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December 17, 2013


Why Buy Wooden Toys?

Over the years, almost everybody buys a toy or two for a baby, toddler, or small child, and many people are unsure whether they should buy wooden toys or toys made from plastic or other materials. When you are searching for that perfect toy for your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, or friend's child, remember these wooden toy benefits.

They are Durable

Toys made by companies such as From Grandpa's Workshop are much more durable than plastic toys and will usually last much longer. Many plastic toys have numerous small pieces, and once a piece becomes broken, the toys often have sharp edges that could hurt a young child. This immediately makes the toy unsafe and unusable. On the other hand, wooden toys tend to break less easily because wood is a much stronger material because of the density of the fibers.

They are Often Safer

Plastic toys can contain chemicals such as phthalate and Bisphenol A, both of which are known to be endocrine disrupters and have been associated with birth defects, reproductive damage, neurological damage, and autoimmune disease. Young children tend to put everything into their mouths; it is how they explore the things around them. Plastic toys may contain toxic chemicals, and some imported plastic toys may also contain lead paint. When purchasing any painted toy, whether it be made of wood or plastic, ensure that it is painted with non-toxic paint.

They are Usually Hand Made

Because the process of making toys from wood requires specialized designing, most arehandmade by skilled wood workers. This means that the toy often has sentimental value to both the purchaser and the child. Some of the more popular handmade toys include trains, train cars, trucks, trailers, and airplanes.

They are Nostalgic and Timeless

Many people choose plastic toys because they are less expensive, but in most cases, a plastic toy will not last very long. Toys made from wood last for many years and are often passed down from one generation to another. This makes the toy particularly special because older children and even grown-ups can remember playing with the toy when they were young.

Wooden Toys Help to Develop Better Play Skills

Many modern, plastic, and electronic toys are loud and over stimulating. In many cases, this type of toy does all of the work and the thinking for the child which can suppress a child's natural imagination and creativity. This is often why many flashy, noisy toys are quickly ignored while the child plays with the box the toy came in. Alternatively, toys made from wood encourage imaginative and creative play. They can also encourage family play as parents and older siblings often find that they get on the floor and play too.

Natural and Environmentally Friendly

Wood is a natural product and therefore, as long as new trees are planted, wood is a sustainable resource. Many families are becoming more aware of the effect things have on the environment and are choosing to live a greener lifestyle. Although making toys from wood means cutting down some trees, many manufacturers actively take part in reforestation programs. Other toy manufacturers include parts from old wooden structures and discarded pieces of furniture in order to recycle as much as possible. Not only are toys made from wood green during the production process, they are also green when they are no longer useful. Although a wooden toy will last for many years, they do occasionally break. However, they can often be easily repaired or restored and passed down through generations. Those that eventually become unusable and end up in a landfill are biodegradable and therefore quickly decompose and give back to the earth, whereas plastic toys often take hundreds of years to degrade and can leach toxic chemicals into the soil.

When purchasing a toy for any child, consider a wooden toy that will be cherished for years to come. These toys allow you to feel good about reducing your carbon footprint, are environmentally friendly and durable, and provide a special, unique, and traditional form of play that encourages and enhances development through play.

Sources:

http://www.examiner.com/article/wooden-toys-why-buy-them

http://www.greenster.com/magazine/wooden-toys/

December 10, 2013

toys › traditional ›


What to Look For When Buying Wooden Toys

When searching for the perfect gift for a child, there are many things to consider before making a purchase. Plastic toys are inexpensive, but they are cheaply made and are not as durable. This is why wooden toys have been popular for hundreds of years. They are made with high quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of playtime with children of all ages. There are things to look for when buying wooden toys though, especially if you want a toy that will last for many years and be something your child loves and cherishes. This toy should be one that allows a child to have fun, while also being able to use their imagination and learn important skills that will help them out later in life.

Materials Used

Not all toys made from wood are equal. Toys of lesser quality are often made with softwoods or pine construction studs. The bad thing about these is that they often splinter while being played with. This can cause injury to the child playing with it. Toys made with hardwoods such as oak, maple, and walnut are your best bet for high quality toys.

