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THE 10TH ANNUAL GODDARD SCHOOL PRESCHOOLER-APPROVED TOY TEST NAMES MELISSA & DOUG® STAR DINER RESTAURANT PLAY SET AS THE WINNING EDUCATIONAL TOY OF 2017

100 Units Will Be Purchased and Donated to Toys for Tots

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Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the national franchisor of The Goddard School®  preschool system, proudly announces that the public has selected the Melissa & Doug® Star Diner Restaurant Play Set as the winning toy in the 10th annual Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test. To promote learning through play for all children, GSI will purchase and donate 100 units of the Melissa & Doug® Star Diner Restaurant Play Set to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes holiday gifts to less fortunate children.

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Established in 2008, the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test aims to determine the best educational toys on the market by enlisting the help of the most discerning toy critics, preschoolers! Each year, The Goddard School Toy-Testing Committee evaluates dozens of submissions from the leading toy manufacturers around the globe. The top 25 educational toys that support child-initiated play, collaboration and other criteria proceed to the next round where preschoolers from 50 Goddard School preschools nationwide are given the opportunity to play with and critique the toys. The children and their teachers work together to select their favorites, which are compiled into a list of the Top 10 Educational Toys. These, then, are put to a public vote to determine the winning toy of the year.

The Top 10 Educational Toys for 2017 were named as follows in the suggested age-range order of the children:

  • VTech – Lil’ Critters Shake & Wobble Busy Ball (Suggested Age Range: 3-24 months);
  • Fat Brain Toys – Oombee Cube (Suggested Age Range: 10+ months);
  • SMARTMAX – My First Safari Animals (Suggested Age Range: 1–5 years);
  • Peaceable Kingdom Monkey Around – The Wiggle and Giggle Game (Suggested Age Range: 2+ years);
  • VTech – Go! Go! Smart Wheels – Race & Play Adventure Park (Suggested Age Range: 1–5 years);
  • K’NEX – KID K’NEX Budding Builders Building Set (Suggested Age Range: 3+ years);
  • Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Set (Suggested Age Range: 3+ years);
  • Learning Resources Lil’ Lemonade Stand-Off – A Memory Matching Game (Suggested Age Range: 4+ years);
  • DuneCraft – Bucket of Balls (Suggested Age Range: 4+ years);
  • Learning Resources – Let’s Go Code! Activity Set (Suggested Age Range: 5+ years).

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“Through our Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, children continue to engage in the most genuine form of learning by playing with the best educational toys like the Melissa & Doug® Star Diner Restaurant Play Set,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at GSI. “Play-based learning is known to be the most effective way for children to develop the skills necessary for social and academic success early on and later in life. We are proud to continue with this program through its 10th year and beyond.”

For more information on The Goddard School and the Preschooler-Approved Toy Test, please visit www.goddardschool.com/toytest.

 

 

Five Ways for Children to Give Back

Encouraging your children to give back to their local community will teach them the importance of helping others. Participating in these activities will create an opportunity for bonding with your children.

Donate toys – Children may receive toys that they only play with a few times. Instead of letting these toys gather dust in the closet, go through them with your child and let him pick out which toys can be donated to children in need. Knowing that his toys will bring happiness to less fortunate children will leave him feeling good about himself.

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Plant a tree – Planting a tree is a great learning experience that brings the whole community together. Talk to neighbors in your community and propose a tree-planting event. Before the event, teach your child how planting trees creates a healthier and more beautiful earth. Arrive at the event showing a lot of enthusiasm for improving the environment. This is an easy way to teach your child the importance of giving back while having fun.

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Bake Sale – If your child loves getting his hands dirty in the kitchen, and most children do, this activity is perfect for him. Help your child prepare one of his favorite desserts, and invite members of your community to help their children prepare treats, too. Let him select a charity that will benefit from the proceeds of the sale, and help him draw up signs, set up the event and take charge of sales. Set prices in easy increments, such as $0.25, $0.50, $0.75 or $1.00, so that your child can help collect the money. Do not forget to bring money to make change and money to pay for any pastries that you and your child purchase from other children in your community. This tasty event will have your little one and his taste buds excited to contribute to the community!

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Visit a nursing home – Children love hearing stories and senior citizens love telling them, so this is a perfect match. Bring your child to a local nursing home and let him donate his time to one of the members. Many senior citizens do not have family members close by who can visit them frequently, so spending some time with you and your child may mean a lot to them. Your child can learn a lot from this while he provides companionship to his senior citizen buddy. If the first visit is a good experience, you could make routine visits.

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Teaching Thankfulness through Community Service

Volunteering is an enriching experience for everyone involved. Families have more opportunities and more reasons than ever to volunteer Twenty20 - share a mealtogether.

Why should you get involved?

  • Volunteering feels good, and children learn to feel satisfaction and pride come in helping others;
  • Getting involved strengthens your community. Organizations that use volunteers often provide services at low or no cost to those in need;
  • Volunteering can strengthen your family bonds as you have fun together and grow closer. Select one or two projects a year, and make them a family tradition.

What do children learn?

  • Children learn how to be on time, do their best and be proud of the results. This creates a sense of responsibility;
  • Children learn that one person can make a difference;
  • Children learn to think of others. Giving a toy to a less fortunate child helps children learn that other people need our help. Volunteering to clean up a park teaches your children they can improve their community.

How can you get involved?twenty20 - garden

  • The internet offers a lot of information about volunteering. You can begin your search online by typing “community service and volunteer organizations” in the search box;
  • Call a local charity, church or hospital.

Community service makes a lasting impression on children. They quickly learn that the service they provide benefits real people, and they feel good about it.