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Product Type: Toys

 


2015 Award
Alex Drawing Tool Box
(Alex $39.99 Score:)

A tool kit for older school-aged kids packed with colored pencils, pastels, charcoal pencils, sketchpad, sharpener, blending stumps, a white and a kneaded eraser, and bendable mannequin figure for learning to draw the human figure. Everything fits into the easy to take along case with a shelf inside for easy storage. 8 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Hape The Ringer
(HaPe $19.99 Score:)

For indoor or outdoor active play, this toss a hoop game comes with four rope and wood rings to toss. The object is to score the highest points on the poles that are of varying difficulty to loop. With younger players just ignore the scoring part and play for pure fun of playing together.
A good choice for developing motor skills, turn taking and color recognition. 4 and up.

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

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2015 Award
Fisher Price Thomas & Friends Daring Dragon Drop
(Fisher-Price $40 Score:)

A fun add-on for the Thomas & Friends train fans. This setting has plenty of action. Thomas rides along the track until he goes through a gate that sets off a volcano that lights up and rumbles. As Thomas reaches the top he slips into a zip line transporter style carrier that slips down and though the dragon's archway. The action is done without batteries and although it's a pretty closed system and may lose it's novelty before long, as an added setting for the train set, it adds a new element of action that will give the old train set a new focus. It's designed as a fold up take along, but it is not all that compact. 3 & up

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

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2015 Award
Dash Hounds Game
(International Playthings $14.95 Score:)

As your dog races across the board chances are its front paws will land on a color that corresponds to another player's dog and you will have to add another length to your pooch. The bigger your dog gets the harder it will be to get across the finish line. But not to worry; everyone's dogs will be growing. This is a fun game for older preschoolers and early school aged players. Easy rules to remember, color concepts and simple counting with novel game play. 4 & up

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

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2015 Award
Janod Floor Puzzle ABC Monsters
(Janod $25 Score:)

Funny Alphabet letters with googly eyes and smiling faces stand out on a black background. Giant puzzle pieces make this right for younger kids who will be amused as they put these playful letters together to form the alphabet. A good choice for kids who are working on the names and sounds of letters. This comes in a handsome carrying case that will hold the puzzles pieces for safe keeping between times. Remember, kids like to do their puzzles over and over again until they master them. This one has no frame for finding the outside pieces, so the letter names are going to be important clues. There is also a chart that can be used for reference clues. It's still a good idea to show beginners how to use the straight sided pieces for making a frame of their own. 4-7

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

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2015 Awards
Quercetti Fanta Color Daisy
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

With 240 colorful pegs of varying sizes and a built-in pegboard, this is an engrossing but open-ended puzzle that kids can use to make their own designs or follow the patterns in the design book. Some of the early patterns are clear while others are very complex for younger players. Well designed the tray will lock in the pegs away for safe keeping between playtimes. Use the cups to sort the pegs by color. A fun way to develop fine motor skills needed for writing and eye hand problem solving skills in following patterns. A good toy to keep at the office for quiet playtimes. 4-7

SNAP: Use the tray to osort by color and on another gametime, sort by color and size. The pegs do require a lot of dexterity and build finger power as well as visual discrimintion. Give them plenty of time to explore how the pieces fit and opportunitites to make their own designs. Use this for introducing patters...put int alternationg big and small, big and small pegs. Ask what comes next?

Not for children who still mouth their toys.

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

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2015 Awards
Hape Geometrics House
(HaPe $59.99 Score:)

A totally modular wooden doll house with geometric units that can be rearranged in endless ways. Rooms include a triangle, polygon, and divided rectangle. Build it side ways, stack it high like a condo, whatever way the imagination takes you. Comes with furniture and play figures. Ideal for beginning dramatic play that lends it self to language development and story telling. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. 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 Awards
Calico Critters Family Seven Seater
(International Playthings $39.99 Score:)

Built for a large family of Calico Critters, this navy blue seven seater has an open air top, doors that open on either side, a door to the trunk and wheels that really roll. It has two seats up front, two full benches and car seats that fit over the benches for the littlest passengers. Of course, the passengers are not included. Don't be deceived, they show critters on the box. But if your kids collect these cute little families, this will be a welcome prop for pretend play. 3 & up.

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

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2015 Awards
Mindware Memory Mix Up
(MindWare $20.00 Score:)

A cleverly designed see-through paddle is used for this memory game. Slip 4-5 images into the paddle and show it to players. Shake it up and turn it over allowing one coin shaped token to come out. Now show the remaining items to players. Who knows which token is gone? Player that guesses it first keeps the token. Winner is the one with the most tokens. It comes with 100 playing tokens that also develop vocabulary as well as visual memory. Adapt the play to fit the age of your players and the number of images you use at one time. They say 3 & up, we'd say more like 4-5 year olds. Gradually increase the number of items shown as kids become more familiar with the game.

SNAP: Start with naming the items, select just a few and make them familiar items. Put fewer items in the arm of the paddle when you introduce the game. The object is to build success and language. Gradually add pieces as the game becomes familiar and they feel more at home with the game.

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

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