The Importance of Age Recommendations on Toys

December 21, 2013
by Michael Barber
The Importance of Age Recommendations on Toys

It's a Saturday in December and you're out and about trying to wrap up your holiday shopping. You have your lists and think you're just about done, all you have left is the kids. You think it'll be easy enough to find toys and you're done, right? Wrong. You need to find something appropriate for each child's age recommendations.

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Why Age Recommendations Exist

Age recommendation is based on research from the manufacturers that pinpoints the most likely groups that can and will enjoy specific toys, as well as which age can play with the toys safely. It helps you narrow your search to a specific target field. It also prevents you from buying toys that are too old for younger kids, which can cause them to harm themselves.


Babies require specific toy recommendations to ensure their safety. Choose toys that are sanitary, washable, and well-constructed. Make sure the weight of the toy isn't too heavy and that it doesn't have rough edges that can cause cuts and scrapes. Don't buy toys with small parts or decorations that can come loose. Babies easily can put these objects in their mouths and swallow them, causing them to choke. Make sure the toy itself is not too small so the baby doesn't try to swallow it or put it up her nose. Read the label and make sure it does not contain poisonous substances, such as lead paint. If your child does come across harmful materials, contact an urgent care center at once.


Older babies are ready to play with toys that will help them start learning. This includes games, puzzles, and art supplies. But toddlers are still exploring everything around them, so you need to be sure that their toys are safe for them to do so. Read labels and be sure the toys don't contain toxic materials and make sure fabric toys are made of flame-resistant fabrics. Buy stuffed animals that are machine-washable. Only buy art supplies that say ASTM D-4236, which means they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

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Preschool-aged children have longer attention spans than toddlers. Their toys will keep them busy for hours on end. Select toys that will help them continue their development while keeping them safe. Puzzles, books, dress up clothes, and larger toys that stimulate their imaginations are great choices. Make sure these toys are not made with harmful materials, can be easily cleaned and sanitized, and aren't too heavy for them to handle on their own.

School-Age Children

Once your child is older, he'll have a better understanding of how to play with his toys safely. He'll no longer be trying to swallow small or broken parts or lick his toys. You can now safely buy toys made for older children, such as action figures, fitness materials, craft items including paint and clay, and computer games.

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Shopping for kids is one of the special activities involved in the holidays. Create a good memory  by following the basic age recommendations. Pay attention to them, and everyone will have a very happy holiday.