Rating System

What our Scores mean:

Our Toy Report Cards include basic information about the toy and all the research we have found out.

Factual information includes the the manufacturer and website, average retail price, toy image and suggested starting age. A snapshot review describing what the product does and what a child can learn by playing with it is written based on our review. You will notice this is very straight forward as we do NOT use adjectives so our reviews stay objective. The scores of A through C- indicate how strong a particiular skill is used during play. A score of A indicates the highest score and a score of C- is the lowest. Any toy that scored less than a C- in any of the 4 skill categories  (movement, thinking, personality and social interaction) does not pass and will not appear on toytips.com.  Our testing methods are strict and for a toy to be listed on toytips.com means it must surpass our strict standards of durability, ease of use, sensibility and value to the consumer. All 4 skills are met with a rating of C- or above. However, keep in mind not all toys utilize the same skills so do not use this as a key to evaluate the toy overall. The Toy Tips rating score is a bettter indication of this. Click on any skill for a complete explanation of what that skill means. Not every toy can stimulate each skill. So, C- does not necessarily indicate that the score is bad, just below average for that particualr skill.

Toy Tips® Cummulative Research Score:

This score is a combination of our researchers' observation of enjoyment and development skills. Each researcher uses an original survey written by psychologists so results are accurate, independent and academic. The total score is weighted and calculated into an A through C- rating scale and Toy Tips only reports on toys with these ratings. These observations are independent of the testers rating score which is determined by the children who actually test the toys.

Our Testers Rating Score:

This "Fun" rating score is solely based on subjective evaluations and interviews with the actual children testing the toy. The children "score" each toy on a rating scale of A through C-. We do not publish toys if they rate below this score. If a toy does not score high on the fun scale, there is a reasonably good chance a child will not learn from the play experience. These scores are reported by the thousands of children we test toys with. NOTE: The fun score for toys in the infant and toddler category are based on our researcher's observation since the children are too young to speak. Also note that the researchers and kids opinions and observations differ quite a bit. Don't be surprised if a researcher reports a high score and kids may not like it as much. Researchers look for educational and skill-based learning value. Kids mostly just look for fun!


These skills can be fine motor skills, gross motor skills or both. Fine motor skills prepare children for coloring, buttoning, zippering, and other daily tasks.Using the fingers to hold, pinch and move help indicate success for basic developmental learning skills. Gross motor skills are using large muscle groups while throwing, running, crawling and climbing and are needed for a sense of balance and muscle tone. These are needed for deveopmental growth and reaching milestones.

Intellectual thinking skills encourage imagination, concentration and creativity. Using the mind fosters deductive reasoning, logic and cognitive development.

Skills that facilitate a child to do their best, share, work with others and to be responsible are important to overall growth and help to shape whoe your child becomes. Honesty, integrity, telling the truth and doing the right thing all contribute to teaching children needed skills for later in life.

Social Interaction
Promoting interaction with other children and family members or encouraging a child to voice an opinion enhances participation, group activties, team-building and seeking new friendships.Whether a child  interacts through speech or movement, this score incorporates how a toy can foster participation and action with another playmate, parent or caregiver.