Finding Inexpensive Toys for a Child Care Program

waffle blocks

All child care providers should offer children a variety of age-appropriate learning activities that help them practice important skills. But you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on expensive toys to provide valuable chances for children to learn. Many of the best play and learning materials are free or inexpensive.

As you consider these suggestions, the most important thing to remember is that the toys must be age-appropriate for the children you are caring for. If you are a …

Age-Appropriate Toy Ideas for Child Care

Choosing the best toys for children of different ages is one of the most important jobs of a child care provider. Matching toys to children’s age, ability, interests, and developmental goals requires careful thought and planning.

Even though children have different abilities and preferences, there are some classic toys that most groups of young children enjoy at different ages. The following ideas may help you get started choosing toys for different age groups. Remember that these lists are just a …

Toy Safety in Child Care



Toy dinosaur

Toys are an important part of children’s learning in child care, but providers need to choose carefully to keep children safe. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates, in one year, 150,000 toy-related injuries were serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment. Falls are the most frequent kind of accident, but many serious injuries result from children swallowing small parts, placing tiny toys in noses or ears, and from cutting themselves on sharp edges. The following suggestions can

Toys and Materials in Child Care

Shelf of toys

When picking out toys and materials for your child care program, there are some things to remember. The best toys are ones that help children play and learn in many different ways. Toys that have only one way to be used typically don’t hold children’s interest.

  • Make a list of toys that you have. Make a wish list too. Often it works better to buy or acquire materials and equipment gradually than to go out and purchase everything at once.

Things to Consider when Choosing Toys and Materials for Child Care

Snap lock beads

Choosing appropriate toys and materials is an important part of the child care provider’s job. There’s no one right toy for all ages. To decide on the best toys for a specific child care program or classroom, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How old are the children? Infants just learning to crawl need very different toys than active preschoolers or curious school-age children.
  • What are the children most interested in right now? Young toddlers who are developing motor skills may

Three "Bs" in Child Care: Blocks, Balls, and Books

book center with loft

Some of the best toys for kids have been around for a long time. Blocks, balls, and books are simple, durable, and fun and can help children build skills. They can also be enjoyed by kids of all ages. These should be staples in every child care program.

About Blocks

Blocks are good toys, because children of different ages can use them in different ways. Infants like to carry them around and dump them into and out of containers. Toddlers …