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Why wooden toys make the best play materials?

Walking through various toy shops and scrolling through websites that sell toys can be so overwhelming. There are so many cute and colourful playthings but with that comes so much of confusion. Worst of all, every toy insists that it’s best for your kid. What to believe; what should you pick? Does this speak to you? We want the best for our kids, but what if you’re not sure of what the best toys are.  

Play-Food For Thought

Ideally, wooden toys are safe, affordable, durable and they help in developing so many different skills. There is something special about the tactile sensation of a well-crafted wooden toy. Wooden play materials never go out of style and are as healthy as they are timeless and still remain a popular choice of toys at homes, playgroups and especially Montessori schools across the world. Dr Maria Montessori favoured natural wooden materials because they are  healthy, safe, beautiful, durable and innately enjoyable for children.

Here are 6 reasons to choose wooden toys:

They need to physically manipulated

The toy industry is saturated with flashing lights, loud sounds and bright coloured toys leaving little people so overwhelmed. The more a toy does, the less a child has to do. In other words it shuts down opportunities for problem solving and imaginative play. Its almost like a child is sitting and watching the toy perform which leaves a child over stimulated. On the other hand, wooden toys are simple, beautiful, rich in tactile stimulation and are open ended for a child to explore at their own pace. More importantly wooden toys support cognitive development and gets a child to explore the toy using all their senses.

What is safe for your planet is safe for your children

Wooden toys are more environmentally friendly than plastic due its biodegradable nature and its ability to be recycled. Every time you buy a wooden toy, you are playing your part in saving our planet. Wood is indeed a safer option over plastic or metal as children tend to put things in the mouth. Not only are wooden toys safer, but they benefit your child’s health and over all wellbeing. Mentor Mom play materials are eco-friendly which makes our wooden and fabric play materials  safe for babies and children to play with.

They last forever and can be passed on to generations

There’s a reason why wooden toys are inherited or donated. They are definitely durable if taken good care. While plastic toys can be brittle and many a times the stickers used on these toys are fading or tearing which is not safe for young children especially for mouthing babies, Safety is crucial and wood is among the safest materials nature can provide for babies and children.

They are beautiful and stimulates all senses

Touching, feeling, hearing ,even smelling wooden toys stimulates almost all senses and when children involve all their senses they collect necessary information to stimulate their development and creativity. A child also gains a better sense of volume, shape, weight and spatial awareness simply by exploring a wooden toy. Children have special sensitivity to absorb information through their senses, categorize it and create mental order and orientation of the things in their environment. On the other hand, plastic toys doesn’t give that same feeling. Aesthetically wooden toys whether painted or not it is still visually appealing.

They promote imaginative play

Wooden toys are perfect for imaginative play depending on the toy it can be turned into anything a child thinks of and can help in development of simple to complex imaginative play. Wooden toys are not battery operated which means no music or voice commands that instruct a child on what to do. Thus, allowing a child to use their reasoning skills as well.

Less is more

The life span of a wooden toy is much more in comparison to a plastic toy. While buying a wooden toy one might feel it expensive at that moment but think of it this way instead of having to buy the same plastic toy again and again because its chipping from the sides or the batteries are out. You are spending more money on repeatedly buying the same toy because its either your child’s favourite toy or you are spending money after buying new batteries. Eventually you are spending the same amount.

Common Questions/ FAQ

But… Wooden toys are expensive

If you are on a tight budget, high quality wooden toys are still available at a pocket friendly price. Have you looked at Mentor Mom play materials? They are designed by a Montessori tutor and a special educator and it purely focuses on learning through doing which means the toddler is physically manipulating the play materials it is not battery operated. Mentor Mom play materials are rich in texture which encourages them to use many senses as possible to learn.

The last thing you need to know as parents.

“ What the hand does, the mind remembers”. – Maria Montessori

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