Safe Toys For your Toddler
What toys are best suitable for your toddler to play with? The answer to this question is easy enough, but sometimes our choices may be wrong, or it doesn't meet the child’s interest. In addition to considering their interests we need to take in to account the toys are safe for playing and age appropriate. For kids ages 3 and under choking is a hazard as they tend to put everything in their mouths. Toys are fun and an important part of a child's life, it helps with development of the brain, enhances their skills, the ability to solve problems on their own along with developing their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Choosing toys for a toddler may seem easy once you enter a toy store, but sometimes you may feel overwhelmed at what’s available for your toddler to play with. Here are some guidelines to help you with choosing an age appropriate toy for your toddler.
Choosing toys for Toddlers aged 3 and under
- Watch Out for Choking Hazards - The main concern in buying toys for this age group is the choking hazard. Avoid buying toys that have small parts in them. Also avoid letting them play with anything inflated such as balloons for if they break your toddler is obviously tempted to put it in their mouth and this is definitely a choking hazard.
- Avoid marbles, coins or toys with small balls that can cause a choking hazard for your child.
- Open Ended Toys that facilitate Creativity & Imaginary Play - Toddlers love to take things apart, put them back together and so on, so buys toys that are open ended such as wooden blocks or chunky plastic blocks that they can build with and cups and toys they can use for water and sand play, this also helps your child with their imagination and their problem solving skills.
- Avoid Magnets - Avoid toys with magnets at all costs. If the child swallows two magnets that connect, it can cause serious problems.
- Securely restrict access to batteries in toys - Battery operated toys need to have the battery casing securely shut tight. Battery fluid if swallowed can cause serious problems including chemical burns and internal bleeding.
- Soft toys made with cloth and large wooden or plastic blocks are the safest when it comes to toys for this age. When in doubt always read the instructions and stick to the toys that mentions their appropriate age.
Choosing toys for Preschoolers aged 3 to 5
- Toys that Improve Fine Motor Skills - At this age kids tend to take up interest in playing with real stuff such as toy phones, musical instruments and toy brooms and brushes. These toys help develop their fine motor skills along with their problem-solving ability.
- Toys that Facilitate imaginative play - Look for toys that activates your child’s imagination and creativity. At the age of three your kid is prone to explore more and even build stories and use toys as props. A lot of dress up games and tea parties. Purchase toys such as plastic food and plates, cars, trains and trucks etc.
- Books and other reading materials is essential at this age, so stock up on age appropriate books and other reading material.
- Art & Creativity- At this age crayons, painting and art supplies come in handy. But make sure to purchase non-toxic paints and crayons.
- Toys that encourage physical activity - Lastly buy toys that make them active, such as tricycles, balls of different sizes, a trampoline, gardening tools, hula hoops and such. This helps with their physical strength.
- buying toys with jagged edges and pointy ends.
- Continue to avoid toys with magnets and small play sets for example toys such as Lego sets.
- Again, when in doubt always check the packaging of the toy to make sure its age appropriate.
Always proceed with caution and go with your natural instincts. You know your child and you can understand their needs. Look to the packaging for instructions but always think twice before buying anything.