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Have you ever heard someone remark about an early childhood program--even ours, perhaps---"All the children do there is play"?  At good early childhood programs there is a lot of play---and there should be! 

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Toy Safety
There has been much concern among parents and early care and education professionals regarding toy safety. 
WIth toy recalls happening weekly, anxiety has increased over whether the toys children are playing with are safe.
In 1993, Francis Wardle presented "Criteria for Selecting Toys" in Exchange whick looks at toys from both an educational and safety perspective.  This checklist is still applicable today.
Here are some of the criteria Wardle proposes for consideration:
---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 the child's respect for others?  Does it expose children to diversity in non-stereotypical ways?
---Is the toy durable?  WIll it withstand constant, active use by children; will it last over time; if designed for outside, will it last outside; can it be easily repaired?
---Is the toy versatile?  Can it be used in many ways, can a child impose his meaning on it?
---Is the toy adaptable and progressive?  Can it be used by children in a variety of different developmental levels; can one child use it in progressively more complex ways?
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