How do wooden children's toys stack up against their plastic counterparts?

Your daughter’s new plastic phone has flashing buttons, gives her a real dial tone and busy signal, and even has a few pre-recorded messages – yet after a few seconds, she drops it on the floor and moves on to something else. Later, you see her thoroughly engrossed with a pile of ordinary wooden blocks and realize she has been playing with them for at least 20 minutes (an eternity in toddler time). What gives? Our readers weighed in on how wooden toys compare to plastic toys, and here’s what they had to say:

Aaron Simmons

Aaron Simmons

Aaron Simmons is the founder of Test Prep Genie.

Why wooden toys better than plastic toys

Children nowadays are hooked up playing with flashy and colorful toys. But do you think these toys, especially plastic toys, can benefit them? Well, I encourage you to choose wooden toys over plastic toys. Here's why:

1. More durable.

Wooden toys last longer and are more durable. We know that little ones throw things and with wooden toys you can be assured that it won't be broken into pieces. Plastic toys are fragile and can be broken easily with just one smack. This can be dangerous if the little ones step on the [broken] pieces.

2. Safer

Wooden toys are a lot greener and safer compared to their plastic counterparts. We all know that wooden toys are environmentally friendly and can be disposed of safely and easily.

3. More creative play

Wooden toys encourage children to be more creative. You'll notice that plastic toys do everything for you, so your child will just stare and watch what these plastic toys do. This could lead to a delay in their developmental [growth]. Wooden toys help stimulate their minds and think more of what they can do using wooden toys. [They are] helpful to develop their thinking skills and imagination process, which are great for the brain.

Mark Coster

Mark Coster

Mark Coster is an online entrepreneur and the driving force behind STEM Toy Expert.

It helps your kid's cognitive, emotional, and social development.

Wooden toys make a difference not just to the environment but also to your kid's cognitive, emotional, and social development. While they can help you, the parent, stop worrying about potential toxic dyes, BPAs, phthalates, and other harmful substances, they will also help your child develop a much richer relationship with the outside world. They are much less likely to break and therefore so much easier to pass on to younger siblings or other children, strengthening the intergenerational bond and the spirit of sharing. They aren't as flashy as plastic toys, but that's a cognitive plus.

A child needs to learn that there are many shades of red, not just the brightest red! And once they're old enough, they will also get to understand the environmental benefits of (re)using natural materials. In a world of cheap, mass-produced, disposable, and easily breakable plastic toys, it's nice to have a set of wooden blocks that is evergreen and will be equally appealing to your kids as it was to you.

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a mom of five and a child development expert with

Wooden toys encourage imaginative play.

For example, one of the most popular wooden toys is a stacking rainbow. It can be a rainbow, but it can also be a tower, a roadway, a bridge, a house, or a marble track, and the list can go on forever because the possibilities are endless. With wooden toys, children can decide what purpose the toy will serve at the moment.

Wooden toys grow with your children. They’re never the trending fad in commercials, but because of how versatile they are, they’ll remain staples in your children’s playtime, while those “gotta have it” advertised toys lose their appeal quickly.

You can pass wooden toys down to future generations as heirlooms. They’re beautifully crafted, made to last, and timeless.

Wooden toys are better for development than toys with a lot of buttons and lights which overstimulate. Wooden toys don’t do surprising things. They’re straightforward. Children can play with them and remain in control.

James Bullard

James Bullard

James Bullard is the founder of Sound Fro. He shares his love for music on his blog, covering a variety of topics that will strike a chord with music enthusiasts around the world.

Better for the Planet

Unlike plastic, wood is a sustainable resource. Wood can be grown and replaced. Also, wood is biodegradable and can be disposed of in an easy and safe way.

Better Longevity

Wooden toys last longer than plastic toys. Not only because they are made of wood which lasts very long, but are also less faddy and simple.

Better for children

Plastic toys can contain BPA and PVC which are dangerous to our children, especially since we know that toys often end up in their little mouths. Wooden toys are hypoallergenic and safe for your little ones with skin allergies or sensitive skin.

Wooden toys have simpler designs. This encourages little ones to be imaginative and more creative. Flashy toys can overstimulate the minds of little children which can possibly cause a delay in their developmental [growth].

Giselle May

Giselle May

Giselle May, a full-time Mom of a beautiful boy, and Editor of, a parenting website that empowers parents to make their own choices.

Earth-friendly options over plastic ones.

Playtime is important for children, and whenever possible, I always advocate playing with wooden toys rather than plastic ones. Wooden toys do not have harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, BPA, and phthalates, which can be toxic to kids. Also, small parts in plastic toys are choking hazards amongst young kids.

Wooden toys are made with sustainable no-nonsense materials and are safe to play with. They are so simple and basic in form and size, so they're more likely to stimulate kids' imaginative play. As for the parents, wooden toys are durable, high-quality, and cheaper, so that's money saved in the long term. Wooden toys are also biodegradable and sustainable and are therefore the Earth-friendly options over plastic ones.

Lynell Ross

Lynell Ross

Lynell Ross is the Resource Director for Test Prep Insight, an online education company.

Wooden toys are better for the planet

We know that once the plastic is formed, it doesn't break down and ends up in landfills, or polluting lakes and rivers which can kill fish and may harm animals. Wooden toys may last a lifetime, but eventually, break down without harming the earth.

Wooden toys encourage open-ended play

When a child plays with a wooden toy such as a ball, a box, or blocks, they use their imagination to come up with many different ways to utilize the toy. But most plastic toys are closed-ended, meaning it is intended for one purpose, and children get bored doing the same thing over and over again, in addition to not using their imagination.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

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