Here is a quick, basic disclaimer regarding items suggested for play on this blog...
Please use these activities in a responsible way. Always take time to educate children on use of all products included in the activity bags.
Plastic bags never go over face or head.
Rubber bands and yarn never get wrapped tightly around fingers, wrists or toes.
Small items, like beads, never go into the mouth ears or nose.
...There you go. *wink*
Every child is different. Knowing my own kids, I know that I can trust my 2 year old with small parts because he does not put things in his mouth anymore. And I know I can let my 4 year old play with less supervision because he is responsible for his age. But I also know some 4 year olds that you can't take your eye off of and some 2 year olds that are tactile learners and still love to put things in weird parts of their body!
Some of the Busy Bags we'll be posting this next week include items like a fabric tape measure and nuts & bolts. There are some parents who try to hide many small, household items from their children but what happens when the child finds a tape measure at Grandpa's house -- if they weren't taught how to correctly use it, there's a much greater chance of slicing a finger!! Plus, once you get to the 2nd and 3rd+ children, it's hard to keep small items out of reach. (Hot Wheels or Barbie shoes, anyone??)
My view is: I would rather allow my kids to play with small parts in a 'controlled environment' so I can educate them on appropriate use; making it less likely that they'll end up with a bead up their nose or eating magnets. The first time my toddler reached for his big brother's scissors, I froze, then swallowed back my fear and taught him how to correctly hold and carry scissors...and then put them away quickly. *wink*
By providing time to play with various Busy Bag activities, you are fostering a positive learning environment that will result in smart play and, hopefully, less ER trips. Thank you for playing with your preschooler!