Friday, April 24, 2009
ASTRA Chooses Toys
ASTRA is the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association, and the Golden Apple is proud to be a member of this great organization. Being a member of ASTRA provides many benefits to the Golden Apple, but it also provides benefits to Golden Apple customers. ASTRA helps us find the great toys that you love. Of course we take the credit when customers rave about our selection of educational and fun toys, most of which cannot be found at other stores. But some of the credit belongs to specialty toy store owners all across the country. This blog purports to take you behind the scenes at the Golden Apple, so here it is: The real story! Some of our great toys come directly from a list that ASTRA provides to us. ASTRA creates the guidelines, and members choose the toys. This process is going on right now, and the criteria for choosing a great toy might give you some insight into how we decide what toys arrive on our shelves. I would love to hear your comments on the Good Toy Criteria. Anything you might add?
Criteria for Best Toys For Kids List selection process
To ensure that the toys chosen are worthy of the ASTRA seal, we will ask all participants to make their selections based on the following Good Toy criteria:
* Does it Engage the Child? A good toy should encourage open-ended play, invite exploration, and engage a child's interest beyond a short sitting.
* Does it Expand the Child? A good toy with play value benefits the child at a particular stage by introducing and reinforcing age-specific skills. A great toy grows with the child, helping him/her advance from one developmental stage to the next.
* Is it Age Appropriate? The play activity should developmentally suit the child's age.
* Is it Safe? A good toy must meet or exceed all 2009 federal safety standards and specifically be compliant with August 2009 CPSIA regulations.
* Is it Fun? Most of all, a good toy is fun to play with. Dull and boring, regardless of benefit, have no place in a Good Toy Box.