RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming, you are probably thinking about gifts for the kids and we might have some helpful suggestions for you.
In September, CBS North Carolina told you about a local pre-school that was taking part in a national toy test conducted by the Goddard Schools. Now, the results of those tests have been released.
For the kids, playing with toys is just fun. But for their teachers it’s a lot more serious, because they want to make sure the toys are helping youngsters develop.
Two months ago, more than two dozen toys were sent to 50 Goddard schools around the country like the one in Fuquay-Varina and kids were told have fun with those toys.
“They all love new toys,” said Goddard School faculty member Katie Turnstall. “What they don’t know is that they are learning while playing with these toys.”
Turns out, kids “experts” from the Fuquay-Varina school picked seven of the 10 toys that ended up being listed as top 10 choices by the kids around the country.
“We wanted to see how long toys kept kids engaged, if they were interested in the toys, and how much they played with their friends with the toys,” said Turnstall.
Kids at the Goddard schools aren’t the only ones benefiting from the toy test.
Toys for Tots is a winner too, because the school’s parent company GSI, donated 100 units of the Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Set, which was the No. 1-rated toy, to Toys for Tots charities around the country.
Here’s why that restaurant play set scored at the top of the list.
“It uses a lot of emotional play skills, dramatic play and kids love to imagine,” said Turnstall. “Plus they learn things like counting.”
Another of the winners was as coding game called “Let’s Go Code” by Learning Resources.
“That’s a great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) toy,” said Turnstall. “That’s a big push right now,” she said.
Want to know all of the winners?
Here’s a complete list, broken down by the ages appropriate for the toy.
— An earlier version of this story misstated the number of schools involved in the test. A total of 50 schools around the country participated.