How To Select The Right and Safe Toys For Your Kid?
If you want your children to enjoy their childhood to the fullest, then you got to get them to play with their best friends- the toys.
As you know, kids love everything that appears colorful and fancy. The toys would help them grow both mentally and physically.
Picking the right toy for your kid isn’t an easy task as you might thank. The stores are flooded with millions of kids’ toys and getting to know which ones are right and safe for your child can be pretty overwhelming, intimidating, name it.
But after reading our detailed guide below, choosing the right and safe toy for your kid will be as easy as ABC…
The Complete Guide To Selecting The Right and Safe Toy For Your Kid:
Age- The most important factor
Yes, age plays such a huge role in choosing the right toy for your child. Most manufacturers today indicate the ideal age for their toys to make the selection process easy.
However, if the toys you’re buying don’t have this indication, let me show you how to pick the right toy based on their age:
- If you have a baby up to one year old, you better buy them brightly colored toys to match their interests. Look for mobiles with attached objects that allows you to hand them so that your kid can only see them but not touch them.
Also, look for durable toys that produce some kind of noise- rattling or squeaking. Ensure the toys for his age group are washable and have no loose parts that your little one can swallow.
- For children aged between 1 and 2 years old, buying them brightly illustrated books does the trick (just ensure the books are made of stiff or cloth). You may also consider other toys like pasteboard games, mirrors (not glass made), building blocks made of plastic, foam or cardboard, floating toys, musical toys, or the pounding and stacking toys.
You’d want to keep off toys with small parts that your kid might swallow, sharp-edged toys and balloons.
- Have a child aged 2-3 years? Well, go for creative toys like large crayons, sandbox toys, play dough, pegboards with large pieces, simple music instruments, brilliantly colored books with music, sturdy wagons or cars they ride, push or even climb onto, simple dress up items, soft foam balls, etc.
At this stage, avoid toys like balloons, small objects (e.g. marble, beads, etc.), tricycles higher than 12 inches, sharp-edged toys, and lead or electrical toys.
- Age group 3-4 years old: look for dolls with clothes that you can quickly put on or remove, non-electrical trains, trucks, or tractors, building blocks, large markers or crayons (ensure they’re non-toxic), blunt scissors, “pretend” toys (e.g. toy telephones, dress-up clothes, sturdy play dishes, etc.), simple board games, puzzles, etc.
Again, keep off electrical toys, flammable materials, fireworks, and sharp-edged toys.
- Kids aged 4-5 love playing with modeling clay, building blocks, simple construction sets, battery operated toys, finger paints, stencils, puppets, card/board games, children bicycles (with 20-inch wheels), simple musical instruments, small sports equipment, and a 9-24 piece jigsaw puzzle.
Don’t buy a 4-5-year-old kid electric toys (unless they’re battery operated), flammable, oil-based, or toxic materials, sharp-tipped shooting objects or darts, and fireworks.
- Then we have much grown up kids between 5 and 8 years old. To make their childhood memorable, buy them toys such as skates, jigsaw puzzles, games, sleds, bicycles (with 24-inch wheels), kites, dominoes, magnifiers, magnets, electrics toys (battery powered), and simple tool sets.
It’s advisable that you deviate from kites constructed from aluminized polyester film, electrical toys (not battery operated), cap guns, shooting toys, and fireworks.
- The last age group comprises of kids aged 8-12 years old. This age bracket would appreciate art and craft materials, construction sets, 26-inch bicycles, musical instruments, electrical trains, rc boats, rc tanks, rc sailboats and sports equipment.
But it’s not yet time for fireworks, chemistry sets, air rifles, arrows, and darts.
Ensure the toy you pick entertains your kid without putting their health at risk
Toys can sometimes pose serious safety risks to your child; that’s why I’ve discussed with you some toys to keep off in any given age bracket above.
In addition to that, let me give you some general tips to ensure the toys you buy are 100% safe for your kid(s):
- Firstly, ensure that all the toys you buy are washable (to ensure you can disinfect them regularly), durable/unbreakable, and have no sharp objects that might scratch or cut your child
- Any toy that comes with small removable/chewable parts like beads, buttons, is not safe for kids below the age of 3 years as they might put them in their mouth
- If you must buy fabric made kids for your young ones, make sure they’re labeled flame retardant or flame resistant
- The painted toys should come with a lead-free cover paint
- Crayons, as well as paints, should have an ASTM D-4236 which means they obey the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials
- Ensure all art and craft materials are non-toxic
1. Don’t buy too many toys at a go!
This might not only affect your ability to pick the right toy for your kid, but it might also overwhelm your kid. It’d be better of you buy them 1-2 toys at a time and given the enough time to explore them fully. And when you note that they’ve become bored with them, it’s time to get them a new set.
2. Don’t buy heavy toys!
For instance, if you’re buying a toy car for your kid, ensure it’s something they can effortlessly lift. Don’t just think that your child is mentally ready to use any toy; weight their physical ability to sue that particular toy you intend to buy.
Imagine buying your 5-year old kid a bike meant for a 7-year old kid? Don’t even think of the injuries that might occur because your child doesn’t have the strength needed to balance that bike.
Never let anyone fool you; picking the right toy for your child isn’t a walk in the park. You have to put in mind a few factors like the age of your junior and their interests at that age. Besides, you have to ensure that the toy does not pose any safety or health risks to your kid.
Luckily, our complete guide above on picking toys will make it easier than even before to pick the right and safe toy for your little ones.
This is the guide you’d want to bookmark right away and come back to whenever a thought of buying toys rings in your mind!