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Atlanta preschoolers test popular toys

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This year's hottest toys are being tested Monday by some of their toughest critics – children.

The Goddard School in Buckhead is taking part in the testing along with 37 other Goddard Schools across the country.

The 2013 Goddard School Preschooler-Approved Toy Test involves children from infants to age 6 playing with interactive toys while teachers observe and document how the toy rates among the selection criteria.

Some of the participating notable toy brands 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.

Several of the children in the 4- and 5-year-old class seemed to favor a set of rubbery, suction-cup toys called 'Squigz.'

"I like how they stick," said Ethan, 4. 

"We can make all kinds of stuff," said 5-year-old Caleb, "like, a door, a boat and a rocket ship."

Some of the girls preferred the Kinetic Sand.

"You can make sand castles with it," said Jane, 4. 

"I can make it into an ant hill," said Finley, also 4.

Toys are an important part of a child's development, said Lisa Stewart, the school's executive director.

"They need to be multidimensional. They need to be something that's going to peak their interest and really encourage imaginative play," said Stewart.

Some of the boys seemed to gravitate toward a colorful set of long, narrow blocks called CitiBlocs.

"We focus a lot on our fine motor skills," said Angie Bush, the school's curriculum coordinator, "so this is an activity that really challenges those things, but lets him build with his creativity as well."

Each preschooler will cast a vote for his or her favorite toy. The Goddard School Top 10 Preschooler-Approved Toys will be announced Oct. 22.

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