The benefits of wooden toys: durability, safety, imagination, and education lead to heirlooms and memories SKANEATELES, NY and BAD RODACH, GER. – Recently a retired woman was preparing to downsize from the long-time family home to a more manageable townhome, and in going through all the stuff that builds up over a lifetime she discovered some weathered dolls and stuffed animals that her children, now in their late 50s, had cherished as little ones. But the old toys that really got the nostalgia going were the wooden pull toys and puzzles from those toddler days, and especially some very old handmade wooden rattles from her own days as an infant 80-some years before. These wooden gems are now on display in her new home and there’s hardly a visitor who can resist touching them and picking them up for a run down memory lane. And, of course, there are modern toddlers, like great grandchildren, who seem almost instinctively drawn to the wooden toys, and they tug and pull and piece and rattle to much childhood glee. Quality, imaginative playthings never go out of style, and because they are made of wood they obviously, in this example, last at least four lifetimes. Sure, there’s a place in a child’s life for plastic toys, battery-operated, whiz-bang, noise-making robots and cars, and even video games. But there’s nothing that stirs the imagination in a child like a solid, wood toy where the power, the graphics and even the sounds are provided by the child alone. That, of course, is the warm and fuzzy reason to acquire solid toys made of wood for the children in one’s life. They won’t –yet – bestow the nostalgia effect on the children, but an irresistible plaything today makes memories for everyone involved. But there’s so much more to wooden toys than imagination today and an heirloom for the future. Quality wooden toys – just like those made by HABA Toys – are much more durable than any plastic toy will ever be, and they can and do withstand the rigors that infants and especially toddlers can dish out. They are hand-crafted by artisans, not made in a toxic factory, and they are made from wood harvested in sustainable forestry programs in Germany that insure that the forests themselves will be there for future generations, not just for toy making, but for the enchantment that lives in the “woods.” Also, all stains and resins used in the making of HABA wooden toys are made of water-based solvents, so they are completely non-toxic and will last well, several lifetimes. Because wooden toys are designed with imagination as a key ingredient, they are further very educational toys that let the child add in the wonder. Plus, with such popular wooden toys as puzzles, where the child fits letters and shapes into jigsaw forms, wooden toys are front-line education vehicles that teach, through child interaction, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. There are also sorting games, such as bead sequencing sets, which provide hand-eye coordination and help to develop reasoning skills. And think of the possibilities for older children with such fun wooden toys as fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, snacks, dairy products, and store baskets where the children play “grocery store” and do the family shopping and also play the clerk. They learn math skills, and also commercial and social interaction just like they see mommy and daddy do in the real world. And once these fine toys go into the toy chest for a few years while the children become adults, it’s a sure bet that the wooded toy will be the first to be played with by the next generation, and probably the one after that. In 1938 HABA started out as a “Factory for fine wooden toys.” Today we find that toys don’t always need to be wooden, but they do always need to be right for children! We are a wood manufacturing company known for our high-quality baby and children's toys, as well as our children's games and furniture. We view ourselves as a "single source supplier" for children. We are expanding our product portfolio beyond wood products using the same high quality standards for which we are known. Thus, HABA also offers porcelain dishes, games, room décor and outdoor sand and water toys. HABA products may be found in well-stocked specialty toy stores around the globe.