LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The holiday shopping season isn’t far off and some toy makers are relying on Minnesota students to try to determine what will be a hit.

The Goddard School’s five Minnesota locations will test nearly two dozen toys.

For the last week, the toys have been on display at The Goddard School in Lakeville.

On Monday, a group of preschoolers tried out four of the toys for the first time.  Students played with two games, a kitchen and food set as well as pieces that could be connected to build objects.

“What they were doing is testing toys.  We got a box full of toys that came to our school that we have distributed, age appropriately, birth all the way up to our pre-K 4 and 5 year olds.  They are going to have the chance to test them and give us their opinions,” said Mary Sue Walker, owner of the Lakeville Goddard School.

Over the next week, the kids will spend hours researching roughly 20 different educational toys for every type of play.

“We have some that are science kits that we get to test out.  There’s some items we can put in our sensory bins,” said Katherine Olson, director of the Lakeville Goddard School.  “They just like the new exploring and all that fun stuff.”

Teachers and staff will observe and rate the toy on interactivity, skill development, creative inspiration, durability and more.

“I think it’s a neat opportunity because, as a parent and someone in early childhood, it’s interesting to see what’s on the shelves.  To be a person that guides that is important because play and toys are part of that early childhood development,” Walker said.

The information gathered will influence the playful options featured on store shelves.  Students are testing current toys and toys that have yet to hit the market.

The preschoolers will also vote on their favorites to determine the Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys.

Some of the toy brands participating in the study include Melissa & Doug, Leap Frog, V-Tech and K’NEX.


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