Infants and toddlers Preschoolers by pengxiuhui



   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     ■ 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,
■ 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

                                                                                HDFS-1529m-02—page 2

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 11/4 inch                                      • 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
                                                                                   HDFS-1529m-02—page 3

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
                                   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
               • 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)
                                                                     • construction
                                                                     • electric trains
                                                                     • bicycles (26-
                                                                       inch wheels
                                                                       for kids 10
                                                                       and older)
                                                                                                        HDFS-1529m-02—page 4

■ 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 three
   School-age children feel more                                                            Visit the following web sites for
                                             years old may contain small
grown-up and love activities that                                                         more information.
                                             parts, which could present a
lead to “real products” such as                                                           American Academy of Pediatrics
                                             choking hazard for infants and
jewelry, “designer” T-shirts, or                                                
                                             toddlers. Toddlers should
stamp collections. They also                                                              Public Interest Research Groups
                                             never play with any object that
develop a keen interest in sports                                               
                                             is smaller than a half dollar.
and enjoy having adult-like                                                               Toy Manufacturers of America
                                           • Think BIG when selecting toys,     
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       
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 six, 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
                                                                                          stored in plastic tubs or boxes.
                                             are not tripping hazards.

Published by Iowa State University         All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available
Extension. Written by Lesia Oesterreich,   to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion,
Extension Family Life Specialist, Iowa     sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.
State University. Illustrated by Lonna     Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension
Nachtigal. Adapted by permission.          TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868

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