A toy should be safe and fun – but can it be educational too? With its new Excellent Play Value test mark, TÜV Rheinland aims to provide consumers with more guidance when buying children’s toys.

Lasting play value is a priority for almost 50 percent of parents

For parents, the health of their children is a top priority. That’s why it is important that the toys in a child’s room do not pose any risks such as small swallowable parts coming loose or materials containing harmful substances. We have already reported in our blog on how toys are tested at TÜV Rheinland and how you can recognise that they are safe when buying them.

“Tested safety” is important when buying children’s toys

In a recent survey conducted by the Civey polling institute on behalf of TÜV Rheinland, 66 percent of respondents said that “tested safety” is important to them when buying children’s toys, followed by quality of workmanship (59 percent).

Environmental aspects – such as ecological materials – and lasting play value were also key factors for approximately 47 percent of those surveyed.

%

of respondents said that “tested safety” is important

Spielzeug

Recent survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of TÜV Rheinland.

New Excellent Play Value test mark

While the GS mark for tested safety helps to indicate how safe a toy is, its “play value” is harder to assess. Until now it has been almost impossible for parents to work out whether or not a toy will have an educational benefit for their child. With this in mind, TÜV Rheinland has introduced a new certificate for Excellent Play Value to provide consumers with better guidance.

Excellent Play Value test mark

 

Assessing toys based on educational / developmental psychology factors

TÜV Rheinland’s experts have worked with psychologists and educators to develop a minimum standard and sound testing protocol. For example, testing takes into account whether a toy helps to a child to develop their motor skills, language or social interactions with playmates. Other aspects include identity building, self-control and strengthening self-confidence during play. There are also cognitive aspects such as encouraging creativity and memory training as well as motivation to play the game again.

 

Play value also depends on the age of the child

The testing protocol also takes account of the fact that the individual assessment criteria are weighted differently for different age groups. Toys are used by children of different age groups and serve different purposes depending on the child’s stage of development.

For example, while children aged two and 14 can play with the same ball, the tasks they can perform with it will be completely different. With this in mind, a toy can only be assessed by taking into account the age and developmental stage of the child.

Kinderspielzeug

In addition to the GS mark for “tested safety“, the new test mark for Excellent Play Value is intended to provide guidance when purchasing a toy.

In Conclusion:

Anyone who buys a toy bearing the Excellent Play Value test mark can be sure that it will make a positive contribution to a child’s educational and psychological development and, last but not least, will genuinely promote the joy of play.

Author

Katharina Kentel

Katharina Kentel

Toy testing expert

Katharina Kentel is a toy testing expert at TÜV Rheinland. Her motto is: “Play is the source of all good things” (“Die Quelle alles Guten liegt im Spiel” – F.W.A. Fröbel). Katharina did not have to join the toy testing department in early 2017 to discover her love of toys, as she regularly enjoys games nights with family and friends outside of work. She has now developed the Excellent Play Value certification mark to assess the educational value of toys and ensure that children receive targeted developmental support through play.

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