By: Jane McLeod
Ever since I was a child I have loved all things wooden. I could often be found out in my Dad’s shed making something hideous out of wood! Fast forward to the birth of my first child and I began making wooden toys and selling them at Markets. I loved wooden toys for their asthetics, their tactile feel, the quality and the reminder of my childhood! I didn’t realise just why the where so good for our children and for the environment until I was diagnosed with M.S 12 years ago and began researching how to remove toxins from my life and live a more natural lifestyle!
1. The environment will thank you! Timber toys, being natural use no chemicals in the production process. The timbers that are used in many wooden toys are from plantation forests grown specifically to make latex. Once the rubbertree becomes too old to yield latex it is then cut down to make the timber toys. Wooden toys are 100% biodegradable, unlike plastic which is unknown yet, if it will ever break down! 100 million dollars worth of toys are imported into Australia every Christmas, many of which end up in landfill.
2. Wooden toys are healthier for our children! Well it’s not like they’re getting nutrients as your little one sucks and chews on the toy to explore, it’s more a case of what they don’t get! Plastic toys contain BPA and phthalates. BPA is one of the most commonly produced chemicals in the world and just like phthalates it is a hormone disrupting chemical and has been linked to obesity, genital malformation and cancer to name just a few. Young children are especially at risk as everything gets a test in their mouths! The paints, colours and glues in quality wooden toys like the ones sold at Mr Kipp and little Jimmy are independently lab tested to screen for such chemicals and make sure they pass the highest safety standards.
3. Wooden toys are free from heavy metals. Lead and mercury have been found in varying amounts in plastic toys. Both are neuro-toxins, meaning they affect the brain and nervous system. This is alarming as young children’s brains are rapidly developing. These neuro-toxins have been linked to behavioural problems and lower IQ in children.
4. Wooden toys stimulate and engage your child more. Experts in child development say the best toys are those designed with a focus on what the child can do with the toy rather than what the toy can do. We need to allow our children to explore their toys intuitively. Timber toys provide more interaction as the child must push, pull, turn or connect parts, cultivating a more active mind. Wooden toys inspire creative and imaginative play, which is important for cognitive development.
Jane McLeod is a Mum of three young boys. It has now become her passion and lifelong mission to make wooden toys the norm again! Her quality wooden toys can be found at www.ecotoyhire.com.au along with lots of other tips on how you can reduce the toxins present in your family’s lives.