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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 

 
2014 Awards
eeBoo Color Pencils Striped Biggies
(eeBoo $7.99 & up Score:)

Designed for small hands these oversized colored pencils come in sets of 12 or 24 along with a special sized sharpener. The delicious colors will make paper and pencil tasks more fun and may be just the right inducement for kids who are just starting to write words and letters in school. As the box says, they are shorter than most pencil sets, but jumbo in thickness, giving beginners a broader line and more control. Drawing, coloring or writing, these are terrific tools for developing eye hand and for refining those small muscles in the fingers and hand that are needed for the task. Bring home a Sketchbook with elves carrying Striped Biggies. 5 & up.

SNAP For all the reasons stated above, these are a good choice that will make pencil tasks more pleasing.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Lydia, Your Georgian Girl
(Girls for All Time $109.99 Score:)

Travel with Emily, a stunning 18th Century girl who leaves England in 1760 with her family to settle in Colonial Boston. She wears a charming buttery yellow gown trimmed with rosettes and lace. Her long dark brunette locks are waiting to be brushed and admired as her fortunate owner enjoys reading Lydia's story in the book, Lydia in the New World (book available in 2015). Also available for Lydia a lovely teal blue party dress trimmed with Chinese braid and cream colored underskirt. Or she also might like a totally perfect riding outfit with a skirt of blue linen, a white shirt with cravat and a double breasted brass buttoned blue jacket. This is a doll for older girls with a beginning sense of world history and perhaps an interest in fashion in history. She is meant to be played with, though collectors will certainly like her, as well. Visit a girlforalltime.com site for recipes, history and other information about Lydia.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Faber-Castell Gel Sticks
(Faber-Castell $12.99 Score:)

Kids are going to love the buttery Gel Sticks that can be used for drawing and then turned into water color paintings with a paintbrush and water. These are not to be confused with the also wonderful Gel Crayons that are not water soluble. You will want to protect the table surface where they work, since these are a bit messier than regular crayons, but also far more versatile.  You get 12 gel sticks and a paintbush in the set. This would make a great stocking stuffer.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Hot Wheels Spin King
(Toy State $14.99 Score:)

A showy present, this blue racer is not only motorized to rev up and roll, it lights up and even plays some music. A great novelty toy that is sure to please any 3 & up on your list. May not go the distance and requires three AA batteries, but if you shop you will find it for even less than the sticker price and appreciate it for the short term novelty fun it provides.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
eeBoo United States Geography Bingo
(eeBoo $15.99 Score:)

Maps of the United States are divided into six regional sections and players vie to be the first to cover all the products their states are known for producing. The back of each playing board lists the states, the capitals, state flower, nickname and state motto. Marked for 5 & up, but we think it is probably maker a greater hit with slightly older kids who are hungry for information and curious about maps. 6-9.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
LeapFrog LeapTV
(LeapFrog $149 Score:)

Designed for younger player, 3-8, this is like the Wii for wee folks with a console, camera and controller that you hook up to your TV. These are largely games that will get kids off the couch and playing active physical games that are non-violent and have some educational content that parents can choose to fit their kids' ages and stages. Kids play by moving their bodies, using the controller that is designed for child size hands. They can use the controller two-handed play as with a joystick and buttons or change the handle into pointer mode and swing it like a wand. One of our test families liked the fact that they had access to LeapFrog's giant library of educational games. They did have some challenges in getting the children of different heights onto the screen at the same time.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
eeBoo Lacing Cards Friendly Animals
(eeBoo $14.99 Score:)

With adorable illustrations by Melissa Sweet, these five sturdy lacing cards are a classic for early school age kids. Holding the slender lace and putting it through the holes punched in the cards may seem a simple task, but for young children it is an excellent way to develop sequencing skills and the fine motor dexterity in small fingers and hand. A playful way to build the small muscles of fingers and hands--the same ones needed for pencil and paper tasks. 5 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Go! Go! Sports Girls Read & Play Doll & Book
(Dream Big Toy Co. $19 Score:)

We've told you about Go! Go! Sports Girls dolls before, soft fabric dolls that promote a positive image of girls as active players. Now, the sporty dolls are each being sold with a book that adds another dimension to their learning value along with information about their sport. Each doll and book set also comes with sporting equipment, a backpack and towel. Choose the one (or ones) that mirror your child’s sport interests. Consider Cassie and her Soccer Story, Maya, a gymnast, M.C. a dancer, Suzi, a swimmer, Ella, a runner, and Roxy, a cheerleader. 3 & up

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Blue Orange Doodle Quest
(Blue Orange Games $24 Score:)

Most testers really had fun with this visual perception game that involves spatial relationships and the ability to look at a scene and then draw lines around or under images on a transparent sheet that is not on the picture, but near it. When you have finished you place your transparency on the image and see if you have accomplished the task. There are two sided cards, so younger kids and older ones (and parents) can play the same game. It comes with four dry erase pens, erasers, drawing boards and transparent doodle sheets. 6 and up, up, up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Diggin Circus Balancing Shapes
(Diggin $20.99 Score:)

Players will need a sense of humor as thy try to balance the playing pieces on the blue elephant. Take turns tossing the die to determine what shape stalk you are to put on the elephant. The wooden stalks are cut in square, semi-circle, triangular, and circles. But the pieces are long, so they give a new twist to the concepts of shape. There will be lots of rounds and plenty of laughter, we hope as everyone learns to stack their playing pieces with great care. It is a little trickier to balance these slender pieces than the classic pieces of Mr. Blockhead. They say 3 & up, but we think this is going to call for more dexterity. A better choice for older 4's and 5's.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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