Like most children, Lucas’ room is overflowing with toys, and so is our living room! When Lucas was a baby, we had a generous outpouring of plush toys and books from our family and friends, but now we have a large array of toys. I’d like to think I’m a DIY person, like I located a tree, cut it down, carved a block, sanded it, and bestowed it into the cute palms of my toddler boy. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the tools nor time to do this.
We gave Lucas a wooden train during Christmas just after he turned one. When I was in a second hand store (Kid to Kid), I spotted the train behind the counter and asked the saleswoman what the recommended age range for the toy was. I believe she said around 2 years. This didn’t deter me, if I’m going to have my boy attend Stanford’s Design Program he must start playing with these right away!
I am in total support of wooden toys and blocks for two reasons: they grow with your baby and they develop reasoning skills (for 13 other benefits see here).
1) They grow with your baby! I have a short video of Lucas playing with the train at 14 months. Lucas had learned that if he toppled the train foundation, he could pull the blocks off the wooden peg. Now at 20 months Lucas is much stronger and has the ability to lift the blocks from the pegs.
David Elkind, author of the Power of Play, wrote: “A set of wooden blocks is a good investment, for example, because children play with them in a variety of ways–babies may use them to discover size differences; tots to construct buildings.”
2) They develop reasoning skills! Recently I watched Lucas stack the blocks from the train one by one, organizing them by color: blue on the bottom, then red, then yellow. Using his reasoning skills, he can also organize the blocks in different permutations on the pegs!