For many grandparents, wooden toys trigger childhood memories and nostalgia. Memories of a simpler time, with fewer, less complex toys and things in our lives and homes. Wooden toys have not only made a comeback, but they are now dominating the toy market. As little as ten years ago, wooden toys would have still been considered a niche market in the toy industry, with the majority of products being designed in Europe and the USA, and mostly of a very high quality and hence price. They were considered 'forever' toys, products that you invested in and passed on to the next generation.
Wooden toys are wonderful choices for parents looking to find eco-friendly toys for their children. They’re highly durable, made of natural, renewable materials, and are biodegradable. Now wooden toys are available everywhere, and whilst there are still lovely, high quality products available (the 'forever' toys), there is now also a supply of very cheap and inferior quality toys readily available. Many of these cheaper products look almost identical to the quality toys, but they don't tick all the boxes that our beautiful 'forever' toys tick. And unfortunately not all is green in the world of wooden toys. Many on the market today are either finished with adhesives and paints that are potentially toxic or they’re put together using woods that haven’t been harvested from sustainably-managed forests.
When you are considering your purchase here are some of the questions I would encourage you to ask:
Is the timber used in production sourced responsibly from sustainably managed forests?
Do the manufacturers of your wooden toys use Fair Trade practices?
What sort of paints and glues have been used in the manufacture of your toy?
Ethical wooden toy manufacturers use wood only from sustainable sources, as well as also choosing to use safer, water, soy and vegetable based paints, adhesives and coatings.
As these wooden toys cost them substantially more to manufacture, their retails prices do tend to be higher.
We at Dizzy Toys select our wooden toys with all of the above information in mind. I would encourage you to check out the websites of some of the brands that we stock, such as Pintoy, Hape, Le Toy Van, Melissa & Doug and Viga.