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Criteria for Selecting Toys

by Francis Wardle, PhD
November/December 1993
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/criteria-for-selecting-toys/5009443/

Criteria for Selecting Toys
by Francis Wardle, PhD

Wise selection of toys is critical to maximize resources, for safety reasons, and because young children learn a great deal from playing with toys.

Meets Criteria . . .

Yes No

___ _ Does the toy have high initial interest?
Initial interest is created by novelty, attractive physical characteristics (color, shiny, frilly, strange noises, etc.), and interest to the child (matches his likes, his friends have one, he saw it on TV).

___ _ Does the toy have high prolonged interest?
Everyone knows the story about the attractive Christmas gift that was eventually ignored by the children for the box it came in. The box had high prolonged interest. Toys that have high prolonged interest lend themselves to many uses and to children's creativity. Examples are blocks, crayons, balls, Duplos, dolls.

___ _ Can the toy be used with minimal adult supervision?
Toys should not use adult rules, need constant attention to solve conflicts, or close adult supervision to prevent misuse or breakage.

___ _ Does the toy strengthen self-concept?
Dolls that reflect the child's cultural and physical characteristics are a good example. Can the child positively identify with the toy?

___ _ Does the toy strengthen the child's respect for others?
Does it expose children to diversity in non-stereotypical ways?

___ _ Does the toy foster ...

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