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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Music

 

Dance Baby Dance Sit & Stand Danceband
(Fisher-Price $39.95 Score:) Great idea, poorly executed. When toddlers activate sounds by stepping on the play mat or by hitting the keys on the console, too much music plays—so the lessons in cause and effect are lost. Marked 6 mos. & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2006 Awards
Neurosmith Music Blocks
(Small World Toys $45 Score:) Welcome back! This Platinum Award winner was gone for a few years. It returns with five colored plastic blocks, each side making a different sound. Match the shapes on the blocks or play them in random order—there’s no right or wrong way. The “composer” allows you to record and play back your composition. Comes with one jazz cartridge; we’d suggest bringing home the classical cartridge ($15), too. (800) 421-4153. SNAP Activity: This is a great product for developing shape matching concepts as well as dexterity. Play a game of putting up all the triangles and play them...next try all the circles. Or how about making a pattern as in circle, square,cirle, etc. A satisfying toy for making things happen. Sound quality is also a major plus when it's a toy you are going to hear again and again.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2008 Awards
Mega Bloks Smart Builders Piano
(Mega Bloks $34.99 Score:)

We are always on the look out for a beginning musical toy. Most are over the top in terms of frenetic lights/motion and or the sound quality is so poor you don't want that to be your child's introduction to musical exploration. So we were really delighted when this new piano arrived. There is a keyboard that you can set to play note for note or you can use the music bloks that sit on top on the piano to add layers of music/sounds/beats to what you're playing. Our testers noted that the bloks stay on well - a plus. Other comments included: "This is a fantastic toy"; "Interesting & fun now & will grow with him for a quite a while I suspect." "You can play the songs automatically or by pressing the keys, or you can use it as a straight piano (with several sounds) that has surprisingly good sound quality."

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY:Playing a tune is not so easy except with this clever toy. It comes with preprogrammed songs that play a familiar tune as the child hits the same or different keys…so the child has a sense of control. It can also be played with color-coding, but it is the non-coded format that is most child friendly and empowering.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Award
Musical Hands Mat
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:) Following the flashing lights above each handprint on the 45" mat allows children to play a tune. This calls for visual attention and sequencing. Marked for 2s, but this will be hard for most toddlers under 2½. A much better choice for preschoolers and beyond!

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

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2006 Awards
Neurosmith Together Tunes Block
(Small World Toys $59.99 Score:) Also reintroduced this year, an active musical toy for young toddlers. Just a turn of the oversized fabric block activates a familiar nursery tune along with peek-a-boo surprises built in. Songs include “Wheels on the Bus” and “Old MacDonald.” A good choice for cruising toddlers. PLATINUM AWARD ’04. (800) 421-4153.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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