Wellness and Safety in Early Childhood

Toy Project

Dana Price

ECE110 Wellness and Safety in Early Childhood

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Lori Adkins

Eastern Gateway Community College

14 April 2021




Part One

The development of toys has come a long way over the years and can now be purchased

in age-appropriate categories, but this doesn’t prevent injuries from occurring. When looking

into purchasing a toy for your child it is important to browse the toys designed specifically for

that age. Most toys will have age-appropriate warnings on them and recommendations for play

unless purchased from other countries or if they are hand me downs from years prior. According

to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “each year thousands of children are injured by toys,

and most injuries from toys are minor cuts, scrapes and bruises, however toys can cause serious

injuries or even death if the toy is dangerous or used in the wrong way. (AAP)” This is why it is

so important to follow the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines that

are placed on toys that have been made inside the United States or imported into the United

States after 1995.

There are numerous guidelines to follow when shopping for toys, and each age category

will have different guidelines to keep children safe during play. When purchasing toys for babies

you should make sure that toys made of fabric are labeled as flame resistant. They could also use

the words flame retardant. This means that the fabric will not burn as quickly if exposed to a fire.

Stuffed toys should also be washable. Young children are often times messy or can drool, or get

food on toys, it is important to be able to wash that as bacteria breeds inside moisture. Any

painted toys must be use lead-free paint. This is not as much of a problem now as it was years

ago. All art materials that are being used by babies should be labeled as non-toxic. This includes

any paints that you may be using on their feet or hands to make artwork with their handprints.

When shopping for crayons and paints the packaging should say “ASTM D-4236,” this means

that they have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (Cronan 2018).



Also, make sure that any toy being purchased for a baby is not too loud. The noise created by

some toys that squeak, rattle, or play music may be considered as loud as a car horn and can

damage a baby’s ear drums if they hold it close to their ears.

Most importantly as babies begin to grow and you begin to look for more interactive toys

once they learn to hold things, do not purchase toys with small parts. According to Kate Cronan,

“toys should be at least 3 centimeters in diameter and 6 centimeters in length so that they can’t

be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe.” Think about the size of a toilet paper roll, if the toy

can fit inside the toilet paper roll, it is too small for a baby or toddler to be playing with, so also

avoid games with marbles, coins, or balls that are considered able to fit inside a toilet paper roll

just to be safe. When purchasing battery operated toys only buy toys that have the batteries

protected by cases that are secured with screws. This ensures that children cannot pry them open.

Toys being purchased for babies or toddlers should be checked for durability. Since children like

to chew on things at a young age, make sure that the toy does not have any sharp ends and small

parts that could fall off such as plastic eyes or wheels. Also make sure there are no small parts

that could go all the way into the back of the child’s mouth, or strings that are longer then 7

inches as this could cause gagging and choking as well. Check toys for parts that could pinch

small fingers. Think about the ways that the child could interact with the toy and any other

dangers you see as a parent knowing your child’s habits.

Once a child can walk and is ready for different age-appropriate toys made for older kids,

there are new safety concerns to look out for. Riding toys such as power wheels or rocking

horses should have safety straps inside them to secure the child. This also include wagons.

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations as all toys are different and have different

parts. Tricycles, bikes, scooters, and in-line skates should never be used without a helmet and or



hand, wrist, and shin guards. If purchasing a trampoline, consider the dangers of neck injuries

that occur often with them. Trampolines are for older children and should always include a net

and children should be supervised at all times. Toy guns should never resemble real weapons and

should be painted bright colors. Teach children to never point nerf darts or arrows towards

anyone. Electric toys should be labeled “UL Safe.” Also, climbing equipment such as

playgrounds should always have soft padding around them such as sand or mulch. This helps

break any falls. It is important to check toys and equipment often for any sharp edges, rust on

bikes, or electrical wires being frayed. (Cronan 2018)

Part Two

(Age-Appropriate Toys for 3–5 year old’s)

Playdough Play ‘N Store Kids Play Table

This toy was manufactured by Hasbro and is a classic toy for children between the ages

of 3 and 5. Playdough is primarily made out of water, flour, salt, and some additives such as

coloring and preservatives. Playdough is used inside day cares and classrooms to help children



build muscles for fine motor skills. Children can play with this toy in many ways all it takes is a

little imagination. This toy is used to help children make shapes out of the playdough and use the

shape cutters to create fun scenes or make-believe stories with the dough. Children should wash.

