The best (and safest!) toys for children of every age

    While the toys you buy this holiday season should be fun, they should also be safe and age appropriate.

    The gift-giving season is upon us! No matter what age the child on your list is, you want to make sure that you’re buying them a present that they’ll love.

    While the toys you buy this holiday season should be fun, they should also be safe and age appropriate. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:

    • Stuffed toys should be washable.
    • Any paint on the toy should be lead-free.
    • Art materials should be labeled as non-toxic.
    • Fabrics on toys should be flame-resistant.
    • Toys shouldn’t have pieces that could break off and become a choking hazard.

    With that being said, below are some great—and safe—ideas of toys for all ages that will keep your little one having fun and out of harm.

    For the newborn. In their first year, babies’ lives are all about exploration. They’re discovering the world around them and are fascinated by just about everything. That’s why they lift, touch, taste, shake, and squeeze anything they can find.

    The best toys for the newborns are ones that focus on the five senses. Toys like raddles, soft dolls, and large rings will keep them busy for hours. And things they can look at—such as pictures hanging above them in their crib and unbreakable mirrors—will excite almost any baby. Just make sure you’re on the lookout for the safety precautions listed above, especially if the toy will be in their mouth.

    For the toddler. Toddlers are on a mission and on the go. Similar to newborns, they like to experiment—but now they can jump, climb, and run as they do it!

    With all of the energy they have, keeping an eye on a toddler can be tiresome. For everyone’s sake, consider a gift that makes them slow down for a bit. Gifts that let them solve problems, build, and use creativity will keep them busy and are educational. Word puzzles, blocks, child-size kitchen sets, and finger-painting materials are all great options. Remember: non-toxic and lead-free paint only.

    For the preschooler. If you have a four-year-old, you know all too well that they LOVE asking questions. They strive to discover and understand all that their little brains can absorb.

    Consider giving a child of this age picture books, CD, and DVDs where they can expand their knowledge and have fun doing so. If they have access to a computer, programs that are interactive provide them with the opportunity to explore many different concepts.

    For the big kid. Toys are much different for a child in late elementary school than with the little ones. Your nine-year-old likely spends most of their free time playing sports or games with friends—online or in person.

    A perfect gift for someone of this age is something that is interactive and gets them outside and moving. Think games like Spikeball or an outdoor badminton set. But still be aware! Although you typically don’t have to worry about kids of this age accidentally eating a toy that they’re not supposed to, some toys CAN still be dangerous. Be mindful of toys like darts or archery kits that can be hazardous if not handled correctly.

    Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

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