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School Age: Six to Nine Years
 
Board games, table-top sports games and classics like marbles and model or craft kits help develop skills for social and solitary play.

In experimenting with different kinds of grownup worlds, fashion and career dolls and all kinds of action figures appeal to girls and boys.

Printing sets, science and craft kits, electric trains, racing cars, construction sets and hobby equipment are important to children for examining and experimenting with the world around them.

Children of this age should be taking part in plenty of active physical play, a larger bicycle, ice and roller skates, a pogo stick, scooter, sled and other sports equipment, along with protective gear, will help children to get plenty of exercise.

Video games appeal to children, teenagers and adults. Many games offer increasingly challenging levels of play, as well as opportunities to develop coordination skills. It is important that the context and content of the games are checked as some carry age restrictions.

It is important that children in any of these age groups are given a varied range of activities to ensure that they successfully develop into a range of different areas of development.

For more information about areas of development click ….
 
Whatever the age of your child think about the following points when choosing a toy:
 
  • Is your child physically able to manipulate and play with the features of a toy
 
  • Can your child understand how to use the toy
 
  • Your child's play needs and interest at this time
 
  • The safety aspects of the toy itself
   
   
     
    Toy Buying Guide
   
 

1 -12 months

mobiles and safety mirrors
musical and chime toys
rattles and squeak toys
crib gyms and busy boxes
nesting and stacking toys
simple pop-up toys
tub toyspush-pull toys
picture books

1 – 3 years

- push-pull and ride-on toys
- small tricycle and wagon
- balls over 1.75" in diameter
- paddling pool & sandbox inc. toys to use in them
- play appliances, food and utensils
- dolls, stuffed animals and doll furniture
- simple puzzles, shape sorters, pegboards and rings on pegs
- blocks of different sizes, shape and colour
- crayons, markers and modelling dough
- rhythm instruments
- tape player
- picture books

3 - 5 years
- dress-ups and accessories
- props for housekeeping, store and medical play
- puppets
- arm, village, house and other play sets
- small vehicles
- construction toys
- simple board games
- puzzles
- bead threading and lacing sets
- wheeled toys
- backyard gym sets
- art supplies: crayons, markers, modelling dough, paper
- tape player and tapes
- storybooks
       
  Toy Safety
 
Safety in the design and manufacture of children’s toys, have the distinction of being one of the most closely monitored and regulated product available to consumers. This is understandable when we take into account the end user may be vulnerable to danger and will test the toy to extremes that it was not initially designed for. With this in mind a toy may go through over one hundred safety tests designated to duplicate the kind of use and abuse it may get in the hands of an inquisitive child.

One of the most important safety tests a manufacturer conducts is for small parts. Since children under the age of three are very likely to put objects in their mouths, it is especially critical that toys intended for infants and toddlers be manufactured with oversized pieces which meet British safety specifications set out in the Toy Safety Regulations of 1989, amended 1995. A recent US study of hospital emergency room data suggests that the most frequent causes of injury involving toys are falling on, tripping over or being hit with toys. There are two types of toy related injuries:
   
 
- Toy-related accidents – not involved with the toy design, this is how the toy is used e.g. tripping over a toy, being hit with a toy, standing on a toy.
- Toy-caused accidents - due to a fault in the toy's design, material content, construction or performance, are inadequate.
   
  To ensure the safety of the toys you choose for your child check for the following safety symbols:
       
       
   

CE Mark
This is an enforcement mark and therefore not necessarily a sign of quality. It was established to ensure free movement of product throughout the European Union, like a passport for toys. It must appear with the first supplier’s name and address on the toy or its packaging.
   
 
   

The Lion Mark
The Lion Mark was developed in 1988 by the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) to act as a recognisable consumer symbol assuring safety and quality. To display this mark a BHTA member must sign a licence agreement with the Association which wets out the terms of its use. This licence can be taken away if there is a failure to abide by the stringent terms which include adherence to the BTHA Code of Practice. A toy that bears the Lion Mark is safe and conforms with all relevant safety information.
   
   

Approved Lion
Mark Retailer

In 1991 the British Association of Toy Retailers (BATR) joined up with the BTHA to launch the Approved Lion Mark Retailer Scheme. Members of the BATR also follow a strict Code of Practice. As such, BATR members can display the above sign in their shops. This does not mean that all products in the shop carry the Lion Mark but that all products meet the Toy Safety Standard.
   
       
 

Age Warning
This pictogram began appearing on toys in 1995 and means Warning - do not give the toy to children less than three years, nor allow them to play with it. With the symbol or in instructions included in the pack will be given details of the hazard, e.g. "because of small parts". This symbol will gradually replace the current warning "not suitable for children under 3 years", which has often been confused with age advice - those discretionary guidelines used by the manufacturer to help the buyer match the product with a child's age, interest and ability.
       
   
Careful manufacturing methods and toy selection are not enough, however. Toys must be used, maintained and stored correctly to ensure that the safety built in at the factory continues in the home. Read instructions carefully to make sure that both you and child understand them. Special attention to directions will result in safer play and longer toy life. Always remove and immediately discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to a baby or small child.
       
     
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