A model vehicle or toy vehicle is a miniature representation of an automobile. Other miniature motor vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or even ATVs, etc. are often included in the general category of model cars. Because many miniature vehicles were originally aimed at children as playthings, there is no precise difference between a model car and a toy car, yet the word 'model' implies either assembly required or some attempt at accurate rendering of an actual vehicle at smaller scale.A car is a vehicle that has wheels, carries a small number of passengers, and is moved by an engine or a motor. Cars are also called automobiles or motor vehicles. Trucks and buses are motor vehicles as well. However, trucks and buses are larger than cars, and they carry heavier loads.
Many toys have age-range information on their packaging. This can be useful, but in terms of play, it’s only a guide. Your child’s interests and stage of development will probably give you a better sense of what to choose. Age-range information can be important for safety, however – for example, when toys contain small parts that could be swallowed by a baby. In these cases, it’s wise to follow the recommended age-range information.
For your baby, the best ‘toy’ and play partner is you, a carer or other close family member. Your baby will delight in watching your face, listening to your voice and simply being with you. She’ll also enjoy looking at a brightly coloured mobile, listening to a wind-up musical toy or learning to reach for a rattle. When your baby can sit up, she might also like things she can bang – a wooden spoon to bang on a pot is every bit as much fun as a purpose-built toy.
Toddlers love to play with boxes, and often find the wrapping a present comes in more fun than the present itself. Other good choices for toddlers include construction toys (for example, Duplo) and clothing for dress-ups.
Older children often like to solve problems and use their imagination. Puzzles or games that get your child playing with others are also good choices.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Stuffed toys should be washable.
- Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
- Art materials should say nontoxic.
- Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Steer clear of older toys, even hand-me-downs from friends and family. Those toys might have sentimental value and are certainly cost-effective, but they may not meet current safety standards and may be so worn from play that they can break and become hazardous.
And make sure a toy isn't too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys, and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn - even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears - and can contribute to hearing damage.