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How to Select Age-Appropriate Toys

December 18, 2013 | Category: Child Injuries | Share

How to Select Age-Appropriate Toys -  Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.The choices seem endless when shopping for children's toys.  However, one thing needs to be kept in mind at all times.  "Is the toy age-appropriate?"

The Child Safety Protection Act (CSPA) requires toy manufacturers to place warning labels on toys which contain small parts, including balls, marbles, and other choking hazards.  The label must state that the toy is not intended for use by children under the age of three.  The CSPA also increased the size of previously banned small balls permitted in toys, because of choking hazards associated with round objects.

With children being injured every year when playing with inappropriate toys, it is extremely important that consumers purchase age-appropriate toys. Below are some suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help make decision-making easier. They recommend keeping in mind that these are only guidelines. Parents/guardians should continue to watch out for mislabeled toys and always supervise young children.

Young infants (birth–6 months old)

Toys for this age are for looking, sucking, listening, and touching.

  1. Mobiles or hanging toys that are out of baby's reach
  2. Rattles they can easily hold or shake
  3. Soft squeeze balls
  4. Large unbreakable mirrors mounted on a crib or wall

Older infants (7–12 months old)

Toys for this age group should appeal to your baby's sight, hearing, and touch.

  1. Cloth, plastic, or board books with large pictures
  2. Large blocks (wood or plastic)
  3. Soft, washable animals, dolls, or balls
  4. Activity boards and cubes
  5. Floating bath toys
  6. Squeeze and squeak toys
  7. Disks or keys on rings
  8. Stacking toys

Toddlers (1 to 2 years old)

Toys for this age group should be able to withstand a toddler's curious nature.

  1. Cloth, plastic, or board books with large pictures
  2. Sturdy dolls
  3. Stuffed toys (no small or removable parts)
  4. Ride-on toys (no pedals)
  5. Rhythm instruments like bells, drums, cymbals, and xylophones
  6. Nesting and stacking blocks
  7. Push and pull toys (no long strings)
  8. Toy phones (no cords)
  9. Hidden object or pop-up toys
  10. Matching and sorting games

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old)

Toys for this age group can be creative or imitate the activity of parents and older children.

  1. Books (short or action stories)
  2. Simple board games
  3. Building blocks
  4. Crayons, nontoxic paints, clay, chalk
  5. Toy tools
  6. Housekeeping toys
  7. Ride-on toys (tricycles, cars, wagons)
  8. Number and letter puzzles with large pieces
  9. Dress-up clothes
  10. Tea party sets

6- to 9-year-olds

Toys for this age group should help your child develop new skills and creativity.

  1. Crafts or sewing sets
  2. Card games
  3. Doctor and nurse kits
  4. Hand puppets
  5. Table games
  6. Electric trains
  7. Paper dolls
  8. Bicycles with helmets
  9. Roller skates or in-line skates with protective gear
  10. Other sports equipment like balls or jump ropes

10- to 14-year-olds

Hobbies and scientific activities are ideal for this age group.

  1. Computer games (Check the ratings on computer games to be sure they are OK for your child.)
  2. Sewing, knitting, needlework
  3. Microscopes/telescopes
  4. Table and board games
  5. Sports equipment
  6. Hobby collections

Not only do toys need to be age-appropriate for the recipient, they must be age-appropriate for all children who may be playing with the toys.  In families there are often children of varying age.  Parents/guardians need to be watchful that the toys with which children play are age-appropriate.

Child Injury Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury attorneys, P.A. says, "Let's keep the holidays happy and safe by following the suggestions of the experts in choosing toys that are age-appropriate."


Lee County Child Injuries Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney - the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.

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