It also helps to purchase toys made from recycled materials, such as discarded wooden furniture because this is better for the environment. Plastic toys have a negative impact on the environment because it can take plastic hundreds of years to degrade, while wood breaks down much sooner. It is also important to consider the materials used when making the toys. With toys made from wood, the process to make the toys is much better for the environment compared to everything involved in making plastic toys.

Durability

What most parents want for their children are toys that will last many years. A great deal of the contemporary toys simply do not last very long. After just a couple of months of being played with, toys break down, only to be discarded, which results in money wasted. Wooden toys are toys that can be passed down for generations. Wooden toys, such as a wooden train set or a wooden toy plane, are examples that will last a very long time before breaking.

High quality toys made from wood generally do not have small pieces that easily break off. Not only is it bad for the overall quality of the toy when pieces break off, but this also becomes dangerous. Small children have a tendency to put small objects into their mouths. If a small item breaks off of a toy, this causes the potential risk for a choking hazard. Therefore, robust wooden toys are a safer option.

Sanded

Wooden toys should always be sanded. When toys are sanded, they become very smooth. This leaves very little risk of the wood causing splinters in children's fingers. Sanding down toys is often a very time consuming task and is often overlooked by some toy makers. It is very easy to spot a toy that has been sanded down. Simply pick up the toy and run your fingers over it. If it is smooth and the corners are rounded, then it has been sanded and is safe for a child to play with.

Allows Use of Imagination

When children are growing up, it is crucial for them to use their imaginations. Wooden toys really give children the ability to open up their minds and be creative during playtime. With a wooden train, they can pretend they are a conductor of a train and create their own little town that the train drives through. With a toy semi truck, children can pretend that they are truck drivers driving around and experiencing the amazing world.

When children are able to fully use their imaginations during playtime, they end up learning a lot more. They also have more fun. With overly technical toys, children have less fun because they are limited with what they are able to do. When children are able to be more creative with their play time, they learn things that are much more valuable to them.

When the holidays or birthdays approach, it is important to buy a toy for your children that you know they will like. You also want to make sure the toy will be durable and long lasting so that they are worth the money spent on purchasing them. It is also crucial that the toys are safe. This means they should not contain any choking hazards or be made with toxic chemicals. High quality wooden toys are often more expensive than flimsy plastic toys, but when the toy can be used year after year without becoming worn out or damaged, making them less expensive over time.

November 27, 2013

toys › traditional ›


The Benefits Of Traditional Wooden Toys

There are numerous toys on the market today. Many of them are made cheaply, often breaking after only being used a few times, contain harmful materials, and are made for the purpose of keeping children distracted, inhibiting their creativity and often times being over stimulating. Traditional wooden toys, on the other hand, are safe, environmentally friendly, educational, fun, and engaging. These days, it seems that children have short attention spans and are constantly bombarded with numerous commercials selling the newest electronic toy, video game, or are otherwise engaged with the television set. This limits the opportunity to enjoy playtime. Playing is an important aspect of any child’s development. Play helps us to learn, relax, connect with others, and promotes creativity and curiosity. Traditional wooden toys offer these sorts of benefits for children and much more.

Natural and Safe

Wooden toys are made from natural materials and are safe from hazardous chemicals such as phthalates, BPA, and PVC.  These chemicals can effect hormone regulation and have health concerns relating to puberty, obesity, and cancer. Young developing children can be particularly sensitive to the chemical exposure. There have also been recalls of non-wooden toys containing lead. Ingesting lead can lead to brain and learning disabilities. Young children love to put their toys in their mouth. When buying natural, traditional wooden toys from a reputable company, chemical exposure and lead poisoning become less of a concern and you can be confident in the well-being of your child.

Environmentally friendly

Wooden toys are safe for the environment before and after their creation. They are biodegradable, recyclable, and often made of recycled materials. Many companies use remnant wood so living trees are not harmed or plantation timbers which are cleared and replaced by new ones. When wooden toys are made, they do not create pollution as much as their plastic counterparts do.

