Age Appropriate Toys For Kids [How To Choose A Safe One?]
When you are new to parenthood, you are bound to make some toy selection mistakes. Even experienced parents can make them from time to time too. That toy you bought your 4-month-old child could be a bad choice. There is no sugar coating this. As a parent, it is important to learn how to buy age appropriate toys for our kids.
However, discerning advertising and peer influence can be tricky terrain- one that happens with every parent eventually. Every week, if not every day, a new toy gets launched somewhere out there.
It is solely up to the parent to juggle between the needs, wants, and safety of their kid to find something that will stimulate their child’s imagination. Here is a complete guide to getting the very best out of the toy world for your kids.
What would be some of the criteria for selecting safe toys?
Hand your child almost any toy, and chances are they would be bursting with joy. When it comes to buying the best toy, children are not fussy. However, as a parent, you should be. The right toy has the power to ignite the imagination and coordination skills of your child.
However, the wrong toy could bring harm to your child. When shopping for appropriate toys for kids, here are some criteria to follow.
How do you make a toy safe?
Even though your child can have fun with any toy out there, it is important to prioritise safety. Toys are known to cause serious injuries or in worse cases, even death in children. Here is a guide to making a toy safe for your child.
1. Keep it simple
You have heard this advice a million times but it is never repeated enough to reinforce the message. Choosing a toy that does not do much not only allows your child to employ their imagination but also keeps them safe. The safest toys are usually the simple ones.
2. Provide safety gear
Some age-appropriate toys for kids come with safety gear to prevent injuries on your child’s body. If you are buying a dirt bike for your child, ensure you provide a helmet to allow your kid to gear up and stay safe.
3. Provide a play space
If you have young kids in the house, then you should provide a confined space for them to play. As your child plays, the confinement deters them from wandering off and keeps them safe. Furthermore, if your child is playing on a trampoline, ensure the space has cushioning material to prevent injuries. Also, make sure you get a quality and reputable trampoline to prevent any bad incidents from happening.
4. Inspect the toy
Like everything made in a factory, toys will deteriorate after some time. As a parent, you should keep a close watch and make repairs if you want to ensure that your child is safe. It is a good idea to inspect the toy regularly and decide when to clean and sanitize it.
5. Safe Storage
If you are like the most parent, you have older kids who like to spend time and play with the youngest in the family. However, toys intended for older kids can cause harm to young ones. As such, put all toys for your older children stored safely away from the babies and toddlers.
What toys can help a child's development?
Choosing a toy that ignites the intellectual, innovative, and critical thinking skills of a child prepares them for success down the road. However, choosing a toy that meets the perfect balance between fun and education can be a challenge.
Everyone starts by developing and learning motor and sensory skills. As such, choose toys that promote these skills in your child.
A ride-on toy is one of the best age-appropriate toys for kids who are just getting started with using their small muscles. These toys allow the child to learn how to perform everyday tasks like using a fork and spoon, moving their fingers, and holding on to things. Check out this post to know more about its benefits.
Toys that allow kids to employ their senses are good because they teach the child to use their sensory skills.
Are Learning Resources Toys Safe?
Do not fall for the ‘educational toys’ trap. You would not give a new-born a book, neither would you gift an eight-year-old a novel. Buying toys for your kids by their age is critical to the safety, development, and well-being of your kid.
Most marketers take advantage of the fears of the parents and turn them into profit avenues for their products.
While it is the instinct of every parent to give their kids a leg up in life, your child also deserves to non-educational fun. Besides, age-appropriate toys are not inherently bad for the brain development of the child.
In fact, research shows that most claims of toys that boost intellectual development and create early scientists, mathematicians, or readers are untrue.
Even experienced parents cannot stop the inner child in them from coming out when it is time to go shopping for toys. However, toys are not designed as 'one size fits all.'
Each toy needs to match the age for the safety and well being of the child. So, remember the tips above when you go shopping for age appropriate toys for kids.