Updated: Nov 12, 2018
In today’s digital age where toddlers as young as 18 months old navigate electronic tablets, it is easy to forget that Apple's iconic iPad was only unveiled in 2010. It is also difficult to believe that the digital age only came about during the 1970s, with the introduction of the personal computer. Since then, technology has rocketed in sophistication and now dominates everything we do in our daily lives. A vast number of our everyday tasks now has the ability to be intertwined with technology. Everything from waking us up, navigating us from place to place, reminding us of important events and even ordering a take away can now be powered by a device. This is without mentioning the multiple ways we use electronic communication in the forms of social media, instant messaging and email.
Technology has also filtered down into our children's toys. There are countless different kinds of electronic toys available to buy; computers, remote controlled cars, robots, interactive dolls and pets to name a few. It is totally understandable why these toys have become so popular- children learn from adults. According to a 2017 study by Common Sense media, the average adult spends an average of 9 hours and 22 minutes in front of screens and devices every day. How can we then expect our children to be interested in anything else?
Let's pause at that thought, take a step back and look at things from an environmental point of view. In reality, these kinds of toys rarely stand the test of time and after a while, are discarded. Upgrades become available, technology moves on and a more sophisticated model is introduced. How many of us still use a cassette player or handheld computer console?
What is the alternative? In a world where we are educating our children for jobs which haven't even been invented yet, removing electronic toys from their worlds would be doing them a disservice. That being said, these devices can often limit imaginations and although can be educational, they should not be the only kind of toy we expose our children to. Sustainable toys made from natural materials, such as wooden instruments, skittles and shape sorters are excellent for facilitating coordination and motor skills and traditional dolls houses, garages, figurines and vehicles are vital for capturing and harnessing children's imaginations. As a parent and experienced teacher, my home is full of various toys which we have accumulated over the past 6 years- plastic, electronic and wooden. The wooden drums, push along toys and Russian dolls are some of my children's most loved and played with possessions. With wooden toys being recyclable and sustainable, they are definitely the greener, eco choice and are more likely to be kept and passed on to future generations.
There will always be a place for popular technological toys, but let's not ditch the wooden ones just yet.
For more inspiration, browse a vast selection of beautiful wooden toys at UK based retailer Little Fawn: www.little-fawn.co.uk
Check out a selection of eco-friendly toys at: www.babipur.com