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Toys that Inspire Mindful Play And Nurture Imagination

The TIMPANI Toy Study is an empirical study that looks at how young children in natural settings play with a variety of toys and identifies toys that best engage children in intellectual, creative, social, and verbal interactions in preschool classrooms. Below are findings from the past ten years of research.

Plastic Family Toys TIMPANI2019 Highest Scoring Toy:All About Me Family Counters
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TIMPANI Study Findings and Videos 2010 - 2018

Child playing with bottle clicks.

2018

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Children playing with plastic animals.

2017

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Child playing with plus-plus blocks.

2016

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Children pretending to buy things using a wooden cash register.

2015

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Children painting at an easel.

2014

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Children building with magnatiles.

2013

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Child playing with duplo blocks.

2012

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Children playing with tinkertoys.

2011

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Children playing on the floor with wooden cars.

2010

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Why Study Toys?
  • Play is the fundamental way children prepare for the future -- when children create a make-believe world, build a tower of blocks, or race a friend to the top of a hill, they acquire social and intellectual abilities needed to be successful in school and adulthood.
  • Nearly all meaningful play includes toys -- a single, engaging toy can transform a child's play from simple to symbolic, from repetitive to inventive, from solitary to social.
  • While there was much research on children’s play, there had been few studies that looked at how children interacted with toys in their play.
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