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Home > Learning Center > Wooden Toys

Wooden Toys

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Before electronics, before video games, before guitar hero, there were wooden toys. Unlike the mass produced, machine manufactured toys of today, many wooden toys are hand-made and require a person to skill to make each toy individually.

Wooden toys have a kind of fairy-tale appeal. Every child knows and loves the story of Pinocchio, the wooden toy that was brought to life. Marionettes, or puppets as they are more commonly known, are wooden toys that you can actually make come alive. There is evidence that these wooden toys were used in 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt to enthrall and charm children. In Italy, 1600 AD, the term ‘marionette’ was coined for these wooden toys. Today, entertaining children with marionettes, is often overlooked as a form of entertainment, but as a parent, it is worth considering. Marionettes encourage your child to use their imagination, instead of television or video games that imagine for the child. Encourage your children to put on a puppet show, they will use these wooden toys to create a story, a setting, a beginning and an end, and they may also use their artistic side to create scenery and set design.

Many of today’s toys are disposable and poorly constructed, plastic parts often become brittle and snap, but wooden toys are built to last. Even if they were to fall apart, apply some wood glue, and the toy will be back in action.

Well-designed wooden toys are particularly well suited for babies to enjoy. Unlike plastic toys that may have choking parts, wooden toys tend to be solid large pieces and far less of a choking hazard. Such suitable toys include wooden trucks that carry building blocks that have the letters of the alphabet inscribed on them. Although wooden toys have less potential to carry choking hazards, always make sure that the toy is age appropriate for the child.

When we think of wooden toys, often the first thing that comes to mind is a jigsaw puzzle. Today cardboard is the material used in jigsaw construction, simply because it is easier and cheaper to mass-produce. But for those special puzzles, a wooden jigsaw can be something that you will keep around for years to come. There are companies that will print any picture you choose onto a jigsaw and give you something personal and fun that you can give as a gift or keep all to yourself.

Wooden toys are also popular in miniature. For example, the decoration of dollhouses becomes a little classier with wooden furniture made from pine. Seeing these miniature pieces of furniture that have been delicately handcrafted, is to witness skill and craftsmanship at its most intricate. Every child will love a miniature wooden toy set, and who knows, maybe it will transport you back to your childhood as well.