When choosing any toys for your children, there are basic safety rules to follow, and there are even a few extras for outdoor play. The main thing to remember that is selecting even the best and safest toys does not mean that your child needs any more supervision. Any time your kids are outside playing, an adult needs to be close by and watching.
Some basic safety tips for children’s toys are as follows:
Always follow the suggested age range of the toys.
Whether or not you think your child can handle a more grown-up toy, or see nothing to warrant a high age range, follow the guidelines. As a child grows, he or she becomes more aware of dangers, and therefore, can handle toys that may have a rough edge or may be a little heavier.
This is not true for toddlers. Toddlers have little sense of danger and will often use toys in unexpected ways. For this reason, toys for toddlers should be solid, light, and free of any rough or sharp edges. If the child drops an age appropriate toy or falls while holding it, the risk of being injured is greatly decreased.
Find toys that are durable.
Children are destructive, so their toys should be very durable. Expect your kids to be dropping, tossing, climbing in, on and around their toys, and make sure that they can withstand that sort of activity. Durability is particularly important for outdoor toys, as you have the sidewalk and other hard surfaces to contend with. Make sure that any broken toys are disposed of immediately; make your judgments as to whether or not they can be fixed. If you do attempt to fix a toy, do your destruction tests to ensure durability before giving it back to your child.
For Climbing Toys, make sure they are constructed with a solid base.
Kids love to climb and even if their toys are not meant for climbing you can be sure they will try to. To allow them to play without injury, purchase toddler toys that are meant for climbing. When choosing a climbing toy or play set make sure there is a very firm and solid base. Perform your tests to make sure that it will not tip or collapse when your child tries to climb on it. Check for solid construction throughout and nothing poking out or sharp that could hurt your child. If you need to assemble the toy, put it together and then double check it before allowing your child to use it. If you fit, try it out yourself. Many (but not all) toddler toys are designed to hold adult weight limits.
Choosing the best children toys for outdoor play is a mixture of common sense and a willingness to test and inspect toys to make sure they are truly safe. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for assembly and placement. Be sure to store all of your outdoor toys in a dry storage area as well, and remember never let your child play alone, join in on the fun!