What makes a wooden toy wonderful?
When my children were very small, a wooden toy was a major investment. I was a young mum, living on a budget and toys that cost £15 or so were a major chunk of my money. I passionately wanted to bring my children up surrounded by toys that had great value; play value, lasting value and beautiful to have and hold and look at and play with. Each time I saved up for something new, which I chose carefully, sticking as closely as I could to Montessori styles and educational principles, I would set them on a shelf and try to teach them to respect and treasure their toy.
I remember proudly buying a sorting shape board one month and carrying it home only for my (extremely mess-making) daughter to lose a piece in the first half an hour. I searched for a week for a small blue wooden rectangle. I was in despair…. and then, one night I saw it. It was sat in the corner of a picture frame on top of the TV. I had stared at it all week!
Since then I have been lucky enough to become someone who sells wooden toys and I get to enjoy them in all their shapes and sizes. When I look at the quality available in a range such as Wonderworld, I’m no longer horrified by the price. For one, wooden toys are far less expensive, relatively speaking, than they were 14 years ago, making them even better value for money. For another there are wooden toys in our home which my now 14 year old daughter played with and which my 4 month old son will also play with. And then there is the inescapable fact that I have been a parent through a truly remarkable stretch of time – from a time with no day time kids tv and predominantly plastic toys to a time with wall to wall digital entertainment where supermarkets have moved on from mass produced plastic to stocking wooden toys as standard.
Across the wooden toy market there is such diversity available, but few toys fly out of our own online toy shop the way Rainbow Sound Blocks do. They embody everything that is precious about traditional toys to me; beautiful quality, innovative design, a tactile and good to look at toy with bags of opportunity for independent play. I cannot wait for a reason to give our newest baby some. They are perfect for any toy box or baby treasure basket.
One of Wonderworld’s core beliefs is that it is better to have a small business but beautiful in every way. The certainly apply this to their toys; their MiniWorld vehicles have moving parts, are made of rubber wood with rubber wheels that will last and last and even their centre of the wheels is a wood composite. They are toys any child will enjoy touching, holding and playing with. By focusing on good design, the toys have longevity both in terms of play appeal and lasting quality.
Wonderworld has an absolute commitment to being an ethical business and to manufacture and trade with pride; their focus on environmental awareness, fair trading, human rights and social giving put them at the forefront of wooden toy manufacturers. Their recent Wonderworld Tree Plus+ initiative is about planting new trees in place of those used in manufacture, over and above their current replacement plan. They are engaging with customers and consumers to build a sustainable industry, business model and planet for the benefit of us all from worker to parent to child.