The Toy Association Shares Media Literacy Tips with Parents

toy-safety-awareness-monthNovember 15, 2022 | As part of Toy Safety Awareness Month this November, The Toy Association is sharing media literacy tips that will help parents raise media-savvy kids in the digital age.

“As a partner in ensuring the safety of children at play — whether they are playing offline or in online environments — The Toy Association is committed to helping families understand how media consumption impacts kids’ lives and how they can learn to safely navigate everything from social media to online ads, scams, and more,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association.

As a member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), The Toy Association is sharing the following tips from NAMLE’s guide, “Building Healthy Relationships with Media: A Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy.”

  • Encourage Critical Thinking: Teaching children to ask questions about the world around them — and the online worlds they are participating in — sets kids up for success. NAMLE encourages parents to ask questions like, “Why was this made?” “Who made it?” “What is missing?” and “Who might benefit/be harmed by this message?” as a jumping off point for productive conversations about digital media.
  • Fake News: With the amount of unverified information circulating online, children are bound to encounter unreliable “news” that they believe to be true. Parents should encourage their children to question everything they hear, read, or see online by asking them to consider what site they saw it on and to check if other outlets are reporting it, too. Sitting down together to do a bit of research to uncover the truth is always a good idea.
  • Understanding Ads: Children need to understand that commercials are there to sell a product or service. The goal of any commercial is to make whatever item look enticing. Children should be encouraged to ask themselves if they believe the commercial is an accurate representation of what it will be like to own the product. Advise children to check online reviews before deciding if they’d like to spend their hard-earned allowance on an item.
  • Scams: Kids won’t immediately understand when an offer appears “too good to be true.” Shining a light on the fact that certain ads could be scams — especially if they are offering something of great value in exchange for personal information — will teach them to be curious and skeptical about everything they encounter online. Underscoring the fact that personal data could be sold, or that a criminal could be trying to hack into your computer, drives home the point that not all online content is created equal.

The Toy Association’s is a year-round resource for parents and caregivers looking for reliable toy and play safety advice. Follow The Toy Association on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to share play safety posts throughout November in honor of Toy Safety Awareness Month and spread the word using #ToySafetyAwarenessMonth and #PlaySafe.