Why I Wish Toy Manufacturers Would Stop Having Ages on Toys

Miriam Gwynne by Miriam Gwynne Additional Needs

Miriam Gwynne

Miriam Gwynne

Full time mum and carer for two truly wonderful autistic twins. I love reading, writing, walking, swimming and encouraging others. Don’t struggle a...

I wish toy manufacturers would stop having age ranges on their toys.

Now I am not talking about health and safety notices such as ‘not suitable for children under 36 months’ as these are clearly a disclaimer warning regarding choking and small pieces which I totally agree with.

What I am talking about is the likes of this specifying the ages of children they think should play with their toy. I hate this so much.

I hate how this makes children feel.

Children understand numbers from a young age and they see these ages and take them to the letter.

I remember my 5 year old wanting a much longed for toy and then breaking her heart when we finally bought it because it stated it was for children aged 2 years to 4 years.

She felt judged and condemned and broken hearted that she was somehow not meant to play with the toy she wanted so much all because of stupid numbers on the box.

Why should any child feel like this?

Then you have children like my son who have global developmental delay and who will always need toys for a much younger age range than his actual age.

While my son is so cognitively delayed at 9 he would not understand what the ages mean some children will.

Children are not stupid and they see packaging on the toys and feel like they are not as good or as clever as their friends because they can only work toys that are much simpler.

This is so wrong and damaging to children’s mental health.

We are making children feel like babies when they are not just because they like something that a manufacturer feels ‘should’ be played with by a certain age of child.

Do these manufacturers even have children?

I hate how these age ranges make parents feel.

On my son’s Christmas and birthday lists are many toys designed for children under 3. He is 9.

While I am long past caring what others think and instead would rather my son was happy it is so hard for family and friends to be in a aisle marked ‘baby’s toys’ when they are shopping for a disabled 9 year old.

It is a slap in the face to parents and families who already know their child is struggling without having to see blatant and unnecessary ages plastered on toy packaging.

Who says happy land can no longer be enjoyed by children beyond 4? Have you looked at the toys? They are sturdy, durable and encourage endless imaginative play.

Since when did imaginative play with little people, houses and cars suddenly end at 4 years old?

What are we telling our young children about play with having such ridiculous age ranges on toys?

Take a look at the skills that this so called ‘baby toy’ teaches.

These are all things my son’s school are working on with him at 9.

Are the manufacturers really saying that after 36 months these skills are all completely mastered in every child and the child will suddenly no longer enjoy playing with their toy?

Could they not have just put ‘6 months plus’ which would be far more appropriate?

Did you know that by 10 your child should suddenly no longer touch playmobil? I mean why?

What are we forcing children to conform and play with things more ‘appropriate’ based on packaging?

Please manufacturers think before you arbitrarily decide on age ranges for your toys. I want my child to be able to make their own mind up about what they enjoy and gain from playing not you.

I want to shop for my child based on what he enjoys and not be made guilty because YOU think a child of three is the oldest child who would enjoy your toys.

Instead of upper age ranges why not simply put ‘aged 6 months plus’. Let children decide for themselves please. They know what they like after all.

From the mother of a 9 year old Bing Bunny lover!


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