The Wooden Toy: An Age-Old Favourite
The nostalgic charm and tradition of childhood fun and games using toys, is evident from the earliest civilisations. Archaeologists have discovered many creative playthings dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece, including a wooden paddle doll found in a 21st century BC tomb, as well as a tiger toy estimated to be around 2500 years old.
The baby rattle toy has also been around for many centuries, and remains one of the most popular elemental toys, which shows that the way we play and how our brains develop remains the same through the ages.
In the 1700's, making wooden toys became a craft in Germany and handmade dolls and animals were immensely popular. Later, doll houses and mini theatres could be found in many nurseries, followed by brightly coloured toy soldiers, jack in the box and train track sets, which all enabled more creative play.
As time went on, plastic and metal began to take precedence as the leading materials used for toy-making, leading to the wide range of modern-day technological games and gadgets available.
However, despite these developments, wooden toys have always held their timeless appeal through their sustainable nature and authenticity.
Every time children play with a wooden toy, they learn and grow. The tactile, slightly weighty feel of the wood, encourages awareness and thinking as they exert more energy into their playtime. Never needing to be stored away due to their natural aesthetic appeal, means children will more often enjoy their wooden toys.
Parents don't need to worry that the toys have run out of battery, or worse, have accidentally been left 'on' making incessant electronic bleeps and noise! Instead, the parent's focus can be on their children's voices and laughter as they play, and when their children sleep, toys are asleep and quiet too.
A “simple” set of wooden blocks (Knock-a-Block Collection) acts as an open-ended toy that encourages problem-solving and fine motor skills as well as fostering independence and critical thinking. As children build and learn with blocks, they interact socially and use their creativity and imagination.
Other wooden toys and games (Four-in-a-Row Game / Mindbender Puzzle / Kid's DIY Kits) spark curiosity and require invention and self-assembly which provides a healthy challenge for little ones, helping to prepare them for essential daily functions as adults.
Easy to clean by wiping down with a diluted vinegar or organic dish soap solution, wooden toys can be left to air dry, and then be lightly moisturised with olive oil or beeswax. However, even if left alone, the natural fading and aging marks give beautiful character to wooden toys.
Sustainable, non-toxic, sturdy, safe and much more durable than plastic when it comes to everyday wear and tear - it's no wonder more and more parents are realising the undeniable value and benefits of filling their child's toy box with educational wooden toys and embracing this classic tradition which can be passed on through generations.