How To Choose the Right Toys for Children

The Importance of Toys

Children from newborn babies, toddlers to teenagers love playing with toys. But apart from the entertainment aspect, toys also play an important role in their mental, physical and social developments. As such, it is important for parents to choose the right toys, and encourage the right ways to play with them, so they support their children's development in positive ways.

Assessing Safety Risk of Toys

Choosing the right toys for children is not only a matter of preference. When purchasing a toy, you should follow the suitable age range guide written in the packaging. Even more importantly, always check for the warning label if it has one.

Some general tips to reduce the risk of injury, choking or suffocation:

  • Toys that contain small parts or ones that can easily break into small pieces are not recommended for children under 3 years of age because of the high risk of choking if swallowed.
  • Take toys out of their packaging and then throw away all the packaging materials. Plastic bags and soft plastic can suffocate infants if placed over their head or face, while torn hard plastic and staples can be quite sharp and can cause cuts.
  • Consider the size, hardness and weight of the toy in case it falls down on top of your child or it gets thrown by another child (brother / sister / friend).
  • Make sure the area your child plays in is clean and safe.

Also consider the above tips when using the toy library or when your child is playing with someone else's toys.

On top of everything else, adult supervision plays the most important role in keeping your child safe.

Toys That Support Positive Development for Children

Some toys that require imagination, creativity and problem solving, which support positive mental development for children:

  • colourful toys (for newborn and toddlers)
  • building blocks
  • dolls
  • play house
  • drawing

Toys that support social development for children:

  • dolls
  • play house
  • any toys that can be played interactively with friends

Toys that support positive physical development for children:

  • soft musical toys
  • teether
  • toy cars
  • bicycles