Who doesn’t remember the first time they headed down the sidewalk pulling a little wooden wagon filled with their favorite childhood playthings or sitting for hours in the corner of the living room surrounded by wooden toys, towers of blocks, imagination running wild?
The classic appeal of toys made of wood has not diminished in spite of the latest gadgets vying for our attention in shop windows, online sites and television commercials.
There is a unique quality in handcrafted, finely worked wooden toys that is timeless and creates a sense of warm nostalgia that the new technological wonders just can’t match. A simple wooden toy has a universal drawing power.
Wooden toys appeal to all the various interests of children. The resident artist can stand before her wooden easel, filled with inspiration for creating her next painting or sit for a quick sketch at a maple table complete with an attached paper roll. A musician has a choice of slide whistles, maracas or drums, carved and handcrafted with attention to the details that make their wooden instrument distinctive.
Future builders have many options of building tables, fitted with small vices, hammers and other tools for fulfilling their boyhood dreams. Sturdy wooden castles complete with valiant knights on horses and a beautiful princess will keep children occupied for hours and also stimulate curiosity about history and life in ancient times.
The enduring quality of a fine wood toy is unsurpassed. Many train sets and well-loved dollhouses have been passed down from sibling to sibling, put into the attic for a few years and then brought out again when the grandchildren arrive on the scene.
The lure to ‘come build’ is irresistible to all family members. Place a pile of building logs in the middle of a table and a crowd will gather. Grandfathers fondly remember their days of fitting the small logs together to complete a cabin and love to share the experience with their grandchildren.
THE TRADITIONAL LOOK
A nursery is warmed by the sight of wooden toys; a natural-finished handmade rocking horse resting in the corner and a cart of alphabet blocks or animal pull toys arranged on shelves are a way to bring a touch of the classic look of childhood. In addition, many of the current manufacturers of wooden toys are dressing them up using nontoxic modern paint colors which are safe for babies and can add an additional pop when they are displayed.
Through the years, countless toys have brightened the landscape for a season, only to fade into oblivion when the next trend or fad hits the market. The classic wooden toy, crafted with simple lines and a beautiful smooth finish worked well for our grandparents and still appeals to the toy-lover in all of us today.