Toy Testing Process

Once our experts have completed their observations and tests on your toy, we use their findings to produce a report.

All toys receive a rating using our 5 star system, which takes into account fun, skills developed and ease of use. As a result the toy will be:


Recommended: The toy has received 12 or more stars across all our criteria. The ‘Recommended’ by the Good Toy Guide stamp is awarded and can be used for promotional use.

Approved: When a toy receives 9 or more stars across all criteria (without meeting the criteria for ‘recommended’ status) it will be approved and certified with our stamp of approval ‘Approved’ by the Good Toy Guide.

Re-Tested: If for some reason we are unhappy with the data gathered, we may choose to re-test your product using more children, ensuring we are confident with our final review and rating.

Failed: Receiving less than 9 stars across all criteria.


As of 16/07/15, we have updated our testing process so that Apps that receive 12 stars or more across Ease of Use, Fun Rating & Skill Development immediately qualify for Recommended status.

Apps that were tested and achieved Recommended status prior to this update will not change and shall remain at their current status. 

To submit a toy for testing please Click here.


Fun Rating

The criteria for achieving ‘fun’ rated stars is:

5 star Fun rating: This is awarded to the real favourites. Toys are required to provide entertainment for most of our children for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

4 star Fun rating: This is awarded to toys that are enjoyed repeatedly by the majority of children for 5 minutes or more. At least some of the child testers will have remained keen to play with this toy regularly and may be very engaging for specific groups of children.

3 star Fun rating: Many of the children enjoyed playing with the toy, and some for prolonged periods of time. It is not a favourite but still provides engagement and entertainment.

2 star Fun rating: We award 2 stars to toys where the majority of children become disengaged quickly and choose not to play with it again. It has not become  favourite with any of the children.

1 star Fun rating: If most children get bored quickly  and are reluctant to play with the toy more than once, we give this a one star rating. There may be educational resources that are not engaging on their own but are still valuable as a teaching aid.


Skills Developed Rating

All toys are given a rating on how they facilitate development of the relevant skills children need, both academically and non-academically. They include:

  • Cognitive
  • Creativity
  • Personal, Social and Emotional
  • Speech, Language and Communication
  • Physical and motor skills
  • Understanding the world (including Geography, History, Science etc).

We particularly look for skills that are well pitched for the targeted age group and their key developmental area. For example, toys targeted at children aged 1 may focus on encouraging walking and movement.

5 star Skills Developed rating: Toys that actively encourage children to develop skills across 3 or more skill developmental areas (e.g. cognitive, creative and language skills) or are particularly good at developing one or more skills in depth.

5 Stars are hard to achieve and are only available for toys we consider exceptionally good for learning and development.

4 star Skills Developed rating: Toys that help children develop either in at least 1 developmental area with opportunity for children to progress the skills significantly, or that promote development across several areas with less progression. We are confident that parents and teachers/childcare professionals would consider this to be an ‘educational toy’.

3 star Skills Developed rating: A three star rating for skills developed indicates that the toy has substantial benefit to a child’s development in at least one area.

2 star Skills Developed rating: 2 stars are given to toys that have potential to develop skills but they have limited learning outcomes. The skills they develop are typically less core or may be skills children have already mastered, so they test and refine skills rather than developing them. We suspect most parents and teachers/childcare professionals would not perceive this to be an ‘educational’ product.

1 star Skills Developed rating: 1 star is given when there is no obvious skills developed by using the toy. The toy is clearly focused on being fun rather than educational.


Ease of Use Rating

Toys are tested on their ease of use (sometimes referred to as usability or user experience rating), with the following criteria:

5 star Ease of Use rating: This is only awarded to toys where we find no problems what so ever with their usage. Children will be able to work out how to use the toy to it’s full capacity with minimal third party intervention.

4 star Ease of Use rating: Toys will be simple to set up and easier for children to use and understand than other toys in their category. Children will generally be able to use this toy without third party intervention, apart from necessary input in setting up (e.g. construction of a large toy, or setting up suitable access for tech toys and tablets).

3 star Ease of Use rating: Third party intervention is sometimes required but the child can make good use of the toy on their own. The child may occasionally need help to set up the toy again, e.g. if small parts often fall off.

2 star Ease of Use rating: The toy requires frequent assistance from a third party, but the child is able to use some features.

1 star Ease of Use rating: The target age group is unable to use the toy without constant third party help (for toys appropriate for use by an unaccompanied child). Instructions are not clear enough to play with the toy/game (where applicable).