Returning to Simpler Times: Classic, Wooden Toys and Their Benefits
As the years pass, and I watch society grow increasingly dependent on technology, I start to realize that mine was probably one of the last generations to have experienced a healthy and happy childhood. From tablets to smartphones, today children are preoccupied with objects that rob them of their attention and prevent them from focusing on the real world. Instead of the simplistic toys of the past, today kids are playing with things that are electrical, computerized, and I must say, expensive. Quite sad, isn’t it?
As a parent, this makes me yearn for the humble, wooden toys I used to play with. Not because I’m being nostalgic, but simply because they have more emotional value and provide children with many benefits. And because I really want my children to experience what it’s like to play with a toy using their imagination, instead of just observing what’s being served by some sort of device.
Simple, wooden toys such as building blocks and rocking toys for children don’t cost that much and are usually much healthier than any plastic or electronic toy. While plastic toys often contain phthalates https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/phthalates-plastics-chemicals-research-analysis, with wooden toys you’ll have the peace of mind your little angel is playing with something natural and chemical-free. And considering how small children like to put toys in their mouth, getting them something raw and organic is the best way to keep them away from inhaling toxins.
But besides being much healthier, wooden toys are also great for cognitive development. Simple designs such as shape sorters and rocking toys for children that do not emit sounds or lights are better in encouraging creativity. Just think about it, most plastic and electronic toys are the ones that control the course of the play by talking or singing, thus preventing the child to use its imagination and actively engage. But with wooden toys, the child will try to explore all the possibilities an make up a variety of scenarios.
The fact that wooden toys do not produce irritating sounds and lights means that they are a lot more soothing as well. Imagine being bombarded by so much noise and lights on a daily basis – it can stress you out as a parent and even cause anxiety in your child. Instead, wooden toys can allow children to better focus on their own little voice and everything surrounding them.
And finally, wooden toys can be a lot more durable. They are usually made of strong materials and few (if any) detachable parts which makes it harder for them to break or become significantly damaged. On the other hand, plastic or electronic toys will often become useless the moment they hit the ground or when the batteries run out.