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Comment bien choisir un jouet en bois pour mon enfant?

How to choose a wooden toy for my child?

Despite the pandemic currently affecting our planet (covid 19) toys remain the 4th largest expense item (after food, shelter and clothing). Toys keep a place of choice in Canadian households.

In France, 3 weeks after the lifting of the containment, the toy sector has seen a 44% jump in sales and this, despite rising prices. Among them the wooden games have conquered their place on the shelves. Let's face it, it's their big comeback!

Supplanted for several years by plastic, we notice the craze of wooden games in stores for several years.

But beware, wooden toys does not always mean quality!
Some brands reduce their costs by using plywood (also called multiply wood) or glued wood (made from chips, particles or glued wood fibers). By this fact they also reduce the lifespan, naturalness and fun of the toy.

For bulky parts or with curvilinear shapes, manufacturers often use plywood, because it is cheaper, less heavy and more malleable. For a draisienne, you can understand the need to use plywood, but for a pull-along toy, solid wood is more than advisable.

The benefits of a wooden toy

Buying a wooden toy is a gesture of commitment.

With the multitude of children's play offerings, buying wooden toys is a bias!

Beware, at Tite chouette we're not just talking about toys made from chipboard, we're talking about toys obtained by machining solid wood and beautiful plywood toys like the puzzles.

All the manufacturers selected in our online store purchase their wood from sustainably managed forests (PEFC or FSC). These two labels guarantee that the wood used to make the toys does not come from illegally logged forests.

They are more environmentally friendly,more durable and safer for children's health than plastic toys, provided, however, that they are made with quality wood and paint.

European toys are mainly made of beech. In North America, we find more often birch which grows in abundance.


Criteria to consider when buying wooden toys

Will the toy provide pleasure to the child?

For several years we have witnessed a renaissance of the wooden toy.

More appealing designs and colors, collaborations with artists (such as Michelle Carlslund) or reproductions of Keith Haring... but the fun also comes from holding the toy in your hands.

Have you ever held a wooden toy? The pleasure in touch is nothing like a plastic toy. With a wooden toy, each toy is unique depending on the wood. For example, the weight of the same car can vary depending on the block of wood used. It's not standardized like plastic where you inject a precisely calculated amount.

The solid wood makes the toy more alive and more authentic. The fun is shared between adult and child.

On the adult's side, you have to remember that you will be playing with your toddler, if he doesn't have any fun with a toy, he will simply leave it aside.

Is the toy safe?

The safety aspect is paramount, especially for 0-3 year olds.

They need to watch for small parts or strings (when they have them). They must have safeties, like the Vilac pull-along toys for example.

The materials are also important in the safety of the toy. Indeed your child will spend his time chewing on it.

The finishes of quality wooden toys are made with vegetable oil, so no impact on the health of baby. In addition, the dyes are made from water, so they pose no risk if the toy is put in the mouth (or should we say chewed).

The brands we offer have all obtained American or European certifications that are even stricter in this regard.

Advice
Avoid sourcing on aliexpress or wish which may offer games at competitive prices, but for which you will have no guarantee on the use of solvents or safety devices.

Does the toy respect the developmental stage of the child?

To be interesting, the toy must offer a small challenge adapted to its advanced.

Don't offer a game that is too complex and may frustrate the child. You don't want the child to have a bad memory of the toy, because as they get older they won't want to play it again. In some cases if it is repeated, it could even harm his self-esteem.

The level of difficulty of the toy must also be adapted. Indeed even if the child likes to play a lot with his parents, he must be able to have fun with the toy without having to be helped all the time.


Does the toy allow to play in several ways?

There is the simple toy, the one that has only one purpose, only one activity. There are also those that are "multi-activity." These allow the child to be more interested and longer (and it helps us avoid overuse and/or clutter). For example, the popularity of blocks does not deceive. Depending on the development of the child, he can start to throw them, stack them, destroy your beautiful towers and eventually create his own creations.


Can we trust the age indications on the packaging?

The age indications serve more as an indicator for safety, more than for its complexity. Age ranges are often large and more related to marketing in order to increase sales. It is especially important to respect the age indications for children from 0 to 3 years old, so as not to offer them games with small pieces that they could easily swallow.

You are therefore required to use your judgment to assess whether a game is suitable for your child. You can also contact us if you have any questions about a toy. It will be our pleasure to discuss with you and help you in your choice.

To remember

Although the price of the wooden toy is often more expensive than others, it assures you durability, quality, safety, authenticity

We can therefore only advise you wooden toys made of solid wood for the smallest models (cars, rattles, maracas, ...) and plywood for the largest (draisienne, rocking horse, ...).

Previous article 10 advantages of wooden toys for children

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