Being a Toy Tester isn’t all fun and games

The Goddard School in Cherry Hill is currently waiting to receive the results on Nov. 1 from their first toy testing event.

The Goddard Preschool in Cherry Hill held its first toy testing event two weeks ago and is waiting to receive the results. Various manufacturers reached out to Goddard School systems with toys they were looking to gather feedback on, and the Goddard School in Cherry Hill was selected. Goddard’s corporate office selects only 50 Goddard Preschools out of more than 400 in the country to participate in the toy testing process, so the students and teachers at the Cherry Hill location were thrilled to take part.

After the schools are determined, the toys are categorized by age and distributed to the appropriate classrooms ready to be tested by children. After a week of testing each toy, the kids give feedback to the teachers about which toys they enjoy and eventually vote at the end of the week to pick a winning toy. The kindergarten classes even graph the results and create discussions on why they picked certain toys.

Goddard systems also conducts a Facebook campaign so parents can get involved in the toy testing process. After the toy test takes place, the results go back to Goddard systems and 100 of the winning toys will be purchased for the Toys for Tots organization. The selected Goddard Schools will also be able to keep the toys that were tested during the event.

Each toy is educational in nature, helping to build fundamental skills. All toys sent for the testing process are based off an educational approach to learning called, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Children are encouraged to use these core concepts in a fun and creative way.

“The toys that tend to be most gripping for the children are toys that spark the imagination and allow them to interact with one another, allow them to have cooperative play, those types of things,” Director Elisabeth Simon said.

The kids were observed in their classrooms playing with one of their designated tester toys, Farm Alarm, a game centered on memorizing cards in sequential order. It was a popular toy with Goddard’s kindergarten class. The children were not only engaged in Farm Alarm, but the feedback from the toy testers was positive,

“I like it because I always get the memory of it,” kindergartener Isla said.

Although toy testing is an enjoyable experience for the kids, it isn’t all fun and games; it is also difficult and somewhat stressful. When asked if being a toy tester was hard, Goddard’s kindergarten class children unanimously responded with, “Yes.”

Some of the toy testers explained why being a toy tester was difficult and the pressures they experience when attempting to pick the correct toy.

“It’s lot of hard work because a hard part about being a toy tester is when you don’t get it right,” Jack, one of the kindergartens at Goddard School, added.

The results for the preschooler-approved top 10 toys will be announced Nov. 1 and can also be found on the Goddard School Cherry Hill Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GoddardSchoolCherryHillNJ/.