Toys Fond memories of childhood sight, sound, smell, texture, and usually bring to mind a favorite taste of things. Objects or toys toy. A cuddly doll, colorful that can be squeezed, dropped, crayons, or a special wagon are all poked, twisted, or thrown are childhood favorites. sure to cause delight. Toddlers Toys bring a great deal of joy to also enjoy any item that can be children, but they also can be stacked, poured, opened, closed, valuable learning tools. Explor- pushed, or pulled. ing, pretending, and sharing are just a few of the important skills s Preschoolers children develop when they play. Preschool children learn by Toys don't have to be expen- doing. They are busy developing sive. Cardboard boxes in the new skills. They like drawing, backyard and measuring cups painting, and building. They also in the bathtub are favorite stan- spend a great deal of time pre- dards. But parents who do wish tending. Dress-up clothes, pre- to purchase toys may find it tend “props,” and puppets are big helpful to know what toys to favorites. choose and which to avoid for Preschoolers are energetic and children of different ages. active. They need large balls to roll and throw, s Infants and wagons to pull, and toddlers tricycles to ride. (continued on p.4) Infants and toddlers learn about the world through their senses. They are interested in the PM 1529M Revised May 2001 Age Toys to choose Toys to avoid Age Toys to choose Toys to avoid Newborn to • brightly • toys with 2 to 3 years • play dough • toys with colored objects parts smaller sharp edges 1 year • large crayons • pictures than 1 1/ inch 4 • toys with (about the • peg boards within view with large small remov- but out of size of a half able parts dollar) pieces reach • small objects • toys with • low rocking • mobiles that horses such as beads, have objects sharp edges coins, or attached with • toys with • sandbox toys marbles cords less than detachable • soft balls of • electrical toys 12 inches long small parts different sizes • lead soldiers • unbreakable • toys with • cars or wag- toys that rattle toxic paint ons to push • tricycles with or squeak seats more • toys with • simple musical than 12 • washable dolls cords more instruments inches high or animals than 12 • simple dress- • riding toys with embroi- inches long up items like dered eyes • stuffed ani- hats, scarves, • stacking ring mals with shoes cones glass or • sturdy riding • tapes or button eyes toys records with • balloons • books that gentle music rhyme 1 to 2 years • push and pull • small toys 3 to 4 years • dolls with • electrical toys toys that can be simple clothes swallowed • lead soldiers • books with • balls, any sizes cloth or stiff • toys with • flammable • nonelectrical pasteboard small remov- trucks, trains costumes pages able parts • building • toys with • nonglass • stuffed ani- blocks sharp edges mirrors mals with • toy telephone or small, • take-apart glass or button eyes • dress-up removable toys with clothes parts large pieces • toys with • blocks—foam, sharp edges • sturdy tea sets• riding toys plastic, or • plastic inter- used in hilly cardboard locking blocks or inclined • nested boxes • blunt scissors driveways or cups • play dough • musical and • washable chime toys markers, large • floating tub crayons toys • sewing cards • pounding and • simple board stacking toys games • books Age Toys to choose Toys to avoid Age Toys to choose Toys to avoid 4 to 5 years • building • toxic or oil- 6 to 8 years • construction • kites made of blocks based paint sets aluminized • simple con- sets • sled, roller polyester film struction sets • flammable skates (this material costumes or conducts • modeling clay • sewing electricity) ones that can materials • nonelectrical be easily • shooting toys, trains, battery tripped over • simple camera and toys with operated toys • printing and loud noises • kites made of • puppets and aluminized stamp sets like cap guns puppet theater polyester film • paints, colored • fireworks of • finger paint (this material pencils any kind • stencils conducts • sketch pads • sharp-edged electricity) tools • board and • kites card games • electrical toys • electrical toys • battery (unless bat- run on house- • simple musical powered tery operated) hold current instruments electrical toys • shooting toys (Underwriters • bikes or • small sports and darts with Laboratory skateboards equipment pointed tips approved) ridden with- • bicycles with • fireworks of • jigsaw puzzles out helmets 20- inch wheels any kind and training • dominoes wheels (all • lawn darts • board games should wear bike helmets) • simple tool sets • books • dolls 8 to 12 years • hobby materi- • fireworks of als any kind • arts and crafts • air rifles, materials chemistry • musical sets, darts, instruments skateboards, and arrows • sports equip- (unless used ment with parental • camping supervision) equipment • construction sets • electric trains • bicycles (26- inch wheels for kids 10 and older) s School-age • Choose toys appropriate to the Periodically check toy boxes child’s age. Some toys intended and shelves for safety. Children for children more than 3 years School-age children feel more Visit the following Web sites for old may contain small parts, grown-up and love activities that more information. which could present a choking lead to “real products” such as American Academy of Pediatrics hazard for infants and toddlers. jewelry, “designer” T-shirts, or http://www.aap.org/ Toddlers should never play stamp collections. They also Public Interest Research Groups with any object that is smaller develop a keen interest in sports http://www.pirg.org/toysafety/ than a half dollar. and enjoy having adult-like Toy Manufacturers of America • Think BIG when selecting toys, http://www.toy-tma.org/ physical equipment such as soft- especially for children under consumer/parents/safety/ ball gloves, tennis rackets, or skates. age three. Big toys without 4toysafety.html They have a better understanding small parts can be enjoyed by U.S. Consumer Product Safety of rules and enjoy playing with youngsters of different ages. Commission others. Board games, cards, or Keep toys intended for older http://www.cpsc.gov dominoes teach math concepts children, such as games with and problem-solving skills. small pieces, marbles, or small Store toys safely balls, away from younger children. Toy safety involves choosing Think toy safety the right toy, checking it regularly • Keep uninflated balloons out More than 120,000 children are for damage, and storing it safely. of reach for children under taken to hospital emergency One of the greatest dangers in toy age 6, and discard pieces rooms each year for treatment of storage is the toy chest with a of broken balloons because toy-related injuries. Evaluate toys free-falling lid. Children are of the choking hazard. for your children from the stand- injured when the lid falls on their point of safety. The following are • Explain and show your child head, neck, or arms. Upright lids some guidelines. the proper use of safety equip- in trunks and footlockers pose ment such as bicycle helmets. this kind of hazard. Studies show that helmets Open chests or bins, chests can reduce severe injuries with lightweight removable lids, from a fall. or chests with sliding doors or • Check all toys periodically for panels do not present the hazard breakage and potential haz- of a falling lid. ards. Damaged toys can be Low, open shelves where toys dangerous and should be can be reached easily and put repaired or thrown away away are a safer alternative and immediately. are often preferred by children. • Store toys safely. Teach chil- Small items such as building dren to put toys away so they blocks or puzzle pieces can be are not tripping hazards. stored in plastic tubs or boxes. File: Family Life 8 1/04 . . . and justice for all The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and discrimination in all its programs and activities on the Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250- Written by Lesia Oesterreich, extension basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, 9410 or call 202-720-5964. Issued in furtherance of age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June family life specialist. Edited by Muktha marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Jost. Illustration by Lonna Nachtigal. apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made Agriculture. Stanley R. Johnson, director, Cooperative Graphic design by Valerie Dittmer King. available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of and Technology, Ames, Iowa.