Guest Post by Jane McLeod
Pretty much everyone loves wooden toys- yes? Maybe it’s the tactile feel, the quality or that they remind us of our childhood! It’s also no secret that quality wooden toys are more expensive, so why would one invest their hard earned dosh on wooden toys when an abundance of cheaper plastic toys are screaming from the aisles of your local toy shop?
The environment will thank you!
Timber toys, being natural use no chemicals in the production process. The timbers that are used in many wooden toys are from plantation forests grown specifically to make latex. Once the rubber tree becomes too old to yield latex it is then cut down to make the timber toys. Wooden toys are 100% biodegradable, unlike plastic which is unknown yet, if it will ever break down! 100 million dollars worth of toys are imported into Australia every Christmas, many of which end up in landfill.
Wooden toys are healthier for our children!
Well it’s not like they’re getting nutrients as your little one sucks and chews on the toy to explore, it’s more a case of what they don’t get! Plastic toys contain BPA and phthalates. BPA is one of the most commonly produced chemicals in the world and just like phthalates it is a hormone disrupting chemical and has been linked to obesity, genital malformation and cancer to name just a few. Young children are especially at risk as everything gets a test in their mouths! The paints, colours and glues in quality wooden toys like the ones sold at Mr Kipp and Little Jimmy are independently lab tested to screen for such chemicals and make sure they pass the highest safety standards.
Wooden toys are free from heavy metals. Lead and mercury have been found in varying amounts in plastic toys. Both are neuro-toxins, meaning they affect the brain and nervous system. This is alarming as young children’s brains are rapidly developing. These neuro-toxins have been linked to behavioural problems and lower IQ in children.
Wooden toys stimulate and engage your child more.
Experts in child development say the best toys are those designed with a focus on what the child can do with the toy rather than what the toy can do. We need to allow our children to explore their toys intuitively. Timber toys provide more interaction as the child must push, pull, turn or connect parts, cultivating a more active mind.
Wooden toys are timeless and last longer.
There are no fads with wooden toys and they will go through your whole family, be it 2 or 10 and even get passed down to the next generation. Timber toys have no sharp edges and can easily be repaired, unlike plastic toys which can shatter into small pieces becoming a choking hazard for babies and toddlers. Disclaimer: Be mindful of the quality of wooden toys, like most things in life- you get what you pay for. Some inferior brands have a paint coating which often peels off covering cheaper, less desirable timbers.
Jane McLeod is a Mum of three young boys. She has always had a love for timber toys but did not realise that they were better for our planet and our children. After being diagnosed with M.S in 2005 and actively searching for ways to reduce the toxins in her life, she stumbled across the toxins that were present in many plastic toys. That discovery has now become her passion and lifelong mission to make wooden toys the norm again! Her quality wooden toys can be found at http://www.ecotoyhire.com.au along with lots of other tips on how you can reduce the toxins present in your families lives.
Do you have any favourite wooden toys you can recommend? Perhaps your little one plays with one of your childhood toys? Share below!