Age recommendations on toys

Cynthia - posted on 04/21/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )




I know they have certain ages on toys for obvious reasons. But is it always necessary to follow this exactly?

I work at a dollar store, and see that some parents won't let their child get a toy they want because of this, even if their child is close to the age recommendation. When I was a kid, there was a lot of unsafe things about toys that toymakers wouldn't dream of doing nowdays, and we are all ok!

Personally I don't always go by this. For example, my 8 month old has a set of sea creatures for the bath that say they are for ages 3 and up. They are quite small, so yes, I see that they could be a choking hazzard. But that will not happen, as I watch her like a hawk in the tub, as anyone should with a child that age... and if she sticks them in her mouth, I simply pull them out.

So I just wanted to see how many moms do always follow the age recommendations?


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[deleted account]

I usually stick close to the recommended age range but even then seme to find that a toy in one store is say 6 months+ whereas the exact same toy just in different packaging is 4 months+ in a nother shop. The reason toys have recommended ages on is that if someone does buy a toy which is too old for them and they choke on something, the toy company aren't liable and can't be sued for the death of the child.

Emma - posted on 04/23/2010




I really pay little attention as with two kids i cant stop the younger one playing with the older ones toys, i judge each toy indervidualy ive often bought things and taken away a small pice out of the set or what ever as sometimes that's all it is 1 piece among otherwise good stuff

Amy - posted on 04/22/2010




No, we don't follow the rules for christmas we got our 1 1/2 year old a 5 year old toy (train set that had batteries, nothing that could "hurt" him). We played with it with him, but put it away every so often if he's not playing nice with it. We used them as a general guideline, but looked at the toys themselves to see if they were ok. For a while at first you do need to make sure there aren't too small of pieces, but once there getting older and don't "eat" everything it's a lot easier to figure that stuff out.

April - posted on 04/22/2010




my son has a toy laptop that says for ages 3 and up. It doesn't have any small parts to choke on and there is nothing that can hurt him. He loves it, even though he is only 16 months old!

They are called "recommendations" not orders or rules.

Cynthia - posted on 04/22/2010




Hm... this is interesting, because I see it happen quite often at the store I work at, so I thought for sure more moms would be for it! I agree with you ladies, as long as common sense is used, there's really no danger. I also agree that toys that could poke or stab them should be used with extreme caution, if at all.

I guess the reason I posted this was because I've been noticing a lot lately (on here and in day to day life) that there's a lot of parents who are, in my personal opinion, overly cautious with their children. I'm not saying you shouldn't be cautious with your kids, but some people take it to the extreme. I never really paid attention to or noticed this until I had a kid of my own I guess.

For example I read a post a while back about a mom who was freaking out about her kid picking up toys off the floor and putting them in her mouth... really? Don't all kids do this? I also shake my head at those who think they have to keep their home immaculately clean... not saying you shouldn't clean your house, there's just some that have to have everything perfectly spotless at all times. In my opinion, a little dust every once in a while is good for their immune system... but that's a whole other topic. I do wash my baby's toys weekly, but unlike some people, I don't sanitize them every day and she's perfectly fine.

What I'm getting at I guess is that I'm seeing a lot of parents who aren't really letting their kids be kids... Some people are too worried about safety and cleanliness and whatnot, when I think they should back off (just a little) and let their kids play and have fun and just be kids!

[deleted account]

I always followed the "3 and up" recommendation because of chocking and other hazards. When age recommendations were like "6month and up" or "18 months" I did not follow as closely but I tried to stay close.
Now he is 5 so I don't have to worry about chocking anymore. He has lots of toys that say for "6 & up" and a few that say "7 & up" but I draw the line at "8 & up" because those toys are usually fairly complicated and he would just break them. I use my judgment on the "7& up" toys, but I will rarely say no to the "6 & up" toys, he'll be 6 soon enough and he's not going to magically change on his birthday.

Lady - posted on 04/22/2010




My children all play with each others toys so it's hard to keep them to the toys that are specifically for their ages. The one thing I am very careful about though is not letting the little ones play with the "Magnetics" toys after seeing what hapens to a childs insides if they swallow more than one. The older ones are told that they could kill their brother or sister so if they are playing with them they must tidy them away properly.

Sarah - posted on 04/22/2010




I don't usually bother. Plus once my youngest came along, she always wanted to play with things of her sisters that aren't really "age appropriate".
So long as you're sensible, and keep an eye on them, i don't think it's something to worry about too much. :)

Carolee - posted on 04/22/2010




My family rarely looks at the age suggestions when buying toys for my son. I decide when he can have it, but he gets some toys that are actually meant for pre-teens (he's 2 1/2)... I have my father to thank for that one! One thing I've found is that there are toys that are specifically "for" 1 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and up... but nothing for 2 year olds (at least there's not in the stores around where I live)! So, really, you can't always go by what it says on the box... especially if they're too advanced for the 1 year old toys, but they aren't yet 3.

[deleted account]

Nope, I completely ignore them and just use common sense. I mean, some of those age limits are sensible but some of them are just ridiculous! My 18 month old son has sooo many toys that are "supposed" to be for children aged 3+

C. - posted on 04/21/2010




I do and I don't. Certain toys, toys that seem a bit dangerous, I wait until the recommended age. Some toys can be a choking hazard or just plain dangerous, and while you may be watching your child, you can't always get to them fast enough. There was one lady on my local news (this was probably when my son was a couple months old) who was in the room with her 2- or 3-year old son and turned around for a minute. She turned back around when she heard blood-curdling screams coming from her child, who had somehow pierced his eye with the toy (it was sticking out of his eye, it wasn't just a poke.) That scared me enough to wait for the recommended age on some things for my son. But, on harmless educational toys, I don't usually wait. If I know my son is capable of figuring it out, I'll get it for him, regardless of whether he is months away from the age or not.

Lyndsay - posted on 04/21/2010




I rarely ever follow them. My son isn't even 3 yet and he's been playing with toys aimed at kids 3+ pretty much from the get-go. That being said, any small toys or toys with moving parts he is not allowed to play with unsupervised as they do pose a choking hazard.

Amanda - posted on 04/21/2010




lol I agree with everyone here pretty much... I pick out toys and let him pick out toys as long as I think he'd get use out of it and use it for the purpose it was made for. He's gonna be three and for the most part I stick within the 3-5 year age groupings. He basically just plays with cars, trains, and whatever disney movie's toys are big at the moment though lol..

[deleted account]

Not really. I do use the age as a guide in re: to if something might be too complicated for them to figure out how to work. My 2 year old has a lot of toys that are for ages 3+ simply for the choking factor since he almost never puts things in his mouth. I did follow the recommendation more (for choking hazards) when my girls were little, but at 8 they still put things in their mouths more than their brother does.....

LaCi - posted on 04/21/2010




I don't follow them. I stay within a range usually, only because its what he'd be able to use. Most of his toys are for 3-5 year olds. He's about to be two, no choking hazards or anything. Once he's 5 he can pick the toys he wants, I don't really care about age labels (if they even have them after 5?) also don't really care about video games ratings, movie ratings, tv ratings, etc.

[deleted account]

I don't. But I do use it as a excuse if I don't want to buy it for them (like really loud and annoying toys) lol

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