Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Manipulatives

 

 
2016 Awards
Kid o Hide & Seek Discs
(Kid O $12 Score:)

Three double-sided discs slide as children tip this rattle. Two little faces, a mirror and patterns slide into and out of view. The smooth white rattle fits in small hands and encourages two handed play. A child activated toy with quiet little moments for learning about cause and effect. No batteries or over-done sounds and lights. 1 and up. 

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2016. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Kid O Wobbles
(Kid O $8.99 Score:)

These colorful Wobbles are weighted at the bottom so they move easily, but not too far, with a swipe of the hand and then bounce back up. For sitting up babies they are a hands-on exercise in cause and effect. Choose fox, owl, or raccoon or all three. Wobbles are just the right size for small hands to hold and for toddlers, who like to take small playthings along. Done in bright slick plastic they are totally easy to grasp, attractive and also fun for playing the "stupid parent game" in which baby drops it from high chair and parent picks it up...again and again.  Cause and effect for grown ups learning about who is in charge. They say 1 & up; we'd say 6 month and up, up, up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Fisher-Price Bright Beats Smart Touch Play Space
(Fisher-Price $60 Score:)

Designed for infants and toddlers, this touch-sensitive light bar responds with music, lights, and songs. Talk about making things happen, the play space also includes a ball run, a spinner, and roller ball that provide lots of lessons in cause and effect. As baby grows from sitting to standing to toddling, the play space also has age appropriate games that invite exploration. We could have done without the alphabet and counting games for toddlers who are barely talking. That said, we know babies are going to like the making-things-happen aspect of this toy.  This was tested with a range of ages and as we expected, it did well with older toddlers. One of our families felt that the toy did not always respond to the touch which made it less than smart - but they still enjoyed the toy. Another tester with a 22-month old tester tried using it for a climbing toy. She was beyond the game play of the toy as it was designed.  Marked for 6-36 months; we think the truth is between that time; more like 6-18 months.

 

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Sassy Zoomin' Zoo Train Set
(Sassy $29.99 Score:)

We liked the simplicity and play-ability of this little plastic train. An engine and two flatcars can be joined together and tots can load and unload the colorful blocks that can be stacked on the cars. The sensory blocks have rattle sounds that will interest young players. Each block comes with a small tray to hold the blocks and holds it in place. Of course, putting the small tray in place calls for more dexterity and maybe some help for the first however many times. 

SNAP: A good choice for encouaging eye-hand skills and dexterity along with dramatic play.Use color words as you handle the blocks to reinforce language and concepts. Use them for stacking and a singing game to the tune of Skip to My Lou:

"Mommy found the yellow block, the yellow block, the yellow block, Mommy found the yellow block...now let's find the blue."

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Early Years ABC & 123 Stacking Cubes
(International Playthings $14.95 Score:)

Nicely finished with bright graphics, these classic stacking blocks are good for nesting, as well as stacking in size order. Use the images for stretching vocabulary and simple 1-8 counting skills. Made of cardboard. 12 months & up.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Fisher Price Thomas & Friends RailRollers Spiral Station
(Fisher-Price $29.99 Score:)

Like a classic ball drop for toddlers with a spiral track PLUS an elevator lift for another way to reach the top. It comes with two character balls, Thomas and Diesel that will roll around on the child-activated roundabout where Sir Topham stands. Toddlers love the repetition and thrill of making things happen. Extra play balls with other character faces can be purchased separately. Marked for 12 months and up, we'd say more like 18-24 months.

SNAP: A fun way to develop eye hand skills and make things happen. Kids love the repetition and the thrill of making things happen.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Ambi Activity Tower
(Galt $27.99 Score:)

A four piece stacking toy that can be stacked in almost any order and each of the pieces has it's own action. The top has a squeak, the bottom has marbles that roll-around inside a see-through maze with lots of action and sounds. Another piece has clicking wheels and one has built-in clickers. 12 months & up.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Hape Roller Derby
(HaPe $39.99 Score:)

What an unusual ball run! Instead of just rolling down a runway this clever run goes from one side of the wooden wall to the other. The balls roll through circular openings as they zoom down metal tracks, switching sides once, twice, three times and ring a bell as they reach the bottom. Though it does the same thing over and over, for the young toddler repetition is a plus. In a world full of unpredictable things, repetition gives tots a sense of power and control. They love making things do the same thing again and again. This is also a great toy for kids who are developing more complex tracking skills. 1 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Best Bugs Magnetic Maze
(HaPe $24.99 Score:)

An old fashioned game for solo play. Older toddlers like being able to manipulate tiny beads that are safely under a see-through cover. There is no right or wrong way to play with this square board. Older players may like to try and get all the beads of the same color into the home of that matching bug's maze. Doing so will take patience and some skill. 2 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Janod Duck Family
(Janod $24.99 Score:)

Unlike many of the wooden toys we've received this year, this stackable duck family  has a beautiful feel and quality to it. The pieces are pleasing to hold. There's lots to talk about as you play with this set with your toddler. The pieces are both color-coded and have numbers on them (something that your toddler does not need to focus on)...rather with younger toddlers talk about the colors, concepts like one more, taking one off, etc.

Taking the pieces on and off requires a great deal of dexerity. Depending on when you buy this toy, you may find that your toddler is more interested in filling and dumping the pieces into the box. Not to worry, pull the toy out again in a few weeks and you'll see how differently your child plays with this type of toy as they approach 18 months.  While there are color "stories" here - we like the fact that there is no right or wrong way to play with the pieces on the four separate posts.  Don't be restrained by the numbers.

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

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