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Toys have been an important part of childhood since early civilizations, and although children today are very different from those of thousands of years ago, many of their favorite toys are similar to those that have been around for centuries. From the time of the Greek and Roman empires, it is known that children played with dolls, horses and chariots. The first toys discovered by archaeologists were all made of wood.
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Wooden toys have continued to be an integral part of childhood for thousands of years. In the 1700s, German toy makers began making a variety of wooden toys for sale to the general public. Vendors scoured Europe to market popular wooden toys, taking orders in advance for special occasions and often for custom wooden toys. Dolls and animals almost as real as life have become favorite toys for children all over Europe.
Over the next century, toy makers became more elaborate and detailed in their wooden creations. Wooden miniatures, like dollhouses and theaters, became popular in the 19th century, as did toy wooden soldiers. Many wooden toys, like the classic "Jack in a box", were hand painted in bright, vibrant colors. Wooden trains, with their wooden rails, were one of the best-selling toys of this era.
At the end of World War II, a number of new materials were introduced to the manufacturing industry, including plastic, which is still popular. The production of wooden toys has been steadily declining, as more and more toy manufacturers have switched to cheaper and more modern materials. Plastic toys were much easier to mass produce and were more affordable for families with children.
Today, wooden toys are rarely seen on the shelves of traditional toy stores, but the charm and appeal of these childhood classics has kept a number of wooden toy makers in business. . A wide variety of wooden toys can be purchased online, from miniature devices to small gifts and novelty games.
As discussed in a previous article, wooden toys are generally simple toys, but with a lot ofadvantages including encouraging the child to be imaginative. Thewooden puzzles encourage children to develop cognitively as well as develop fine motor skills. Ride-on toys and wooden pedal cars improve physical skills and gross motor development. Whether it's a fire station or a farm, miniature wooden play sets promote social and emotional development. Wooden toys have great educational value due to their simplicity.
Plastic toys are generally still cheaper than wooden toys and are considered safer by some due to the flammability of older wooden toys and possible injury from thrown or fallen wooden objects, but wooden toys do not contain toxic PVC like plastic toys. Wooden toys are the most durable toys and can usually last through generations of play.
Today's wooden toys are just as innovative, if not more, than modern electronic toys. Wind-up cars, trucks, and wooden toys make wonderful gifts, and wooden pull-along toys are a hit with toddlers. There are quiet games like chess and checkers, and even tic-tac-toe, in wood, as well as physical games like ring toss. For toys that offer educational benefits and last for decades, choose toys that have been tested by time, wooden toys.
📷 Photo credits: Unsplash