Evolution of Toys and Ensuring a Safe Play Environment for Your Toddler
15 May · KidsPlayVille Parents · No Comments
Safe Playtime & Toys For Your Growing Toddler
Playing with toys is part of child development, not just for fun or for ‘babysitting’ time. Play enhances creativity and problem-solving skills within our children’s brains.
What may seem like play to you, may be something different to your child. By the time they reach their first year, toddlers have just begun developing their muscle coordination and balance. They have gone way past the monkey climbing and standing tall stage and have just started walking on their own. Their motivation and jest for discovering the world is so overwhelming that you, as a parent, should take the opportunity to get your toddler moving and going, but going in the right direction, ensuring proper play times and safe toys for your growing toddler.
Play and Toys
Play is always associated with toys. Play = toys and both comprise of voluntary, essential and motivational activities for amusement and pleasure, which children should engage in.
As children undergo through each stage of development, they are in constant interaction with their environment. Never forget that toddlers still put anything they can hold on to in their mouths as their way of exploring everything around them. There is an interaction that exists between toddlers and toys (or should I say, between your toddler and say, their new best friend, Barbie? Spongebob?)
As a parent, you must be wary of the safety of toys and their ability to unleash your child’s cognitive potentials.
The Mud Cake: Toys 101 (Evolution of Toys)
The discovery of toys date back to the time when children of the ancient times played with anything they could get such as mud, leaves, rock or a tree branch. Using these raw materials, they created something out of their own imagination.
If you think that mud cake is as pretty as a birthday cake adorned with tree leaves, then you might have the same ancient thoughts as those children in the ancient times. Don’t forget the tree branch – it was the birthday candle LOL
There have been numerous accounts written about toy evolution through time. Pixi’s Pick Up Sticks and Play Doh must have been acquired some inspiration from these ancient discoveries. Some archaeologists have dug up ancient toys that were made of clay, rocks, sticks and other materials produced by Mother Nature. Ancient dolls made of wood were even offered to the gods as a girl’s initiatory rite to womanhood. Oh, Barbie, we hate to say this but the gods need you.
Like human evolution, toys have also been through various innovations and development. As the need for higher technology arises, they have also been manufactured through a high-tech computerized facility to ensure their safety before they reach distribution stage.
Toys must be engaging and must encourage your child’s creativity and cognitive skills. Some toys encourage social skills by allowing two or more children to play with them together. Various toys have been manufactured and are now available in the market.
There is, however, another important thing to consider though, especially when buying toys for your little tyke. And, that is safety. This is every parent’s concern when it comes to toys they give to their children.
Toy Safety is Very Important
Be wary of toy manufacturers that don’t follow the rules on safety and precautions when it comes to making their toys. Be sure that the type of plastic used is, if possible, fire resistant or does not burn too easily.
Teddy and other plush toys should be washed as often as possible to prevent your child from ingestion of unwanted microorganisms and other allergens that could cause respiratory problems and gastrointestinal problems. Also, keep in mind that the fur is hypoallergenic and does not fall of easily. For sure, Teddy would be very delighted to take a swim in the washing machine after having been brushed against the dusty carpet.
The Toy Soldiers in blue and green colors are too small to be ingested by your toddler so they should be kept away from their reach. Just make sure their guns don’t shoot. Well, they’re made of plastic anyway. As much as possible, choose toys with big parts. The plastic should be durable enough to tolerate accidental bumps and drops. Any part of a broken toy smaller than your child’s hands could pose a risk of being ingested.
If you decide to get your toddler a battery-operated toy, be sure that the battery compartment is intact. The locking mechanism should be in place to keep the batteries in place. Try looking for a battery-operated toy which can only be opened and locked by a screwdriver. If not, I’d recommend taping over the battery compartment with strong hold masking tape so your toddler cannot open it and play with batteries.
Observe the parts of the toy properly and inspect if there are any sharp objects, loose wires or strings hanging. There should be no loose parts dangling from the toy. The toy should also be washable or should be able to be cleaned easily. This is by far the most important thing that you should keep in mind when buying a toy. It has to be washed regularly because of the possibility of being put into your child’s mouth, which I can say for certain, is a guarantee will happen.
Always clean your child’s toys. Inspect for any damages such as rust, loose threads, broken battery compartments, empty batteries that have been kept too long and pointed objects. If the toy is deemed beyond repair, toss it in the trash and send it to the garbage truck guys. Toys that can be played during bath time like Rubber Ducky or those that can get wet should be wiped clean to avoid formation of moisture, which can be a medium for bacterial growth. Donald Duck would surely be envious of the squeaky clean Rubber Ducky.
Additional Toy Tips to Remember
To develop your child’s sense of autonomy, you want to train your children how to put her toys away. This can be a fun individual and social activity as your child would be motivated to do his or her best at keeping their room clean and tidy. Try engaging your child in this type of activity by reinforcing it with a reward. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness.
If you suspect that your child’s toy is unsafe for your child to play with, you must file a complaint to the manufacturer so that necessary actions can be done to avoid possibly harming other children.