Ahead of the holiday season, toymakers are turning to the experts to see how their products hold up.
They're relying on different toy testing committees throughout the country, including several in the Baltimore area.
The toy testing committees are made up of preschoolers.
They had to play with 25 different toys then somehow come up with a favorite. It was a job that the kids at The Goddard School in White Marsh were willing to take on.
The school was one of 50 across the nation selected to participate in the tenth annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test.
The students, from infants to pre-k, were tasked with sampling the different toys for five days and then ranking them. The top 10 were submitted to Goddard Systems, Inc., who will tally the results and release the 10 nationwide favorites.
“I really think it's great, especially going into this holiday season, because lots of parents are always looking for what's the next new thing, the next best thing and everything that we piloted over the past two weeks has been educational. It's been playing with a purpose,” said Krystle Molite, the on-site owner of The Goddard School of White Marsh.
Students tested toys that encouraged playful learning and were engaging and educational.
“This, for example, is cause and effect. The children are working with ramps and slides and things like that. The bead activity in the sensory table, the children were squishing them and measuring them and seeing which weighed more than others, so they were definitely learning while they were playing,” said Claire Rohrs, the director of education at The Goddard School of White Marsh.
The competition was fierce as toymakers vied to become the number one preschooler-approved toy in the nation.
“I think it's just whatever keeps their attention the longest. So, there are some that the children just kind of explore and then walk away from or there are some where they will just sit there for five minutes to 10 to 20 and just will be engaged the entire time and continue playing with it even when it's time to clean-up,” said Rohrs.
The top 10 will be released on November 1 then the list will be put to a nationwide vote. The toy with the most votes will be deemed the official preschooler-approved toy for 2017.
The winner will be announced sometime mid-November.
And Goddard Systems, Inc will donate 100 of that top toy to Toys for Tots, who will then distribute them to kids in need.