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Critical Examination Of A Children's Toy In Terms Of Safety

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Introduction

In this assignment I will be critiquing a children’s toy called baby clementoni-baby activity table, by analyzing many different areas of the toy such as hygiene, durability, assembly etc. As well as the way it will help to develop the holistic development of the child. I will do this by first doing a toy safety checklist. This is the criteria by which the toy will be assessed. The toy safety checklist is just a quick overview of the toy’s safety and suitability for the child. I will then do a detailed assessment of the item. In this I will be using the points used in the checklist and explaining my comments in more detail. I will do a reflection of the role of the adult. In this I will discuss what the role of the adult is and how they are involved in the toy. I will then do an evaluation. In the evaluation I will discuss what I intended to do, and did I complete this task and what changes I would make in the future. I will do my conclusion next. In the conclusion I will sum up the main points I have researched and if I learned anything new. I will then do some recommendations. In the recommendations I will discuss whether the chosen toy should be modified I will do my personal learning. I will discuss what I learned and if I have improved my prior knowledge.

Assembly

The toy does require some assembly but not much. The top of the table just needs to be slotted onto the legs, so it doesn’t require many skills or time to do so. Once assembled the adult must check that the table is sturdy. Value for money This toy was very good value for money. The toy was bought in Tesco for €26. 00 on sale. The original price was €52. 00 meaning that you save €26. 00 on the toy. The toy would not have been value for money at the original price. Suitable age recommendation The toy is suitable from ages 10 months to 36 months. I think this is a good age for the toy because it will help with their holistic development and if they were any older it would be too small for them. Sharp edges The tog does not have any sharp edges. All the edges are rounded. This makes the toy more suitable for younger children. Hinge points This toy has no hinge points making it safer for younger children to use as their fingers won’t be able to get caught on anything. Cords and strings This toy does not have any cords or strings attached. This make the toy safer for younger children to use as the cords/strings could wrap around the child’s finger/neck and they could get seriously injured. Suitable for both genders This toy is not marketed for any gender meaning it’s suitable for both genders. Suitable for holistic development Physical development- this toy helps to develop the child’s physical development. It helps to develop their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the movements of the small muscles of the fingers and hands.

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According to Flood and Hardy creative and construction play are both particularly beneficial in this area (2013: 92). This toy has different characters and blocks that the child will have to move around and create things with which will help develop different grips such as the palmer grip. It will also help to develop their gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are those movements of the large muscles of the legs, and arms. The child will have to move around the table and stand up to use it. Using the toy will help them to develop these muscles. Intellectual development- this toy will help to develop the child’s intellectual development. It helps to develop the child’s visual motor skills. Visual-motor skills is the ability to coordinate the movements of the eyes and hands to manipulate objects effectively. (Matthews: 2018) This toy will help to develop this as the pieces are building blocks, so they must be put on the table properly which will need coordination. According to Flood and Hardy through construction play, children can practice reasoning and problem- solving skills. (2013: 93). This toy will help to develop these skills because the child will have to build things with the blocks such as towns and houses for the little characters which will help them to practice reasoning as the child will have to think in a logical way and understand what they are making and if it will work out. Linguistic development- this toy will help to develop the child’s linguistic development. It will help to develop their receptive language. Receptive language is our ability to understand spoken language when we hear it.

According to Flood and Hardy adults can promote language development by suggesting new vocabulary while children are playing. (2013: 93). This toy will help to develop this as the parents might talk to the child about the different characters and what they are making giving them new vocabulary and the child will start to understand what it means as they will be hearing it repeatedly. Social development- this toy will help to develop the child’s social development. It will help to develop their sharing skills. Sharing is knowing how to ask to use the materials that belong to another. According to Flood and Hardy creative play often requires children to share materials and equipment, thus teaching them to request things and wait for them if they are immediately available. (2013: 94) This toy will help to develop this as there is many different pieces included in it that the child may have to share with other child/children and they may need to wait for the child to be finished with the different pieces etc.

Reflection on the Role of the Adult

The role of the adults in relation to all toys is very important. The adult has many roles in relation to the toy. The main role of the adult is to support the child in a child led approach to learning through play. The adult needs to let the child to follow their own play urges. According to Flood and Hardy if children are engaged in self-guided free play they will naturally play in accordance with their stage of development. (2013: 99). The adult shouldn’t force an object onto the child instead they should let the child find the object that they want to play with themselves that suits their developmental needs. The child will learn at their own pace through the toys that they play with. The adult must provide the child with the right time and space to use the toy for them to get the full effect of the use of the toy to their holistic development.

According to Flood and Hardy Piaget saw the child as a ‘lone scientist’ and a discovery learner. (2013: 99) The child needs time to get familiar with the toy and figure it out on their own, they need to be able to learn how to use it without the adult butting in. The adult can supply the child with this time and the space by leaving the child by themselves with the toy and just sit and watch for support. Another role the adult has is to encourage the child to share experience, ideas and feelings about the toy. The adult should give the child the vocabulary as they are only between the age of 2-3 and the time to share how they feel about the toy and how they could play with it. They should allow the child to use their imagination and creativity when playing with the toy.

Evaluation

In this assignment I intended to critique a child’s toy by analyzing many different areas of the toy such as hygiene etc. As well as the way it will help with the holistic development of the child and the adult’s role in this process. I completed what I set out to achieve by doing a toy safety check list and a detailed assessment of the toy. In this I researched and studied many areas of the toy to see if it was a toy that was safe and worth the price and if it would benefit the child’s holistic development at all. I wrote about toy safety marks, the assembly, the durability, if it had sharp edges or cords, if it was suitable for both genders and if it in any way helped the holistic development of the child. The holistic development of the child was most important as a toy should really help a child grow and learn. A toy should teacher a child how to do things like use their muscles and their brain, how to deal with their emotions and how-to behave in society. It is important these are taught at a young age through toys. I researched the role of the adult and how the adult can help the child learn by supplying them with a toy and time to play with the toy. As well as the importance of a child led approach of learning through play. If I were to do this assignment again, I would choose a different age group to do. I would do a toy for an older child between 4 and 5 as there would be different things that I could write about in it to do with their holistic development.

Conclusion

In conclusion the toy is safe and suitable for children as it is hygienic and can be cleaned easily, it is made from durable and strong materials, it has no sharp edges on it, it has no strings or cords attached to it, it has no hinge points on it, it has a suitable age recommendation of 10-36 months and it helps to develop the holistic developments of the child including physical development, intellectual development, linguistic development and social development.

Recommendations

I think that this toy could be improved in many ways including making it easier to store. This could be done by making the legs adjustable, so they can be made small to store away. This would also be good because you can make it bigger or smaller depending on the height of the child or even if they can’t stand due to medical reasons making it accessible for more children to use. It will also help to develop their gross motor skills as it will encourage them to stand up and use their legs/arms. It would also be good if you could buy add-on packs to go with it with different characters and animals, so the children could use their imagination more and this would also help them to extend their learning with new vocabulary and new emotions which will help to develop their intellectual, emotional and linguistic development.

Personal learning

By doing this assignment I learned about a lot of new things about toys and children’s development that I didn’t know before including different types of toy safety marks such as the lion mark and why they are on the toy/toy packaging. I learned about the holistic development of the child through physical development like gross motor skills, intellectual development like visual motor skills, linguistic development such as receptive language emotional and social development such as sharing and taking turns and how toy helps to develop these areas. I also learned the importance of the role of the adult in relation to the toy. I learned how the adult should support the child in a child led approach to learning through play and the importance of toys in a child’s learning.

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