Calling it a Wooden Toy does not always make it so…
I’ve observed that not all wood is created equal when it comes to a permanent and sustainable wooden toy. Saying REAL WOOD on a product does not always make it so. Yes, it passes all the guidelines in place to be called wood. But do you know what qualifies as wood?
Many companies use misleading wood in their children’s toys and use the term Wood on a package to represent quality. It’s really a friendly attempt to persuade someone into believing something different from what is actually in the box.
We should be Truthful about what we call real wood. The transparent version is that too many wooden toys use the word “Wooden Toy” loosely and, in my opinion, MDF is not wood suitable for an infant. Plywood is not a wood suitable for kids, and softwood is not an heirloom toy.
MDF – glued sawdust
Medium-Density Fiberboard – an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming it into panels by applying high temperature and pressure.
Plywood – woodchips + wood veneer
Plywood is an engineered wood, which includes particleboard and oriented strand board (OSB). It is made from thin sheets of veneer peeled from debarked wood. These thin layers are glued together in alternating right angles to create a cross-grain pattern.
Softwood – dentwood
Softwood in wooden toys is from the Pine family and one of the cheapest. You can dent it with your fingernail. This is used on exposed wood and the cheapest available. Hardwood takes 20-60 years before it can be harvested into wooden toys.
If you buy it at a big box, mass market, large chain store, drug store, or you think you got a bargain, it’s not true wood.
I am not against large retailers, just “falsewood”. This is a heavy accusation, but I design wooden toys and have competed for shelf space with them for many years. I have seen how companies cut corners and we all know that profits are a focus with every large company. But these are my children too and I am not concerned about boosting my PR. Yes, they pass the testing standards required by law, but just passing the Government guidelines are not the same as quality. If you call it a Wooden Toy, then make sure it is just that!
Keep your additives and preservatives.
The average Age-Range for wooden toys is 0-5, and Babies being fond of gnawing on things, it’s important to provide them with only the best.