Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2006 Awards
My First Stove
(Alex $19.99 Score:)

This mini kitchen (12" x 11" x 11") fits on a table top; ideal for tight spaces. A painted wooden stovetop with colorful knobs and drawer that opens to store utensils.  We like the gender free color scheme. Don’t be fooled by the picture on the box—no pots or dishes in the package! 3 & up. 


SNAP: This will sit on a wheel chair table or fit on a table top, as will the sink. Velcro strips added to the bottom and table surface will keep this from flying.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Calico Critters Townhome
(International Playthings $84.99 Score:)

Our testers have loved the characters and furnishings from this line for years. Now the new Townhome, in molded plastic, has a woodland look with red tile roof and lights that plug in and turn on with a switch. The animal critter families ($19.99 a set) are like storybook characters. The house opens for play and closes for storing all those little play pieces that kids adore. 4 & up. New for 2007 , outdoor furniture ($24.99 ) complete with sandbox! 4 & up. (800) 445-8347.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Award
Groovy Girls Minis
(Manhattan Toy $4.99 Score:) Best props for dollhouse play this season are long-term multi-ethnic favorites, Groovy Girls, now launched as “minis” in molded plastic with various hairdos, groovy clothes, pets, and funky home furnishings. These little 4" dolls can stand on their own two feet and are pose-able for active pretend. New for 2007, Reese, Gwen, Lourdes and Leticia. These little 4" dolls can stand on their own two feet and are pose-able for active pretend. (800) 541-1345.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2006 Award
Woody Click Firehouse
(HaPe $99 Score:) This firehouse with mini firetrucks, firefighters and other pretend props is part of a new line of wooden pretend settings that are ideal as props for block building and pretend play. Also notable in the line is a police station and hospital, the latter with heliports and their own vehicles and figures. They can be taken apart and rebuilt, but this takes some dexterity and adult help. That said, these are handsome. Look for the construction trucks, too in bright yellow. All of these came too late for separate review in the annual book, but they are all Platinum winners. Choosing the right one will be your pleasure.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Swan Lake Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this pink dream dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays as she dances!Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Swan Lake Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Tchaikovsky Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this red tulle and satin dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays Nutcracker music as she dances! Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Nutcracker Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Get Real Gear
(Aeromaxtoys $49.95 Score:) We were impressed with this company’s themed jumpsuits: new for 2007, an astronaut’s white suit and an amazing helmet ($43.95 5) that comes with audio commands for a “lift off”—really for 4s and up. Past favorites: Jr. Air Force Pilot and Jr. Championship Racer. Come in sizes for kids 3–12. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. They have new gender-specific doctor outfits (not our speed). (877) 776-2291.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Hokey Pokey Musical Skirt
(Acting Out $32 Score:)

Following the success of last year’s Platinum winning Swan Lake Musical Dress ($32 5) and Nutcracker Sugar Plum Musical Skirt ($26 5) that gave little ballerinas an orchestra they could activate as they danced, this season dancers can turn themselves around as they do the Hokey Pokey in a polka-dotted skirt with motion-activated music. All make magical gifts to stir active imaginative performances. 3 & up. (877) 727-0222.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Awards
Cooking Essentials
(Step 2 $17.99 Score:) A handsome 7-piece set of enameled blue pans includes a large and small saucepan with lids and a sauté pan with wooden handle plus two pot holders. Their stainless steel set ($24.99 3) with tea kettle, colander, sauce pots, sauté pan, and pot holders would have been a top winner but for the tea kettle’s handle, which is roughly finished. We pass on the bake set ($17.99 3) because the measuring cup, marked as a cup, is short of a true cup. It seems silly to be inaccurate. 3 & up. (800) 347-8372. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tin Tea Set
(Alex $24.99 Score:)

The problem with so many tea sets is that they are too delicate for preschoolers. In fact by law those beautiful porcelain sets must be marked 8 & up. Yet it's really the preschool crowd that loves a tea party! So here's a great (and safe) alternative. Done in pinks and greens with a splash of yellow, this set is all tin. Comes with 16 pieces including the tea pot, four cups, plates and a tray (for proper serving!). Better yet, the whole set comes in an attractive case (with a sturdy handle) for on the go tea parties.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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