in order to ensure there are no chemicals that come in contact with the child. Plastic toys, by comparison, while for the most part are safe; many parents are not comfortable with their child’s toys containing chemicals such as PVC. Plus, as most of these toys come from overseas, it is often difficult to find out exactly what materials are used in their construction.
If you are in the market for some new playthings for your baby, wood toys can be easily found through most local toy stores. Larger chain stores often have the widest selection, but for truly unique toys, one often has to visit a specialty shop. Not every city has a local wood toy specialist available, but fortunately, there are many online retailers that cater to those that want something one-of-a-kind. They are generally easy to find through a simple browsing of the Internet.