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The Dangers of Playing with Toys

Playing was good for your child’s health and development. Well, not anymore, and especially not if they are playing with the hundreds of mass-produced, foreign-made toys that can actually be detrimental to a child’s physical well being. Small, removable parts and toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing process had lead to some recent high-profile toy recalls—at least two recalls in the last two weeks.

The health and safety guidelines of toy manufacturing aside, the popularity of these foreign-made, cheaply produced types of toys is a larger issue. The fact that these toys are so popular means that there is demand—that these toys are in homes across the globe. And that’s concerning because the more intricate and detailed the toy, the less imagination is required to play with it. All the various small parts and add-ons, extra bits and support toys mean that every possibility and variable for play is thought of. Sure, it’s a great merchandising tactic, but it creates a scenario where children are less mentally active during playtime—and that’s a dangerous habit to fall into during the childhood years where play makes up a large part of a child’s mental development.

There are several grassroots movements supporting a return to simpler, homemade toys that are not only well made and durable, but also local and toxin-free. They promote the type of toys that are meant to support a child’s imagination process, not replace it.

If you are looking for a virtually free, non-toxic, recyclable, toy that is easy to access and provides hours of imagination-filled play that stimulates and promotes cognitive development there is always the old favorites—the cardboard box, the backyard, playground equipment.

The only toys that children need are those that run on brainpower, not battery power.

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