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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2014 Award
Quercetti Tubation Transparent
(International Playthings $49.99 Score:)

A 70 piece set of transparent tubes that connect like pipes. What we love about this kind of building set is that it is completely open-ended. Putting the pieces together is not only fun, but it helps build hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills and creativity. Comes with 28 straight pieces, 7 t-shaped pieces, 7 crosses and 28 curved pieces. A nice set to explore together.

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

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2014 Award
Disney Frozen Surprise Slides
(Wonder Forge $19.95 Score:)

Think Frozen meets Candyland. The four main characters (Elsa, Anna, Duke of Weselton and Kristoff) move around the mountains high above Arendelle. No ladders here but there are big  pieces on the board that players may be required to turn or flip and may send a player backwards or forwards towards the finish line. Very straightforward and for fans of the movie, this will become a favorite.

Age: Preschool. 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.

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

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2014 Awards
Fur Real Friends Get Up & GoGo, My Walkin' Pup
(Hasbro $59.99 Score:)

Newest take on Fur Real Friends: A very cute Furry White pooch on a bright pink leash. Use the remote to take her for a walk or make her sit. If you talk to her she responds with little barks that will not scare anyone. There is also an free app that you can down load with more ways to play. For the child who longs for a puppy who may be allergic to real fur or live where pets are not possible, this is the next best choice. It's not going to take the place of a real pet, but it can be quite satisfying for a while, and doesn't need house-breaking, either. 4 & up.

SNAP: A good toy too motivate active and interactive play. Getting the puppy to move motivates kids to use fine motor skills to use the remote and large motor skills to walk the pup around. The pup also responds to your talking, so this is a toy for all kinds of active learning and play. Even recalling how to make the pup bark wag its tail tilt her head and walk involve curiosity, discovery and memory.

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

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2014 Awards
Fur Real Friends Pom Pom, My Baby Panda
(Hasbro $49.99 Score:)

A new player in the FurReal Friends line, PomPom, a baby panda walks when you shake a rattle, slurps when fed with her special bottle and will wiggle, giggle and talk back. Like all electronic dolls, she's not especially soft and cuddly, but she is interactive and if you own GoGo, My Walkin' Pup they can talk to each other--just sayin' Both are pure novelty items.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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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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