For many today the idea of traditional toys seems obsolete – something from the “good old days” but this simply isn’t true. There are still plenty of traditional toys out there – old-fashioned wooden blocks, wooden pull toys, rag dolls, and the like. You just have to know where to find them – or how to make them if you are feeling adventurous! Making homemade toys can be a lot of fun, if you’re up for it! A homemade wooden toy will last a lifetime and can be passed on by your own children. Such items will be cherished far more than throw away plastic alternatives.Traditional toy making refers to hand-made wooden toys, sewn and soft toys, and even a few recycled items. Remember, babies and toddlers in particular don’t need fancy or expensive toys with flashing lights and lots of sounds to have fun. (As you will know if you have ever seen your two-year-old most of the morning playing in and around a cardboard box or the laundry basket!If you go down the route of making toys yourself it will open you up to the world of crafts, which you can eventually share with your children as they get older. Soon, you won’t be making toys for them, but with them! How exciting is that? Sewing projects and woodworking are the two leaders when it comes to traditional toy making. No matter what your skill or talent, there’s something you can make. Look online. There is a wealth of free tutorials, patterns, and instructions. So, go on have a go at it, you’ll be surprised how satisfying it is!When you make old-fashioned toys with a traditional feel for your kids, you’re not just taking a walk down memory lane. Some of these items can actually benefit your kids. Traditional toys, much more so than modern variants, actually help your kids expand their minds and imagination. Plain old sturdy toys are the best educational toys for kids in the long run. They inspire creativity and exploration. With modern toys, there’s often nothing to really think about and most of the time kids are just emulating what they’ve seen on TV.A toy box filled with traditional toys – ones that you’ve made or purchased – invoke your child’s ability to create, innovate, and invent. Traditional toys are passively educational – your child’s imagination will grow and expand without them even realising it! Old-fashioned wooden toys like building blocks, puzzles, and pull-toys encourage lateral thinking, problem-solving skills, and even fine motor skills. Ironically traditional toys are actually often a lot safer than modern ones. There are less choking hazards, less worry about lead-based paints, no leaking batteries or electrical parts, and are less likely to break when chewed on.Ultimately, these types of toys endure the test of time. Though many parents went through a stage of eliminating them from their children’s lives, traditional toys are definitely back for 2012! Sales are rising and the interest in parents making their own toys has soared too.Traditional wooden toys can last generations and stay when modern toy trends come and go. So, if you haven’t already, set aside some time to try and make something, or find a quality shop that specialises in wooden and educational toys, like we do at Little Sardines.