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

 

 
2012 Awards
Learning Resources Farmer's Market Color Sorting Set
(Learning Resources $39.99 Score:)

Five plastic baskets come with fruits and veggies to sort by color. There are stick-on color labels to put on the basket and five pieces of food in each color. These are well-proportioned props for pretend stores, and kitchens that are also useful for building knowing and naming language skills as well as possible games of counting and making patterns. The set comes with 30 pieces that will find their way into all sorts of pretend play and learning games. 3 & up.

SNAP GAME: Put three veggies in a row. Have/help child name them. Have child turn away a you remove one. Can he tell which one is missing? Try it another way. Have child turn away while you add a fourth piece. Can he tell the name of piece added?

SNAP GAME: For kids working on beginning sounds put down three or four of the foods and say, I'm thinking of something that starts with the same sound as bird, bug, bobby...if that doesn't do it add another clue it rhymes with Hannah....did they find the banana?

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Little Tikes Makin' Mud Pies Kitchen Set
(Little Tikes $49.99 Score:)

We had mixed emotions over this toy. Making mud in the sandbox was always a special joy in our family. We know that our testers enjoyed this make-a-mess machine, but it does seem like one of those toys nobody really needs to invest in. As reviewers of children's products we have serious questions about the need for a toy designed to make mud. What ever happened to the garden hose, pail and shovel, old plastic sand molds and recycled containers? If you really think you need this, be forewarned: it comes with no drill holes, meaning you need to have a power drill to get this up and running. There is no doubt that sand and water are magical at a certain stage in life--offering an early science experiences along with sensory pleasure. But chances are you can trust your kids to know how to do this without any extra investment other than soap and water at the end of the fun. 24 months & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

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

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2010 Award
Mystery in the Forest Write Me a Story
(eeBoo $10.99 Score:)

One of a series of books designed to encourage kids to write or dictate original stories. There are forest related stickers in this one, blank spaces for original art and lines for writing the story on. They say 3 & up - we'd say more like 5-8.There are also matching games and story telling cards in this Mystery in the Forest line that use the same overall theme that can help expand children's vocabulary and recognition of forest creatures.

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
Insect Lore Creature Peeper
(Insect Lore $10.75 Score:)

A well-designed bug viewer that allows kids to see bugs from top or side. It can be used for viewing tadpoles or small fish, as well, for a short time, since it is water tight. Designed to be escape proof, it is still suggested that kids keep their creatures just for a short time and then, let them go. 4 & up.

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 Award
Learning Resources Primary Science Set
(Learning Resources $29.99 Score:)

A 12 piece set, all chunky but realistic and safe for kids. There are plastic beakers, test tubes, tweezers, magnifier, protective goggles, eye dropper and 10 activity cards. These experiment cards have one side that shows what you need; the other side tells you what to do. An adult is needed to read. Many items needed such as vinegar, raisins, baking soda, seeds, and other items are not in the set. But these are age appropriate experiments in color mixing, sprouting seeds, bugs, make a volcano—to name just a few. Marked 4 & up, but this will be a set you can use with 1st and 2nd graders.

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

Our tester sent these comments:
"The kids loved the idea of the kit and were excited to conduct the experiments. The chunky size beakers and test tubes were fun and they liked the laminated cards with the experiments. The downside was that several of the experiments required materials not included in the kit (which is fine as long as you know it is not a self-contained activity going in) - things that might not be on-hand in the average home, like seeds for planting, bugs for examining, food coloring, etc. The activities that we did went over really well and got them thinking. The only other comment is that the tweezers are really pretty useless. They are made the right size for preschoolers, but they really don't grasp anything and are hard to maneuver - both for kids and adults."

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

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2009 Award
Zebra Mix Cookie Baking Activity Set
(Zebra Mix $22.95 Score:)

Baking with kids is fun and also a solid way to introduce so many math and science concepts. Zebra Mix, the company has created some baking mix packages that make it feel more like a gift. Their Organic Flour Power Cookie Baking Activity Set ($22.99) comes with a small rolling pin, two cookie cutters (a dragonfly and a flower), cookie mix, icing mix, and a big colorful direction sheet. You will need to add your own butter, flour, and vegetable coloring. The company also makes a Zebra Cupcake Kit ($14.95) that comes in a black and white zebra striped metal lunchbox. Our testers sent us rave reviews of the latter, although it comes with none of the utensils needed for making cupcakes except the mix. You'll need to provide many extra ingredients as well as muffin tins, liners, mixer, timer, measuring cup. Spoons and bowls. You could also just buy a cake mix and go at it. We have to say the packaging does have a gifty appeal along with the colorful directions "map." We note that the mixes do come with less packaging for a lower price, though they are packed in sets of six.  While you are using these kits or baking your own from scratch, be sure to talk about how things change as liquid is added to dry ingredients and what happens to liquid batter when heat is added.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Kinder-Ready Art of Science Color Kit
(Elmer's $14.95 Score:)

Designed for the youngest scientists in the making, this is an experiment kit that is ideal for introducing kids to the magic of colors and how they mix to make other colors. Three plastic oversized test tubes with stand and screw on caps come with a supply of 12 fizzy color tablets that are used to explore color changing. This is a kit for parent and child to share. It is not for kids to use independently. It comes with a color mixing tray, two long plastic pipettes (eyedroppers), magnifier, cotton swab, and an excellent manual to walk you through the experiments. There are three outlines of Eric Carle art that kids can color - but that is the least of it. This is science for the beginner that is totally hands on and planned for discoveries. Of course, mixing paints or vegetable coloring will do the same job, but this is a good place to introduce the concepts of observing, making hypotheses, and seeing what happens. The color tablets will run out, but the other materials will be useful for further experiments with paint and veggie coloring. 4 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

We have just learned that this product is only available at the moment on Barnes & Noble on line.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
Little Landscaper Mulching Mower
(Little Tikes $20 Score:) A good pretend prop for taking care of the lawn. Little Tikes also makes good kid's sized garden tools for raking leaves and digging in the garden.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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2003 Awards
Audubon Birds
(Wild Republic $6.95 Score:) Young bird lovers and watchers may really enjoy collecting these plush birds, each has a sound chip with that particular species song. Newest in the line this year is the Sissor-tailed Flycatcher. As collectables go these have a touch of magic as well as science built into the novelty. Makes a good stocking stuffer-along with a bird book or how about a bird house that they can build.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Award
Ladybug Land
(Insect Lore $19.95 Score:) Small half-globe structure is the home for the ladybugs that you hatch. Kit comes with a certificate for mailing in. The larvae will be mailed to you, and then you can watch the process unfold. Eventually, you can release the ladybugs into your garden. 4 & up. 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: 2004.

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