Wooden Toys Vs Plastic Toys

Plastic or wooden toys

There are many choices you must confront when deciding which toys to buy for your children. You want something that will last a long time, stand up to rigorous use, and allow them to be creative so that they can learn while play You also want something that is safe for them to use. Toys play a major role in the development of a child’s imagination, thinking, and language skills. Even in the age of computer games and gaming consoles, toys form an essential part of a child s development. This is the reason why parents need to be careful about toys that they choose for their child.

Wooden toys vs plastic toys? When it comes to your children, nothing’s too good for them, although some things are certainly too good to be true. These days, literally well over 99 percent of the toys offered for sale to your children are made of plastic and metal. Natural wooden toys are nearly non-existent. That’s really sad. They are important part of our heritage and culture, and chances are they’re safer than plastic toys as well. During play, your child will learn how to follow instructions, lead, negotiate, share, and be a part of a group. All these are essential skills that will determine the academic performance and life satisfaction of your child in the future.

They Are Expensive – But They Are Worth It

Wooden toys are expensive, but if you consider that wooden toys are more durable and better quality than any other toys, you will understand that they are, in fact, cheaper! Looking in long terms, they will not break and with a good care they can last for decades. How often you are throwing plastic toys in a trash because your child break it! I know, very often. You have no use of a broken plastic toy, but wooden toys can even be repaired and sanded down and refinished or repainted to look like new. This makes them environmentally friendly and can more than make up for the slightly higher cost.

Many parents are also very attracted to the timeless look and feel of classic wooden toys. Many consider that having plastic toys is more practical than wooden toys pricewooden toys because of cost factor. Although plastic toys are cheaper compared to wooden toys, long term consideration proves that the latter is better than the former. Wood is natural material which can be subjected to recycling. This means that aside from providing entertainment for you child, you can also pro actively help in preventing further degradation of environment. Moreover, children appear to be more attached to play with wooden toys.

Wooden toys do not have electronics parts or voice commands that will instruct your child on what to do. Thus, this allows them to use their own reasoning skills when deciding which activities they should undertake using that certain toy. Things like puzzles or blocks will also help them in developing their problem-solving skills. Since wooden toys are heavier in comparison to plastic ones, it enables your child to become more aware of what their hands are doing. This is beneficial for children with delayed development of fine motor skills or those with sensory disorders.

Disadvantages Of Wooden Toys

Wooden toys tend to be harder than plastic toys which might make it easier for children to hurt themselves if they are not careful. Chewing wooden toys can also lead to splinters in a child’s mouth or swallowing of pieces of wood. However, if you purchase wisely, these should not be any concerns because almost all wooden toys have been designed with all these factors in mind.

Natural Is Always Better

Wooden toys are toys which are made using a natural product opposed to a product like plastic which is a product that we are trying to recycle but nevertheless remains product which costs less to produce new than to recycle. Eventually, most of your child’s toys will end up in the environment. Remember that wood is biodegradable but plastic is not. Instead of filling the landfills with unnatural products, you can buy toys for your child that will give back to the environment. Wood is recyclable as well. Each time you give your child high-quality wooden toys, you also consider future of the environment.

Plastic Toys Are Not That Bad!

One of the good things that you will like about plastic toys is that they are often less expensive than wooden toys thus making them a great option for those unable to afford different types of toys. Plastic toys are also washable therefore it is easier for you to disinfect and keep clean if you have children who like to direct their toys to mouth. plastic toys can be goodThey can also be exciting for a child to play with, due to different colors and ability to bend and twist into different shapes. Most plastic toys have also become BPA free, making them healthier for kids.

Plastic toys can have their place in your child’s toy box, however it’s a good idea to evaluate toys for durability, creative play and educational value before purchasing.

Disadvantages Of Plastic Toys

Plastic toys are not as sturdy or durable as those wood toys thus, they can break easily especially when handled roughly. If they break off, tiny pieces of plastic can be accidentally swallowed by your child and this will cause choking hazard for him or her. The best choice that you can decide for your child is to pick up those toys which are safest to your child and will suit your budget. When your child gets older, there will be more choices available for them. Always check the labels as to what a particular toy is made of and if it is suitable for the age of your child. Plastic toys are also known to putt off harmful chemicals into the environment thus making them less eco friendly!

There Is No Right Or Wrong In Choosing Either Type Of Toys

Wooden or plastic toys

At the end of the day, there is actually no right or wrong in choosing a wooden or a plastic toy for your child. The best choice that you can make for your child is to select toys that you can afford and that are the best for your child at his or her appropriate age. As your children gets older, more choices also become available. Just be careful and always read what the toys are made of and most importantly, avoid any painted toys for a young child!

18 thoughts on “Wooden Toys Vs Plastic Toys

  • I used to choose wooden toys for my son. I was -and still am- against plastic. There are so many reports on toxic ingredients in plastic toys! After all, quality is above all when it’s your kid’s health and well being in question. Great article Marko! Keep it up!

    • Wooden toys are the best choice for your child, but we need to consider other options. It’s really hard to buy only wooden toys when all those plastic ones are flashy, with integrated electronics that fascinate your children. There are excellent plastic toys out there, but the point is that we need to be careful of what we chose because there is a big risk when buying a cheap plastic toys.

