The Toy Story: Goddard School preschoolers become toy testers


These tots are toy-testing. The Goddard School ran a Preschooler-Approved Toy Test from Sept. 24 through Sept. 28 across 49 of its facilities around the country, including its Leander location. 

The Goddard School corporate office selects manufacturers all over the nation to test the most educationally-based toys. The manufacturers sent the Goddard School in Leander 29 toys for the testing. This round of toys are integral in building science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) skills while provided a fun game or concept to children. Some choices were special throwbacks like Light Brite, Tinker Toys, while others were only just manufactured like Rock the Boat, an object-balancing game.

Local owners Alissa Harritt and Carol Lynch were excited to be a part of the testing and loved the positive impact it had on its 150 enrolled preschoolers.

“With these toys, the children were able to get to use those higher-level thinking skills: not only working on critical thinking and using their creativity, but also communication and even the voting process, which is so important right now,” said Harritt. “Every classroom had a variety of age-appropriate toys to test and then evaluate throughout the week. Students were able to vote on their favorite two toys and the top ten toy results will arrive just in time for the holiday season.”

“I enjoy hearing the kids talking to their parents about their day as they’re picking them up,” added Lynch. “Just the excitement in their voices as they talk about the toys and what they learned each day is fun for me.”

Now in its 11th year, The 2018 Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test engages children from infants to six years old to play with interactive toys during the week of Sept. 24 while teachers observe and document how the toy rates among the judging criteria including interactivity, skill development, creative inspiration and more. The preschoolers then casted their votes to determine the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys, which will be announced on Nov. 1.

“I love having children engaged in their own education and seeing where they can take it and how far the teachers can take them,” said Harritt. “Talking to the teachers about how they’re going to teach the toys and how they’re going to introduce them to the children is really neat to see too. Also, with the voting piece, they’re getting such a well-rounded view of how their community works while getting to have fun. It really puts it on their level and teaches them something that’s relatable to them.” 

Participating notable toy brands included V-Tech, Leap Frog, Manhattan Toy Company, Popular Playthings and many more. 

Leander Chamber of Commerce President Bridget Brandt and Leander City Council Member Christine Sederquist both visited the school to read books to the preschoolers about voting and cast their votes for their favorite toys. 

“I thought connecting with these members of the community was really great because everyone had a great time putting this all together,” added Harritt. “We have a great community here in Leander and it was great that we had this opportunity to be a part of this.”