Their hands before and after playing with playdough to help keep the germs out of it and sick

children should never share playdough. After playing with the Playdough, it is stored inside the

container that it came from to keep the air from drying it out. Playdough products can be

purchased in almost store locally and online. Stores such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon online

carry Playdough. The price for this specific toy is $38.98 from Amazon.com because it comes

with a table for interactive play and accessories, however you can purchase other products

starting at $1.00 from Playdough.

1.) Why is this toy developmentally appropriate for a child in this age group?

Playdough products are known for helping children develop muscles to assist in fine

motor skills which will help with holding a pencil and writing. Playdough also allows for the

right side of a child’s brain to get a workout which is associated with creative development. The

right side of the brain is responsible for attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving.

(ASHA 2021)

This specific toy is great for development within the ages of 3-5 because it allows

children to play together which also teaches them social skills. This teaches the children how to

work together to have fun. It also encourages problem solving skills if the children playing

together have a disagreement.



2.) Why is this toy educational? What can children learn by playing with this toy?

Playdough is educational because you can buy different molds that can teach children

shapes. It also comes in different colors which can help children learn about color. You can ask a

child to make a blue square, which encourages them to think about what they are doing or

building with the playdough.

Playdough not only helps children educationally, but it is also considered calming.

Children who might have issues paying attention or have ADHD inside a classroom can be given

Playdough to help promote healthy coping habits and engage them back into the lesson.

3.) Why is this toy appealing to a child in this age group?

Simply put, children love bright squishy objects that they can touch. Children around the

ages of 3-5 are drawn to things by sight first and playdough comes in a variety sizes and shapes

that draw children in. It is also a universal toy that all children will encounter at some point in

their lives at that age so it also something considered familiar to them.

This toy is also considered appealing because children know when they see it that it is

fun, which encourages play time routines. Teachers can use playdough to teach a lesson all while

children think that they are playing.

4.) Would a parent select this toy? Why or Why not?

Parents select this toy all the time because children like it. It helps a child sit still and

create something while a parent can encourage healthy play habits. This eventually leads to

children learning the right and wrong way to play with something. Parents with children

struggling to use their hands might purchase this to help develop fine motor skills.



A parent might not pick this toy because some children are more prone to sticking things

in their mouths even between the ages of 3-5. Parents might reconsider purchasing this if their

child has a sensory issue and does not like the feel of something such as Playdough or slime.

5.) Would you select this toy to use with a child in this age group? Why or Why not?

I absolutely would select this toy as I have a daughter who just turned 6 and Playdough

has always been one of her favorite things to play with. She loves building animals and being

creative by even molding the dough into scenes from her favorite movies. It encourages children

to use their memory and think about things they enjoy or may want to recreate.

I would also select this toy for use inside my class as mentioned above it is excellent in

developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. I think it is great to use to help teach

children about shapes, colors, and counting.

6.) Is this toy safe for young children? Why or Why not?

Yes, this toy is safe for young children who are between the ages of 3-5. This toy is safe

as long parents and teachers have taught the child the right and wrong way to play.

There are rules that along with Playdough such as “Do not eat the playdough.” However,

as all parents know not all children follow rules the best and some children have eaten Playdough

before. Playdough is nontoxic and will not harm a child if ingested, but it is best to teach the

child not to eat it regardless.



7.) What hazards could you anticipate with this toy? How can you prevent the hazard from


The main hazard I see happening with this toy is eating it or getting their fingers pinched

in the storage area. It contains a lot of sodium and could dehydrate a child if too much is ingested

even though it is considered nontoxic because it would not poison a child. I also anticipate some

children trying to be silly and sticking the playdough inside their noses which could block their


Preventing these hazards is easy. Educate children on the right and wrong ways to use the

toy. Also, always supervise children playing with Playdough since this particular set includes

some smaller pieces that are not suitable for children under the age of 3 and in some households,

there may be younger siblings around who could get their hands on the toy.

Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs are one of the best “building” toys and actually just celebrated their 100-

year anniversary last year. They are manufactured by K’NEX. Lincoln logs are small wooden

blocks that were crafted a certain way so that they connect at right angles and are made to build

square or rectangle cabins. Children use this toy by using their imagination to create houses or



small towns depending on the number of blocks they have. It is easy to clean these wooden

blocks, you use a 1:2 ratio of vinegar and water and spray the blocks then allow them to air dry.

