YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Students at The Goddard School in Yorktown Heights are joining tots nationwide as toy testers for preschool playthings.
Children from infants to six years old are playing with interactive toys while teachers observe and document how the toys rate based on various criteria.
Among the areas judged will be,
- Child-initiated play
- Skill development
- Creative inspiration
- Playful learning
The preschoolers are in the midst of casting their votes to determine the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys, which will be announced just in time for the holidays on Nov. 1.
Educational director and Yorktown Goddard owner Annette Cunha said she's owned the school at 62 Triangle Center for 14 months and this is the first year they are a test center.
"The children were excited to see new play things being brought into the classroom, and couldn't wait to get started using them. The toys were introduced to the class during 'center time,' Cunha said. “The children rotated stations every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.”
Participating notable toy brands include V-Tech, Leap Frog, Play Monster, Manhattan Toy Company, and many more.
"Depending on the age group, children are drawn to the toys based on shape and size, textures, bright colors, and toys that light up," Cunha said. "The toys we received ranged from basic items such as board games to new high tech electronic toys for all ages."
Each year, early childhood education experts from The Goddard School Toy Test Committee review dozens of applications from toy manufacturers across the globe. The 25 toys that scored the highest in the evaluation process are the ones being tested by children.
The program is now in its ninth year.
Some of last year's top toys were,
- Whoozit Space Blankie by The Manhattan Toy Company (0+ months)
- Rolligo by Fat Brain Toys (12+ months)
- ModMobiles (Set A) by Fat Brain Toys (2+ years)
- Doctor On Call by Hape Toys (3+ years)
- 16-in-1 Space Fighter Building Set by Laser Pegs (5+ years)
"Fun and educational experiences that help children expand their critical thinking skills and flex their imaginations, as demonstrated in the Toy Test, prime children for success later in life," said Dr. Craig Bach, GSI's Vice President of Education. "From classic toys to new products on the market that encourage STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), our children have the opportunity to play with incredible toys that support learning through play."
The toys are chosen by popular vote, and 100 of each are then donated to Toys for Tots, a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
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