Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Manipulatives

 

 
2015 Awards
Sassy Zoomin' Zoo Train Set
(Sassy $29.99 Score:)

We liked the simplicity and play-ability of this little plastic train. An engine and two flatcars can be joined together and tots can load and unload the colorful blocks that can be stacked on the cars. The sensory blocks have rattle sounds that will interest young players. Each block comes with a small tray to hold the blocks and holds it in place. Of course, putting the small tray in place calls for more dexterity and maybe some help for the first however many times. 

SNAP: A good choice for encouaging eye-hand skills and dexterity along with dramatic play.Use color words as you handle the blocks to reinforce language and concepts. Use them for stacking and a singing game to the tune of Skip to My Lou:

"Mommy found the yellow block, the yellow block, the yellow block, Mommy found the yellow block...now let's find the blue."

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

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2015 Awards
Early Years ABC & 123 Stacking Cubes
(International Playthings $14.95 Score:)

Nicely finished with bright graphics, these classic stacking blocks are good for nesting, as well as stacking in size order. Use the images for stretching vocabulary and simple 1-8 counting skills. Made of cardboard. 12 months & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015.

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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 Award
Ambi Activity Tower
(Galt $27 Score:)

A four piece stacking toy that can be stacked in almost any order and each of the pieces has it's own action. The top has a squeak, the bottom has marbles that roll-around inside a see-through maze with lots of action and sounds. Another piece has clicking wheels and one has built-in clickers. 12 months & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Hape Roller Derby
(HaPe $39.99 Score:)

What an unusual ball run! Instead of just rolling down a runway this clever run goes from one side of the wooden wall to the other. The balls roll through circular openings as they zoom down metal tracks, switching sides once, twice, three times and ring a bell as they reach the bottom. Though it does the same thing over and over, for the young toddler repetition is a plus. In a world full of unpredictable things, repetition gives tots a sense of power and control. They love making things do the same thing again and again. This is also a great toy for kids who are developing more complex tracking skills. 1 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Best Bugs Magnetic Maze
(HaPe $24.99 Score:)

An old fashioned game for solo play. Older toddlers like being able to manipulate tiny beads that are safely under a see-through cover. There is no right or wrong way to play with this square board. Older players may like to try and get all the beads of the same color into the home of that matching bug's maze. Doing so will take patience and some skill. 2 & up.

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

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2014 Award
Janod Duck Family
(Janod $24.99 Score:)

Unlike many of the wooden toys we've received this year, this stackable duck family  has a beautiful feel and quality to it. The pieces are pleasing to hold. There's lots to talk about as you play with this set with your toddler. The pieces are both color-coded and have numbers on them (something that your toddler does not need to focus on)...rather with younger toddlers talk about the colors, concepts like one more, taking one off, etc.

Taking the pieces on and off requires a great deal of dexerity. Depending on when you buy this toy, you may find that your toddler is more interested in filling and dumping the pieces into the box. Not to worry, pull the toy out again in a few weeks and you'll see how differently your child plays with this type of toy as they approach 18 months.  While there are color "stories" here - we like the fact that there is no right or wrong way to play with the pieces on the four separate posts.  Don't be restrained by the numbers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Quercetti Daisy Shape Sorter
(International Playthings $37 Score:)

Finding age appropriate toys for young toddlers can be challenging. They're no longer infants and have outgrown many of their toys -- but not quite ready for most manipulative toys geared towards older toddlers and preschoolers.  The new Daisy Shape Sorter hits the sweet spot for young toddlers (1-2). The big flower-shaped container comes with a top that has seven different shapes for sorting. Now for one year olds you can also just use this as a fill and dump toy by taking the top off. Soon enough your toddler will be able to do the shape sorting aspect of this toy. We love that the openings give color cues by matching the color on the shape pieces. Comes with 14 pieces for sorting, filling and dumping. A great parent-child toy to explore together.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Kidoozie Stack n Sort
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

So many ways to play with this 12-piece stack and nesting set with shape-sorter lid. All the pieces fit in the big bucket for storage. Turn the bucket over and kids can stack the colorful cups to make a tower two and a half feet tall as they discover size order. Knock them down and fir them one by one back into the big pail--another way of discovering size order. Forget about nesting or stacking, put the lid on the pail and use it for sorting shapes that will go ker-plunk into the geometric shaped openings in the lid. But that is not all. Every one of the cups and the pail has holes for safety's sake, but that makes them fun for sprinkling effects in the tub or on the beach. Kids will need adults to introduce this versatile toy.  A good choice for introducing size order, counting, color concepts, positions words, and color concepts, too.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Janod Shapes Quiz
(Janod $30 Score:)

More than just another shape sorter, this wooden quiz game can be rolled like a big rattle or used with younger children for simple fill and dump games. Cleverly designed there are just three shape cut outs on each side, so you can introduce shape sorting without overwhelming. Once they learn the mechanics of fitting a shape into the corresponding slot, add the other three pieces on the reverse side.
To help kids learn to match shape to slot, talk about the color of the pieces and the color coded rims of the slots. Marked for 18 months & up but we think 2's and up will like this more.

SNAP: Use just three shapes to begin for naming and knowing and filling and dumping. Unlike so many shape sorters, this does not look babyish and can be used with less frustration since it does not present an oerwhelming number of shapes.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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