Parents only want what’s best for their kids, even with toys. There are lots of important things to consider when selecting toys for young children, but the biggest debate recently is between wooden vs. plastic toys. So to help you shop the next time around, here’s a comparison based on these two common materials used for children’s toys.
Advantages Of Wooden Toys
When it comes to toys with educational value, wooden toys ranks the top spot. This is because most wooden toys are “open-ended” or versatile in nature.
As you’ve noticed, wooden blocks can be played in several ways. Children may stack, combine, or sort them according to their shapes, sizes, or colors. They can even construct complex structures like towers, bridges, or castles by using these simple wooden toys.
The beauty of wooden toys is primarily due to its simplistic design. According to experts, wooden toys offer a blank slate that fires up a child’s imagination. They can create sounds, create their own storyline, and use these toys for whatever purpose they want. This feature entices their mind’s creative thinking and offers an opportunity for different types of play.
Quality wooden toys are often made from sustainable wood. When compared to plastics, wood is a renewable and biodegradable material that is less likely to harm the environment.
Do you have wooden toys that your parents have handed down to you? Wooden toys won’t wear out easily and less likely to break. Their durability and resistance from breakage make them a favorite collectible toy that can be handed down across generations.
Wood is a natural material. Wooden toys are often plain or naturally-colored and less likely to contain toxic materials. These make wooden toys an ideal option for babies and toddlers who are more likely to put the playthings in their mouths.
Unlike plastic toys, wooden toys often don’t produce sounds and lighting. The plain and simple design of wooden toys encourages cooperative play. Wooden toys like building blocks, puzzles, and other construction sets are best played with other children, making room for socialization. Developing social skills in early childhood is vital in boosting a child’s self-esteem, communication, and relationship with other people.
Disadvantages Of Wooden Toys
Though wooden toys withstand time, its appearance may vary depending on how it is used and stored. Wooden toys are prone to scratches and their color may soon fade.
Since carving isn’t that easy, wooden toy designs are not as detailed as what children can see in plastic toys.
Quality wooden toys may be expensive. The benefits of wooden toys often come with a price. It’s an ideal option if you’re aiming for a quality toy that can last for several years to come.
Risk for splinters
High-quality wooden toys are safe for babies and young children. However, if you’ve purchased a cheap variety, it may pose risk for wood splinters which can be a source of injury. Always check your wooden toys for any signs of breakage and do not give your kids the broken parts.
Are plastic toys safe?
Plastic toys are modern, classy, and comprise most of the playthings that are out in the market today. Are you thinking of buying some American plastic toys construction sets or a baby alive for your little one? Here are some important things to consider when buying toys made from plastic.
The Advantages Of Plastic Toys
Perhaps, the greatest selling point of plastic toys comes from their attractive designs. Children are too engrossed with the colorful stuff. Parents also give their children plastic toys due to their detailed and realistic designs. For example, if you want your child to learn about car engines or airplane models, then toys made from plastic often portray the most realistic resemblance to this stuff.
Plastic toys come in different varieties. From the educational blocks to the battery-operated ones, you’ll find plenty of options when it comes to plastic toys. Plastic toys can entertain young children through sounds, lights, and other great features.
There are lots of choices when it comes to plastic toys and you can easily find one to suit your budget. Though quality plastic toys also come with a higher price, you can often get plenty of alternatives to give your child.
Quality plastic toys can also stand the test of time. You can see some LEGO or magnetic puzzles that are also kept and handed down by parents to their kids. Plastic is highly resistant to scratches, fading, and weather, making it a material of choice if you aim for toys that will last.
Easy to clean
Another great feature of plastic toys is they are easy to maintain. You can easily wash, wipe, or disinfect without worries that you may ruin the toys. Plastic toys are also more resilient to dirt when compared to wooden ones.
The Disadvantages Of Plastic Toys
Risk of toxicity
The greatest issue against plastic toys is their bisphenol-A or BPA content. This chemical is a common industrial product in making plastic products. As we might have heard, this substance is toxic especially to babies and young children. Apart from that, other dangerous substances like phthalates and lead can get their way into plastic toys.
These chemicals are mostly associated with the cheap variety and those that didn’t pass the quality assurance testing. To prevent these toxic substances from ruining your child’s health, make sure that you only purchase high-quality plastic toys, and sign up for our email newsletter to be notified of any product recalls. While dangerous phthalates are banned for children’s products in the United States, unfortunately product recalls do happen.
Plastic is a major contributor to our problem with non-biodegradable wastes. To help minimize this problem, some manufacturers make eco friendly toys from recycled plastic.
One good example is the Green toys is company which makes toys from recycled milk jugs. It is also a great way to produce safe plastic toys since quality milk jugs are already BPA and phthalate free.
Plastic toys that produce lights, sounds, and movements may be attractive to young children but they often discourage kids to express their imaginative skills. Children are left to watch and be amazed by these toys for a short time without doing anything. Though these plastic toys can help entertain your child while you do some household chores, they often limit a child’s creative thinking skills.
Risk of injury
Poorly made plastic toys can easily break into pieces and injure your child. Make sure that you purchase plastic baby toys that have been stress-tested and made from high-quality materials to prevent this problem.
Overall, wooden and plastic toys have their own pros and cons. Wooden toys are simple, long-lasting, and promote creative thinking and collaboration. Plastic toys can similarly be productive, durable, and attractive.
Be it wooden or plastic, the most important part is for parents to be extra cautious in buying toys for their children. If you want to provide a toy that is safe for your baby, toddler, or young children, patronize quality toys over the cheaper varieties. It is best to spend a bit more for quality than end up with a toy that is risky for your little one.