Why we prefer wooden toys (and other personal family choices)

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Someone on my last post made a comment, asking me whether wooden toys are better than plastic and how would I actually know?

For starters, I’m sorry if anyone interpreted my post as declaring any one thing better than another for everyone. It’s a family decision for us to prefer wooden and natural material toys, especially open-ended play toys (those toys that can be used for more than one game). I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that these things are not priorities for other families- they have things that are important to them, and those priorities may not be the same as my family’s priorities.

However.

We have our own reasons for preferring certain things (like wooden toys!) and I’d like to say why.

In our case, we prefer wooden toys for several reasons- the most practical reason is that my son is three years old and is slightly careless. He isn’t deliberately hard on his toys (except the big plastic ones, but that’s a different story), but he does tend to drop them, occasionally throw them, and more often than not bury them in something else which then gets stepped on.

Plastic doesn’t really hold up to that sort of abuse. It’s much cheaper, true, but I prefer the sturdy feel of wood.

We also have a personal belief of our family that wooden toys are more beautiful- it’s a personal preference, but an important one to us. Wooden toys have an elegance to appearance and feel to us that we really enjoy- adults and children alike.

We also subscribe to the belief that our son should respect his toys- which includes taking care of them. For a plastic toy, that would mean washing (which is fine!) but wooden toys give him a chance to learn something that we think is really special. All his wooden toys are polished once a week with a beeswax polish (which I take pleasure in making myself, adding an additional layer of pleasure) and it teaches him patience and respect for his toys, and how to keep them in good condition.

Now, all of these things are family beliefs of OUR family. We have no problems in the least with other families who choose other options, but these are our family choices.

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