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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2015 Award
Faber Castell Outdoor Chalk Art Set
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Imagine having a dozen vibrant chalks to draw with outdoors and no need to get messy hands (if that bothers your young artist) or sore knees, either. This dandy set comes with a knee pad cushion, 2 foam grips to slid the chalk into and two blending tools. A brush and a piece of foam. The intense color of these chalks makes you want to get out there and draw all over the driveway! Marked for 4 & up, but we know older schoolaged kids are going to love it, too.

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

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2015 Award
My Family Trivia Game
(The Purple Cow $12 Score:)

We like this unusual multi-generational games that will be fun for a family occasions since it calls for a lot of talking and sharing of family stories. Players must collect six different colored cards that are drawn randomly from the pile. The tasks on the cards require players to tell about themselves or things they know about other players in the game. For example one task card asks a player to name "all my cousins from oldest to youngest" or to tell "an object I could not live without" or “three places where we have relatives." There are a few picture cards, too, that are supposed to evoke family stories that relate to your family. An uncomplicated game that is sure to produce good laughs and happy memories, this is designed for 3-7 players ages 6-99.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Educational Insights Koala Capers Game
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

Players vie to be the first to collect five different outfits to dress their koala card. They take turns rolling the dice; one has pattern the other shows pants, tops, both or underwear. Players take a card that matches their dice, but watch out. If you roll underwear you lose all your cards and have to start over. (Sort of like going down a chute in Chutes and Ladders. With young players you may need to soften this with the loss of one card instead of all. A cute game for looking at details, pattern recognition, and turn-taking.  A game for 2-4 players, 3 & up. We’d say this will be more fun for 4's and 5's.

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

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2015 Award
Educational Insights Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

A sweet (non-sugar) treat. Each player gets a small basket and must collect four different colored carrots to be the winner. Players take turns spinning the spinner that tells what color carrot they may take OR if they can steal a carrot from someone else's basket or if they have to start over because their basket spilled. And how do you get the carrots? That's the fun part; you must use the big blue bunny that you pinch together to lift a carrot. Beautifully packaged in an egg shaped box, this is a charming game that parents may need to play since there are so many variables. 4 players, 3-6.

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

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2015 Awards
Poof My First Sports Bowling
(Alex $33 Score:)

Perfect for indoors or out, this nine-piece bowling set comes with six colorful pins that are made of padded foam. Set them up on the mat that's marked for the pins and knock them down with the realistic looking bowling ball that has finger holes like the real ones. Fun for important active play.

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

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2015 Awards
Dino Construction Company Rocko Styracosaurus Truck
(Educational Insights $16.99 Score:)

For dinohaulics, these small dino-shaped trucks are sure to find a place in the sandbox. Rocko is a dump truck that has a head that can shovel and a working backend for loading and dumping sand or whatever. This comes with a small construction figure that will fit in the cab. But be careful since it is small enough to fit in a mouth, too. In new line, there is also Snap, a velocirartor forklift and Helix, the stegosaurus cement mixer. These new trucks are considerably smaller (and less costly) than the original dinosaur trucks that our testers loved last year. You might want to have a look at Dino Construction T-Top Bulldozer and others bigger trucks in that line. ($39.99) 3 & up.

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

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2015 Awards
eeBoo Beautiful Morning Panoramic Puzzle
(eeBoo $12.99 Score:)

Just in time for spring a garden full of bright tulips being picked by bear and bunny while others plant a garden, fly kites, ride bikes and enjoy the glory of springtime. Big pieces are perfect for preschoolers small hands. It's a 36 piece puzzle that forms a three foot long picture by illustrator, Kevin Hawkes. Also good fun from the same artist, Busy Vehicles, an illustration with little animals in vehicles made of carrots, bananas, cabbages and other fantasy vehicles that fly, float and roll along. 3 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Educational Insights Design & Drill BrightWorks
(Educational Insights $30.99 Score:)

We love this amazing drill and bolt set with the added glitz of a light-up board and translucent bolts that glow when they are drilled into place. The power drill has see-through body so kids can see the gears turning as the bolts go in or out of the board. BrightWorks comes with eighty bolts, a drill with two bits and a guide with 12 patterns. We like that the whole kit is gender-free and can help develop eye hand coordination, making patterns, counting, and problem solving skills. Requires 3 AA batteries, not included. Marked 3 & up, but we think it will be enjoyed more by 4's and 5's.

 

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

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2015 Award
Learning Resources Picnic Party Game
(Learning Resources $19.99 Score:)

Get your ant marching to the picnic basket. Players race to be first to get there by taking a slide on the banana, across a watermelon wedge, a corn cob, or over a fork in the road. Like a game of War, player turn cards over at the same time and the high card gets to move. A fun game for reinforcing more and less and one to one counting as kids move along the path. For older players the game is played by subtracting the two numbers drawn and the one with the higher number gets to move the number of spaces in the 'remainder.' So, if you have a '10' and I have a '3' you get to move '7' spaces. This is a game that can grow with your child's skills. Marked 4 & up, we think even the easy game will be a better bet for 5's and the subtraction game is better for 6 and 7 year olds.

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

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2015 Awards
Learning Resources Count & Stack Safari
(Learning Resources $14.99 Score:)

Great idea for a counting game for beginners, but the problem is the animals are hard to stack. We think kids will love sorting these by color, or by animal. Do they have more giraffes or monkeys? More lions or giraffes? Toss the color die and pick up one animal of a matching color. Who is the first to get all five animals? Toss the number die and you get to pick that many critters--first one to get ten wins. Play it in reverse. Deal out ten and toss the die to find out how many you get rid of. First person to be rid of all their critters wins the round. But play the stacking game and frustration sets in. That said, this is a nifty set of safari animals to help reinforce counting, colors, and concepts of more and less. For young preschooers, work on color concepts first and move on to simple counting. 3 & up.

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

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