How to choose a wooden toy for my child?

  • by Aude Renaud

How do I choose a wooden toy for my child?

Despite the pandemic currently affecting our planet (covid 19), toys remain the 4th largest item of expenditure (after food, housing and clothing). Toys retain a prominent place in Canadian households.

In France, 3 weeks after the confinement was lifted, the toy sector saw a 44% jump in sales, despite high prices. rising. Among them, wooden games have won their place on the shelves. Let's face it, it's their big comeback!

Replaced for several years by plastic, we have noticed the craze for wooden games in stores for several years.

But beware, wooden toys do not always mean quality !
Some brands reduce their costs by using plywood (also called plywood) or chipboard (made from wood chips, particles or fibers glue). By this fact they also reduce the lifespan, the natural side and the pleasure of the toy.

For bulky parts or with curvilinear shapes, manufacturers often use plywood, because it is less expensive, less heavy and more malleable. For a balance bike, we can understand the need to use plywood, but for a pull toy , solid wood is more than recommended.

The advantages of the wooden toy

Buying a wooden toy is a gesture of commitment.

In front of the multitude of offers of games for children, the purchase of wooden toys is a bias!

Attention, at Tite chouette we are not only talking about toys made of chipboard, we are talking about toys obtained by machining solid wood and beautiful plywood toys like the puzzles .

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

They are greener , more sustainable and safer for the health of children than plastic toys, as long as they are made with quality wood and paint.

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


Criteria to be taken into account when buying wooden toys

The toy procura Does the child enjoy it?

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

More attractive designs and colors, collaborations with artists (like Michelle Carlslund ) or reproductions of Keith Haring … but the fun also comes by taking the toy in your hands.

Have you ever taken in hand a wooden toy? The pleasure to the touch has nothing to do with 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 is not standardized like with plastic where you inject a precisely calculated quantity.

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

On the adult side, do not forget that you will have to play with your little one, if he has no pleasure with a toy, he will simply leave it aside .

Is the toy safe?

The safety aspect is essential, particularly among 0-3 years old.

Watch out for small parts or ropes (if so equipped). They must have safety features, like Vilac's pull along toys for example.

Materials are also important in the safety of the toy. Your child will spend his time chewing on it.

The finishes of quality wooden toys are made from vegetable oil , therefore without impact on baby's health. In addition, the dyes are made from water, so they are safe if the toy is put in the mouth (or should we say chewed).

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

Advice
Avoid sourcing from aliexpress or wish who may offer games at competitive prices, but for which you will not have any guarantee on the use of solvents or safety device.

Does the toy respect the stage of development of the child?

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

Do not offer too complex a game that could frustrate the child. The child should not have bad memories of the toy, because as he grows he will not want to play with it anymore. In some cases if it is repeated, it could even hurt his self-esteem.

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


Does the toy allow you to play in several ways?

There is the simple toy, the one with one goal, one activity. There are also those who are “multi-activity”. These allow the child to be more interested and for longer (and this allows us to avoid overconsumption and / or clutter). For example, the popularity of blocks is not deceiving. Depending on the child's development, he can start throwing them, stacking them, destroying your beautiful towers and eventually creating his own creations.


Can we trust the indications of age on the packaging?

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

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


To remember

Even if the price of the wooden toy is often more expensive than others, it assures you durability , quality , security , authenticity ...

We can therefore only recommend wooden toys made in solid wood for the smallest models (cars, rattles, maracas, ...) and in plywood for the larger ones (balance bike, rocking horse, …).

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