Houston elementary students conduct annual survey on most popular holiday toys

The survey results from Longfellow Elementary showed most third- to fifth-graders want an iPhone or the latest PlayStation for the holidays.

Longfellow Elementary Presents
Patricia Ortiz
Holiday presents surround a Christmas tree at Longfellow Elementary in Houston.

The holiday season is in full effect for Longfellow Elementary School, which held its annual holiday toy survey for the first time since 2019.

Most every year for more than a decade, upper-grade level students, usually fifth-graders at Longfellow, have surveyed students in each grade to help parents find out what their kids want for the holidays. The students began their project on Oct. 21, applying skills they've learned in math and writing to complete their presentation.

Katherine Keafer, the principal at the Houston ISD school on the city’s southwest side, said the event is a good way to kick off the holiday season.

"It's adorable," Keafer said. "It's very helpful, too. Even me, I've got nieces and nephews to purchase gifts for and I'm not sure what to buy every year."

The students who conducted the survey spent time after school and even during recess compiling their data into pie charts. Those who worked on the project were awarded gifts after the end of the presentation.

Students at Longfellow shared their favorite experiences while conducting the survey. Read their statements below:

"My favorite part was when we asked all the students what toy they wanted."

"It was asking all of the students what their favorite toy was and I liked going to all the classrooms."

"My favorite part of the toy survey was putting all [of] our data together."

"My favorite part of the survey was helping teachers and others."

"My favorite part is when we got the data and we went to go ask the kids what they wanted for Christmas."

Longfellow Elementary Christmas Tree
Patricia Ortiz
Students from Houston ISD’s Longfellow Elementary conducted a survey to find out which holiday toys its students prefer.

Keafer said there are a lot of academic components behind the project, along with the holiday spirit.

"They're collecting data, making charts, putting those skills to practical use," she said. "Those are things they have to do in their classrooms all the time and on the STAAR test, but this is a more practical application."

Results from the upper-grade levels showed many of the students at Longfellow wanted the latest iPhone or gaming consoles. More than 80% of fifth-grade students asked for an electronic device or gift card related to a video game, while more than 90% of fourth-graders were in that category.

More than 80% of third-graders were also in favor of receiving an electronic device, but more than half of the third-graders agreed they wanted a PlayStation or virtual reality headset.

When it came to the lower grade levels, pre-kindergarten through second grade, most of the students were still gravitating toward traditional toys such as cars and dolls with a few showing interest in new styles of toys such as Fidgets, Pop Its and Squishmellows.