The vinegar smell will go away once they air dry. Lincoln logs are stored inside their container

with the lid on to prevent losing any. This container cost $42.50 because it contains 111 pieces,

however you can buy other sets that are cheaper. You can buy these blocks at any kids’ toy store

such as Walmart, Target, and again online at Amazon.com.

1.) Why is this toy developmentally appropriate for a child in this age group?

Lincoln logs promote focus in children. It is appropriate for this age group because it

helps teach patience and a sense of pride. When a child is done building with them and they see

what they made at the very end, they will feel proud of themselves which also helps self-esteem.

It also helps children with fine motor skills. Building things with their hands helps them

gain muscle and hand eye coordination. It also teaches them to be gentle with their placement of

blocks to promote balance techniques.

2.) Why is this toy educational? What can children learn by playing with this toy?

This toy is educational because it sparks an interest in engineering even at a young age.

When my daughter got her first set of Lincoln logs my husband was thrilled to teach her all about

the importance of a “strong foundation” which is term she used from the age of 3 until recent.

It also teaches children about problem solving skills. If the blocks keep falling over,

children will learn different ways to rebuild it. Eventually they learn from their mistakes and get

better each time they play with them, again building self-esteem. It is also great for STEM




3.) Why is this toy appealing to a child in this age group?

Children love to build things, so this toy is especially interesting to children who are

interested in farms or western themed things. Lincoln logs come with an instructions manual that

teaches them step by step how to build the cabin on the paper. Children feel challenged and want

to build what they see.

This toy is also advertised with children playing with it on the box, which shows them it

is fun. It is a perfect example of monkey see monkey do. Lincoln logs also seem appealing to

children aged 3-5 years old because they can use their imagination and build things with their

peers which promotes play time.

4.) Would a parent select this toy? Why or Why not?

A parent would select this toy because it promotes building. A lot of children like to work

with their hands and challenge themselves to build the “highest tower.” Lincoln logs keep

children busy for longer periods of time which teaches them to focus for longer periods of time.

This is something parents really enjoy, watching their children gain some independence in play


Some parents might not select this toy because their children just might not be interested

in smaller blocks that are brown and come with more earth toned accessories. They may also not

trust that their child will not chew on the blocks even at their age.

5.) Would you select this toy to use with a child in this age group? Why or Why not?



I believe this toy is perfect for children aged 4-5 who have a little more patience.

Children around the age of 3 might not understand how the blocks connect and what their

purpose is. It doesn’t hurt to introduce them though and see if your child sparks an interest.

Trying new things is always a good thing.

This toy is great for this age range for children who are ready to use their problem-

solving skills. Since the pieces are smaller it does require children to be a little more patient

while building.

6.) Is this toy safe for young children? Why or Why not?

This toy is safe for young children as long as they play with it for the intended purpose.

Some of the pieces for the roof may be considered pointy so it’s important to remind children to

use them just to build with.

I would not recommend this toy for children any younger then 3 because they are the

perfect size to chew on. It is also important to remember to clean these blocks periodically since

they are wood.

7.) What hazards could you anticipate with this toy? How can you prevent the hazard from


One thing that crosses my mind with this toy is since it is wood, I think that splinters are

possible. The wood is treated in such a way that it doesn’t splinter but if a child is chewing on

these blocks, they could hurt their mouth. It is important to supervise play time with these blocks

until you can trust that your child understands the right and wrong way of play.



I also think about these blocks being unsafe in a house with smaller children or pets.

Again, since they are intended for children aged 3-5, younger siblings may get their hands on

them and it could become a choking hazard. I also worry about the plastic pieces included for the

roofing could break and present sharp plastic pieces which could cause cuts. Always check the

toys before a child plays with them to ensure they aren’t broken, that will help prevent cuts.

“RoyalBaby” Kids Freestyle Bicycle

Bicycles are a part of most children’s childhoods. To children they are a “rite of passage”

into becoming a big kid. This particular bike is manufactured by RoyalBaby and comes in many

different sizes and colors. Depending on what age you are buying for the bike can come with

training wheels, kickstands, and hand brakes. For the ages of 3-5 all three of those are very

important for safety reasons. This bike is made from steel and should be stored somewhere dry

and out of the rain. It can be cleaned by being hosed off with water, and if needed you can get a

bucket of soapy water and gently scrub it down. The chains may also require some lubricant over

time to ensure they work smoothly. If they get greasy you can clean with bike degreaser, avoid

use of gasoline or kerosene (Awwy 2019). This particular bike cost $159.00 from Amazon.com,



however children’s bikes can be purchased for as low as $60.00. Something to remember, as

with many things, “you get what you pay for.” Meaning if you buy a cheaper bicycle, it may be

built with cheaper parts and be likely to break down quicker.

