Rowland Unified students learn through developing, marketing toys
In the market for a TeeterTodder or a PopNPlay? These were just two of the toys designed by more than 100 students at Alvarado Middle School in Rowland Heights.
The annual toy fair features the creative talents of Rowland Unified students. Teams of eighth-grade students have to create a company, design a toy, research their market, then sell their toy to potential buyers.
Friends and family were invited to attend the toy fair on May 30. Visitors were given play money to spend on their favorite products.
"This year, the toy designers also had to make their toys from recycled materials," explained Sue Cook, head of the English department.
Toy categories included Around the House, Outdoor Adventure, Educational and Travel. Customers couldn't miss the huge TeeterTodder near the entrance to the multipurpose room. Students eagerly demonstrated the modern adaptation of the seesaw.
As her teammates bobbed up and down, Carolyn Lee explained how they had added stuffed animal seats and bouncy balls.
"The balls under the seats keep the child from crashing to the ground, making our toy much safer. Kids also like the bounce," the 14-year-old toy designer noted.
Carolyn served as graphics manager for the Wild Child team. Their motto was "putting the wild in child." Joining her were teammates Jenny Lam, Marian Huang and Joseph Cho.
"We plan to sell our TeeterTodder for $60. That's what our market research showed that parentswould pay," said Jenny, the public relations manager.
Next door, Team K.R.A.G was popular with its bow and arrow. They were competing in the Outdoor Adventure category with the motto "Shoot Straight, Aim Forward."
"We used the first letter of our first names to come up with our team name," admitted Karoline Chuang. She was joined by Ryan Ku, Ankara Armstrong and Gregory Nunez.
"Our bow is made from a palm branch," said Ankara, while Gregory took careful aim at the little targets sitting on the table. "We just want to help kids have some fun outside."
Students also had to design displays that explained their toy concepts as well as the market research supporting their business plan. It wasn't all fun and no work at this toy fair.
For something more educational, parents could try the PopNPlay by KidsPlay Innovations. This team of eighth-graders even made a video commercial and designed business cards.
"Our toy is designed for children 3 to 5 years old," said graphics manager Alissa Nguyen. "Kids open the box, then push down on the spring to get the letters and numbers to pop up into the air."
"There are letters on one side and numbers on the other so kids can learn the alphabet. Click HERE for entire story!