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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL ahead of you! You need to make sure they’re made from thick, durable, heavy plastic that’s free from the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA). They should be labeled BPA- free. It’s also important to minimize the risk to children from lead-contaminated or toxic products by buying (or accepting as donations) only those items that meet the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards. Regularly consult the commission’s list of toys that have been recalled, available at /cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html. The manufacturers’ association Toy Safety As- sociation, Inc., also addresses toy safety at Infants and toddlers need to be well supervised at all times, and that also goes for the objects they play with. Check toys frequently. Items that are broken or chipped can pose dangers to young children and should be repaired or thrown out. Toys should be cleaned or sanitized frequently, according to your program’s policies. Elim- inate any toys or objects with strings or cords attached. Water tables and other con- tainers used for water play should be closely supervised; sadly, children can drown in just a few inches of water. Selecting Materials The classroom toys and objects you select should meet the developmental needs of children from birth to age three. In other words, they should provide learning opportunities across the four developmental domains: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. (You’ll learn more about age-appropriate materials when I discuss specific activities and the learning domains they support.) As a responsive caregiver, you want to promote cooperation and sharing among children, so do two things as soon as possible. First, take an inventory of play materi- 4 Activities for Responsive Caregiving COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL