Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Science Toys, Activities, and Equipment

 


2015 Award
Geosafari Jr. Sneak and Peek Periscope
(Educational Insights $19.95 Score:)

Peek around corners, from behind rocks or trees; this 14" periscope is good fun for pretend play and young scientists who want to watch creatures without being seen. It has a wide viewer so kids can use both eyes. The two easy to grasp handles are designed for small hands. One has a switch so kids can use the LED light for nighttime explorations.  Takes 2 AAA batteries, not included. Though it's marked 4 and up, we think early school years kids will like this best. 

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

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2015 Award
Geosafari Jr. Bugopticals
(Educational Insights $12.95 Score:)

A handheld dragonfly has six wings with lenses that invite all kinds of exploration. Each of three wings have a primary color lens that can be overlapped to create secondary colors. Two of the lenses have magnifiers; one is 2X the other 5X, perfect for exploring bark, leaves, bugs, or indoor surfaces and letters. Or overlap the two and get another enlarged view of the world. A sixth lens is faceted like an insect's eye, so they can see how the world looks from a bug's eye view. 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
Kids Preferred Eric Carle Critter Keeper
(Kids Preferred $14 Score:)

Just in time for spring time bug hunts in the park or yard. Shaped like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this critter keeper has a fabric handle and screened sides and a slightly magnified door that slides open and shut. Perfect for close up observations of creepy crawly specimens that can then be returned to their natural habitat. 

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

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2015 Award
Clifford the Big Red Dog Water Science
(Young Scientists CLub $19.99 Score:)

Newest in a wonderful collection of young science kits, this one deals with water and introduces children to some basic concepts such as floating, sinking, icebergs, and hands on experiments that allow kids to see the water cycle, phases from liquid to solid to gas. The kit itself contains almost all the materials you need to explore the activities in a 20-page manual that includes ways to make rain, submarine, foam boat, chromatography, and more. Plastic test tubes, mini-measuring cup, mini-sponge, pipette, lab tray and special tubes and papers for experiments. You will need to provide your own food coloring and for a magical experiment, some black pepper. Since these are essentially designed for preschoolers, you will be doing the reading. Basically, this kit is a parent intensive opportunity to explore and expand new ideas with your preschooler. Marked for 3 & up, we think this is probably a better bet for slightly oler preschoolers and even a good choice for 5 & up. Young readers will also like helping with the directions as well as the experiments.

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

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2014 Award
Geo Safari My First Microscope
(Educational Insights $21.99 Score:)

Designed for preschoolers, this allows young children to use both eyes instead of having to close one eye, as with a real microscope. The eye-piece can be raised and lowered for better views and it allows children to view coins and leaves and other familiar items under the lenses. Oddly, this is more like a magnifying glass than a microscope and the further up the lenses the more detail you see. It works with 8X magnification. 3 & up

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

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2014 Award
Primary Science Lab Gear
(Learning Resources $19.99 Score:)

Forget the princess dresses and firefighter outfits--for the new generation of STEM*-minded kids, bring home a lab coat and adjustable lab glasses for doing their science experiments. The goggles are intended for dramatic play only - they are not safety glasses. That said, this is a fun dress-up costume for 3-6 year olds. Nice addition to the Primary Science Kits from the same maker.

*STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

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

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2014 Awards
Primary Science Color Mixing Set
(Learning Resources $29.99 Score:)

Young children are scientists by nature. They love to experiment, to discover how things work and this kit gives them tools for exploring the nature of color-mixing in multiple ways. No doubt your kids have done some color-mixing with paints, but this kit uses colored disks that are supplied as well as food coloring (which is not.) We like the eye-glasses frame with color disks that you can slide in to see the world through rose colored lenses, among other colors. This updated kit is different from the original Primary Science Kit, giving special emphasis on color mixing.There are also disks that fit on a top that spins and blends colors in motion. They have also included chunky plastic test tubes for mixing up colored ice pops, ice cubes, and other treats. There are 10 easy-to-follow activities on big cards that require little reading. Of course, this is a parent and child kit with activities you can return to from time to time. For getting kids started with STEM activities, this is a terrific introductory kit. If you want one more piece to add to the kit consider the Color Mixer Beaker ($9.95) with a dividing wall that allows you to mix equal parts of two primary colors to get a secondary one. It has a squiggly top that slips on the beaker and when you turn the beaker over, out comes a new color! There is no food coloring in either package, so you will need to supply that. You might want to use this beaker for mixing up other color combos with fruit juices, as well.
3-6

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

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2014 Awards
Clifford the Big Red Dog Food Science Kit
(The Young Scientists Club $19.99 Score:)

One of the award winning Young Scientist Club kits designed for preschoolers. These are age appropriate experiments for parent & child projects. An interesting way to introduce preschoolers to some fundamental science experiences. Most of the ingredients needed have to come from your refrigerator or pantry. The kit contains a paper booklet with recipes for each experiment and some minimal plastic pieces: a funnel, tray, test tubes, two so-called cups, a lab tray, pipette, spoon, clothespin, special papers, and sticks for rock candy making. Be forewarned, the images and text may be a bit confusing. For example, the recipe for making ice cream says to use a "measuring cup" and the illustration further confounds the confusion by showing a hand with a good size cup in it, but do not use your own measuring cup. You are supposed to use the thimble-size measuring cup in the kit or there is no way the ingredients will fit in the plastic bags they provide. An unfortunate choice of words or materials. That said, the ideas here are going to be appealing to kids and promote the world of STEM right from the start. 3-6

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

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2013 Award
Plan Toys Gears & Puzzles Deluxe
(Plan Toys $44.99 Score:)

Build the base with square puzzle pieces and then add the gears to connect them into a machine that can be activated by little hands. There are endless ways to make the pieces spin. This clever set comes with 24 pieces including one big gear that can activate the smaller gears. Call it preschool physics. Marked 2 & up. For 2's and younger 3's this will be a parent/child activity. Older preschoolers will like doing open-ended explorations to create unique 'machines' that they can play with and start all over again.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Learning Resources Science Plant and Grow Set
(Learning Resources $26 Score:)

For budding scientists, here is a 12-piece kit with see through rooting trays, pots, observation jar with vented lid, watering can, trowel, plant markers and best of all--10 on-the-mark activity cards that invite kids to grow a variety of plants. Use found materials, like the top of a pineapple, radishes, carrots, popping corn kernels, and a clove of garlic. For other experiments, bring home seeds for beans and chives. The round observation jar with a lid can become a small terrarium with plants found in the yard or park. The activity cards provide realistic gardening experiments that preschoolers can do with help from an adult or older sib. True, you could use many of the containers you own without the set, but this gives the process structure in a playful way. Hopefully you will do that, too. To enlarge the experiences, take photos as each experiment progresses to make a small personal log or simple personalized book of their growing experiments.  Our tester "loved planting the seeds and labeling the various pots. He lso loved wtering his plants. Finally, there is a clear rooting tray and an observation jar included with the set, so he loved observing his plants take root and grow within the soil. He had never seen how roots grow and develop before so it was a new experience for him."  They did report some things they thought were drawbacks: the set does not come with soil or seeds--so right from the start you need to buy things before you can start. The set also only comes with one observation jar even though there are five experiments that call for the observation jar. Our tester felt that the best part of the set were the in ten activity cards. They also gave Learning Resources high marks for having on line extension activities. 3 & up.

SNAP: This hands-on kit is an excellent set of activities that all children can enjoy on various levels. Involving children in the process is a very satisfying ongoing activity.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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