We are so used to bright, hard plastic toys that we rarely stop to think about just how far toys have come. And perhaps surprisingly, just how many chemicals have been used in classic children’s toys over the years!
Before the 20th century, children’s toys were considered a luxury that not many could afford. Our ancestors used sticks, stones, and other items instead of toys. While children have always enjoyed toys, they weren’t always as educational or as safe as they are now.
Toys From History
By the late 1800s, toys were gradually becoming more prevalent, and you’d find balls and hoops, sometimes made from wood but most often made from hazardous materials, although our ancestors didn’t know the danger then. Toys such as dolls and carvings have been traced back to Ancient Roman times.
The 1900s witnessed a toy explosion! As factories and other manufacturing shops improved, our ancestors suddenly found many toys to choose from, which made the sticks and stones of the past a distant memory.
It was around now that children began to grow up with access to toys like pedal cars, horses, dolls, and playground equipment too. Perhaps one of the most classic toys of the time, and one that has been seen in movies and made most popular lists, is the Radio Flyer Wagon. This wagon is a simple pull-along riding vehicle that is not just almost indestructible but a lot of fun for children, too.
Toys in Recent Times
By the mid-1950s, everything from board games to die-cast cars had a place on every Christmas list. The 1950s also brought us one of the most popular dolls of all time. Have you guessed what it is? If you said Barbie, you’re correct! Pogo sticks, frisbees, the magic 8-ball, and even play-doh became popular during this period.
But like with all things, inventors pushed toys into a dangerous place. While many were perfectly safe, others included:
- Lead paint.
- Parts that might explode.
- Small parts could be dangerous choking hazards for small children.
Toys in Modern Day
In 2007, Aqua dots were found to be coated in GHB, and children who decided to swallow the pieces would end up in comas. Over 4 million kits were recalled because of that. Buckyballs was a game that looked fun on the surface but became responsible for almost two thousand children who needed emergency medical help when they swallowed some. Even Rollerblade Barbie stood a chance of setting your house on fire, thanks to her lighter-like skates!
Throughout all of these toy developments, one safe toy option has stood the test of time by being both safe and ultra-fun. In fact, you probably played with this toy as a child, as many billions of children have.
We’re talking about wood toys.
Wooden toys are stackable, easy to clean, and great for learning both gross and fine motor skills. Wood isn’t just great for stacking blocks. Puzzles, baby rattles, and even an iDoodle (a fun wooden phone) are all timeless wooden toys we love.
Montessori-style toys offer a great way to explore and play without lead paint, loose batteries, or the ability to set your carpet on fire. Not only that, but these long-lasting toys will hold up long enough for you to pass them down to your other children, or even your children’s children!
Feeling nostalgic for the wooden toys of your youth? Explore our all-natural materials: stain-free hardwood, milk paint, beeswax, and 100% pure tung oil wood toy collection!