Natural Play

Why All Wooden Toys Aren’t Created Equally

The Playful Peacock

Here at The Playful Peacock, we are experts in exactly why all wooden toys aren’t created equally–and wanted to share that with you today!

After all, when you’re investing in wood toys for your children you want them to be high-quality wood toys. But what differentiates the good from the great? Well, let’s jump in:

Not All Wooden Toys Are Handcrafted

It’s true: the bulk of wooden toys sold both online and in-person are not handcrafted.

Since 2015, China has been the largest manufacturer of toys worldwide and has made up 70% of the market. These toys are mass-produced, oftentimes do not have high durability (meaning they’re not a long-term investment!), can contribute to the use of sweatshops and unfair labour conditions, and, of course, up the world’s general pollution by default.

The toy industry as a whole has capitalized on parents’ interest in choosing wooden toys over plastic– however, there are many cheap, mass-produced wooden toys that are just as harmful as plastic… so don’t be fooled just because a toy states on the label that it’s made of wood! Opt for solid hardwoods vs. softwood or cheap plywood, both of which are more likely to chip or splinter. Non-handcrafted wooden toys usually also often tout toxic paints, finishes, and sealants, all of which can be detrimental to your child’s long-term health. 

When you choose handcrafted wooden toys, you ensure that you are being a conscious consumer who isn’t just investing in your child’s health and enjoyment: you’re also doing social good that extends worldwide by proving to the toy industry that yes, parents really do care about the material of their childrens’ toys!

Not All Wooden Toys Encourage Open-Ended Play

Defined as, “any type of pay that has no strict rules to follow and no ‘correct’ solutions or fixed outcomes at the end”, ‘open-ended play’ works to encourage creativity and problem-solving in young children.

The opposite of this is ‘close-ended play’, which has a definitive end point. While close-ended play also has its benefits (and, of course, is fun for your tot!), children will often move on from close-ended toys quicker than open-ended toys because of the limited ways there are to use them.

At Playful Peacock, we consider the most high-quality wooden toys to be open-ended because we want to encourage flexibility and imagination in children’s lives. These include, but aren’t limited to, puzzles, natural bowling sets, alphabet blocks, and so much more.

Not All Wooden Toys Are Montessori 

Montessori-inspired toys are those that are:

  • Made with all-natural materials, making them safer for younger children who are more prone to “tasting” their toys
  • Focused on teaching children one skill at a time
  • Are not battery-powered or otherwise electronic

Most of the toys sold here at The Playful Peacock are Montessori and all guarantee that your tots will have fun while they learn! However, be cautious of certain companies that market all of their wooden toys as “open-ended” or “Montessori”—both of these terms have received a lot of buzz in the toy industry over the last decade, meaning that some businesses will use them as blanket buzzwords even when they don’t accurately describe the toy in question!

Invest in High-Quality Wooden Toys Today With The Playful Peacock

The Playful Peacock was born amid the COVID-19 pandemic: when my son’s daycare was shut down, I, like many parents, was overwhelmed with how to keep him learning and playing. 

The following 12 months was an exploration of high-quality wooden toys that promoted safe, ethical, open-ended play… and the journey was so magical that I wanted to share it with other parents all across Canada!

Shop our selection of high-quality wooden toys today to experience the world of difference it makes in your child’s playtime!