Durable, Timeless, and Cost Effective

Traditional wooden toys are made to last. Pieces do not break as easily compared to the many flashy, cheaply made plastic toys available on market. This makes them less of a choking hazard and they can put up with a lot of wear and tear. Since they are made to last, they often become heirlooms and are passed from one generation to another, making them timeless. Their durability and timelessness create the added bonus of being cost effective.

Educational

Many wooden toys are immensely educational or developmentally beneficial, increasing your child’s attention span.  They also allow children to think and create their own games as they play. Some of the educational benefits are:

·         Movement, motor skills, and dexterity are fine-tuned.

·         Great for hand-eye problem solving skills

·         Spatial awareness is increased

·         Shape and color recognition

·         Creativity and imagination blossoms

Maintenance is Easy

These toys are easy to clean. Just wipe them down and let them dry in the sun, which will help reduce germs. Storing is easy as well, as many of these toys come with their own storage containers or bags.

Taking the time to rejuvenate through play is great for children as it helps them grow and learn. The next time you are in the market for a new toy or need to buy a gift for a child, consider buying traditional wooden toys which offer many benefits and encourage safe, fun, and imaginative play for children of all ages.

We have lot's of traditional wooden toys in our toy shop!

 

November 20, 2013

christmas › gift › toys ›


Why You Should Buy Handmade Wooden Toys This Christmas

What lines store's toy shelves? Plastic toys. Cheap, plastic toys. Their shiny exteriors promise fun to be had by all who play with them, but often times they are nothing more than weightless let-downs. Their bells and whistles are less than they claimed they would be.

There was a time when toys were made with hard-wearing materials, like wood. A toy was more than a chintzy replica of what it could be. A child's face would glow with wonder as they ripped the old-fashioned wrapping paper from their new toys. The Christmas lights danced off of the little one's eyes as he ran his fingers over the smooth wooden boats, trains, cars and dolls. Parents smiled with pride as the children began to play, knowing that the precious playthings would last for years. For just a moment, they could even imagine their grandchildren playing with the handmade wooden toys, many years in the future.

The days of durable, sturdy toys may appear to be gone. It may seem that they disappeared with the good-ole-days of past years. With the quick manufacturing of other countries, America became content to buy toys from other places and stock stores with the new-found products. Children became forced to choose from a myriad of overpriced, plastic playthings.

However, handmade wooden toys weren't placed into the darkness forever. Some craftsmen recognized the priceless worth of a toy... a real toy. So, they continued to make the little treasures. They are readily available is you know where to look, crafted with care, patience, and passion. There are many reasons why handmade wooden toys are worth far more than the culture gives them credit, but here are a couple reasons that are worth being mentioned.

Wooden Toys are Tough

Everyone knows that children aren't gentle with toys. You have found little and big playthings under furniture, stuffed in corners, in the yard, and a hundred other locations. You wonder to yourself, "how long can these things last?" Most toys don't last too long. They snap, crack, and pop, and it's over. Wooden toys are nearly indestructible. Children can be children and the toys will stay toys.

Handmade Toys Support the Craftsmen

Whenever you look at something homemade, the thought must flicker through your mind that someone worked diligently to make the product. The toys made by craftsmen are in no way different. Each time you purchase something they made, it simply helps them. With each purchase, you continue to support individual crafters.

Vintage Toys are Timeless

For many of us, seeing handmade wooden toys brings back a surge of childhood memories. There is nothing like seeing your child play with a toy that you played with as a young child. Vintage playthings not only make wonderful occupiers for children, but also attractive decorations. They never run out of batteries or require electricity. They are as much fun now as they were a hundred years ago and they will be as much fun in a hundred years as they are now.

Wooden Toys Make Great Gifts

Wooden toys make great, unique gifts and aren't disappointing. Whether it be a present for a small child or an elderly friend, wooden toys are fun presents that can become treasured family heirlooms.

This year, don't waste your time browsing through modern toys. Wooden toys were loved for hundreds of years and there is a reason why. There is nothing like a wooden toy train under the Christmas tree or a handmade puzzle wrapped and waiting to be opened. You can know as they are received that you made a good investment in a timeless treasure. One day, when the years have passed, and the handmade wooden toys are still the same faithful playthings, you can know that you chose wisely.

Check out some of our handmade wooden toys for Christmas this year!