Last week, Archie and I were wandering around the fun part of 3rd Street in LA (near La Cienega), and we happened across a few kidcentric stores. In the first one, I found this toy ice cream truck. “Adorable!” I thought. Ice cream, orange color, what could be better? Made in Vermont by Maple Landmark Woodcraft, this ice cream truck is part of a line that also features trains, tractors, pizza delivery cars, trolleys, and more.
But then I noticed… “2+” read the packaging. Now I’ve done my research, and I know you’re supposed to stick to age appropriate toys or else you risk frustrating your child if they can’t take advantage of the toy’s full feature, or worse, the toy could pose a safety hazard.
But there I was looking at the cute little ice cream truck thinking “So what. What could really happen to Archie? This toy is adorable.” And right then I threw caution to the wind and purchased a 2 year+ toy for my five month old baby.
Five minutes later and I’m in the next store eyeing these Soopsori wooden cars. “Cute!” I think. “Wouldn’t Archie love a little fleet of cars?” Same problem with the age limit, but whatever. I’ve moved beyond age limits. I buy the car.
However, once we’re back home on the play mat, this ice cream truck that was so inviting in the store begins to take on a new light. “Those are sharp edges,” I think. “If he puts this toy car in his mouth, he could poke himself. And what about all this rolling around and toppling back from a sitting position he’s been doing? I wouldn’t want him to hit his head on those edges.” For all my bravado in the store, now I’m nervous. The ice cream truck immediately becomes a gift for our two year old goddaughter (sorry for the regifting, but he didn’t even play with it, promise!).
The Soopsori car however, stays and has found a welcome home on the play mat. It’s basically cornerless, with an oval shape and sanded down edges. And while Archie might not be zooming it around the play mat quite yet, it’s not transformed into the source of frustration I was warned it could become, and he does enjoy examining the holes in the center or messing with the wheels.
So what lesson did I learn here? Are age recommendations useful? Useless? My experiences cancel each other out and I walk away none the wiser.
Winner: Ice cream trucks for all two year olds and Soopsori cars for all babies!