By Margarita Nahapetyan
The National Parenting Center, a nonprofit California-based center, has released its 19th annual list of toy products in a Seal of Approval Report. The list includes the top choices for toys with affordable prices and aimed for all age groups.
Parents always want to have much more information when it comes to choosing toys for their kids, said David Katzner, president of The National Parenting Center of California. He also added that it has been twenty years since the Center has started testing toys with many parents and putting together their seal of approval guide.
The toys that are listed in the report include games that are suitable for the entire family, as well as dolls, cars with remote control operation, bicycles and toys for toddler kids. The complete list includes more than seventy products. The toys, books, games, parenting helpers and web sites are rated based on their desirability, sturdiness, interactive stimulation and many other factors. The products are not being evaluated for safety.
"We go through a two-month testing process that involves both parents and children," Mr. Katzner said. The Center has three testing locations all across the United States and each time the resting is being performed the sites change, the expert explained. Mr. Katzner also said that the process of testing procedure looks more like a large play date rather than a sterile testing environment. The experts first attend all the toys shows and exhibitions where they make the choice for their favorite picks. After that they present the parents with these products for the further testing.
At each testing location, there are usually approximately five hundred parents and their children who are offered to test the toys. "It is great to see them gravitate towards one toy or another and get their feedback," Mr. Katzner said. "And we want to bring that to parents everywhere to help them make good choices for their children," he added. According to one independent survey that has been carried out lately, 60 per cent of mothers reported to rely on awards like the Seal of Approval when making final purchase decisions for their children, Mr. Katzner said.
Seal of approval reports are generally released in the springtime, autumn and holiday time in order to give parents the opportunity to have some new ideas about new toys. And what is more, the Center does not necesserily pick the most 'popular' toys that are on the market at a certain time, their goal is just to have a wide variety of good toys in each report.
On this year's list, some of the top picked toy products include the Triton bicycle that can be used by both children and their parents. The retail price of the bike is $349.00 and is made by ASA Products. Making the list are also several items by Playmobil, including a pyramid and expedition ship, the Sand & Water Transportation Station by Step 2, and a book called "The Moose with Loose Poops," which is supposed to help children though bouts of upset stomach.
Mr. Katzner also recommends the RC Cyber Ray toy that retails at $79.99 and is made by SwimWays. According to the report, this is a great boat, operated by remote control, and can even go under water. Another toy that is retaed among the best is the Wii Family Game Night which is made by Hasbro and retails at $29.99. "We actually worked with Hasbro to create this game for the Wii," Mr. Katzner said. "We are huge fans of the Wii and bringing these classic family games to life is another way to combine active play with computer games."