Good Toys for Young Children
In light of recent safety recalls by toy manufacturers, parents and early childhood program staff have voiced concerns about the safety of the toys enjoyed by young children. NAEYC offers the following information on selecting the safest and most appropriate toys for young children.
Safe toys for young children are:
- well-made (with no sharp parts or splinters and do not pinch)
- painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint
- easily cleaned
Electric toys should be "UL Approved." Be sure to check the label, which should indicate that the toy has been approved by the Underwriters Laboratories. In addition, when choosing toys for children under age 3, make sure there are no small parts or pieces that could become lodged in a child’s throat and cause suffocation.
It is important to remember that typical wear and tear can result in a once safe toy becoming hazardous. Adults should check toys frequently to make sure they are in good repair.
For a list of toys that have been recalled by manufacturers, visit the Toy Hazard Recalls page of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Website: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html
For information on lead poisoning, you can obtain a free brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org/new/Lead-PatientEdBrochure.pdf
Good Toys & Activities for Young Children
In addition to being safe, toys for young children need to match their stages of development and emerging abilities. Many safe and appropriate play materials are free items typically found at home. Cardboard boxes, plastic bowls and lids, collections of plastic bottle caps, and other “treasures” can be used in more than one way by children of different ages. As you read the following lists of suggested toys for children of different ages, keep in mind that each child develops at an individual pace. Items on one list—as long as they are safe—can be good choices for children who are younger and older than the suggested age range.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. © 2008 NAEYC
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