Goddard School Preschoolers Approve Top Toys
“3 … 2 … 1!” A rocket ship was launched into the air, with a little manual effort from some preschoolers at The Goddard School on Red Bank Road. In early October, these little ones were busy offering their selective opinions on a handful of toys, as part of the annual The Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. The Red Bank location was one of 38 schools nationwide selected to participate in this year’s Toy Test, and teachers received samples of 20 toys, designed for infants through age 6, chosen by The Goddard School to share with their students. The idea was for teachers to observe not only what attracts children to a particular toy, but also for them to take note of how children use the toy (which, depending on the imagination, may or may not be the toy’s original intent!).
“We see how kids interact with them,” says owner Kate Joseph, explaining that teachers kept track of things like what toy a child reaches for, how long the toy can keep a child’s interest, and whether or not the toy encourages interaction with other children or with a caregiver. For older children, teachers watched to see if the toy worked the way it should, and if it encouraged skills like critical thinking and problem solving. Toys were then voted on, either by the students themselves or the teachers observing, and the results were compiled with those of other schools to create a Top Ten list.
“It’s nice that these are seen as educational toys,” says Joseph, who added that the toys were designed to encourage imaginative play, and pointed out that most of the toys were free of the kind of electric bells and whistles found on many other toys. Of course, the sign of a really good toy — like the Kinetic Sand — was when even the adults couldn’t resist checking it out!
The Goddard School Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toy List includes the following toys (goddardschool.com/toytest):
- Tobbles Neo by Fat Brain Toys (Suggested Age Range: 6+ Months)
- Go Go Friends Lady Bug by Chicco USA, Inc. (Suggested Age Range: 9+ Months)
- Musical Owl by ALEX Toys, LLC (Suggested Age Range: 18+ Months)
- Green Toys Rocket by Green Toys (Suggested Age Range: 2+ Years)
- Tinker Toy 100-Piece Essentials Set by K’NEX (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)
- Squigz: Fun Little Suckers by Fat Brain Toys (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)
- 100-Piece Building Block Set – Hot Colors by Citiblocs (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)
- Super WHY! ABC Letter Game by University Games (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)
- Kinetic Sand by WABA Fun LLC (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)
- Stack Up! by Peaceable Kingdom (Suggested Age Range: 3-5 Years)
These toys were put to public vote from Nov. 1 – 26. The Goddard School then purchased and donated 100 of the winning toys to the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s program, Toys for Tots.