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Article: Wooden Toys vs. Plastic Toys: Which is Better and Why?

wooden toys, wooden baby toys

Wooden Toys vs. Plastic Toys: Which is Better and Why?

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Have you ever wondered what makes a good toy? From Montessori wooden toys to attractive plastic toys, there are so many choices. Thousands if not millions of toys are available online and in stores. So, how are you supposed to know which toys will provide your child with hours of quality playtime?"

Let's be real. Sometimes, you buy your toddler a new toy, and they play with it for 2 minutes before dropping it like a hot potato!

Research shows "basic is better," and my personal experience backs this up. For this reason, choosing wooden toys for toddlers and babies is often the best gift you can give your children!

What makes wooden toys so great? 

Benefits of Wooden Toys for Toddlers

Wooden baby toys naturally support your child's development. How, exactly? Experts say that parents should think about how a toy can help their child learn and grow. Toys can help your 

Here are some skills to consider:

  • Motor Skills
  • Scientific Reasoning and Exploration
  • Number Concepts
  • Problem-Solving Strategies
  • Musical Awareness
  • Pre-literacy Experiences
  • Social and Emotional Development

Wooden toys for toddlers can help in many of these areas. Our surfer, stepping stonesacrobat balance beam, and Pikler triangle all help toddlers build motor skills.

These Montessori wooden toys give kids the chance to balance and climb. Toddlers can also rock on the surfer, which gives them sensory input.

Plus, these toys get kids exercising, which is more important than ever for children today. Exercise is not only important for physical health but also for brain health! Exercise can even help your little one with academic performance. Plus, getting exercise can improve your child's mood.

Many wooden toys for toddlers also help kids build other skills. For example, wooden blocks can help children develop fine motor skills, explore science, and even count. Stepping stones can also help children learn to count when they count each step they take.

When playing pretend with the surfer, the wooden balance beam, or blocks, children can also learn new words. Help your toddler describe bridges, arches, boats, buildings, and whatever else they create.

wooden toys, wooden toys for toddlers, Montessori wooden toys

Wooden Toys Vs. Plastic Toys: Safety and Sensory Experience

Wooden toys are also superior to plastic toys in many ways. For one, they are safer! Well-made wooden baby toys feature natural materials that don’t break or splinter.

On the other hand, many plastic toys can break easily, creating sharp edges. Also, research has shown that many plastics are not safe. Some plastics contain harmful chemicals that can leech out when toddlers and babies chew on them. 

Wooden toys for toddlers go the extra mile and also offer a sensory experience.  As Montessori said, “The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.” In other words, sensory experiences are important for learning

Wooden toys smell good, feel nice, and look beautiful. Wood has more of a texture than plastic. Plus, wood offers beautiful grains to observe instead of just plain colors. Finally, wood often offers a pleasant scent, whereas plastic doesn’t.

Quality Over Quantity: Choose Montessori Wooden Toys

Have you ever walked into a room and felt overwhelmed by the mess? Before you’re able to get any work done, you feel like you just HAVE to clean up your office. That way, you can concentrate!

Children feel the same way about cluttered toy rooms full of so many options they become paralyzed. In fact, research shows that toddlers play longer and deeper when they have a small number of toys.

The Montessori philosophy also makes this argument. In a Montessori classroom, you'll see a beautiful, organized selection of a few toys or "materials". According to Montessori, when the classroom or playroom offers too many choices, children have a harder time concentrating. That's why Montessori classrooms also keep wall decor to a minimum.

What does this mean for parents?

Instead of buying your children lots of toys, purchase fewer, but higher quality toys. If you're concerned that you have too many toys, don’t worry! You can always pack some of them away and offer only a smaller number of toys to play with. Then, you can switch out toys every few weeks or months to offer your child something new to play with. 

The bottom line is that wooden toys are always a great option when choosing new toys for your child! Which Montessori wooden toy is your favorite?

Posted in: 12 - 18 months, 18 Months - 3 Years, 3 - 6 years, Parenting

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