Find Toys kids will love
10 Toy Buying Tips:
Here are tips to help you choose safe and appropriate toys for your child.
Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way.
Think LARGE. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They can cause serious eye injuries or choke.
Avoid toys that are loud to prevent damage to your child’s hearing. See 10 Tips to Preserve Your Child’s Hearing during the Holidays.
Look for stuffed toys that are well made. Make sure all the parts are tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
Buy plastic toys that are sturdy. Toys made from thin plastic may break easily.
Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”
Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.
Electric toys should be “UL Approved.” Check the label to be sure.
Be careful when buying crib toys. Soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation should be kept out of the crib. Any hanging crib toy (mobiles, crib gyms) should be out of the baby’s reach and must be removed when your baby first begins to push upon his or her hands and knees or when the baby is 5 months old, whichever occurs first. These toys can strangle a baby. See Reduce the Risk of SIDS & Suffocation.
Choosing the Right Toys for the Right Age:
Age recommendations on toys can be helpful because they offer guidelines on the following:
The safety of the toy (for example, if there any possible choking hazards)
The ability of a child to play with the toy
The ability of a child to understand how to use a toy
The needs and interests at various levels of a child’s development
Use the “5 Rs of Early Education” in your daily activities right from birth:
1. READ together as a daily, fun, family activity.
- The AAP recommends this to build language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime. It’s never too young to start reading with your baby. Reading to your child, research suggests, boosts activity in parts of the brain that form the building blocks of language, literacy skills, and imagination.
2. RHYME, play, talk, sing, and cuddle together often throughout the day.
- The AAP encourages parents to use play to help meet their child’s health and developmental milestones, beginning from birth. Need ideas? Here are some great ways to do this based on your child’s age. Talk with them about things they see around them, at home, at the store, or while traveling. Enroll in quality early education programs and activities, take time to visit a children’s museum or local library, and enjoy storytime.
3. Build ROUTINES for meals, play, and sleep.
- This helps children know what to expect and what is expected of them. Brush, Book, Bed, for example, is a great way to structure your child’s nighttime routine. Eating at least three family meals together each week is associated with healthier kids, according to a study published in Pediatrics.
4. REWARD everyday successes (especially for an effort toward goals like helping others).
- Catch your child doing something good and praise them for it! Praise from those closest to a child is a very powerful reward. Talk with your pediatrician about how to shape and manage your child’s behavior, model the good behavior, and reinforce it by using positive discipline techniques that build a child’s self-regulation skills. Your child’s social, emotional, and behavior skills are equally critical to school success.
5. Develop RELATIONSHIPS that are nurturing, respectful, and consistent.
- A strong parent-child relationship helps protect against the lasting effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), traumatic situations that can lower a child’s chance of doing well in school. As you strive to teach your child about healthy relationships and choosing friends wisely, don’t forget to model them in your own life. Demonstrating good relationships skills with your spouse or partner, and taking time to nurture close friendships with others, is as important as simply talking about these skills–if not more so.
You are your baby’s best teacher.
A certain toy is not necessary for your child to reach his or her next developmental milestone. There is no one app that will teach your child to read. While it’s easy to fall victim to the marketing, YOU are what your child needs to start on the path toward school readiness with daily reading, rhyming, routines, rewards, and relationship building.