Promoting ethical children's clothes and toys - Tender Leaf Toys – wooden, plastic-free, educational toys

Wood does not wound or break down; it does not shatter, it wears out, it can last a long time.” – Roland Barthes 

Classic wooden toys include puzzles and building blocks that children can stack and balance, and can help children with development. But why are wooden toys so much better? 

Safer: wooden toys include less small pieces, and thanks to their durability, it’s much less likely for a small piece to break off during impact. Good quality, eco-friendly wooden toys also contain less chemicals, which is better for your children and the environment. They’re usually painted with non-toxic paints too. 

Closer to nature: you may have noticed that workplaces with wood tend to be more calming and stimulating. Workplace environments tend to be more productive when the lighting is warm and nature-similar, and they’re filled with neutral woody colours (even if it’s just a wood-patterned desk). When an area is filled with metallic or neon furniture, with cold, harsh lighting, a lot of mental effort is used to overcome it – effort that could be used on learning or productivity. It’s the same for our children. Wooden toys keep your children in touch with the natural world. This can help to inspire their creativity and, later on, better understand how things are made and where they come from.

Better for the environment: by choosing wooden toys, you’re helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste (did you know the UK produces 5 million tons of plastic waste every year?). They’re durable, meaning they can be passed from owner to owner, before eventually being easily recycled thanks to being made from biodegradable materials. Even the production of wooden toys is much more environmentally friendly than that of plastic toys – when done sustainably, less resources are used and less harmful chemicals are produced. 

Education and development: wooden toys can improve children’s numerical, literary, spacial awareness, and problem-solving abilities. This is because they often come in the form of puzzles and building blocks. Balancing and stacking pieces can help children to understand the effects of gravity and also help to develop their motor skills. The wooden look and texture can provide a direct connection to the natural world, promoting learning and productivity as well as a deeper understanding of where things come from. 

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that the future architect should play at building houses as a child.

Creativity: these simpler-looking toys encourage creativity. Unlike sets that are based on TV shows or movies, the pieces of a wooden toy set do not limit you child’s imagination to specific scenarios. A human figure could become a princess, a knight, or a smaller version of themselves while a horse could be a pet, a horse roaming a field, or even a unicorn. 

Team work: most wooden toys are suitable for ages 3+, which is the age that children start to learn essential social skills. Wooden toy sets, especially building sets, promote playing and assembling together, teaching them how to work together, a skill valuable throughout life.

Cheaper in the long run: there’s no batteries or bulbs to replace! And they’re basically unbreakable. They last a really long time and can be passed from owner to owner. They can also be revamped with a fresh lick of non-toxic paint if they become tired. 

Aesthetically pleasing: wooden toys just look better. There’s no sharp edges, just smooth corners. Even pieces from different sets look good together, with a mix of natural wood grain and aesthetically-pleasing designs and colour palettes. 

Sound good? Why not check out our range of wooden toys here!

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