Why BridgeWood Blocks?
Ho-Hum. Wooden Blocks are just wooden blocks. You can use any old block to make a safe toy. Right?
Whoops! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! No. No, you cannot use ‘any old wooden block’ to make a safe and playable toy. Let us explain.
Soft or Hard Wood?
Most blocks you can grab off the shelf will be made out of pine or similar softwoods. You can identify pine quickly by its wide grain. It easily dents if you press a fingernail into the wood.
Soft woods such as pine (and even certain hardwoods like oak!) are prone to splintering. These woods are usually much cheaper than higher quality durable hardwoods, making them tempting for those who do not want to spend a lot to make toys. But before you buy a cheap wooden block, think about your little one’s tender hands and gums. Imagine those softwoods splintering and filling your little one’s mouth with bloody splinters. OUCH.
Treatment and Toxins
Similarly, many woods are chemically treated. Before using ‘any old wood,’ you need to verify that it has not been treated with toxic chemicals that could transfer to your baby through their skin or mouth.
Many types of wood contain skin irritants or toxins inside the wood itself. For instance, walnut is a safe wood for hand play but should NEVER be given to a mouthing child. It contains a toxin called ‘juglone’ that could be transferred to your child.
Instead, when choosing children’s toys, choose safe, non-toxic hardwoods such as birch, beech, cherry, or maple.
Prepping the Wood
Prepping the toys and gauging their size is very important. Whether it is choking or avoiding toys that can get wedged in the mouth cavity of a child, there are federal standards set for toy safety. A quick test would be to put a toy through a toilet paper tube. If it slips through, it is not safe for small children.
Also, how blocks are cut can affect the comfort of the toy. For example, many toy blocks are cut with sharp edges because creating a ‘lip’ called a ‘chamfer’ takes time and money. But a chamfer not only increases the beauty of the toy but also makes it much more comfortable for hand play.
Lastly, was the wood ethically sourced? Is it from sustainable wood harvesting, or are forests being devastated by clearcutting to create those toys? Were the people who made your wooden toys equitably reimbursed for their time and craftsmanship?
BridgeWood is Different.
When you use a BridgeWood wooden block, you are using the BEST.
We have painstakingly researched the highest quality wood for children’s toys, sought out the most reliable and ethical sources, and lovingly inspected and sanded each individual block by hand.
BridgeWood blocks are made from ‘clean’ hardwood Baltic Birch that is sustainably farmed. They are purchased from small family suppliers who were paid fair prices for their time and talent.
BridgeWood blocks are hand-sanded with a gentle chamfer to increase hand-play comfort and ease of toymaking.
They are the perfect size for tiny hands, and every component in the ToyMaker Kit has been carefully measured to design perfectly sized stencils so you can create beautiful toys.
Worth Every Penny
Yes. BridgeWood wooden blocks are more expensive. But they are durable, safe, and designed for comfort and beauty. We want nothing but the best for our own children, and naturally this dedication to quality and safety extends to anything we put into your children’s hands as well. This is the type of toy you want to give your child if you are creating a special gift that will survive a lifetime of hard and happy play.
BridgeWood is the place to buy your safe and beautiful wooden blocks. Welcome to the family!