Wooden toys have had such a renaissance over the past 10+ years as parents and carers worldwide reflect back on the toys they played with as a child. But I feel this is a direct reaction to the excessive amounts of plastic and global consumerism. Parents are thinking twice about buying plastic toys and also looking at quality over quantity, which is great news for our earth's future. \nYou might say wooden toys have come full circle and as a store that has a major focus on timber toys and heirloom quality products for your kids, I can absolutely see why! \nWooden toys have a simplicity about them, they are incredibly soft to touch and they allow for open-ended, creative play. They are also all individually unique with no two items the same, due to the distinctive markings that occur due to the natural grain and knot marks found in wood. \nEach wooden toy we receive has unique markings on them due to the natural grain and knot marks found in wood. These natural markings make each product one of a kind. They are not flaws but rather enhancements, unique markers of nature and an inspiration for play. Children feel and experience the wood fibres and structure while playing.\n \nWe have specifically chosen brands at The Creative Toy Shop such as Grimm’s, Grapat, Ostheimer, Wobbel, Magic Wood, and many more, who are eco-friendly and which use only wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. We also only work with brands that use water-based, non-toxic dyes that are safe for your babies and kids but also result in the distinctive colours and shades that you see.\nMany of our wooden toy manufacturers also use minimal packaging for their products to honour their environmental ethics. \nThe Benefits of Wooden Toys \nThere are so many advantages to buying a wooden toy, from their hand-finished h heirloom quality, strength and durability, to the non-toxic, water-based dyes and stains used on them which are safe for your little ones. \nDurable\nWood is an incredibly durable material. Good quality wooden toys can be passed down with generations. Wood gets refined with time and it tells the story. \nThink about family generations growing up with the same few favourite wooden toys. The sentimental value of this kind of toys is priceless.\n\nEasy to Clean\nAs wood is a natural material, it binds any humidity due to its porous fibre structure. Dry wood creates a surface on which bacteria can’t grow and it makes it safe for any teething toys, beads and graspers.\nTo clean wooden toys, simply wipe them with a damp cloth and leave to air dry afterwards. There is no need to submerging them in water or using any sanitizers or disinfectants.\n\nUnique\nEvery wooden toy we receive is uniquely different and there are no two surfaces which are exactly alike.\nWhen you see a natural mark on a wooden toy know that it's not a fault - you’ve just discovered a treasure that is absolutely unique and makes your wooden toy one of a kind. \nThe distinctive variations found in each wooden toy are a testament to their natural origins, proof of the toy’s quality, and are not considered a fault or defect.\n\nEco-Friendly \nSince wood is a natural material it can be recycled back into nature without any harm to the environment. \nWe’ve selected the brands such as Grimm’s, Grapat, Ostheimer and Wobbel, which use only wood sourced from sustainably managed forests.\nOne of our brands, Let Them Play Toys, a local Coffs Harbour based toy company sources the majority of their timber from their own backyard! With their house surrounded by large Camphor Laurel trees that need trimming often, they have an endless supply of timber for their toys. Their mission is to produce toys and educational resources that help connect children to the natural world around them. And manufacture toys that won't go to landfill.\n\nTexture and Sensory Play\nWood feels warm to touch and incredibly soft to hold in your hands. It’s distinct surface and weight makes it perfect sensory material. Music and rhythm toys made out of wood, create a warm and beautiful sound.\nWood looks beautiful with or without the colour so it’s entirely up to you what you like better.\nNatural wood has a tendency to promote a sense of calm, and colourful wood energises you and your little ones. \n\nIn choosing to buy a wooden toy we are making a choice for our child's future, one that will be filled with natural, eco-friendly toys with less going to landfill and more being passed down through the generations. \nCheck out a few of our favourites: Grimm's Large Natural Rainbow, Ostheimer house, Grimm's Wooden Heart Grasping Toy, Original Wobbel Board.\nPhoto credit: photos by Sam Walker and Gemma Leigh and Let Them Play Toys.