Top 10 learning toys for kids: Children test new toys for fun, interactivity, skill development

Kids at the Goddard School in Canton, Mich., tested some hot new toys so parents could figure out which ones children like the best. This location is one of 38 learning centers nationwide that took part in the test.

Toy companies can submit their nominations and then send toys to each learning center for kids to check out.

Kids, toddlers and babies have five days to play with the toys. During that time period, teachers observe and record which toys kids like the best.

Judging is based on how toys encourage interactive play, support learning and skill development and inspire creativity.

Our sister station in Detroit, WXYZ-TV, was there to witness some of the testing.

Some of the toy brands participating in this year's test include ALEX Toys, B Kids, Chicco, Citiblocs, Faber-Castell/Creativity for Kids, Fat Brain Toys, Green Toys, International Playthings, Kidz Delight, K'NEX, Manhattan Toy, Peaceable Kingdom, Popar Toys, University Games and WABA Fun.

Four-year old Elanor played with Kinetic Sand. It looks like sand but acts more like play-dough and squishes like slime without the mess. It's one of 30-plus toys kids poured over.

They also took a few toys for a spin, like a stack-up board game that challenges the kids' strategic thinking.

And some kids popped things into place with brightly colored Squigz. They have suction cups that create endless sticky situations.

Amid all the playtime, teachers wrote down which toys took off like a rocket ship with the kids.

"I think the building games at this age do rank rather high," said Kristen Swierb, a preschool teacher at the Goddard School.

It's not just the adults making the decisions. The kids have a voice too. They pick which toy they like and they stuff a ballot box.

It's all about finding toys that will be fun in the classroom and help educate the children at the same time.

Some toys missed the mark, but others were a big hit. Squigz stuck to the list.

Tinker Toys by K'NEX kept the children's interest as their connected concoctions took on lives of their own.

Also landing on the list is the Green Toys Rocket.  It's put together with 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs.

Colorful blocks by Citiblocs really scored well, too.

Also making the top 10? That Kinetic Sand that Elanor enjoyed baking her cakes with.

Below are the top 10 toys that scored the highest for education and playtime.

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THE 10 PRESCHOOLER-APPROVED TOY LIST

- Tobbles Neo by Fat Brain Toys (Suggested Age Range: 6+ Months)

- Go Go Friends Lady Bug by Chicco USA, Inc. (Suggested Age Range: 9+ Months)

- Musical Owl by ALEX Toys, LLC (Suggested Age Range: 18+ Months)

- Green Toys Rocket by Green Toys (Suggested Age Range: 2+ Years)

- Tinker Toy 100-Piece Essentials Set by K'NEX (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)

- Squigz: Fun Little Suckers by Fat Brain Toys (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)

- 100-Piece Building Block Set - Hot Colors by Citiblocs(Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)

- Super WHY! ABC Letter Game by University Games (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)

- Kinetic Sand by WABA Fun LLC (Suggested Age Range: 3+ Years)

- Stack Up! by Peaceable Kingdom (Suggested Age Range: 3-5 Years)

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