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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Active Physical Play

 

 
2012 Awards
Rattle Rumble Push Toy
(Melissa & Doug $69.99 Score:)

One of the first weighted push toys we've seen in years. The wooden frame is smooth and finished in bright primary colors. Three see-though rollers turn as it is pushed forward. The primary colored balls and blocks inside rumble as they tumble. We can picture a toddler racing this from room to room delighting in the action and sound. This is a great choice for toddlers who like using their new found locomotion to make things happen. They also like holding on as they get used to walking on their own. You may need to tighten the screws on the side of this from time to time or at least heck them to be sure they are staying secure. We usually prefer hardware not to be exposed, but these are nicely encased, but we are simply suggesting you check them as the toy gets used. For beginning walkers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Hape Rainbow Push & Pull Toy
(Hape $24 Score:)

For the toddler on the go, here's a tot size push toy that has a quiet but very pleasing clacking sound. Made of wood, this is one of those classic kinds of toys that is short lived, but matches the beginning walking stage. It is not for kids who are still wobbly on their feet. It is just right for the upright tot who is steady but likes holding on to something. The fit-together handle has licks of orange and big yellow wheels with a rainbow of color pieces that click as they turn. This kind of push toy comes before the pull toy that involves looking over the shoulder as they go. With a push toy the action is in plain sight and not too distracting. Unlike too many wooden toys, this one is smoothly and beautifully finished! Also cute and pleasing, the Hape Lawnmower; same idea with a slightly different sound and a more pastel look. 

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

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2012 Award
PlasmaBike
(PlaSmart $79.99 Score:)

A real beginning point for balance bikes.  Two wide wheels makes this a good choice for twos. We liked that it actually steers (most bikes for toddlers no longer have turning capability) and we also gave high marks for making it a gender-neutral red. Some of our 2s had legs that were too long - so as with any ride-on vehicles, we recommend that you bring your child to the store before you buy.  Marked 18 months & up, but as we noted really depends on your child. We still LOVE this company's Plasmacar.

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

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2012 Award
Around the Yard Push Mower
(Manhattan Toy $42 Score:)

Our testers loved the clicky-clack sound of this old-fashioned handsomely crafted wooden push toy. This is intended for steady on their feet walkers who will enjoy their new found mobility. The three wooden balls are safely enclosed in the open slated drum. Can be used both indoors and out. Marked 12 months & up, but only if your one year old is completely steady on his feet.  It goes way to fast for children that are still wobbly.

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

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2012 Award
MegaBloks CAT 3-In-1 Ride-on
(Mega Bloks $49.99 Score:)

Finding a low-to-the-ground ride-on that actually steers but doesn't tip over is not so easy. At last, we have good news! This yellow construction truck is a combo fun for beginning walkers it can be used as a push toy and for foot to the ground riding. Sound buttons on the steering wheel will make a hit with toddlers and happily for adults, it has a volume control. It also comes with a detachable toolbox for beginning pretend play-for the older tots. The seat is more comfy than the company's earlier ride-on dump truck. This is really basic gear for active play and building big muscles. They say 1 & up. We say this is best for toddlers who are steady on their feet, which is often a little later.

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

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2011 Award
Kid o Nutty Squirrel Pull Toy
(Kid O $20 Score:)

Nutty Squirrel rolls along pushing an acorn that turns as Squirrel's bushy tail goes back and forth. This is one pull toy that is not only cute, it was designed with all the right safety features! Unlike so many pull toys with long strings that can be dangerous, this one has a breakaway feature to prevent any accidental choking should the toy be put around a toddler's neck. Unlike some the bead handle at the end is too large to fit into a choke tube or child's mouth. In fact it is easier for a toddler to grasp and pull. This is marked for 18 months and up. Like all pull toys, it is best for tots who are steady on their feet and able to look over their shoulder without tripping. For new walkers start with push toys they can see as they walk forward and then move on to the fun of pull toys like this Nutty  Squirrel.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Awards
Kids Preferred Diva Chime Ball
(Kids Preferred $16 Score:)

A marvelous Diva fabric 8" chime ball with a jolly jingle safe inside and plenty of surface textures to explore. There are colorful satin knotties, textured loop to hold, a crinkle velour patch, ribbon tabs and furry no-shed fringe. Each segment of the ball has a different fabric--high contrast black and white, velour with stars and another with hot pink splotches, silvery dots, and corded lavender velour.A perfect toy for first social games. Rolling the ball back and forth or crawling after it.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Kids Preferred Cute as a Button Chime Ball
(Kids Preferred $16 Score:)

A marvelous Cute As a Button fabric 8" chime ball with a jolly jingle safe inside and plenty of surface textures to explore. There are colorful satin knotties, textured loop to hold, a crinkle velour patch, ribbon tabs and felt fringe. Each segment of the ball has a different fabric - printed velour with stripes and another with dots, another with cotton knit stripes and others with corded and dotted velour.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Step 2 Push Around Taxi
(Step 2 $49.99 Score:)

Our tester took this to a NYC park for a spin...and it was a huge hit with everyone on the playground. The Taxi is the latest in Step 2's Push Along line that allows your child to enjoy a ride (while their feet are off the ground). Our latest toddler tester loves her drink holder. Our parent testers appreciate the seat belt for younger toddlers and the sturdiness of the design. A great way to get your toddler from point A to point B before they're ready to cycle themselves there.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Educo Butterfly Garden Push Toy
(HaPe $24 Score:)

Scaled just right for beginning walkers, this jolly push toy has a big multi-colored flower that turns and three butterflies that twirl above as it is pushed forward. The flower sits on bright green wheels and has a green handle. Holding something in their hand as they walk seems to help some beginning walkers with their balance. It's a way of holding on while letting go. This is not a weighted toy to hold them up. They need to be able to walk without it, but it is a fun toy to match their new-found walking abilities. 


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

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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