Toddlers are happy exploring and discovering at their own pace. Do not force your child into tightly structured kinds of play. Likewise, when introducing a new toy, let your toddler take his time getting used to it before you suggest a new game or activity.
Although your child may play near other children, do not expect your toddler to share and play cooperatively. Toddlers tend to be self-absorbed. If your child is playing among a group of children, provide plenty of play materials so cooperation does not become a problem. Your toddler may become quite attached to a favorite toy and carry it around just about everywhere.
Toddlers are avid explorers. They investigate everything with wide-eyed curiosity; they continually experiment to discover how a toy is made and what happens when it is thrown. For these reasons, toys for this stage of childhood should be especially able to withstand hearty play.
Keep uninflated balloons out of reach and throw away all broken balloons. More children have suffocated on uninflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons than on any other type of toy.
Look for toy recalls posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) homepage, http://www.CPSC.gov; toll free number 1-800-638-2772. You can search by toy description and manufacturer. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) provides good information on toy safety at http://www.toysafety.net.