With the recall by Mattel of over 10 million toys made in China, many parents and grandparents are worried about the toys they give their children and grandchildren as well as the toys their children play with in various venues such as daycares and preschools. How can you know they are safe? How can you know if a toy is appropriate for your child?
An article, “Criteria for Selecting Toys,” written by Francis Wardle, PhD, in 1993 gives some specific guidelines to follow when choosing toys and deciding which old toys to keep. For example, can your child use the toy without adult supervision? Toys should not have adult rules or require adult supervision for your child to play with it. Does the toy strengthen your child’s respect for others? Does it provide exposure to diversity in a non-stereotypical way?
Will the toy last over time, or is it one of those Christmas “specials” that last usually only about 2 weeks before biting the dust? Can it be used in many various ways? Can it stimulate your child’s imagination into pretend uses of his own? Is it possible for children of different developmental levels to use it, or is it specifically for one developmental age?
For further reading, please visit the Child Care Information Exchange at this link to print out the checklist for yourself. It is a .pdf file which will require an Adobe Reader. Most computers come with that already loaded, but if you don’t have it, it is a free download here.
For additional information on toy safety: