What types of wood are best for toys?

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

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Look for products made from solid wood (not pressed), combined with other sustainable materials such as:

  • wol
  • organic cotton
  • or stainless steel
  • and colored with water-based paints or non-toxic paints.

Research where toys are made and what safety standards they meet.

Fun toys that are made with safer materials are also usually more expensive.

That is unfortunately a fact.

However, they are also usually of higher quality and thus last much longer and can even be passed on to future generations.

So maybe it's not such an expensive buy after all :)

Good wooden toys also provide a direct connection to the natural world. Wooden toys have a calming effect on all children and stimulate concentration and imagination.

Today, it seems like every toy manufacturer makes their own version of a classic wooden toy.

As a result, people often ask what the difference is between wooden toys of € 5 and wooden toys of € 50? Or is there really a difference?

Good question!

The answer is yes, there is a difference. There are several components to consider when selecting wooden toys:

  1. the wood itself
  2. the glue used to join pieces together
  3. the sealant and / or paint
  4. and all other pieces/components of it toys, such as metal pins, cotton cords, etc.

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Which wood is suitable for toys?

For the wood, always look for toys that are made of solid wood, as opposed to pressed wood, plywood or MDF, which are much cheaper materials but require the use of toxic glue during production.

This type of glue contains formaldehyde, a volatile organic chemical (VOC) that will release gas (this chemical will emit as a vapor for a long time) and eventually be linked to a variety of health problems, including leukemia and cancer.

We live in a disposable culture and often buy products made from cheap single use materials.

We have completely moved away from sustainability and quality, and the products we buy are suffering.

All about the best wooden toys

The favorite toys of the past were once made from more durable materials for long-term use, but are now mostly made from cheaper and less durable materials for:

  • lower product costs
  • lower consumers
  • prices and greater profits for the manufacturer

As a result, disposable diapers are one of the largest single consumer items in landfills and far too many toys are also quickly thrown in the trash.

Fortunately, some toys will last for generations. Many such products are well-made wooden toys made from the finest materials.

These wooden toys may cost more than a disposable toy, but your child will always have fond memories of playing with them, and will also enjoy watching their own children play with the same toys.

We even have this whole article about cleaning wooden toys so that your kids will enjoy them for a long time.

When a true wooden toy craftsman takes care of what is made and uses the best possible wood material, the result is a better toy that can be passed down for generations.

Such a toy is an investment in your child that is healthy, safe and worth the money.

The best wood for better toys is high quality hardwood, such as

  • Maple
  • birch
  • oak
  • beech
  • walnuts
  • poplars
  • eat

Although hardwood is more expensive, it remains the best choice for making toys that will last.

Softwoods such as pine and spruce are cheaper, but they also break more quickly and when they do, the splinters are dangerous.

  • From the hardwood that is recommended as the best wood for better toys, maple is a favorite that is unlikely to produce splinters, is drool resistant, and is hypoallergenic.
  • Birch is often used in instruments such as guitars and drums.
  • Oak is legendary for strength and water resistance.

Look for wooden toys made from hardwoods like this one from trees with wide leaves, and prefer to skip wooden toys made from softwoods from trees with needles.

Hardwood is a good choice for wooden toys because they are denser and therefore more resistant to wear and tear.

What is the best wood for making toys?

There are many different types of wood, but the best woods for toy making are hardwoods.

Hardwood is strong and durable, so it lasts longer. They are also less likely to splinter or break, which is important for safety.

Hardwood generally refers to the wood of deciduous trees (deciduous wood), as opposed to that of conifers (coniferous wood).

The term hardwood comes from the English term 'hardwood', which means hardwood. In addition, the conifer wood is called 'softwood'.

This name can be confusing, because it does not always say something about the hardness of the wood.

In general, deciduous trees grow more slowly and therefore give harder wood than conifers; however, this is not always the case.

The wood of deciduous trees can sometimes be softer than coniferous wood. Balsa wood, for example, is a hardwood species, but it is one of the softest and lightest woods, and also not very durable.

In contrast, yew is an example of hard, durable coniferous wood.

The term hardwood therefore does not automatically say anything about the hardness or durability of the wood, but in practice the term is used for the harder and more durable types of wood.

That is why people will not soon see balsa wood for sale as hardwood. Although incorrect and somewhat confusing, many understand hardwood to mean wood with above-average hardness and durability, which in practice is often tropical hardwood.

Some good hardwoods for making toys include:

  • Berk
  • Beech
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Cherries

What is the best softwood for making toys?

Softwood is not as strong or durable as hardwood, but can still be used to make toys. Softwoods are usually cheaper than hardwoods, so a good choice if you're on a budget.

Some good softwoods for toy making are:

  • The
  • Spar
  • Give

What is the best wood for making outdoor toys?

Outdoor toys should be made of durable wood that can withstand the elements. Some good woods for outdoor toys are:

  • Redwood
  • Teak
  • Eucalyptus
  • Elm

What is the best wood for making puzzle toys?

Puzzle toys should be made of sturdy wood that is not too hard or soft. The wood should also be smooth so that the pieces fit together easily.

Some good woods for puzzle toys are:

  • Berk
  • Beech
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Ferry

What is ecologically responsible wood?

Ecologically responsible wood is certified and ensures that forests are preserved and maintained in a sustainable way. This helps combat the adverse effects of deforestation. In this way you contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the well-being of the local communities that depend on these forests.

By choosing certified wood, you support a socially responsible organization that is committed to sustainable forest management. This way you contribute to a better world and you can enjoy the products you buy with peace of mind.

What is FSC certified wood?

The FSC label stands for "Forest Stewardship Council" and is an international organization that is committed to responsible forest management. This hallmark indicates that the wood comes from sustainably managed forests and meets strict environmental and social requirements.

