EDMOND — Playtime was serious business for some preschoolers in Edmond recently.
The Goddard School at 17440 N Western Ave. was one of 38 chosen from 400 schools nationwide to participate in the 2013 Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test.
The test, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, engaged children from infants to 6 years old to play with interactive toys.
“The children have the opportunity to try different age-appropriate toys, and the teachers ... do a survey with the class afterward and find out from the children which toys they liked the most and why,” Stefanie Wilson, owner of the local school, said in describing the test.
The results are tabulated and sent to be included with those from 37 other Goddard system schools. Those results are used to rank the top 10 toys, she said.
Teachers were asked to observe and document how the toys rated among the selection criteria. Judging was based on how the toys encourage interactive play, support learning skill development and inspire creativity, among other criteria.
In The Goddard School's Rainforest Room, teacher Kayla Eleby, or “Miss Kayla” as the 4-year-olds in her class affectionately call her, had tables set up with four toy stations for the children to choose from, including Kinetic Sand, Tinker Toys, CitiBlocs, Squigz and Eric Carle's ABC board game.
Eleby allowed her students to choose their favorite to begin. After 15 minute-intervals, they were encouraged to switch and try a new toy.
Participating toy brands included ALEX Toys, B Kids, Chicco, Citiblocs, Faber-Castell/Creativity for Kids, Fat Brain Toys, Green Toys, International Playthings, Kidz Delight, K'Nex, Manhattan Toy, Peaceable Kingdom, Popar Toys, University Games and WABA Fun.
The preschoolers had a wide range of opinions, but it seemed that the Kinetic Sand, Tinker Toys and CitiBlocs were favorites.
Quincy, 4, told The Oklahoman, “My favorite toy was the Tinker Toys, but the sand was cool, too!”
Classmate Nate, 4, however, said, “I don't like the sand. I like the blocks.”
Using the information
After the children's preferences are tabulated, the results will be announced Oct. 22. The information will be used by companies for marketing purposes, by The Goddard School to incorporate into its interactive and educational playtime curriculum, and potentially by parents to make holiday gift decisions.
“Trying new things is very exciting for the children,” Wilson said. “Also, the Toy Test is a great opportunity for them to play with new sensory stimulating and educational toys.”