In a "Kidspace" story two months ago ("Things to Fling," Oct. 8, Page 16), the Monitor flight-tested 10 throwing toys. The backup quarterback for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's football team, senior Paul Algreen, threw everything from an Aerobie Sprint to an X-Zylo Ultra. He even threw a Godzilla action figure to see how far an un-aerodynamic object would fly.
Some children in the Boston area heard about the test and asked the Monitor if they could try it, too. Lynne Tarr's kindergarten/first-grade class at the James Russell Lowell School in Watertown, Mass., has been publishing a monthly newspaper this year as a project. The children thought "Things to Fling" would be a good feature story for their paper. We were delighted to lend the class the objects from our test (except for Godzilla - sorry - and the football, which belonged to MIT).
All the children got to try the toys. But for the main test, they asked their gym teacher, Eileen Donahue. After the class had marked off the field behind the school, Ms. Donahue flung away.
Their results, and how they compared with the Monitor's test, are summarized in the chart below, along with a class poll. Overall, Ms. Donahue liked the Aerobie Sprint best. She said it felt very comfortable to grip and throw. In the Monitor test, Paul - an aeronautics major - liked the unconventional, tube-shaped X-Zylo Ultra best for the way it soared and dipped. He also had more success throwing the hard-to-throw toy.
Some comments from kid testers quoted in The K-1 News:
Vortex Howler: "It has a very good whistle, like fireworks inside," Jesse Brackett. "It howls when you throw it real hard. The more you practice, the farther you can throw it," Ernie Richardson.
Aerobie Sprint: "You can get a good grip and throw it farther," Kyle Fraser. "It's easy to throw because it has a hole in the middle. You can throw it harder because of the hole to grab," Juliette Smith.
Frisbee: "I like it because of the colors - the purple and gold," Michelle Desjardin. "It's like throwing the Aerobie Sprint except it doesn't have a hole in the middle, and it flies good," Brian Scully.
Nerf Turbo Jr.: "I like the [red and yellow] stripes of it," Haig Haroutunian.
Whoosh: "It looks like a rainbow," Anthony Alberico. "It feels nice when you are throwing it, and you get a good grip because the stuff collapsing into the circle feels nice on your hand," Sam Thomas.
Our thanks to Mrs. Tarr's class: Anthony Alberico, Shelby Austin-Manning, Jesse Brackett, Michelle Desjardin, Eric Falter, John Fan, Kyle Fraser, Anna Garbier, Eva Guo, Haig Haroutunian, Annie Isaacs, Emily Melnick, Gabriella Reyes, Felicia Rice, Ernie Richardson, Brian Scully, Juliette Smith, John Stohlman, Sam Thomas, Tyler Villirilli.
Object Monitor Lowell
Aerobie Sprint 67 yds 32 yds
Aerobie Superdisc 35 22
Baseball 80 30
Football 41 n/a
Nerf Turbo Jr. 27 22
Pro Classic Frisbee 45 30
Vortex Howler 80 24
Whoosh 40 16
X-Zylo Ultra 105 7
Godzilla Action Figure 27 n/a
How the Kids Voted
Best Toy to Throw
Aerobie Sprint 15
Vortex Howler 5
Best Toy to Own
Vortex Howler 12
Aerobie Sprint 5
Nerf Turbo Jr. 3