Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Activity and Craft Kits

 


2015 Award
Girl Scouts Cookie Oven
(Wicked Cool Toys $59.99 Score:)

Is there any substitute for Girl Scouts Cookies? Yes, most of our testers say, this is it! The Girl Scouts Cookie Oven is similar to your old easy bake oven, only some say the end product here is a lot better. Imagine, now you can have Girl Scout cookies any time of year.  [To be clear, the cookies are soft and inspired by Girl Scout Cookies - not exact in either category.] This dandy little oven comes with all the required baking equipment as well as a box of Thin Mints cookie mix. Prefer their PB sandwiches? Not to worry. Individual refill packs come in flavors of Thin Mints, PB Sandwich, Trefoils, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Sugar and Oatmeal($6.99 per mix) 8 & up. 

 

 

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Twine Design
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

These are like Mexican folk art we used to make with wool and twigs tied together. Instead of twigs, this kit comes with cardboard bases, 32 yards of brightly colored embroidery floss, feathers, adhesive rhinestones, velvet stickers, glue, necklace cords, earring findings, and jump rings on which to put your unique weavings. This will keep hands busy and challenged as kids learn the multiple ways to weave from the instructions. A fun way into an old craft with wearable end products. 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Crayola Star Wars Light-Up Tracing Pad
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

For kids of a certain age, when drawing skills are not as perfect as they would wish and they prize realistic images, this kind of drawing pad can be a satisfying, if not very creative way to get results. Though we generally do not recommend tracing kits, this one is going to give them the pay offs they are looking for. The light-up LED pad comes with three Star Wars Transparency sheets, 10 sheets of images to trace with favorite Star Wars characters, ships, shields, plus 10 blank sheets, six colored pencils, six gel fx markers and a graphite pencil. You can get more images online at crayola.com/tracing. Though it is a tracing kit it does involve staying with a task, working with pencil and paper, fine motor skills and bringing their own imagination to retelling or extending a well loved story. 3 AA batteries are needed and not included in the package. Marked for 6 & up, we think kids of 8 and 9 will like this even more.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Fleece Fashions
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

A three-piece beginners sewing kit that kids can wear after they put their own creative touch to the headband, scarf and touch screen friendly gloves. Pre-cut fleece petals and flowers, pearls, beads, and colored embroidery threads are packaged along with a needle threaders and instructions. Beginners will like the pre-punched stitch guides on the scarf and headband as they learn some basics. Of course, the colors may not go with everyone's winter jacket, but if the neon green and hot pink gloves are a go, this will be a hit for girls 7 & up.  

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Craft-tastic Yarn Tree Kit
(Ann Williams Group $34.95 Score:)

Instead of the usual jewelry box hang your jewelry on the branches of a colorful yarn tree. The 18-inch wire tree comes ready to wrap in bright yarn. You can bend the branches, which have pink plastic tips so there is no danger of getting jabbed with sharp edges. A clever intro to the art of armatures as the base of creating other sculptures only in this case, no need to cut and secure wire. The roots of the tree can be bent and arranged for stability. Hang on! Here is a decorative and fun way for girls to enjoy their jewelry, even when it is not being worn. 8 & up.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Holiday Snow Globes
(Creativity for Kids $22 Score:)

Our tester was thrilled to be able to make his own snowglobes with this kit that comes with the makings for three good sized globes (something our parents totally appreciated). The kit includes three figurines (Santa, a snowman and a mini reindeer.) You get four packs of special non-drying clay and tools to make setting or other figures for a winter scene. Once the scene is in place glitter packets are added and the globe is snapped on the base. This step may require some adult help. Next you use the small funnel to fill the globe with water and snap the plug in place. We have to say, unlike other globes we tried, this set works and kids can use these as gifts for others or the start of a collection of their own.  If you are looking for a non-holiday theme, consider the new Under the Sea Water Globe set that works the same way but comes with three underwater figurines; a mermaid, octopus and sea horse. Marked for 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Skyrocket Chocolate Pen Kit
(Skyrocket Toys $29.99 Score:)

First we need to confess; we are chocoholics. In spite of that, we usually avoid activity kits that are loaded with sugar. That said, we thought a few holiday sweets would be acceptable and besides--this is such an exceptional concept. Skyrocket's Chocolate pen kit lets you write in liquid confectioners chocolate. Kids can draw one-of-a-kind delicious shapes, letters, or use the molds to make designs. The chocolate melts simply by putting the pen kits in warm water; that's another feature we like a lot. No need to put things in the microwave oven with all the worry of someone getting burned from the hot liquid. The chocolate hardens at room temperature( if you don't eat it first). You might even call this a STEM project, seeing how solids turn to liquids and then back to solids again. Yes, it is educational and neat, too. The chocolate is self-contained and the melted candy never actually touches the pen; so clean up is pretty simple, too. The kit includes a half pound of premium confectioners chocolate in multiple colors, 50 candy molds, multiple pen tips, and gift bags specially made to share your custom candy creations. You could call this a sweet way to learn your letters or make yummy chocolate gifts for friends and family.  Candy Craft refills and themed molds are sold separately. Most of our reviewers had difficulty making the pen work but still gave the kit decent marks because they loved the chocolate and the molds.  Chocolate aside (which is hard for us to do) we think the mechanism needs some tweaking to be an award winner. We look forward to testing the next edition!

 

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Crayola Crayon Carver
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

Crayola has designed a motorized machine that allows you to personalize your crayons with your name, words, symbols. To design, you first pick your letter and symbol tiles, load them up into the front yellow positions. Once you're happy with your wording, place your crayon into the well and then you trace over the "letters and symbols" with a moving arm. While you're tracing the other end of the arm is carving into the crayon. There is a numeral expansion pack sold separately. For safety purposes the carving end is enclosed in plastic.  While most of our kids enjoyed the project, the majority of our parents did not find this novelty product compelling. They did not feel the finished product was sufficiently clear and while they love the Crayola brand felt this was skippable. 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Smithsonian Museum Craft Kit Triceratops
(Skullduggery $24.99 Score:)

Our 7 and 10-year old testers really liked all the steps of this plaster mold kit. In three easy steps, it is designed so kids get to turn the powder into plaster that pours into the mold and dries in about 45 minutes. Although they were less than thrilled with coloring the poster setting, they liked painting the pieces and pasting them to the poster. There is also a set with horses, one with three space crafts, and a skeleton, a pre-med kit for learning the names of the bones for serious minded crafters. The finished pieces are not standing models. They can only be displayed lying on the poster. 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Bright Bead Boutique
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Kids can make a wardrobe of bright beaded bracelets and rings to wear or share. They get 800 flower-shaped beads in gold , aqua, purple, green, pink, yellow, white, and orange in two sizes for large and small finishes. String them together in patterns or random creations. There are three ring forms and enough elastic cord, bead threaders and glue to make eight bracelets and three rings to wear with pride. This kind of kit develops fine motor skills as well as stick-to-it skills and patience along with end products school age kids enjoy making and wearing. There are enough supplies in this kit for sharing with a best friend on a play date or small sleep-over party.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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