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Award: SNAP
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2012


2012 Awards
Creativity for Kids Stuck on Fashion Tote Bags
(Creativity for Kids $15 Score:)

There is no right or wrong way to add the decorations to this big 15 inch by 9 inch bag. It comes with 200 peel and stick hearts, flowers and dots in multiple colors. The kit also includes a hang tag for the designer's name and s small change purse that goes inside. Speaking of the inside, there is a flat insert that goes in the base and helps the bag to stand up on a flat bottom. We think kids as young as 5 will enjoy this kit. It would also be a great kit to use with kids with special needs who will not need to cut or use glue to add the decorations. Use this to reinforce color names, sizes, and shape names. 5 & up.

SNAP: Success is built into this kit that allows kids to decorate the bag with no right or wrong moves. Yet, when they are done, they have a usable end product they can carry with pride. 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Awards
Creativity for Kids Princess Music Box
(Creativity for Kids $25 Score:)

A sturdy pink chipboard music box (with a little ballerina who pops up when you open it) is ready for decorating. The box is deep enough to hold plenty; it is 5.5 inches high and 4 inches wide. The kit includes paper flowers, a sticker sheet full of scroll-like leaves and flowers, self adhesive rhinestones, glitter glue, adhesive squares and an idea book for decorating. The wind-up key for the music is built into the box, so this is a kit that can be completed with a showy end product that kids of a certain age really want. It is not entirely open-ended, but there is room for doing it their own way! Marked 5 & up, but probably done more successfully by sevens and up.

SNAP: There is no right or wrong way of decorating this music box. Yet the finished product is going to look pretty good, so success is built into making something that the child can then use for keeping treasures.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Awards
eeBoo Carnival Glitter Glue
(eeBoo $5 Score:)

Who can resist the thrill of a fresh pack of glitter glue? Use them for drawing, decorating cards or packages, add it to gift tags. eeBoo has several mixed sets with narrow tips that allow you to draw with some accuracy. Each set comes with four glue sticks of related hues.  They do look a bit like candy sticks and choosing the colors you may be hard to do...they all look so tempting to kids who like crafts.

SNAP: An appealing way to get kids to develop hand strength. Cover up the work space, cover up the cloths and let the fun begin. Allow kids to explore in an open-ended way for starters. Then, print your child's name on a big piece of paper and have her trace the lines to make a name sign.

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

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2012 Awards
Talking Tubes
(Alex $27.99 Score:)

An update from the can and strings inventions you played with in school, this plastic set works really well to the delight of our testers young and old. It comes with 3.3 yards of yellow tubing with a red and blue telephone on either end. Go around a corner so that you can't see each other and whisper something. Your voice comes through loud and clear. An early science lesson about sound! 3 & up.

SNAP: For kids who are working on speech, this is a fun prop that will add playful fun to their efforts. Try a game of echo. Say what I say...start with one or two words and buld. Reverse roles and you say what your child says.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Awards
Educational Insights Puppet-on-a-Stick
(Educational Insights $24 Score:)

Three zany looking puppet heads are on rods with levers that make their mouths move. They have googly eyes, three colors, and odd-looking head shapes. These may in fact be easier for kids to manipulate than the usual hand glove puppets and with their strange look may lend themselves to original story telling. 4 & up.

SNAP AWARD: Given their rod holding design, these may be easier for kids with physical challenges to operate. They can be held in one hand and the mouths made to move with the other hand. So these may be real find.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Awards
Journey Girls Kelsey & Friends
(Toys R Us $32.99 Score:)

With her striking auburn hair and hazel eyes, our 2011 Platinum winner, Kelsey is one of a collection of multi-ethnic 18" dolls that will not break the bank. For 2012, new clothes have been added to the collection and her affordable wheel chair is still available. She's featured as the most fearless--a girl who likes to go climbing and hiking. Maybe that is why she arrived along with a wheel chair and crutches set ( sold separately $24.99) She wears sensible outdoor clothes, a fleecy zippered vest, insulated knit shirt, shorts, walking shoes and carries a rugged backpack. All the dolls in the collection have soft bodies, jointed shoulders and luxurious hair for styling. Dressed in sports clothes they are active girls ready to take adventurous journeys. Their eyes do not open and close and they are not very flexible. Kelsey sits in the wheel chair with her legs stiff in front of her. Her hips are not jointed, so she sits, but stiffly. That said, they are an affordable alternative to many very pricey 18" dolls. Tanya is African American and heading for New Orleans Jazz Festival. Meredith is a blonde beauty dreaming of skiing in the Alps. Callie is an Asian girl, who longs to go to London and Alana is a Latina heading for Rome.

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

The wheel chair and crutches are listed and sold separately. Like the dolls, they are more affordable than most and well made.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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