Toys for babies and toddlers are among the simplest, yet most complex toys around. Sure, they might be built in a straightforward fashion and their structure might be as plain as it comes, but there’s a lot of thought that has to be put into making these toys. First and foremost, they shouldn’t pose any kind of hazards for children, and there’s a lot of things that could go wrong if the manufacturer doesn’t abide by the regulations. Apart from that, they have to be made from the fewest number of parts as possible, and should also be quite sturdy because of the same reason – kids love smashing them on occasion or two. Considering all this, it is quite clear why baby and toddler toys aren’t really as simple as they might seem to be at first glance.
Potential Toy-related Hazards
Since babies and toddlers up until the age of three are still unaware of their surroundings on a full scale, they are known to encounter some safety issues while playing with their toys. Most common toy-related hazards include ingestion, choking or aspiration of small parts of the toy, cuts by sharp parts of the toy, chemical substance hazards, strangulation hazards and a vast number of injuries that can be sustained by playing with specific toys. Even when the toy passes the regulations, it can still become hazardous after some time of extensive use when some pieces broke off or become dismantled. However, there’s little one can do to avoid this.
Types of Baby Toys
Toys themselves happen to be as colorful as they can be and come in many different varieties when baby and toddler category is concerned. The usual set of toys that our dearest ones can possess varies but includes many different types of toys, without question. Some of the categories of toys you’ll most likely see in baby beds and around them include different stuffed animals and other toys, all kinds of simple musical instruments, a number of simple educational puzzles, all kinds of push and pull toys, plenty of manipulative toys, and many more. Materials used for the production of these toys also vary and you’ll find toys made out of wood, plastic, plush, rubber and pretty much of anything else you could think of.
Stuffed toys can be some of the first friends for your babies. As soon as they start to notice some characters on TV, you’ll know that it’s time to get them one of these of their own. Toys made out of soft materials are the best bet here, but one should pay attention to the toy’s accessories which might pose a hazard. Simplest toys made out of single piece are the best options for babies and younger toddlers alike while somewhat older kids could benefit from slightly more complex toys.
If you’re looking for a specific character, on the other hand, your best bet are currently popular kid’s characters like Winnie the Pooh or Peppa pig, or instant classics like Elmo or Disney’s characters, on the other hand. Stuffed animals are also a good choice and whether you’re looking for a panda bear, regular teddy bear or some different kind of stuffed animal toy, you can’t really go wrong.
Puzzles have been around for a long time and they belong to a category which has no age restrictions. Of course, only specific types of puzzles can be used by youngest children and they are usually few-piece jigsaw puzzles with all kinds of backgrounds that toddlers could appreciate.
Puzzles with numbers and alphabet are also used, but they are aimed at slightly older kids, even though it needn’t necessarily be so. Cardboard, wood, sponge and plastic can all be used to manufacture them, but the pieces should be large enough in order to not pose any serious hazards.
Musical instruments are usually among the first toys a baby or toddler can get. Rattle toys of all shapes and sizes can be their first foray into the world of music. As they get older, different kinds of instruments can be introduced to them such as simple percussion sets or plastic keyboards, xylophones or guitars. Push and pull toys are also among the standard assortment of small children’s toys. Whether pulling a toy pet or pushing a rattling set on wheels, they will get the chance to practice their walking skills which is of utmost importance at this age. Manipulative toys are produced in many forms and with plenty of materials as well.
They also have to have rather large pieces and can represent almost everything. Stacking cars, all kinds of interactive gears, hide and seek, and peek-a-boo toys all fall under this category. It’s also hard to imagine a baby or a toddler without traditional pounding bench toy, or a cardboard, or sponge block building set. All ride-on toys are also among the best choices for every kid around. Whether it’s a car, tractor, truck or a train, your kids will surely appreciate the opportunity to ride their own vehicle, and without driving license at that. Learning toys mustn’t be overlooked. It might be too early to start learning some complex things at baby or toddler age, but some things can be learned thanks to a great number of toys on the market especially made for this purpose. Shape sorting toys fall under this category too, and so do pattern-building toys.
Baby and toddler toys can be of many shapes and sizes, but not all of them can be included. Safety regulations are strict for all ages, but they are especially strict for children below the age of three. There are many classic toys that have been around through the years, but the fast age we live in always makes room for plenty of new toys. Some of them survive and even become new classic toys, but a vast majority of new toys doesn’t get produced for a long time. However, choosing some of the new ones doesn’t have to be a mistake as your children will soon overgrow them anyway and won’t play with these toys for long even if they are their favorites. On the other hand, classic proven baby and toddler toys are usually no-brainers and every kid deserves to have some of them.