  • This is good information for giving parents some direction for great toy choices! I am reminded of a wooden toy stored away in a building at my parents home. It was a wooden bench with colored wooden pegs. I would pound the tight fitting pegs down with the included wooden mallet. Then turn the little bench over and hammer the pegs down the other direction. There is no telling how many times children of my generation turned those little wooden hammering benches over for another go with the hammer! Thanks for refreshing a good childhood toy memory. Wood is the best!

    • Yeah, I wanted people to know than not all of the plastic toys are bad. You can find quality and educational plastic toys, but there are many things that you need to consider before buying them. Wood as a material for toys is definitely the best option, but not everyone can afford to buy only wooden toys for their children.

  • Great information! Yes, wood toys are more expensive, but they last. Plastic toys are usually more affordable, but they break easy. Kids are rough, especially my grandkids and nothing last long for them. Wooded toys can be passed down for generations.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for your opinion Devara! Yes, wooden toys are definitely a better choice, but most of people don’t even consider buying them when they see a price. I wanted people to know their advantages over plastic toys. I’m not saying that plastic toys are bad, but there are many things that you should consider before deciding to buy them.

  • I remember back in my time there were almost none plastic toys. Only wooden. Well, and small metal cars lol. But yes, I would prefer wooden ones over plastics.

    My nephews have lots of toys. And although the majority of them are plastic, the ones they love to play the most are wooden ones that my father made them.

    In fact, I think there is even my old wooden locomotive with wagons somewhere in the attic 😀

    • Well I grew up during a civil war in my country 🙂 I didn’t had almost any toys. We played outside, on the street, in the forest, in the creek. Later my father made me a wooden tractor, that was a simple toy but it meant a lot to me. I can say that was the first toy that I had, and like you, I still have it.

      Wooden toys don’t come up with all those things that attracts children at first sight, but when they start to play with them, they usually keep them close forever. Like you and I did.

  • depends on the age of the child and their development. A teething child will chew more on their toys than others. If you are trying to develop motor skills, their are many more wooden toys that will help with this than plastic.
    I think I still have a few wooden cubes that had letters on two sides from more than 40 years ago. I think I have a few Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs around also. The wooden toys last for many years of play.
    There is a time and place for each of these styles in today’s world. When the child gets older, what toys are available in wood to compete with the Lego’s, they are one of the best plastic toys for creativity and following instructions.

    • There are many types of wooden toys now, for any age of child. Including wooden Lego’s, yes there are companies that are manufacturing Lego’s from wood. We should stimulate our kids to play with wooden toys, because once when they start, they will never stop playing with their wooden toys. They are just special.

  • I remember having several wooden toys when I was growing up. While I loved Legos and other plastics, the ones I remember are the wooden blocks my uncle made for me in wood-shop. We still have them someplace. I also believe that metal was a great material for toys as well. My dad still has some from when he was young.
    There are plenty of options, but I don’t see how kids can get as attached to toys made out of plastic like they did when I was young.

    • Hi Colby, I agree with you that metal toys are good choice too. I’m going to write an article in which I will compare wooden and metal toys. But wooden toys feel more natural than metal toys, and I will always choose wooden over metal toys.

      Thank you for your opinion!

  • I enjoyed your post, it brought back some beautiful memories of when our children were little and how they loved playing with their little wood cars…then when we had them join the Cub Scouts they learned how to make their own little wood cars, but it was competing in the wood car races that they enjoyed the most.
    My husband and I always did like the idea of wooden toys (not all of them were wood though) for our boys because we felt it helped them to develop their creativity and they did seem to enjoy playing with them too!
    I do agree that children can play with plastic toys, but wooden toys should also always be considered and sometimes are even a better buy overall!

    • Hello Christie, thanks for commenting on my article!

      Wooden toys are always bringing memories back. I still have my first wooden toy and now my son is playing with it. I’m not against plastic toys, but every child should have more wooden toys than plastic ones, there are numerous reasons why.

      It’s important for their development to have appropriate toys, and you cannot make a mistake with wooden toys.

  • Great article on considering the pros and cons of wooden versus plastic toys. I’ve never thought too much about this before, I try to be as eco friendly as I can but I’ve been more focused on reducing my plastic waste in the kitchen. This article has definitely given me something to think about when I’m next buying a toy for my daughter. Thanks for your insights!

    • Hi Hannah, I’m glad that this article helped you. Many people don’t even think about environment when they are choosing toys, but it is important because plastic takes forever to degrade. Each day tons of plastic waste are thrown in nature. We could help preventing this by choosing wooden toys instead of plastic one, and that is just one way to help our nature. Besides that, we teach our children important things, they will not understand it at first, but as time passes they will become more and more aware of that. Later they will teach their children in a good way!

  • I think you make some interesting points about wooden vs. plastic toys. I actually like both. I feel they give a good contrast to little ones when building and learning. Also the sensory part of it. I think Wooden toys are best when it comes to kids learning to build and knock things down and they are easy to hold on to and less likely to hold bacteria where as plastic has pours and can collect bacteria if you are not careful with cleaning. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • Hello Jay, thank you for commenting. We share the same opinion. Children should have both types of toys, but we should be careful when buying those toys. There are good, educational plastic toys we just need to choose that good ones. It’s not about the price, when we are buying something that will hep our children learn, price should be the main criteria in a process of selection.

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