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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2014 Award
Hape The Challenger Quadrilla Marble Run
(HaPe $199.99 Score:)

With three spiral boards this is a step up from last year's two spiral Cyclone Quadrilla. Like all the Quardrilla Marble runs, this is a great and elegant marble run--a building toy that is more complex than most. It comes with two suggested ways of building and no doubt your young builder will come up with other ideas as well. It comes with straight and curved rails, high-velocity funnels, a see-saw, accelerators, blocks, levelers, bases and 50 marbles. Made with birch and rubber woods. The box says 4 & up, but 4's will not be able to construct this. They will play with the marbles, but even 5-6-7's are going to need adult help with building this.

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

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2014 Awards
Hape Play Station and Stool Set
(Hape $119.99 Score:)

A child size table and seat are what we call basic gear for preschoolers and this is a very handsome gender-free choice. A sleek modern looking wooden table and stool without any license images all over it make it an aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture to put in the family room or child’s own room to be used for several years for art, puzzles, games and snacking, too. Scaled for preschoolers has a special holder for a roll of art paper that can be scrolled across the top. Art supplies can be stored in the lift up compartment of the seat. 3 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys 50 Unit Blocks
(Plan Toys $90 Score:)

Fifty unit blocks makes a good place to start with basic gear for play. This handsome set comes with twelve shapes and no premade directions or suggestions. These are the most fundamental open-ended play materials that invite creative thinking and math concepts. 3 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys Numbers 1-10
(Plan Toys $20 Score:)

Twenty wooden tiles for playing around with numbers. One set from 1-10 has numerals carved out that kids can trace to get a sense of the shape for writing. Turn them over and count the ten indented dots. The second set of ten tiles has the number word on one side and matching number of painted objects on the flip side. Use these for playing matching games of numerals and objects, number words and numerals or many other variations. Use them also for sequencing from 1-10. These are marked for 2 & up, but really are more appropriate for 3-6.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys Fruit and Veggie Domino Game
(Plan Toys $29.99 Score:)

Twenty-eight colorful dominoes are ready for matching games that require no reading or counting. Matching is by the seven fruits or veggies that kids will soon be able to know and name. But watch out—there are green pears and green peppers. Want to bend the rules and make it a color matching game—why not? A good pre-reading game for older 2's and up. With indented fronts and backs these are easy to grasp. Marked 2 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys Musical Set
(Plan Toys $50 Score:)

Beautifully crafted on a curve of smooth wood, this set includes xylophone, cymbal and guiro. It also comes with color-coded music for older preschoolers who may be able to follow the sequence from left to right. The sound is muted, which may be welcome in a small apartment and a welcome change from the often over the top sound of electronic musical toys. We know some parents and kids want their toys to be louder than this while others are happy to find something muted. This ia pricey toy, so try before you buy to be sure it suits you. 3 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Spot It! Disney Planes Alphabet Game
(Blue Orange Games $14 Score:)

Take your choice of licenses: Planes, Sofia the First, or Frozen, whatever appeals to your preschooler, this is a fun way to learn their letters by finding matching letters or images on a pair of cards. Kids identify the letter pairs by name and shape so this is a playful way to reinforce letter recognition. There are three ways to play with the 55 cards that fit neatly back in their round tin for take along ease. There is also a preschool game for matching numbers and shapes. Marked 3 & up, we think it is probably a better bet for 4-5's.

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

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2014 Award
Tickety Toc Chime Time
(Wonder Forge $30 Score:)

Fans of Tickety Toc will like trying to make it around the game board all the way to Chime Time, collecting rewards along the way. Of course, they will have to find missing tools on the playing board, pretend to be a fish or even dance like a robot. With each turn they get to turn the cog wheels on the unusual playing board and doing that moves the clock that much closer to Chime Time! Winner is the one with the most tiles. No game is exactly the same. 2-4 players ages 3 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Plan Toys Croquet
(Plan Toys $39.99 Score:)

For indoors play here's a croquet game with 4 wickets, a final stand, two mallets and four animal wooden balls. They all come in a fabric bag for neat storage. Unlike wickets for outdoor play that are usually poked into the ground, these are cleverly designed with rope and wooden weights that you arrange to curve. You can adjust them high or wide and a little more challenging. Plan Toys also makes a wooden Golf Set for preschoolers. 4 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys Braille Alphabet
(Plan Toys $29.99 Score:)


Two-sided wooden alphabet pieces have upper case on one side and lower case on the reverse. Made of wood, they are smooth and have a corner bent for ease of lifting and turning. They also have Braille symbols on each side. Use these for playing knowing and naming letter or sound games. Sort them by finding all the straight edged letters and then find all the ones with rounded lines. Plan Toys uses sustainable rubber wood that is coated with a non-toxic finish and colors from vegetable dye. Marked for 2 & up. We'd say more like a 3-5 year old choice.

SNAP: Useful for all sorts of knowing and naming letter names and sound games. Introduce just a few pieces at a time and play with those names and sounds.

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

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