Children Pick Best Toy of the Year

RENO, NV -- It can be a nightmare trying to navigate through the toy aisles this time of year. So remove the guesswork; we go straight to the experts. The test was done in October, but the best toy was just announced Wednesday.

Goddard Schools across the nation gathered their six-month-olds to six-year-olds to test toys that range from classics to high-tech. It was like Christmas morning at the Goddard School in Reno.

"I like this because it comes apart," Matthew Wilson, 4, said.

These kids get to play for the day as part of a nationwide test to give parents an insight to Christmas shopping.

"We kind of set them out so the whole classroom is kind of set up with just those toys out at that point in time and you can automatically tell what kids gravitate towards another," Le An Shelton, director of the Goddard School in Reno, said.

Toy manufacturers sent in 10 toys, letting the kids decide first hand which one is the best.

"A lot of the toys that came to us were toys that encouraged problem solving--how do we make this house so that it stands out, how do I form this sand so it will do what I do, those kind of things," she added.

The votes are in and nationwide, the winner this year is Tobbles Neo, which is meant for six-month-olds, but the favorite at the Reno school requires the fuel of an imagination, the Green Toys Rocket

"Given all the electronic stuff that we have, it's still true. Kids want to play with the thing that they can do the most things with," she said.

Those things like building blocks or sand that they can mold will help expand their creativity. Shelton says small children will lose interest with toys that can only be played one way.

"Things that come apart, things that take a long time to build, they're very open ended and you can use them in lots of different ways," Shelton said. It's really basic...things that allow them to be inventive and creative, those are the the things that kids want."

Their expert advice couldn't come at a better time. So before you head out for those Black Friday sales, you'll want to check out the list of the top ten toys voted by students this year.

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