Source: The Toy Association

The Toy Association released its long-awaited STEAM Toy Assessment Framework this month.

Designed to aid toymakers in creating toys that truly fall into the STEAM category, the new framework provides a three-step model and a clearly defined rating criteria with learning goals for five distinct age groups. The Association developed its report in collaboration with Dr. Amanda Gummer.

“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,” says 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.”

Related: Meet the STEAM Demand with The Toy Association’s New Framework

The framework includes a worksheet that companies can use to assess the STEAM characteristics of their toys and games.

  1. Is the toy fun to play with, accessible, inclusive, and does it have good play value?
  2. 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?
  3. Does the toy support one or more learning goals in at least two key subjects, such as science and technology?

On Feb. 4, The Toy Association will host a webinar with tips on how to best use the STEAM Toy Assessment Framework.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.