I remember the days when children used to play with wooden toys. But over the years, the wooden toys have lost way to plastic toys and I don’t remember buying any wooden toys in the last so many years except for the infant‘s push cart. One of the most famous of wooden toys is the “soppu-saman” set which is usually gifted to children. It used to come in a box made of Palmyra leaves. I remember receiving one in my childhood but that was years ago. I have not given the same to any kid in the last 15 years or so!
Plastic toys completely took over the children’s toys world thanks to cheap Chinese variety as well. Off late, there were concerns raised on the quality of the plastic toys, particularly of Chinese origin on account of the high lead content in the paint. Though plastic toys rule the roost, I think wooden toys are also making a comeback of sorts. Read the Bloomberg report on this here.
Wooden toys made by artisans in rural India provided livelihood to many families till few years back. These artisans on seeing the dwindling demand for their wares would have changed profession and become a mason or labourer in some real estate project. We are losing our skilled artisans and we will regret for that years later. With the world moving towards wooden toys again and big names like Walmart supporting it, there is another chance for our artisans to regain their lost glory. I think in few years time there would be again a thriving business of making wooden “soppu-saman” children toys. History repeats itself!!