In reality? Yes, there have been a fair few new plastic toys. It wouldn't be normal or fair to deprive him of them. Also, there are may occasions where he has been given such toys by friends and family. I cannot deny that if I've found them not being played with they have been quickly given to charity.. but overall, both my boys have a balance of plastic and wooden toys.
A principal I do like to stick to is quality. I think it's all too easy to fill your house with plastic tat. The kind of thing you find in the pound shop or get in cracker or party bag. I try where possible to only get things that will last. This is mostly because I don't like waste! I hate thinking of landfills full of crap. Quality doesn't always mean expensive. I happily buy second hand. I look around for a bargain. You can find quality in both wooden and plastic toys.
And yet... I still prefer the wood. What is it about wood then? It's nice to handle, I feel. Softer. Warmer. I like that if a wooden toy gets a bit bashed about it seems to add character whereas a bashed about plastic toy just seems to end up, well, broken! When plastic breaks it leads to nasty jagged edges. Wood mostly dents.
I do like that with wooden toys you don't tend to get sound-effects provided. The boys create their own. Whether it's chooo-chooo-ing for the wooden train set or making the noise of the steam from a wooden coffee machine, it's imaginative play.
I was contacted by Asda recently, asking if I knew about their range of wooden toys and if we would like to review one. As we were in the throws of moving house I thought it best we pick something fairly small. I had a new (second hand, handmade by my friend) wooden toy kitchen that I was keeping in the garage, intending it to go in our playroom when we moved house so I thought the boys would enjoy something that would go with that. There were fair few cooking/kitchen/tea set toys to choose from but I plumped for a breakfast set which included two slices of bread, a toaster, a plate, jam, marmalade, a knife, butter and a butter dish.
As soon as we were set up in our new house and had a chance to get the playroom together, I showed the boys the set and they were excited to get playing. I moved the toy kitchen into the playroom and then we set up all the bits I had for it including the breakfast set. The boys then set to playing!
What did I notice about the toy? Well, the packaging was good. It was well packaged inside, secure, nicely wrapped. The price was amazing. All of the Asda wooden toys are a fantastic price. The breakfast set is lovely to handle. The wood is smooth but sturdy. It's been played with for a few weeks now and there have been no breakages. I asked Ethan what he liked about it in particular. He told me "I love how the toast pops up from the toaster! It feels real!". Now, that's a genuine quote from him! I have to agree though, it's a great fun action.
Felix loves the little jam and marmalade pots. He plays slightly differently to Ethan. Not surprising, Ethan is 6 and Felix is 2. Felix likes to pretend the strawberry jam is "strawberry juice" and I'm forever being presented with a "bottle of strawberry juice". He enjoys the butter as well (the slices of butter stick together with Velcro) though he insists it's cheese!
No matter what the boys are doing with it, there is no doubt that they are fueling their imaginations. I love toys that imitate life. Chores that are mundane to us are exciting and intriguing to our children and it's lovely to have a way for them to mimic us safely. There are few things more heartwarming to me than to hear my boys playing nicely. Hearing them serving food up in their kitchen, munching on pretend toast. It's wonderful. At least when they are playing with wooden toys I know the only thing that is going to "run out" is their energy, not batteries! Good all round for everyone. Also, I have to say kudos to Asda for using a very handsome young chap with luscious hair in their catalog photos for this toy! Unisex toy win!
The wooden toy range starts from £5 and includes everything from dolls house accessories to balance bikes to outdoor play equipment!