Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Activity and Craft Kits

 

 
2011 Awards
My First Dress-Up Play Set
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:)

If you're looking for an activity set that will keep your older three and four year old engrossed, take a look at this set. At first we thought this was just a coloring set, but it really is much more. It comes with both a boy and girl figure (both made of sturdy stock).  The set comes with a variety of preprinted outfits (swimsuits, party gear, priates, baseball, princess, etc.).  The various aspects of these outfits (also done in sturdy stock) can be attached by velcro. The box opens up to an background for the dolls. Our tester also loved that there were also outfits to be "colored" in with the dual tip Faber-Castell markers.  In otherwords, there is lots to do here--and at the end of the day you have a pretend setting and two characters.  Similar to old-fashioned paper dolls, but so much more durable and age appropriate to the 3 & up crowd. Fun!

A perfect toy for working on knowing and naming parts of the body, clothing and activities. Take out some clothes for one of the dolls and ask your child to pick what piece of clothing they want to use first. You can reinforce and discuss their selections.  "Great, so the hat goes?...."  "What else does the boy need?", etc.

The premade clothes attach with Velcro - giving this activity kit a more satisfying finished look for kids who may not be able to draw. There are clothing pieces that can be colored in.  They have a pre-printed design on each of them- again giving kids a finished product they may not otherwise be able to achieve.

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

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2010 Award
Play-Doh Mega Fun Factory
(Hasbro $34.99 Score:)

This is the 50th Anniversary of the Fun Factory, a toy you may have had when you were a kid. It's a big toy with a cool conveyer belt that makes premade shapes and may be more about nostalgia than long term play value. We prefer play-doh for making shapes and smushing and flattening out like a pancake—all done with the hands. Will this toy be fun? Sure, for a while. Is it a must have? Not at all. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Creativity for Kids My First Scissors Kit
(Creativity for Kids $14.95 Score:)

Learning to use a pair of scissors to cut along a line is not an instantaneous skill. Doing so, just got easier with these cleverly designed plastic scissors that can be used by both righties and lefties. No little fingers have to slip into place, you grip them with the whole hand and snip away. You can buy the scissors separately or in a kit with cut out creatures that kids cut, assemble and glue into place. The sturdy patterned paper has guide lines for beginners and the kit everything (glue stick, wiggly eyes, animal print paper, frames, and scissors) they need for making a menagerie of ten animals. There are no sharp points and the scissors cut through thick paper without a problem. There are simple directions as well as yarn to hang their finished creature creations. Be forewarned: these marvelous safety scissors are capable of cutting hair, so be on the look-out for small barbers in training. They say 4 & up...we'd say 5's are likely to have more success.
         The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

The design of these scissors will make cutting a lot easier for children who would have difficulty with the finger holds in classic scissors. Don't get caught up with cutting on the lines for beginners. Just the act of cutting a line or a curve is a big deal. The scissors are sold without the kit and are a good craft item to introduce--without the structure of the kit. Use them for cutting scrap paper and making colorful collages.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Crayola 3D Activity Set Disney Pixar Toy Story
(Crayola $19.99 Score:)

The latest addition to Crayola's fun line of 3D Chalk Sets.  Comes with one pair of 3D glasses, a really satisfying 16 chalk sticks, 5 sidwalk crayons, a how to book, and 3 jumbo Toy Story inspired stencils.  Just right for making your own sidewalk art show and/or hopscotch board.  Our favorite recommend activity for seeing the 3D effect--make a Target-styled design and you'll see the rings pop off the pavement.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Creativity for Kids Designer Doggie
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:)

There's not a lot to do here but it is likely to be a big hit with the older preschooler set.  The  little white  doggie is super cute (and super soft).  She comes in a little pink carrying case that can be decorate with the included felt stickers.  We like the open-ended aspect of this kit which is obviously designed for young crafters. They can add as many or as few stickers as they see fit.  The doggie also comes with a dog tag--so your child can personalize the name of her pet.   Many kids get anxious about traveling--so giving them a special new travel companion can help them get through the uncertainly of being in new places. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Creativity for Kids Create Your Own 3 Bitty Books
(Creativity for Kids $9.99 Score:)

One of the most charming kits we've reviewed this season.  The set comes with three small (hence the name bitty) books...each are hardcover and have 12 pages. In addition, you also get a holder for the books that you can also decorate.  Kids can use their own drawings and/or use the preprinted stickers that may help prompt some of their story telling.  This is the type of project that you'll have on your shelf for years to come.   The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Faber Castell Young Artist Texture Painting Set
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:)

If you're in the painting zone with your older preschooler or early school age child, this set is fun to expand their painting experience. The set comes with five different "brushes" that will create different patterns with the tempera paint (5 colors are included).  This type of set is right on target for talking about layering colors, changing colors based on combining them and the types of patterns they can create with the brushes. The handy vinyl bag is perfect for storing art supplies after they are cleaned up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: For kids who may not like getting their hands in the paint, these brushes give them another opportunity for exploring applying paint to paper in interesting ways. The handles are wide but you can also add a foam hair curler to make them easier to grasp.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Creativity for Kids Crayon Rubbings
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

A fun exploration art kit for preschoolers.  The set comes with five rubbing plates that fit in the frame.  You can use either blank sheets of paper (the kit comes with 20 blanks) or one of the 20 coloring pages.  Depending on your young artist's desire, you can use one rubbing plate for the entire sheet or change it up as they color different portions of the sheet. The set comes with two frames and eight crayons.  A very satisfying coloring toy that provides an opportunity for exploring color and pattern.  Our suggestion is to use this as a parent/child toy to start.   For kids that draw fast, this may give them space to slow down and see what they can do.

We love this as an opportunity to encourage hand motion-- kids will get to feel the bumps of the rubbing sheets as they pass the crayon over it.  Explore and talk about the patterns all on their own. There are waves, circles, stars,etc.  Using the coloring pages will also give you a chance to talk about what colors you can use to color in the images.

For older kids with special needs who may not be able to create their own representational art work, this will give them an opportunity to produce something with the look they would like to achieve. 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Creativity for Kids Cardboard Racer
(Creativity for Kids $29.99 Score:)

If you have a child that is completely into cars and pretend--take a good look at Creativity for Kids' new Cardboard Racer.  You'll help put this car together and decorate it with the included decals (racing stripes, stars, wheels, license plate)...and then your child has a whole body pretend prop for acting out his own racer car adventures.  Yes, you could use a box and make your own--but this one is pretty spiffy. No scissors or glue is required--a plus!  They also have a Cardboard Coupe (think undated VW Beetle that you can decorate with flowers and hearts).  

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Creativity for Kids Cardboard Coupe
(Creativity for Kids $$29.99 Score:)

Great fun for kids that love pretending with their whole bodies!  You put together this cardboard coupe and then decorate it with lots of decals (flowers, hearts, peace sign) and even personalize with your child's name on the license plate--and your child is good to go!  Yes, you could make your own with an empty box--but this is that project on steroids.  There is also a Cardboard Racer designed for the NASCAR driver in training! The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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