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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Games

 


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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2014 Award
Blue Orange Battle Sheep Game
(Blue Orange Games $24.99 Score:)

We had mixed responses to this game...very strong on both sides. The object of the game is to occupy the most number of pastures with your sheep. You do this by blocking off spaces or "pastures" with your sheep. A fun strategy game but it does take a certain amount of time to learn how to block and acquire depending on how you move your herd. Comes with 16 pasture tiles, 64 sheep chips (16 of each color). Designed for 2-4 players 7 & 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
Disney Planes Sky Race Action Game
(Wonder Forge $19.99 Score:)

Our testers loved the game play here that calls for "flying" your airplane from location to location. The planes are four soft foam gliders. You create a course to fly by placing the stage markers around your house. There are flight control tiles that challenge how you throw your glider (over your head, covering one eye, etc.). Each player takes a turn. The player that lands closest to the stage marker wins that toss. The player to have the highest score at the end of the course is the winner. 4 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Star Wars Force Grab
(Wonder Forge $15 Score:)

Star Wars fans will love this visual discrimination game that requires them to look at detail of 15 small SW icons (R2D2, Jabba the Hutt, Millennium Falcon, etc.). Players take turns rolling the objects. Then a card is turned over that has four SW objects pictured in certain positions (face up, face down). The first player to spot a match between the objects and one shown on the card must grab the "lightsaber" that matches the color in the background of the object on the card.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Spin master Shark Mania
(Spin Master $19.99 Score:)

Our testers laughed as they raced to be the first to get to safety. It is a shark-infested gameboard with pop-up sharks ready to chomp and take you out of the race! The backstory is your pirate ship has run aground and you and your gold are overboard. Getting to the safe island you can collect some of your gold, but watch out! There are hungry sharks that mean to get you before you reach that island. The novel gameboard adds to the fun. 6-11

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
Spinmaster Moustache Smash
(Spin Master $15.99 Score:)

Moustache Smash is a silly but fun matching game. Each player holds a funny moustache on a rod with a suction cup on it to their face. As playing cards are turned players try to be the first to find a card that matches the color or shape of the one he or she is holding. See a match? Hurry up and smash the suction cupped mustache on the card. But watch out. If you smash the wrong card, there is a penalty. Winner is the one who collects the most cards. This game involves remembering two attributes at one time while having a lot of silly fun. 6 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Spot it! Disney Pixar Words
(Blue Orange Games $13 Score:)

Take your choice of licenses: Disney Princesses or Pixar, whatever appeals to your beginning reader, here is a fun way to develop matching skills as well as sight word recognition. There is only one matching pair on any two cards and you have to be fast to be first to spot it! Kids identify the matching words pairs or word and image matches. A fun choice for 2-8 players ages 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. 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 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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