How To Choose High-Quality Wooden Toys

Would you still be interested in wooden toys? Most of the toys we see now are made of plastics or metals while some are rubberized. The new toys look good and very appealing although you can easily distinguish the rickety and the flimsy kind.

Naturally, the battery operated ones with the flashing lights and sound effects would be your child’s choices.Wooden toys used to be the custom playthings until manufacturers shifted to the plastic materials.

In truth, you are apprehensive buying them because they don’t quite measure up to quality standards. Besides, it might just be a waste of money.

There’s a scarcity, if none at all, of wooden toys displayed at the racks of popular retail toy stores today. Children of the current generation never had real connection with wooden toys unlike their parents.It would be nice to bring back the glory days of wooden toys.

What are the kinds of wood used in making toys?

Wood has been the predominantly used material to make the classic toys for a very, very long time. The source of this wood is the forest that is filled with a variety of tree species.

If you ask the woodcarvers, there are only two classifications of wood, the hardwood and the softwood. The hardwood comes from deciduous trees while softwood comes from the evergreen trees.

What is the specific wood chosen by toymakers?

1. Black Cherry

Black cherry wood is the favorite because it is extremely smooth. It gives out a pleasant scene. The color is light red but changes into a darker shade as it ages.

2. Hickory

One wood that is durable and strong is the Hickory. It is often used by toymakers for handles and other toy parts that need to be sturdy.

3. White Pine

One among the well-known wooden toy-making companies prefers the White Pine because of its natural beauty and grain. While softwood is not an ideal material for wooden toys, Maine Toys use them to make toys. Their secretis the selection of the best White Pine and the special sanding process.

Why wooden toys are still the better choice

Wooden toys have a visual charm which is due largely to its natural beauty and perfect craftsmanship.High-tech toys can’t approximate the artistry of old. Some wooden toys have been passed on from generation to generation. Watch a short video on the traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys here.

1. Wood has the better quality

The durability of wood is unmatched when made into a toy. It doesn’t shatter or break down easily. It wears out too but very slowly and over a long period of time. Handmade wooden toys possess the highest standards and most of them will outlast plastic or metal toys.

2. Wood is safer

Plastic toys are health risks for our children. Wood does not discharge toxic chemicals called phthalates which most plastic toys do. Since younger toddlers are predisposed to mouthing, there is greater risk if they chew on harmful materials or toxic elements.

3. Wood create lasting memories

There is a certain degree of nostalgia with wooden toys. Parents can share special memories with their children by handing down their best kept classic wooden toys.

4. Wood illuminate better vibes

It may sound poetic but in truth, toys made from wood provide a greater perceptible experience for a child. It fosters connection with the world around them. Since we live in an urban environment, wooden toys allow our children the opportunity to connect and understand nature through play.

5. Wood is inspiring

A wooden educational toy can keep your child engaged longer than an iPad or any electronic device. Besides being organic, these toys leave more to the imagination rather than the predictable buttons of a gadget. There are countless possibilities in playing a wooden toy.

6. Wood is more personal

The learning from high-tech toys is not really deep as it is limited to visual stimulation. With wooden toys, playing is more interactive. Special effects can’t compensate for tangible personal connection. Your kid can have a sense of control and mastery, while drawing out his creativity. Children should be actively involved rather than merely watch.

7. Wood is worth more than the actual cost

The quality and durability of wooden toys is what you are paying for and thus, it comes out cheaper in the long run. The workmanship behind the making of a wooden toy is distinct compared to a high-tech toy coming out of a mechanized production line. Your children will enjoy playing with wooden toys longer and when they outgrow them, it can be kept as special toy collections.

8. Wooden toys are simply beautiful

In terms of appearance, wooden toys are simply beautiful. The classic wooden toys are timeless, authentic and more refined.The visual appeal of wood will win out over a complicated-looking, high-tech plastic or metal toy. A wooden toy with intricate design will even pass as a beautiful home decor.

How would you know if a wooden toy is worth buying?

As we mentioned earlier, there are two categories of wood: hardwood and softwood.Softwood such as pine or fir trees is commonly used in construction, furniture, and paper making among others. On the other hand, hardwood is used for toys.Examples of hardwood are maple, oakwood, walnut and birch.

 The toy is hardwood quality

Hardwood has a higher density besides being very resistant to wear and tear. This is why hardwood is best suited for floors and of course, toys. I have seen plenty of toys made from pine construction and sometimes of leftover wood construction materials. The prices are cheaper but I decided against buying them. They are softer and appear easily breakable. Also, in case it breaks, long and thin splinters will pose injury to my children. I’d still go for the hardwood even if they are more expensive. Toys of hardwood quality are lasting and safer.

 The toy is sanded smoothly

Sanding is the most time consuming task in making wooden toys. Expert woodworkers will take painstaking efforts to ensure there are no risks for splinters. Feel the surface and pick the toy that is sanded smoothly so as to eliminate the risk of injuries through splinters. Check the corners to see if they are rounded and there are no sharp points or thin pieces protruding that can cause injuries or could easily break off and be a choking hazard.

 The toy is clear of glue at joints

Most toymakers use the carpenter’s glue or ‘yellow’ glue when sealing joints together. It’s the best kind for wooden toys because it creates a strong bond and is non-toxic. Check the toy joints. A wooden toy is hastily made if there is excess glue or dried glue is squeezing out between the joints. Yellow glue has some resistance to moisture but is not waterproof.

 The toy has a safe finish and non-toxic

The options for finishing wood are varied although not all finishing are safe because some have lead content. Natural finishes like tung oil and shellac need not be tested for lead content. Shellac is edible and safe as it is also used as a coating agent on candies and medicine pills.When tung oil and shellac penetrate deep into the wood, they harden. There is no layer formed on top or on the surface of the toy like many other paints.Wooden toys with paint finishes are prone to chipping or flaking. When choosing a painted toy, check if the paint is not flaking off. It would help to ask the seller what type of paint was used on the toy.

Are there downsides in using wood as toy material?

Nobody seems to dispute that wooden toys are better over plastic or metal toys. But if there are downsides, the only likely visible ones are in the appearance and the danger of low-quality wood.

  •  Wood stain can darken causing the grain to amplify to look like two-toned. These stains are highly noticeable in larger wood like cabinets and furniture.
  •  In some wood, the color variation may be in the reverse - from dark to light but still insignificantto alter the wood’s natural appearance.
  •  Be mindful that some wooden toys are made of cheap, low-quality plywood. Some are laced with toxic and harmful glues. These toys probably did not go through quality control and likely used paints with high lead content.

Let’s bring back the staple of childhood (wooden toy cars)

We all want the best for our kids including the simple joys we had during our childhood days. Wooden toys have been around since the 19th century andhave since been universally loved by children. Wooden toys are timeless pieces of fun. The memories of playing will forever be etched in our children’s memory banks in the same way it was in ours.

We hope this piece will move you to bring back the ‘real’ fun your children deserve to experience. Let’s all encourage imaginative and creative play through wooden toys. Please share with us your thoughts about wooden toys and why it’s the best for our children.

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Rose
 

Hello! I’m Rose Ingram and I’m happy of being mother of my two beautiful daughters. They are the most wonderful gifts that I receive in my life. Thanks for having them ‘cause it makes me feel how my life meaningful is. I am working as a designer, specialize in designing safe things for houses or schools to protect babies with utmost care….

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