When I buy toys for the preschool classroom I have a set of expectations. I only buy toys that are open ended and help nurture skills such as creativity, problem solving, negotiating, and collaborative play. Along with that, the toys need to be well made and last. I do not have the money to continuously replace items. I also know how preschool children experiment and play with toys and one should not have to worry that any of the typical things they do would break a toy. This is a specific age group with specific needs. So one of the brands that I thought would uphold these factors is Guidecraft. They are well known and although their items can be pricey, I anticipated that they would be an investment.
So I went ahead and bought the Guidecraft Roadway System. The kids had already had blocks and trains, but I noticed that while my afternoon class loved trains my morning class did not seem as interested. They gravitated toward the cars. From the moment it was put out, my morning class gravitated toward it and I began to see the beginnings of collaborative play. At first they tried to figure out how it worked and how to put a roadway together. This was the focus of their play at first. Once they got a handle on that they began to incorporate cars and town blocks. I enjoyed seeing their pretend play grow as they learned more each day. It is a wonderful toy that did help the kids grow in many of the ways I would like to see them grow. However, one day I began to notice that there were chips on the puzzle pieces. I did not understand how this even happened as the kids are very respectful of the toys and play with them only in regular ways. When the kids love a toy they care about it and are not intentionally rough with the toy. I was disappointed that a toy that in my mind was made to last and withstand child play would maybe not last as long as I had thought.
After noticing this, I quickly e-mailed the company to let them know about the problem. After all, the children had only been playing with the toy for a few months. I am happy to say that the company quickly repaired the problem. I am assuming that the toy I received may have been a dud and the new one that they sent out will exceed my expectations. I could not ask for a more reputable company. As a teacher, I do not have the money to spend on toys that will not last. I also do not want to worry while the children engage in their play. Toys should be able to withstand the normal play of children and I am happy that Guidecraft is a company that stands by their product.
Guidecraft did not pay me for this post nor contact me in any way. I simply wrote this piece because it is one of the children's favorite toys and I wanted to write about my experience with the toy for anyone that is out there looking for toys for the preschool classroom.
April 24 2016