1.) Why is this toy developmentally appropriate for a child in this age group?

Bicycles are appropriate for this age range as long as the training wheels are on and the

child is wearing a helmet along with elbow pads and knee pads. Bicycles are also a great way to

kids away from screen time. It keeps children active and exercising.

Bicycles are also great for children this age because it gets them engaged in nature, the

outdoors and sparks their interest in other outdoor activities. “Since children are exercising while

using bicycles, they are also developing their lungs, heart, and aiding in the development of

cardiovascular muscles (Awwy 2019).”

2.) Why is this toy educational? What can children learn by playing with this toy?

This toy is educational because it teaches self-confidence. A confident child is a happy

child. It also helps develop hand-eye coordination. Along with building confidence riding a bike

also builds self-esteem.

Children also learn to enjoy nature and participating alongside with peers. Bike riding in

groups has always been one of the most memorable experiences as a child. Children can also

learn about timing, such as timing when to use the brakes, or when to pedal harder. It teaches

about using our best judgment. Riding a bike also teaches children not to give up, that hard work

pays off.



3.) Why is this toy appealing to a child in this age group?

This toy is appealing to this age group because by the age of 3-5 most children have seen

other children riding a bike and have been curious about it. Most 3-year-olds know how to ride a

tricycle and would like to advance to the next level as a sense of self growth and pride.

Bicycles are also appealing to children because by now most have seen them in movies or

commercials and are genuinely curious if they could ride as well. Bicycles are especially

interesting at this age if your child has friends that ride bikes.

4.) Would a parent select this toy? Why or Why not?

Absolutely, a parent would select this toy because it gets the children outside. Screen

time is becoming more of a way to “babysit” children instead of an educational thing, so any

chance parents have of getting their kids outside, they should take it.

Riding bikes also keeps children healthy, and parents want that for their children. Some

parents may feel like their children aren’t ready for a bike or that it is too dangerous since part of

learning how to ride a bike inevitably means falling off of one. Eventually those fears disappear

once you see your child pick themselves back up from other spills.

5.) Would you select this toy to use with a child in this age group? Why or Why not?

I would absolutely select this toy to use within this age range especially for younger kids

because it gives them more time to become comfortable using a bicycle. I made the mistake of

waiting until my daughter was 4 to purchase her first bike after she had seen all her other friends

riding bikes. Then I made an even bigger mistake of being too busy with work to take her out



riding often so when it came time to get together with her friends and ride bikes, she was a little

behind. This is why I say early exposure to bicycles is important.

The only reason I will say no to purchasing a bicycle within this age group is if your child

suffers from a disability that could make it impossible to learn or if falling off of it would cause

life threatening injuries such as children with brittle bone syndrome or other orthopedic


6.) Is this toy safe for young children? Why or Why not?

This toy is safe as long as children use a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Falling off

of a bike is something that is going to happen as children learn balance and hand eye

coordination, so it is important to encourage children to get back on. This will also build

confidence and help younger children become comfortable with bicycles.

Younger children might not be ready for this toy if they had a harder time learning how

to ride a tricycle, or struggle with fine motor skills. It is up to you as a parent to decide if your

child if ready since you know them better then anyone.

7.) What hazards could you anticipate with this toy? How can you prevent the hazard from


There are always hazards when riding a bike such as falling down, getting shoelaces

stuck inside the chains, or forgetting to brake and running into things. These are all accidents that

can be prevented though.

Keeping your child’s shoes tied tight will ensure shoelaces do not get stuck, along with

purchasing a bike that comes with a chain guard. You can also protect your children with



purchasing a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads. Using all three of those together will help

protect a child. You also need to check the surrounding area and make sure all other younger

children are out of the way so that they don’t accidently get hit with the bike if the older child

does not understand how to steer yet. Don’t forget to inspect the bike before each use to make

sure everything is working properly especially the brakes.




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Awwy, E. (2020, January 4). Is Cycling Good for Kids? 11 Benefits of Cycling for Kids.

Kiddingzone.Com. https://kiddingzone.com/benefits-of-cycling-for-kids

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