Money tops the list in annual ‘hot toys’ survey of elementary students

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It’s an annual tradition at HISD to check in with students at Longfellow Elementary School to find out which toys are the hottest picks this year. Every year for the past 16 years a team of fifth-graders polls their school-mates to determine exactly what kids would like to receive this holiday season.

Once again, students used the “Seven Habits of Happy Kids” that they learn through the Leader in Me program to help with the survey – for example, “put first things first” when planning their process and “be proactive” when putting together the basic lists of options for each age group. The goal is to point parents, relatives, and other adult gift-givers in the right direction before they do their holiday shopping.

All 10 team members helped announce the winners at a press conference at Longfellow on Nov. 24. When asked why money was the top choice, Corry Bell said that kids enjoy shopping and picking out their own gifts because it makes them feel more independent.

Some regular favorites remained on the list, but there were a few newer choices, such as the Password Journal, a journal locked inside a plastic case that only opens to the sound of the owner’s voice. Girls are even more interested in clothes, makeup, manicure sets, and jewelry than last year, and boys continue to covet Hot Wheels, Legos, and sports paraphernalia.

It’s a learning experience for the students in many ways. “This year we calculated the percentage of students who wanted the various toys,” said organizer and first-grade teacher Danica Kasner, who has been in charge of the event for three years. “I’m not sure they totally understood that, but at least I introduced them to the process.”

The toys are given to the school by the Target store on Main Street, which is nearby, and after the event, the toys are given to needy Longfellow students.

“We have been doing it with Longfellow for at least six years,” said Target Manager Thomas Goffney, who brought the toys to the school. “It’s always a lot of fun!”

Below are the combined results of this year’s survey, broken down by gender in descending order of popularity for all ages.


  • Money
  • Clothes
  • Play Nail Sets
  • Play Jewelry
  • Play Makeup
  • Gift Cards
  • Play-Doh
  • My Little Pony
  • Easy Bake Oven
  • Password Journal


  • Money
  • Movies
  • Gift Cards
  • Nerf Guns
  • Sports Stuff
  • Clothes
  • Legos
  • Minecraft
  • Hot Wheels
  • Play Station Games

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