Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Active Physical Play

 


2013 Award
Rock n' Ride Talking Lotty
(Mamas and Papas $129.99 Score:)

A plush seated ride on that converts from rocker to wheeled toy. Unlike other ride- ons, this has a cushioned seat that is more like a soft chair. The wheels do not come off, but slide and are held in place with Velcro straps. Squeeze its ears and it talks or plays music, though you may find the sound a bit loud for very young toddlers. They say 9 months & up, but since there is no safety harness, we think this is a better bet for older tots with more balance than most babies of nine months. We also suggest the soft seat may fall victim to leaking diapers and can only be surface washed, since it is not removable.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Fisher-Price Rockin Tunes Giraffe
(Fisher-Price $39.99 Score:)

Rockin' Tunes Giraffe responds to your toddler's movements with music, lights, and phrases. The more kids rock the more the lights in Giraffe's mane blink and the music and phrases build. Happily, you can also turn off the sounds and lights or choose a lower volume. We like the low seat, the bat-at roller in  Giraffe's mane. Best of all, the stabile rockers make this ride-on a fun choice for steady on their feet toddlers to mount with some independence. Unlike heirloom style wooden and plush ride-ons, this plastic rocker is quite affordable and will go the distance. A big gift for a little toddler. Need a big 1st or 2nd birthday gift that won't break the bank? This is it! 12-36 months.

SNAP: Aside from the stability of this rocker, it's invitation to physical gross motor play, and its affordability, we like the cause and effect lessons built into the action. The idea of making music go faster the faster you rock gives tots instant feedback that links their actions to making something happen.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Playskool Pop N Pick Up Elefun
(Playskool $29.99 Score:)

Toddlers will be popping, chasing, and picking up the five colorful balls that pop out of the blue elephant's trunk. Unlike a lot of pop up toys this does not shoot the balls high or with much force. As tots push the elephant over the balls it scoops them up again. This plays right into the toddler's delight in new-found locomotion as well as their love of repetition. We worried that the toy might be too small for two's, but our tester's dad wrote, "I do not think it is too small for a 2 year old, and Chloe is a large 2 year old. It holds her interest for 10-15 minutes, which is on par with other toys. She loves manually putting the balls in the different holes (trunk, back, bottom), and likes storing them in the handle. The one frustrating thing for her seems to be that sometimes she just wants to walk around with the toy, but it keeps spitting the balls out! Of course, she doesn't yet realize that as long as there are balls in there, it will spit them out. For that reason, the ball storage in the handle is a good idea. For the parent, the annoying thing is that the balls roll all over the place (under the couch, etc.) and we have to find them. Other than that, I think it's a good toy." A great gift for active players 18 months and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Step Two Easy Turn Coupe
(Step 2 $59.99 Score:)

Our testers spent several happy afternoons driving around in this new kiddie car that runs on foot power. It has a front castor wheel for added maneuver-ability. With a working horn and ignition key there are miles of pretend fun with the Easy Turn Coupe. As an added bonus, it can be used with younger riders that an adult can push along, however, there is no safety belt. There's a removable floorboard to protect little feet when they are being pushed. Also nice, this has a front trunk storage area and cup holders for both child and adult. 1 & up.

 

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Hape Scoot Around
(Hape $69.99 Score:)

Smooth, solid wood vehicle that is stained in part with light and dark greens, this is a handsome little ride-on for beginners. It has two small front wheels for stability and steers left and right with little effort. Low to the ground for young toddlers, it runs on foot power rather than pedals. For tots who are steady on their feet and walking. Built to last and be passed along to cousins or friends. Assembly required along with some patience, a flat-head screwdriver and pliers. They say 12 months and up, but we'd say more like 16-18 months.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Hape Galloping Zebra Cart
(Hape $69.99 Score:)

Perfectly balanced for beginning walkers to pull up and walk around with. Toddlers will love making the two black and white zebras go back and forth as they push this smoothly finished cart about. Designed for that still not all-together steady stage when wobbly tots are getting their balance. It allows them to hold on while they take those first independent steps to becoming true walkers. Though this is a short-term use toy, it is one that has a real function and is sturdy enough to pass along to cousins, new siblings, or good friends. 12 months & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Eco-Bonk Jackson
(Pueri-Elemental $59.99 Score:)

Remember your old inflatable bop toy? You punched it and it popped right back up. A classic that has always been great for letting off steam or pent up energy on long winter days when going out is not possible. They were standard fare, although they often deflated into a useless heap after the patch kit was misplaced. These days there are still plenty of vinyl bop toys around, but this new collection comes with a choice of cotton fabric covers that will reduce the chances of the inflatable getting a quick knick. Choose a friendly brown bear, a goofy penguin, or a smooshed grey elephant. They are made of  eco-biodegradable vinyl that will eventually disappear rather than clog up the land fill. Yes, they are pricey and we hope the small start-up company will be able to bring their price down before long. That said, it is a toy that will see a lot of action. 2-6

SNAP:A great toy for active venting without getting scolded for punching or kicking. It's also big enough to be enjoyed by kids who are 5 or even 6.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Wonderworld Red Buggy Car
(Wonderworld $99 Score:)

Toddlers can't wait to climb on board this wooden red ride-on with four-wheel drive for stability and a steering wheel for maneuvering. Low to the ground this pedal free ride on is powered by foot to the floor action. It has rubber tires for better traction indoors or out. This is one of those basic toys that older toddlers, with their new-won mobility are going to enjoy for a short but important stage when they are not ready for pedals or complicated ride-ons. This has a small beep-beep horn in the steering wheel and will be good for early pretend play as well as satisfying the need for using those big leg muscles. 2 & up.

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

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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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