When it comes to choosing toys for our little ones, safety is a top priority. Our children’s toys should not only be fun but also safe and durable. That’s where wooden toys come in!
In a world full of plastic and electronic toys, it can be easy to give in to the first brightly-colored, beeping toy our little ones reach for. But, they can hinder imaginative play and cognitive development. Check out our breakdown of why wooden toys are so popular now to hear more!
Plastic and electronic toys also tend to have harmful chemicals and choking hazards. Mass-produced toys just aren’t made with the same care and quality that craftsmen-level wooden toys are.
So, let’s take a look at the characteristics of safe wooden toys!
1. Non-toxic, Natural Wooden Toys
One of the standout features of wood toys is their natural materials. Typically,
they’re crafted from sustainably sourced wood. There’s no risk from chemicals like BPA, PVC, or phthalates in these toys.
Non-toxic, water-based paints, pigments, and finishes are also the most commonly used coloring materials. Unlike most plastic toys that use unnatural colors and dyes, you’ll know your child’s wooden toys are safe.
Wood toy companies tend to be more transparent with their materials and manufacturing processes than plastic toy companies. You can almost always find the type of wood used, where it’s sourced, and other facts right on the company’s website!
Durability is actually a key safety feature! Besides lasting your child longer and saving you money on replacing toys, the durable nature of wood toys makes playtime safer. Your kiddo won’t risk cutting themselves on sharp plastic or choking on small parts.
Well-made wooden toys also rarely splinter. Of course, every toy has its limits, but wood generally holds to tough play longer than plastic. Look for quality manufacturing!
3. Easier to Clean
Part of keeping our kiddos safe is making sure their toys are clean! Plastic toys can be tough to clean if they have lots of small, complicated parts, compartments, or electronics. And, plastic is porous, meaning it holds bacteria.
Wood, on the other hand, is naturally antimicrobial. That’s part of why wooden cutting boards are so popular! So, it’s not necessary to clean them daily.
When you do need to clean them, wiping them with warm water and soap or vinegar is enough. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines!
How to Spot Safe Wooden Toys
Now that we’ve explored why wooden toys are safer, how do you know which ones are top quality? Not all wood toys are made the same, so going for quality over quantity is the safe choice. Here are our tips for picking a great toy for your child!
1. Look for Hardwood Toys
Hardwood is your best bet because it’s the most resistant to splintering. These woods should always withstand normal wear and tear:
Make sure the toy you chooses uses read hardwood and not composite wood, or MDF. These toys are made with a ton of glue and aren't much better than plastic.
2. Company Transparency
Companies that make the best quality toys are transparent about their business practices. Look for a company that tells you what wood they use, what kind of paints, dyes, or pigments, and where they source their materials from.
Knowing where your children’s toys come from gives you peace of mind. Honest companies make safer products. There won’t be hidden materials or chemicals, and no question about where they’re made.
And, supporting companies dedicated to transparency, sustainability, and eco-friendly manufacturing helps create the world you want your children to grow up in. We all want our little ones to live happily, and sustaining the environment is a major part of that.
3. Buying Secondhand
Choosing secondhand toys can be a great way to shop sustainably. Or, maybe Grandma or Grandpa still have toys from their childhood that she wants to pass down to her grandkids!
The biggest thing to look out for in these products is the paint material. Old paints tended to have led. Always try to find information about the toy’s brand before you give those toys to your little one. If you’re unsure, it’s better to be safe than sorry and pass on the toy.
Wood Toys: A Safe Bet!
Children’s wood toys are safer than plastic because of their natural and non-toxic materials, durability, and ease of cleanliness. You’re more likely to get a quality, lasting toy by shopping for wood rather than plastic.
If you’re sold on all of their safety features, check out our curation of wood toys! Need some help picking a great product? We also have guides about the Montessori method and picking great toys for each developmental stage!