As caregivers we must be dedicated to provide the best quality of things to our kids that are not only good for them but also for our environment. So you must be wondering why we should choose wooden toys when there are more sophisticated plastic and metallic toys available that can easily give learning opportunities to children? Well the smart choice is always the one that is made through long term planning and risk assessment.
Wooden toys may take a long time to prepare but this natural resource is non-toxic, durable and close to nature. Wood is a material that can be used and once it is inside the soil it becomes a part of it and provides nutrients to soil on biodegradation. So it is a win-win situation for the nature and the humans both. What belongs to the earth goes back to the earth.
Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic, which is mostly used to make toys, is a serious carcinogen. The toddlers have a natural instinct to put things in their mouth, therefore, there is a higher chance that PVC in the form of micro-plastics and minute quantities of other toxic chemicals in the plastic toys will be ingested by them. Similarly BisPhenol A (BPA), another most talked about ‘safe’ plastic now a days, has been reported in more than 100 studies to have caused problems including obesity, depression and breast cancer.
Care should also be taken when choosing the type of wood. Poorly constructed wooden toys with softwood such as poplar and yellow pine and potentially allergic ones such as walnut may be harmful for children. Hardwoods like maple, ash, beech and birch, have a higher density and are therefore better suited for applications where a high resistance to wear and tear is expected, like toys.
The non-edgy smooth texture of wood is a pleasure to touch and harmless to use for little kids. Being a natural and renewable resource it is far better than this is anything artificial. According to RSPB, experiences in natural environment promote love for nature among children. In this way they will more likely to be interested in taking part in nature-based activities and thus in the environment issues and its protection therefore, giving them a message to save the earth from all the artificiality and harmful materials so that future generations can also enjoy and cherish its value. Hence, wooden toys can be a perfect medium to teach children about affection towards the world so that we don’t wreck the globe with our greed of technological advancement and material gains.
 Zwillich, T. (2008, November 25). Group: Soft Plastic Toys Are Health Risk. Retrieved July 19, 2019, from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20081125/group-soft-plastic-toys-are-health-risk#1
 Clarke, D. M. (2013). Connecting With Nature. Retrieved july 19, 2019, from rspb: http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/Images/connecting-with-nature_tcm9-354603.pdf
This blog is written by our Intern Sehar Waheed - She is currently a student of Psychology and loves writing.