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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2004 Award
Guess How Much I Love You Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $15 Score:) This company continues to make marvelous puzzles from picture-book art. This is a big (2' x 3') 24-piece puzzle from one of our favorites. Also in this size, Caillou. The company also makes smaller 36-piece puzzles which are more appropriate for next age group. Top rated: Olivia, Curious George, and Where the Wild Things Are. 4 & up. (212) 354-8840.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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Awards
eeBoo Children of the World Lacing Cards
(eeBoo $4.95 Score:)

Kids dive right into lacing activities without knowing they’re a great way to develop the fine-motor skills they’ll need for writing. While stringing beads, they can also sort by color and make patterns, learning to see likenesses and differences. Our favorites: Children of the World and Fairies of the Field (eeBoo $14.95 each ) Beautifully illustrated sturdy cards that kids will love to work on. 4 & up.  Lacing & Tracing Tools (Lauri $6.99 ) is made of sturdy chipboard punched with holes that kids "sew" with colorful laces. Also recommended, Lace & Link Numbers ($14.99 ),  crepe 4" rubber numerals that reinforce shapes in a tactile way. 4 & up. 

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

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

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2004 Award
Bebe Do Doll
(Corolle $74 Score:)

Bebe Do is a 14" drink-and-wet, all-vinyl bath doll with potty, bottle, and diaper. Still top rated, Les Minis Calins BLUE CHIP , sweet 8" soft-bodied dolls which also come in Asian and African American versions. Also, still great for preschoolers, Poupette. This collection of six multicultural dolls is right on target for threes and fours. Each has a reversible dress with Velcro fasteners. These would have been PLATINUM winners, but they're marked 18 mos. (800)

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
Happy Hands Hog and Wolf Puppets
(Mary Meyer $15 Score:) Just right for a lively telling of the Three Pigs, bring home these 13" full-body hand puppets. The pig is very cheerful and the wolf is not too scary! Made with a nubby finish, these are pleasing to use and will be enjoyed by the next age group as well. The Happy Lion and new Happy Tiger and Dino are also charming. (800) 451-4387.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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Remote Control Bridge
(Brio $50 Score:) The 25" bridge is controlled by an infrared light. It also has lights and warning bells when the bridge goes up. Looked promising but wasn’t ready for testing. Still top rated, last year’s Remote Control Action Train (Brio $50 ), a sleek white train—very European looking, with lights at the front. (888) 274-6869.

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

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2004 Award
Ladybug Land
(Insect Lore $19.95 Score:) Small half-globe structure is the home for the ladybugs that you hatch. Kit comes with a certificate for mailing in. The larvae will be mailed to you, and then you can watch the process unfold. Eventually, you can release the ladybugs into your garden. 4 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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Kettrike Happy
(Kettler $119.99 Score:) This gender-proof primary-colored line of trikes comes with a push bar you can control the trike like a stroller. This line tends to run small and fit younger, smaller preschoolers. Our recommendation with all bikes is to take your child and try them out first.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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2004 Awards
Crayola Dough
(Crayola $1.99 Score:) A super-soft colorful dough that comes in four-or six-pack sets in vivid colors. Will air-harden. 2 & up SNAP ACTIVITY: Encourage school age kids to shape snakes and then use them for making letters or numbers that will harden. Paste finished dried letters onto wood for name plates. Or make small disks of dough and have kids trace their pictures or names in the douch with a toothpick. Make a hole at the top and when dry this can become a necklace.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Make-Your-Own Cards I & II
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) There's no need to cut and pasting is a snap with the glue stick and precut shapes. There are several sheets of "pop-out" shpaes that can be used to decorate prefolded cards. Kit includes 20 envelopes for mailing finished art work. Store all the goodies in this kit in a neat box with velcro closure. This comes two ways, with pastel colors that are no dobt designed to appeal to girls and a primary color kit, that is likely to appeal to both boys and girls. We go for the latter! SNAP: Making their own cards will be fun and easy as well as motivating kids to use fine motor skills and create "mail" they can send to family and friends. No right or wrong way to do this open-ended craft kit.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Disney Classic Karaoke Microphone
(Disney $49.95 Score:) We've seen a lot of karaoke players-this is streamlined for ease of use and can even be carried along to family gatherings or parties. It's a red & yellow microphone with controls on the handle. You simply plug it into the TV and magically the songs lyrics show up on the screen along with graphics that indicate what "voice" you have chosen. Young readers will enjoy following the words to pop Disney songs and changing their voices from high to low; from funny to sweet. You can harmonize with yourself or simply sing. Unlike most you can actually slow the words down-which makes it a great reading tool that is also fun! Our testers ranging in age from 5-11 had a giggly good time with this one. Too bad it came too late for the book. Also available in "princess" pink. [Please note: the Disney Classic Version is available exclusively until the first of the year at Circuit City. The Princess Version is available exclusively until the first of the year at Toys R Us.]

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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