FSC 100% is a quality mark that gives you the certainty that it wood comes entirely from responsibly managed forests. This means that high demands are placed on forest management, both environmentally and socially. This includes protecting vulnerable natural values, preserving biodiversity and ensuring good working conditions. More and more companies and governments, including the European Union, value this quality mark and even make it mandatory for their products.

The use of FSC 100% wood has several benefits, including:

  • Protection of nature: By choosing FSC 100% wood, you contribute to the preservation of forests and biodiversity. For example, the recovery capacity of the forest is taken into account and no trees that have a high natural value may be felled.
  • Social aspects: FSC 100% wood ensures that workers in the wood industry can work under good conditions. In this way, their rights are protected and they receive a fair wage.
  • Transparency: The FSC label offers transparency about the origin of the wood. So you know exactly where the wood comes from and that it has been produced in a responsible manner.

When you are looking for toys made from FSC wood, it is important to pay attention to the FSC logo on the packaging. This logo indicates that it wood comes from sustainably managed forests and that economic, social and environmental aspects have been taken into account in production. This way you can be sure that you are making a responsible choice.

What are the unique properties of PEFC-certified wood?

PEFC is an international quality mark that ensures that wood products come from sustainably managed forests. When you see a product with the PEFC logo, you know it wood comes from a responsibly managed forest. Social, economic and ecological aspects are taken into account. More than 300 million hectares of forest worldwide have already been certified with this quality mark.

PEFC is supported by companies, hardware stores, wholesalers and other organizations that consider sustainable forest management important. The PEFC Council, an international organization, manages the program and works with national PEFC organizations. The quality mark is an endorsement of the European Forest Certification Program (EFCP).

Before a product receives the PEFC quality mark, it is thoroughly checked. PEFC not only looks at forest management, but also at the processing of it wood to products such as solid wood, wood fibers and paper. This means you are assured of a sustainable and responsible product.

PEFC is a sustainable alternative to tropical logging and contributes to the conservation of nature value and biodiversity in vulnerable forest areas. Some advantages of PEFC certified wood are:

  • Minimum requirements for the conservation of natural value
  • Prohibition of felling trees along watercourses, on steep slopes and in other places where erosion can occur
  • Guarantee that no illegal logging takes place
  • Minimizing the risk of biodiversity loss

What are the differences between FSC and PEFC wood?

The main difference between PEFC and FSC it's all in the way of certification. PEFC works with local inspections to determine whether a forest can become PEFC certified. FSC on the other hand, each country looks at what the policy is and what is needed to obtain the certificate.

There are also differences in terms of logos and claims FSC and PEFC. That's how one should be FSC certified product at least 70% FSC certified material, while PEFC uses a minimum of 70% certified material, of which at least 30% must be PEFC certified. The remainder may consist of reused or recycled materials.

Why is rubberwood a sustainable material for toys?

Rubberwood, also known as rubberwood or Hevea Brasiliensis, is a type of wood from the rubber tree. These trees are normally used for latex production, but after about 25 to 30 years, latex production declines. Instead of letting the trees rot, they are cut down and used to produce rubberwood products, such as toys. This gives these trees a second life and the environment is treated responsibly.

Rubber wood has a number of properties that make it very suitable for toys. That's how it is wood easy to work with and has a beautiful, light color. In addition, it is a sustainable and ecologically responsible material, because it comes from trees that have already been used for another purpose.

In addition, rubber trees also grow faster, making the life cycle from planting to production a lot shorter.

What other materials should you consider when making wooden toys?

Toys consist not only of the main parts, but also of small pieces, connections and other materials necessary to give them complete form and function.

At the best wooden toys consideration has therefore been given to all these materials, whether they are safe for children and good or neutral for the environment and how they work together.

What glue is it attached with?

In production, glue can also be used to hold different parts of a toy together, so it's best to look for toys made with formaldehyde-free glue.

Formaldehyde has finally made it onto the list of carcinogens, even after decades of pressure to draw attention to its toxicity.

What sealant and paint should you choose for wooden toys?

When it comes to the sealant and / or paint, we recommend looking for water-based or food grade dyes, paints and sealants.

You need to be careful because conventional sealants and paints can contain lead and other heavy metals, which can cause serious impairments in the developing brains of babies and children. Not all types of paint are suitable for wooden toys.

When buying wooden toys that have not been painted, look for finishes made with vegetable oils (e.g. beeswax, jojoba oil) instead of polyurethane finishes.

What are the materials of the other toy parts?

And finally the other components.

As with researching wood, sealants and paints, you want to make sure that any additional components are also free of harmful materials and chemicals such as lead, formaldehyde, PVC, etc.

Which are more the norm when made by hand by an experienced craftsman, able to make intricate (but durable) joints without the use of adhesives.

The good news is that with the increasing number of healthy and safe toys today, you don't have to sacrifice safety for fun, beauty or durability.

The even better news is that what's good for our kids and family is usually better for the planet too, which is always a good thing!

What are the materials to maintain wooden toys?

To clean and maintain wooden toys, it is best to use a cloth with warm water so that they do not become too wet. To disinfect, you can mix some vinegar or mild soap with the water.

For maintenance, use a 100% natural oil or beeswax that you also rub in gently. So will you wooden toys remain clean and well maintained so you can enjoy it for a long time to come.

What are the benefits of matching the right type of wood to the type of toy?

Wooden toys have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous advantages over plastic alternatives. It not only offers an environmentally friendly choice, but also stimulates children's development and creativity in a unique way.

Two of the most notable benefits of the 15 benefits of wooden toys are its sustainability and environmental friendliness, making it an environmentally responsible choice, and its positive impact on children's development, as it encourages them to use their imagination and improve their skills.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.