Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip
Age: Preschoolers

 

 
2015 Award
Play-Doh Crazy Cuts
(Hasbro $14.99 Score:)

Chances are you had a set that looked a lot like this old favorite play-doh hair styling kit. But, wait! We bet your set did not have the option for a Mohawk haircut. For the 21st century child, this updated classic comes with a three thimble heads, six cans of play-doh, a scissors for trimming and a tall barber chair with a crank that turns and makes the clients hair grow. It's a fun toy that many children will enjoy returning to often. For some, it's also a way to role play and work through feelings and fears about sitting in the barber's chair. Turning the crank calls for some muscle power and choice making, too. 3 & up

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

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2015 Awards
Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Set
(KNEX $73 Score:)

A giant size tin container holds a 111-piece set of Lincoln Logs; truly a collector's item with all wooden pieces. This is you dad's all wooden Lincoln Log set...if he is old enough. In any case, it is just the way today's grandparents remember their Lincoln Logs days before premade plastic eaves and roof pieces came along. A great set for multiple kids to enjoy together. Pull this out if you have frequent visiting grandkids. It will keep them busy or get down on the floor and build a village of log structures with them. Labels on Lincoln Logs are often marked for 3 and up. Forget that! All a three year old can do is watch you build, knock them down or be frustrated trying to build them up. Save this for your older 5, 6 and 7 year olds and be prepared to work with them until they get the hang of how the logs fit together and how to stack the roof pieces so they donít all clatter down. Kids get a real sense of accomplishment from learning how to do this and trying to assemble different structures. It calls for visual discrimination as well as dexterity and problem solving. This is no instantaneous toy. It takes patience and thinking.

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

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2014 Awards
Mudpuppy Cooper Hewitt Magnetic Letters
(Mudpuppy Press $17.99 Score:)

A set of 40 upper case magnetic letters with patterns selected from the Cooper Hewitt Museum collection. These have full magnetic coverage on the back instead of the old fashioned little magnets that were typical of letters you may have played with on the fridge. 3 & up

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

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2014 Awards
Lincoln Logs Redfield Ranch
(KNEX $50 Score:)

A barrel of building fun comes in this giant size container with 109 wooden logs, plastic door, windows, roof plus a cowboy, horse, corral gates and corral, flag, feeding trough, hay and other small accessories. An instruction booklet will help beginners, but once they get the feel for this classic building set, kids come up with their own structures. Fun to use for dramatic play once the buildings are made.They are marked 3 & up. No doubt preschoolers will play with the forts and log cabins after an adult builds them, but as a construction toy, this is a much better choice for early school years from 5-8.   

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

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2011 Awards
Colorforms 60th Anniversary Edition
(University Games $26 Score:)

What could be better than bringing home one of your childhood favorite toys and sharing it with your children or grandchildren? That's what you can do with this replica of the original Colorforms Set that has 350 geometric pieces in a spiral book and playboards to put them on. Unlike all the licensed images that followed since 1951, this is a more open ended set that allows kids to create their own themes. There is a small insert with images that can be copied, but best of all, this is an invitation to explore and discover how shapes can be transformed into designs and less literal images from one's own imagination. It's also an art form with no messy residue and no right or wrong rules. Getting the pages started may call for some adult help, but playing with the shapes develops fine motor skills, dexterity, and creative thinking.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Guidecraft One to Four Sorter
(Guidecraft $25 Score:)

Hands-on learning is built-in to this classic math for beginners puzzle. There are 16 wooden pieces that fit on the rounded pegs. They have 1-2-3 or 4 holes that fit on the 1-2-3 or 4 pegs. The smooth wooden pieces are colored with aniline dyes and made of eco-friendly rubberwood. Everything fits on the smooth natural finished base. Use these for color sorting as well as matching numbers. This comes with a small activity booklet with good ideas for introducing the toy and math and color concepts. This also develops fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. 2 & up.

SNAP: A good choice for beginning counting skills and developing visual discrimination.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Cabbage Patch Preppy Boy
(Jakks Pacific $34.99 Score:)

Boy dolls are still not too abundant, yet boys and girls both like having boy dolls. This classic Cabbage Patch doll has a soft huggable body and is dressed with khaki chinos a striped buttoned shirt. He has big blue eyes and a pair of dark framed glasses. The glasses, a small extra, just might be a great hit for kids who are also wearing glasses. This is one of a collection of 14" newly refreshed Cabbage Patch dolls.

3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Awards
Cabbage Patch Fashionalities
(Jakks Pacific $34.99 Score:)

Take your pick of these 12 charming Cabbage Patch dolls. This newly reintroduced line includes both boys and girls, fair and dark haired, in many skin tones and cute easy on and off clothes. Many come with glasses that are especially pleasing for kids who also wear them. These are 14" soft fabric dolls with their typically silly faces and huggable bodies. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Awards
Lucky Ducks Sesame Street Edition
(Hasbro $29.99 Score:)

We gave the original Lucky Ducks game an award years ago when it first arrived on the scene. In this new edition, the game play has not changed but Ernie has been added to the motorized game board. Players stand in front of one of four color symbols- their home base. When the game begins players take turns picking up a duckie hoping to be the first to collect three ducks with their home symbol on the bottom. It's a fun matching game that reinforces color and shape concepts as well as turn taking and learning about the gamesmanship reality--you win some and lose some. There is no reading involved in this preschool matching game. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Colorama
(Ravensburger $20 Score:)

If you're looking for a game to reinforce color and shape concepts, Colorama is a strong choice.  Roll the dice. If you get a circle and red--you need to place one of the red circles on the board. The game is over once the board is completed filled in.  A good parent/child game or a game to be played cooperatively by a group of kids working on the same skills.  Colorama will have a short term appeal - but when you're in that knowing and naming zone for colors and shapes, it provides a fun way to build your child's competence and confidence.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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