The Edmond Sun

October 7, 2013

Goddard School preschoolers cast votes for toys

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Toy manufacturers are gearing up for gift giving time and are developing new toys for children that are not only fun, but help them learn. Everything from Tinker Toys to sand has been changed up to make them more conducive to learning whether it is visual, auditory or kinesthetic learning.

For pre-school children at The Goddard School near Edmond, learning isn’t just about making sure students can recite their ABCs, but it is also about making learning fun.

Last week the pre-school children were trying out new games so the manufacturers could get feedback from the students on which activities they liked the best.

“Toy manufacturers send toys that encourage play and learning,” said Stephanie Wilson, director of The Goddard School, “and this is the sixth year Goddard Systems has done toy tests. Of the 400 Goddard Schools nationwide, our school was one of 38 chosen to test the new toys.”

Toys are being tested for children 6 weeks of age through 6 years of age, and the toy testing goes on for one week.

“Each teacher is given a tally sheet for each toy to complete and then the sheet is submitted to Goddard Systems and the top 10 will be chosen from the 38 participating schools,” Wilson said.

Wilson added that the younger classrooms’ teacher observations are used for the tally sheet, and in the older children’s classrooms teachers observe and question the children as to why they may or may not like a specific toy.

Bright colors, sounds and touch are used to provide tactile stimulation when a child is trying to learn.

“The children are able to play and learn at the same time,” Wilson said.

Traditional Tinker Toys are now in colorful plastic shapes, rubber suction cups make a popping sound in the Squigz game and Kinetic Sand that actually can be formed into all sorts of toy objects as well as poured is available.

Topics the toys will be graded on include: Will the toy engage interest over time; is it fun; does it inspire creativity; does it encourage communication or support collaboration; does it promote interactive, child initiated play and does it support learning and skill development?

The children will then cast their votes and The Goddard School Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys will be announced on Oct. 22, just in time for the holiday season.

For more information, visit www.goddardschool.com/toytest.