Your Life: School goes straight to source when it comes to toy reviews

Friday, November 18, 2016
VIDEO: Your Life
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Our instinct may be to turn to online toy reviews, but the people reviewing the toys are probably not the ones who will end up playing with them.

They are making their lists and checking them twice. The holiday season is upon us, and finding the right gifts for our little ones may be the most challenging because there are so many options.

In this week's "Your Life," were revealing a way that may help you decide which toys will be a hit, and which will be a bust.

Our instinct may be to turn to online toy reviews, but the people reviewing the toys are probably not the ones who will end up playing with them. The Goddard School didn't think that made much sense.

Action News was there as busy 4- and 5-year-olds were working on a project that will not only help their teachers, but potentially tens of thousands of parents across the country.

"All of our classrooms will be given selected toys, and they'll be able to get down on the ground with their teachers and really explore with them," said Tara Weekley, Assistant Director, Goddard School Skippack.

The Goddard Franchise has 450 schools across the country, but only 50 get selected as a part of its annual Toy Test. Goddard is not paid by any of the toy companies to test their toys.

"If I've learned one thing while I've been here is that kids are brutally honest. They'll tell you what they like and what they don't like," said Brendan Kent, owner, Goddard School Skippack.

Yeti in My Spaghetti is just one of the dozens of toys the little hands get to manipulate for one week during the big experiment.

"Look what happens when it I take this away, it falls down," said Avery Jones, 4-year-old.

"We're going to be sitting with them, asking them questions, and finding out what they like and dislike about it, versus putting it on the shelf, we've got a brand new toy and just walking away from it," said Weekley.

Teachers say while adults may believe the flashier toys are more exciting, kids seem to gravitate toward more simple, traditional toys.

"I saw the memory game today. It's simple, but they were really excited," said Weekley.

And the benefits of the toy test go beyond giving parents an easy reference list for the holidays.

"Research and studies have shown those were the best times for a child to learn is when they are having a good time," said Kent.

And the toy test also benefits a good cause.

"They will buy 100 toys and donate them to Toys for Tots for the holiday season," said Kent.

Top 10 toys that were a big hit among the little ones:

1. Click Clack Ball by The Manhattan Toy Company

2. Sort and Discover Activity Cube by VTech

3. Mirari Pop! Pop! Piano by Play Monster

4. Musical Gator by Alex Brands

5. Newborn Nursery Newborn Baby by Madame Alexander

6. Lauri Tall Stackers by Play Monster

7. Gearation Board by John Deere

8. Puppy Up by Play Monster

9. Yeti in My Spaghetti by Play Monster

10. Hexenkuche (Witches Kitchen) by Beleduc USA, Inc.