The Toy Association and the Good Play Guide are combining forces to launch a new STEAM Accreditation Program for the toy industry to evaluate and certify STEAM products for children.
The accreditation program is open to any toy company or brand that is in the business of manufacturing, design, and marketing of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths toy products. The program is a joint venture between the US toy industry organisation and Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide, founded by child psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer.
Submitted products will first be tested by the industry’s most demanding audience – children. While the kids play, they will be observed by professionals who have been trained to carry out research with children in a robust and ethically responsible way.
The toys will then be evaluated by the Good Play Guide’s™ team of experts, who will ensure they meet the strict criteria outlined in The Toy Association’s “STEAM Toy Assessment Framework,” which defines and details the specific characteristics of a good STEAM toy for various age groups.
Accredited toys will receive The Toy Association’s official “STEAM Stamp of Approval” for use in marketing campaigns, product packaging and listings, and all other digital and traditional marketing platforms.
“This first-of-its-kind accreditation program for the entire toy industry is a game-changer for all involved in creating, marketing, and selling educational products to children,” said Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association.
“Participating in the accreditation program will provide toy brands with the opportunity to make their products stand out with an independent, third-party ‘stamp of approval’ based on clearly defined criteria – and will bring increased confidence to consumers and gift-buyers who are looking for high-quality STEAM products to foster their child’s learning, development, and growth.”
Dr. Amanda Gummer said: “Within the toy industry there is a lot of talk about STEM and STEAM, but until now we’ve had no universally accepted system or uniform understanding of what is or isn’t ‘good enough’ to warrant such a label.
“This commitment from The Toy Association is a huge move for the industry which now sets a clear benchmark for future STEAM product and activities development.”
In addition to receiving the STEAM Stamp of Approval, all accredited products will receive placement on the Good Play Guide™ website and social channels, as well as on The Toy Association’s Genius of Play website and social channels.
The products will also have the opportunity to be featured in the Good Play Guide’s™ marketing campaigns throughout the year and in the run-up to the busy holiday season. Companies with accredited products will receive a detailed report created by Dr. Gummer’s Good Play Guide™ to inform their marketing & PR efforts and future product development.
For more information about the STEAM Accreditation Program or to submit toys for review, please visit www.toyassociation.org/STEAM.