It’s of paramount importance to know how to choose toys that are the safest and the most beneficial for kids.
Children are born with an immature visual system which, through stimulation, becomes more refined throughout their growing years. There aren’t many things that help a child’s visual development more efficiently than playing, which involves hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Good toys that stimulate an infant’s vision in their first year of life include mobiles with geometric patterns or bright primary colors and activity mats with detachable and changeable objects, puppets and balls. Between the ages of 0-3 months, babies can’t fully differentiate between colors, so simple black and white images of things like shapes and simple patterns are particularly helpful for stimulating visual development.
Since children spend so much time engaged in play with toys, parents need to make sure their toys are safe for their eyes as well as their overall safety. A toy that is not age appropriate is generally not a great choice. Don’t forget to check that the toy is right for their level of development. Despite the fact that toy manufacturers print targeted age groups on packaging, it is up to you to be discerning, so your child avoids playing with something that could be dangerous for them.
Blocks are suited to almost every age group, but for younger children, you need to inspect them for sharp edges and corners, to lessen the risk of eye injury. And don’t forget to take note of the size of toys. With toddlers, any item that is small enough to fit in their mouth is not something they should have access to. It’s best to put small toys aside until your child is older.
Don’t buy toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for little ones, and be sure that things with long sticks, like pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Always pay attention when they play with those kinds of toys.
For children younger than 6, stay clear of toys which shoot, such as slingshots. Even when they’re older than 6, always pay attention with toys like that. On the other hand, if you have older kids who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they have correct safety eyewear.
So the next time you’re thinking about a gift, pay attention to the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Make sure that toys you buy won’t pose any risk to your child’s eyes – even if your child really wants it.