Choosing a Wooden Toy - Advice for Parents in the UK

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There are endless varieties of wooden toys available for you to choose for your children. Perhaps the two most significant factors parents usually consider first are quality and cost. However, there is a third point which is equally important. That is the issue of safety.

Here are some of the areas to think about as you select a toy for your child:

Safety and Durability
Sharp edges are a definite no go for toys. Toys should be of sturdy construction and able to withstand active play, but should not have any sharp corners or edges on which the child can come to harm. Also, toxic paints should not be used in toys. Finally, parts should be firmly fastened together and easy to clean.

Age-Appropriateness and Versatility
Toys should stimulate your child and retain their interest as they grow and develop. Toys that are compatible with other toys and accessories, or sets which can be added to later on, provide added value and versatility.

Educational Value
Toys that help in learning skills while your child is having fun are ideal. For example, blocks encourage creative play. When your child is using them to build, this also assists your child in understanding colours, shapes, sizes, number, and number ordering.

Small Pieces
If your child is under 3 years old, you should not allow them to play with toys that contain pieces small enough to put inside his or her mouth. In effect, such toys are a choking hazard.

Discouraging Aggressive Play
Some children will tend to play aggressively with whatever toys they possess. In order to reduce the chances of injury and physical harm for such children, toys that are replicas of real weapons, or include darts or arrows should not be given to them.

Toys with Guaranteed Quality and Safety
Parents should look for toys with approved safety ratings by trusted institutes. These include EN71 (European Standard for Toy Safety Requirements) and the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

If you take the above factors into consideration when selecting UK wooden toys [] you wish to give them, you be giving your child enjoyment and learning in the safest way possible.
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