Here’s what to know about wooden toys for children
With a wooden toy, there’s no technology to hamper the imagination or overstimulate the mind and senses. In fact, part of the appeal of many wooden toys is that the magic is created solely by the individual. In the right hands, a random pile of wooden shapes can be transformed into anything at all.
Look for specific types of wood
The best woods for toys are hardwoods such as poplar, birch, beech, maple, oak and walnut. These types of woods don’t chip or splinter as easily as softer woods.
Check for age recommendations
As with any toy, when considering one made of wood, it must be age-appropriate and safe for the child. No smaller pieces for younger children, no toxic paints or glues, and the complexity level needs to be appropriate, as well.
Basic wooden toys such as puzzles or tops can be purchased for under $10. From $20 to $50, you can find engaging options like train sets, musical instruments and games. Between $100 and $200, you can purchase impressive, fully immersive toys such as large dollhouses, pretend tool benches and kitchen sets.
How to clean
If manufacturer’s recommendations aren’t available, use a mild, nontoxic or natural cleaning solution such as white vinegar diluted with water. Using a dampened cloth, wipe down the toy with the solution. Allow the toy to air dry, but be aware of prolonged exposure to the sun, as it can damage the wood.
3 wooden toy recommendations:
Types of wooden toys
Wooden toys come in all shapes, sizes and themes. To purchase something that engages your child, pick something they like. To help you out, we’ve broken down the many types of wooden toys into just six broad categories to make it easier for you to find one for your child.
Baby toys: Any toy that’s safe for babies and toddlers fits in this category. These toys are typically designed to help with your child’s development in a number of ways.
Puzzles: Puzzles include any wooden toy that requires solving. These can be simple or complex puzzles. They help develop problem-solving skills and, in many instances, shape-recognition skills.
Vehicles and figures: Whether it’s a somewhat realistic-looking train or a fanciful elephant on wheels, the wooden toys in this category promote imaginative play.
Blocks: Creating something out of a pile of random shapes is an excellent way to help foster your child’s creativity.
Playsets: A life-size playset (for a child, at least) such as a kitchen, a grocery store or a workbench is the perfect way to gently slip real-life skills into play time.
Games: Games are beneficial to individuals of all ages. They help develop social skills and teach the importance of following rules.