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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Bright Bead Boutique
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Kids can make a wardrobe of bright beaded bracelets and rings to wear or share. They get 800 flower-shaped beads in gold , aqua, purple, green, pink, yellow, white, and orange in two sizes for large and small finishes. String them together in patterns or random creations. There are three ring forms and enough elastic cord, bead threaders and glue to make eight bracelets and three rings to wear with pride. This kind of kit develops fine motor skills as well as stict-to-it skills and patience along with end products school age kids enjoy making and wearing with pride. There are enough supplies in this kit for sharing with a best friend on a play date or small sleep-over party.

 

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
Faber Castell Gel Sticks and Texture Art
(faber-castell $14.99 Score:)

We love these smooth, easy-to-blend gel sticks for drawing in bright intense colors. Use them for drawing or add water and the stiff brush provided to turn drawings into watercolor paintings. The kit comes with 8 gel sticks, 10 pieces of textured paper, 10 more of regular paper, and a rubbing plate for extra texture. There are stencils, glue stick, and three foam frames with hanging tabs, and double sided sticky foam for displaying finished art. An open-ended set of art materials with a new texture and style. 6 & up.

Materials that make using pencil and paper tasks fun are always welcome.These soft but brilliantly colored gel sticks will make such activities new again.Use them for exploring up and down motions and circles and blending colors. Keep it playful. The object is to use those small motor muscles and eye hand skills. Giving children paper and tools to explore is more than just fun; it's the way to build those skills without tiresome and off-putting drills.

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

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2015 Awards
Educational Insights Koala Capers Game
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

Players vie to be the first to collect five different outfits to dress their koala card. They take turns rolling the dice; one has pattern the other shows pants, tops, both or underwear. Players take a card that matches their dice, but watch out. If you roll underwear you lose all your cards and have to start over. (Sort of like going down a chute in Chutes and Ladders. With young players you may need to soften this with the loss of one card instead of all. A cute game for looking at details, pattern recognition, and turn-taking.  A game for 2-4 players, 3 & up. We’d say this will be more fun for 4's and 5's.

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

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2015 Award
Educational Insights Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

A sweet (non-sugar) treat. Each player gets a small basket and must collect four different colored carrots to be the winner. Players take turns spinning the spinner that tells what color carrot they may take OR if they can steal a carrot from someone else's basket or if they have to start over because their basket spilled. And how do you get the carrots? That's the fun part; you must use the big blue bunny that you pinch together to lift a carrot. Beautifully packaged in an egg shaped box, this is a charming game that parents may need to play since there are so many variables. 4 players, 3-6.

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

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2015 Awards
eeBoo Beautiful Morning Panoramic Puzzle
(eeBoo $12.99 Score:)

Just in time for spring a garden full of bright tulips being picked by bear and bunny while others plant a garden, fly kites, ride bikes and enjoy the glory of springtime. Big pieces are perfect for preschoolers small hands. It's a 36 piece puzzle that forms a three foot long picture by illustrator, Kevin Hawkes. Also good fun from the same artist, Busy Vehicles, an illustration with little animals in vehicles made of carrots, bananas, cabbages and other fantasy vehicles that fly, float and roll along. 3 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Flower Crowns
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Our tester loved this charming hair accessory kit for making four delicate paper flower wreaths. It comes with four adjustable covered wires that can be fastened to fit individual head sizes. Wrap a fabric leaf garland as a base and then add bunches of berries, and beautifully finished paper flowers. Want a little glitter? Easy-peasy, dab on the gold glitter accent paint. 7 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Learning Resources High Seas Addventure
(Learning Resources $19.99 Score:)

Players are racing to het to the treasure chest in the middle of the high seas. But, they only get to go forward when they are the first to combine two cards that add up to ten. And watch out! There are shark and octopus cards that will change you luck. A fun way to reinforce addition concepts and facts of ten. We think you could adapt this game for other facts by removing the 10 cards and do facts of 9. A good first/second grade game for getting up speed. 5 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Learning Resources Picnic Party Game
(Learning Resources $19.99 Score:)

Get your ant marching to the picnic basket. Players race to be first to get there by taking a slide on the banana, across a watermelon wedge, a corn cob, or over a fork in the road. Like a game of War, player turn cards over at the same time and the high card gets to move. A fun game for reinforcing more and less and one to one counting as kids move along the path. For older players the game is played by subtracting the two numbers drawn and the one with the higher number gets to move the number of spaces in the 'remainder.' So, if you have a '10' and I have a '3' you get to move '7' spaces. This is a game that can grow with your child's skills. Marked 4 & up, we think even the easy game will be a better bet for 5's and the subtraction game is better for 6 and 7 year olds.

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

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2015 Award
Poof Sidewalk Chalk Ultimate Mandala Stencil Kit
(Alex $31.99 Score:)

This really is the ultimate sidewalk chalk set with 36 colorful chalks that should provide a summer full of fun. For those who like their hands clean and their chalk whole, there are 5 chalk holders and two giant stencils for tracing the parts of the mandala design. These chalks come shaped with writing tips and lots of colorful choices for making a unique mandala or whatever else their creative hands prefer. Alex sells these chalks in smaller packs without the stencils, but this is an interesting way to introduce kids to an art form from another culture. We suggest you hold back with some of the chalk instead of opening the entire supply all at once. Good fun for a family reunion party to keep the kids busy. They could use the chalk for hopscotch or an art show in the driveway, as well. Marked 5 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Begin Again Dinosaur A to Z Puzzle
(Begin Again $30 Score:)

A colorful alphabet puzzle for dinohaulics. This wooden dino comes in a wooden tray for safekeeping and fits together in alphabetical order. Build it with upper case letters on one side or do it again with upper case letters. It is not easy, but it is rewarding. When it is all put together it can be stood up, too. Marked for 5 & up. We think even 6 and 7 year olds will like this, especially if they love dinosaurs.

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

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