About Canadian Toy Testing Council

Canadian Toy Testing Council logo

Mission Statement

To encourage excellence in the design of children’s toys, games and books, in a manner that is sensitive to children’s needs, by:

(i) independently, collaboratively, and rigorously testing children’s
products available in Canada;
(ii) publishing the results of these tests;
(iii) conducting research into child development through play;
(iv) and providing consultation, feedback and advice.

Learning through play

The Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC) is a highly innovative organization – an international leader in the world of toys!

Every year, hundreds of toys are selected as representative of those being offered on the market. These toys are then tested by Canadian children in everyday settings, to assess design, function, durability and play value. The Council rates each toy, awarding Three Stars, Two Stars, One Star, Novelty or Not Recommended. You can find the ratings and a review of each toy tested in editions of the TOY REPORT, published by the CTTC. The Council also reviews and evaluates Canadian children’s books to promote child literacy.

The CTTC takes play seriously!

Since 1952, the Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC) has been assessing toys on the basis of design, function, durability and play value, to help parents choose good toys. We do this by putting toys right into the hands of children themselves.

In our program, children test toys in their own homes for a period of six to twelve weeks. As nearly as possible, we try to duplicate the circumstances under which consumers will assess the value of a toy after it has been purchased. Our home testers treat the toys we give them as if they were their own–no special measures are taken either to encourage the children’s attention, or to prevent normal wear and tear.

After the evaluation period, information is gathered from the home testing families and analyzed by the CTTC. We then arrive at a rating and an age recommendation for each toy. We also convey our findings directly to the manufacturer or distributor of the toy, in order to help companies understand the expectations of children and parents, and to encourage toy-makers to keep these expectations in mind when they design other toys.

Many toys, ages, themes

The CTTC tests numerous toys, covering a variety of themes for a wide age range. It is our philosophy to encourage parents to select toys which will guide and enhance a child’s development and ability, while providing great play value at the same time. However, the Council does not place value judgements on any toys, nor distinguishes between one gender or the other, when testing toys within our evaluation program.

Our annual TOY REPORT has been designed to help you choose toys that will meet your child’s individual needs. Your toy dollars represent an investment in play satisfaction, and the TOY REPORT is designed to help you spend those dollars wisely.

Only you know your child. When choosing toys consider the child’s preferences, personality and special skills, and try answering such questions as:

  • What toys are already in the toy box?
  • Would you like your child to continue to explore more of the same play?
  • Would you like to introduce a new play interest, or simply provide a novel diversion?