Compared to flashy technology and noisy plastic toys, wooden toys are less expensive and last longer, making them a wise investment that can easily pay for itself. Wooden toys are also more sustainable and durable and can even help supplement your child’s learning.
Wooden Toys for Learning: The Connection
When combined with reading and letter recognition, wooden toys can support emerging literacy skills. They’re also more streamlined, which means young learners won’t be distracted by technology or complicated plastic parts. Minimalist wooden toys can spark imagination and prompt children to express themselves as they explore.
The sensory experiences of touching, holding, and exploring the shape and weight of wooden toys can help build crucial hand-eye coordination and boost memory. Babies tend to explore through touch and placing objects in their mouths. Wooden toys are a natural, organic way to encourage exploration and establish connections with their senses.
Pinching, lifting, and fitting wooden puzzle pieces together help build fine motor skills, which is how the hands and fingers learn to synchronize with the eyes. Building this hand-eye coordination sets the foundation for other, more significant skills like holding a utensil for eating and using a pencil for writing.
What About Wooden Puzzles?
As with adults, puzzles inevitably improve a child’s memory and concentration. While fitting certain pieces together—sometimes successfully, sometimes not—they have to remember what leftover piece may have gone where and maintain concentration long enough to complete the entire puzzle. In a world where kids have attention deficits because of too much screen time, puzzles can be the perfect respite from overstimulation.
Children must learn that the world will not always come to them quickly, and when that happens, they have to have some coping mechanisms for how to think logically and solve their problems. Puzzles are among the easiest things children can do early in their lives to learn these problem-solving skills.
Also, because puzzles aren’t easy, it’s reasonable to imagine a world where children simply give up and discontinue their work rather than complete it. Adults who do this don’t often experience much personal and/or professional success, so ingraining children with the concepts of patience and grit early on are the sorts of things they will be able to use later when their lives get hard or instant gratification isn’t always available to them.
Caring for Wooden Toys and Wooden Puzzles
The best part about wooden toys, puzzles, and stools is that they don’t require any special chemicals to stay clean. Avoid disinfecting sprays or wipes, especially if your child is still putting toys in their mouths. All you need to do is wipe down surfaces with non-toxic cleaner or dish soap diluted in water.
Don‘t submerge your wooden toys or puzzle pieces in water or run them in the washing machine or dishwasher. Wood warps as it dries after soaking, which means pieces won’t fit together, and paint will crack. A light layer of beeswax can help keep the wood looking new, and it’s also important to store wood inside. The temperature fluctuations won’t affect them like they would in an attic or garage.
There’s a reason (several, actually) that wooden toys have been around for generations. Even the newest, flashiest electronic gadgets can’t claim the developmental benefits of wooden toys — especially when it comes to STEM learning. Wooden toys are also less expensive and last longer, making them a wise investment that can easily pay for itself.
Are you looking to invest in wooden toys, a wooden stool, or personalized wooden puzzles? We offer several different versions of our name stools with many options for customers to customize colors and themes. Are you looking to invest in high-quality, easy-to-clean wooden toys? Shop online knowing your purchase is going to support a small business.