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November 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 11


Learning the Basics Still Tops Mom’s List

The ABCs, and 123s are still at the top of Mom’s list when it comes to infant/preschool toys, according to a recent Toy Tracker survey conducted through C&R Research by Funosophy Inc. In this nationwide poll, 200 moms of 3- to 5-year-old boys and girls were asked to rank the importance of eight different features and benefits. The moms surveyed came equally from urban, suburban and rural communities.

Bells and Whistles Beware!

Twinkling lights and googly eyes aren’t enough for today’s mom. Out of eight total features and benefits included in this survey, benefits filled the top three spots in the “Very Important” ranking and the top four spots in the “Very Important” and “Somewhat Important” rankings combined. When ranking the importance of product features, moms could choose from one of five categories: “Very Important,” “Somewhat Important,” “Neither Important Nor Unimportant,” “Not Very Important” and “Not At All Important.”

Percent of Surveyed Moms of 3- to 5 Year Olds That Considered the Following Aspects Important When Selecting Toys

Feature or BenefitVery ImportantVery or Somewhat Important
Benefit – Teaches Letters and/or Phonics52%88%
Benefit – Teaches Numbers and/or Counting47%84%
Benefit – Can Increase in Difficulty as Child Progresses44%90%
Feature – Includes Other Kinds of Music (Besides Classical)17%46%
Benefit – Tells Stories or Nursery Rhymes13%48%
Feature – Includes Lights11%31%
Feature – Includes Classical Music7%33%
Feature – Includes a Plush Toy 5%17%


Active curriculum-based learning is most important to Mom. Of the four benefits included in the survey, more than 50% of moms deemed letter/phonics learning “Very Important” and 88% considered it “Very or Somewhat Important.” Numbers and counting came in a close second, with 47% of moms rating the teaching of these skills “Very Important” and 84% voting their inclusion “Very or Somewhat Important.”

Do, Re, Me …

Music ranked highest among the four features included in this survey. Of particular note is that “other types of music” outscored classical music in importance by a fairly large margin, with 17% of moms rating music other than classical “Very Important” and just 7% claiming the same for classical music.

Grow With Me …

Today’s mom expects an infant/preschool toy to grow with her child, advancing in difficulty as her child masters various levels of content. A significant 90 percent of moms rated this benefit “Very or Somewhat Important.”

Written by Nancy Zwiers, CEO of Funosophy, Inc., a brand-building consulting and research firm in the toy industry. Toy Tracker research was conducted by Funosophy and its research partner KidzEyes among a nationally representative sample of 200 moms with children ages 3 to 5 years old and is available for purchase including gender breakdowns. For details, go to or call (562) 436-5251.


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