The toys made today have their place in a child's world. However, to appreciate the versatility and longevity of toys, children need to experience playing with classical wooden toys. The first wooden toys found date back to 1100 B.C. from the time of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Around the 1500s, Germany started mass production of wooden toys. The plastic toys made today, while entertaining, will not stand the test of time like the nostalgic wooden ones of yesterday. Fortunately, a few places continue to make toys from wood.
Wooden toys have the distinction of being handed down from grandparent to grandchild, lending a sentimental value to the treasure. Most wooden toys have fewer moving parts and are built stronger than toys made today. They are not just something to keep kids occupied. They play an important role in a child's development. Children interacting with toys learn gross and fine motor skills, creativity, and hand to eye coordination. They also learn problem-solving techniques using toys that make them think.
There are wooden toys for each skill that needs developed. Gross motor skills use the larger items such as outdoor play equipment and wagons. Fine motor skills develop by playing with small items. Cognitive and math skills improve playing with board games, blocks, and sequencing toys. Balance and coordination improve with the use of ride on toys made in the shape of cars, trucks, boats, and airplanes.
Language improves when children play imaginary games using castles, dollhouses, wooden figures, and dolls. Around the 1950s and 1960s ride on toys became highly popular. Ride on toys like wheelybugs assist in the development of all the skills. They make no noise, they do not move by themselves, there possess no remote controls, and no batteries are required, so a child uses their own imagination to figure out how to have fun. This gives children a chance to use their imagination, entertain themselves, explore options, and learn how to cope with feelings and problems.
The adaptive skills learned playing with these wooden toys serve throughout a lifetime, equally important in adulthood as in childhood. Due to their durability, children all over the world play with many of the timeless wooden toys today, and because of their popularity, a few places still make wooden toys. Some of the most treasured wooden toys are ride on toys, wooden horses, puzzles, pull toys, building blocks, musical instruments, and shape sorters.
Toys made from wood are sturdier than plastic and other materials making them easier to repair. The ones that are not repaired are more eco-friendly because they are biodegradable. Another lesson children learn from an introduction to wooden toys is the value of reusing and recycling items. When a wooden toy is beyond repair the wood is good to use for other purposes. The unique toys are sold in toyshops, online, at craft stores, and flea markets. Wooden toys are a timeless tradition, passing from one generation to another, with the capacity to delight both.