Living in a throw-away culture we accept products made of inexpensive materials for disposable use. One example is the disposable diaper. According to Wikipedia, modern diapers are made of synthetic disposable materials, contain absorbent chemicals, and are thrown away after use. Old fashion cloth diapers, on the other hand, are composed of layers of fabric such as cotton, hemp, bamboo or microfiber and can be washed and reused multiple times. Kids toys are another example of our throw-away culture. Toys were once made of more durable materials for long-time use but are now usually made of less expensive and less durable materials for a cheaper product cost 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 quickly thrown out in the trash as well.
Fortunately, some toys still last for generations. Many such keepsakes are well-crafted wooden toys made of the best materials. These wooden toys may cost more than a throw-away plastic toy, but your child will always have fond memories of playing with such a toy and take great pleasure in watching his or her own children play with the same toy as well. When a true craftsman of wooden toys takes care in what is being made and uses the best wood material possible, the result is a better toy that can be handed down for generations. Such a toy is an investment in your child that is sound, safe, and well worth the money spent.
The best wood for better toys is quality hardwoods such as maple, birch, oak, beech, walnut, poplar, and ash. Even though hardwoods are more expensive, they remain the best choice for making toys that last. Softwoods like pine and fir are less expensive, but they are also more likely to break, and if they do, the splinters are dangerous. Of the hardwoods recommended as the best wood for better toys, maple is a favorite that is not likely to produce splinters, holds up to being slobbered on, and is hypoallergenic. Birch is often used in instruments like guitars and drums. Oak is legendary for strength and water resistance. Look for wooden toys made of hardwoods like these that come from trees with broad leaves, and pass on wooden toys made of softwoods that come from trees with needles. Hardwoods are a great choice for wooden toys because they are more dense and therefore hold up better to wear and tear.