Since about February or March, we have been toy testing through The Noise on Toys, and it's pretty great! It's a free program where you choose toys you think your child would be interested in, go and pick them up, and just play with them! Of course, there's a small catch, you have to write about 3 journals per toy, and rate them in the end. But it takes up so little of your time, and the benefits are wonderful!
Benefits, you ask? Anyone with a child can attest to the fact that, especially at this age, toys lose their excitement factor after about a month. That's if you're lucky. The toy testing period is 6 weeks, so just when your child is losing interest in the toy, it's time to bring them back and pick up new ones! And since it's free, it's a great way to rotate toys in your home for a good price (i.e. $0)
We've tested a lot of toys, from a ball popper, books, flash cards, Weebles, and a Sesame Street playset, to the newest toys we picked up yesterday: A Dora play kitchen (this is so cool, and Lily loves it, too!), a Thomas the Train set (Lily didn't discover this one this morning, so I don't know how she'll like it... but she liked the box!), a play and learn Puppy (I see this getting a high parent's annoyance score, but Lily seems to like it), and a Little People Animal Sounds zoo (big hit so far!).