Goddard School kids use their 'creative side' during Preschooler-Approved Toy Test

Goddard School kids got to play with 30 toys this week at the annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test.

Four-year-olds Rowan Bashi and Wesley Chace sat on a multicolored carpet in the Goddard School in Mount Airy, mixing and matching parts of planes, trains and more to create hybrid machines.

One would add wings to a boat — another would add a train’s front to a car.


As they popped on different pieces, they’d roll them around the carpet or through the air before smashing them into the ground or other toys, tearing the creations apart with matching sounds effects.

The Popular Playthings Magnetic Mix or Match Vehicles were just part of about 30 toys Rowan and Wesley, and the rest of the Goddard School kids, got to play with this week at the annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test.

Gina Del Gandio, owner of the school, said Goddard does this toy test every year in 50 of its approximately 500 schools across the country.

“They have chosen about 30 toys to be tested so that the children can interact with them, engage with them and give us their expert opinion on what they feel are the most exciting and fun toys to play with,” Del Gandio said.

Once the kids spend the week playing with the different toys, she said, they will get to vote on the toys and create a wish list for the best items this year.

Del Gandio said while Goddard schools do this every year, it’s the first time the Mount Airy school, which has been open for four years, has had the opportunity to participate.

“They've loved it,” she said.

While it’s fun, it’s also great for the kids because it shows them adults value their opinions, Del Gandio said.

And, she added, all of the toys are educational.

“There is a learning aspect of it. They may not think that there's a learning aspect,” she said, but one of the requirements is that they make sure the kids’ skills sets are growing.

In the preschool-age room, children played with a number of toys, from the Mix or Match Vehicles to BasicFun Lite Bright to the Quercetti Migoga Marble Run.

Over in a younger classroom, with 2- and 3-year-olds, some of the toys included Smartex My First Tractor Set, the Popular Playthings Magnetic Mix or Match Animals and the Manhattan Toy Company Treehouse Stack-Up.

Squeals rang out through the room as children stacked different parts of the tree house game, working to balance it and yelling “uh-oh” when it tumbled to the ground.

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“It's been really fun and exciting,” said Sarah Casey, director of education at the school.


She said each time they test toys and rotate different ones into the classrooms, the kids are excited.

“Their faces — the kids just light right up,” she said.

What’s great about this opportunity is that the children get to be unique and and use their imagination.

“It really inspires them to use their creative side,” she said. “There's no right answer.”