What key steps can toy companies take to create playthings that encourage parents and children to embrace and understand STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) concepts? A new “STEAM Toy Assessment Framework,” released by The Toy Association, provides a definitive answer with a three-step model and clearly defined rating criteria with learning goals for five distinct age groups. The report was created in collaboration with Dr. Amanda Gummer, CEO & founder of the Good Play Guide.
“The new framework builds on The Toy Association’s multi-year initiative to provide a singular, consistent definition of the STEAM category that will ultimately result in better product development and marketing efforts to advance kids’ love of STEAM,” said Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association. “Collaborating with Dr. Gummer and her team, we have been able to develop this essential resource for companies to help them to ensure their products have all the necessary qualities that define a good STEAM toy.”
Companies can use the report’s worksheet to assess if their toys and games meet the following standards:
- Is the toy fun to play with, accessible, inclusive, and does it have good play value?
- Does the toy have all six key attributes (active involvement, real-world relevance, logical thinking, arts, free exploration, and supports step-by-step learning) that should underlie a STEAM toy?
- Does the toy support one or more learning goals in at least two key subjects, such as science and technology?
For companies looking for more information and insights on how to best utilize this new resource, The Toy Association will host a webinar on February 4 that will provide additional details on the “STEAM Toy Assessment Framework.” Click here to register.