Wooden Toys Sharon Kelleher

In a world where kids' toys are increasingly plastic and either computerized, electrical, or battery-operated, many are yearning for the simpler, wooden toys of yesteryear. Whether they are family heirlooms or modern-day classics, wooden playthings evoke a powerful sense of nostalgia.

Though the date wooden toys first appeared is unclear, there is evidence that the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used wood to create playthings. In fact, archaeologists have uncovered ancient spinning tops made of wood, ceramics, and bone.The 1700s brought the onset of educational toys in England with the advent of wooden alphabet blocks. The 18th century also saw the emergence of wooden sleds and carved miniature animals.

Wooden cars entered the scene in the 1800s, when fire engines and trolley cars became very popular.

There are many different types of wooden toys and games to choose from. Some follow traditional designs and have been produced consistently for many years. Many are newer designs that incorporate elements of more recent toys and games. Popular types of toys and games include:

•Ride-ons, tricycles and small bikes

•Jigsaw and other kinds of puzzles


•Building blocks

•Wooden train, farms, towns, doll houses, castles and people sets

•Board games

•Musical instruments

These kinds of toys are often particularly popular with parents of babies and younger children.

Many toys of this type are often designed to offer a more educational or developmental slant than other toys. They may, for example, help foster:

•Fine and gross motor skills

•Imaginative play

•Hand-eye co-ordination development

•Problem solving and puzzling skills

•Spatial awareness

•Shape and color recognition.

So, for example, a child playing with a simple set of wooden building bricks may learn about balance, shapes and may improve their fine motor skills as they build stuff. Put the bricks in a pull/push along cart and this may also help with their gross motor skills and help them learn balance and walk on their own.

Additional Advantages of Playing With Wooden Toys

Many parents prefer to use wood toys at home because they are often perceived to be safer, sturdier and longer-lasting than their plastic equivalents. The fact that these toys are also made from natural materials and may in some cases have been recycled often ticks a lot of environmental buttons.

The fact is that wooden toys can last for years if they are well-made and many kids visiting their grandparents will play with toys that their parents used when they were young. Some turn into heirlooms that are enjoyed from generation to generation.

Those looking to buy wooden toys will find plenty of alternatives to choose from in the toy sector for all ages. Children often get years of fun as well as a great range of educational benefits out of these classic toys.


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