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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2009 Award
Beleduc Dinosaur Hand Puppets
(HaPe $7.50 Score:)

These Velour hand puppets are sure to make a hit with dinosaur lovers. They fit like a glove. Uncomplicated and ready for dramatic play of the prehistoric kind. Inexpensive enough for good stocking stuffer gifts for the science minded. Tuck in a book on the same subject.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Playmobil Dinosaur Collection
(Playmobil $14.99 Score:)

There's a favorite dino for every one in this wonderful new line of prehistoric creatures. There's the Pteranodon ($14.99), a really impressive Brachiosaurus ($44.99), a fun Triceratops ($39.99) that comes with a baby, a green T-Rex with Velociraptors ($24.99) (that is sufficiently ferocious) and a Spinosaurus that comes with a dino next and two babies ($24.99). Each come with a variety of play pieces (caves/mountains, smaller dinos). We took off points for the people included in the sets. While the people are clearly of the "Jurassic Park" variety, it still seems unnecessarily to confusing to us to include them. Our testers also loved the smaller Dino Transporter Explorer Quad ($9.99).

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: 2009.

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2009 Award
Playhut Build a Dino Honeycomb Hut
(Playhut $49.99 Score:) You need plenty of room for this playful dino play setting (164"L x 51" H x 82"D). Comes with individual panels that you connect in order to make your own giantic green dino that has lots of different crawl spaces. Great for play dates, rainy days and countless dramatic play scenarios. 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: 2009.

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2008 Awards
eeboo Thoughtful Girl Paper Dolls
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

An old fashioned favorite minus the frustration of having to cut around those tiny tabs or tricky edges! This is not to say old paper cutouts are out. But these paper dolls are for a younger player. The precut clothes and dolls allow girls of 4 and 5 to develop the dexterity of placing the stick-on clothes onto a pair of multicultural paper dolls. Made of sturdy cardboard they are almost 8” tall and come with two sheets of clothes that stick-on like your old Colorforms. To add to their dramatic play value, each set includes a two-sided setting that stands up like a stage set. There’s an inside scene and an outside setting. Sasha, a redhead and “Botanist” and Jasmine, an African American girl, who is an “explorer.” They are just one of several available sets. Others include Elodie and Naomi, a musician and artist or Phoebe and Iris, a poet and astronomer. An ideal choice for quiet time, travel, or waiting room wiggles. 4-7.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP Award An excellent toy for developing language, naming parts of the body, clothing, colors, as well as story telling skills. Unlike the usual paper doll cut-outs these dolls demand a different kind of dexterity. Children may find lifting the plastic pieces up challenging. One way to make that easier is to place them on a less shiny surface. Put the pieces on construction paper or a wooden table. Game: Play a color game, giving a riddle and asking child to find a piece of clothing that is the color of a green turtle. Or make the riddle about something you can wear on your feet that is the color of a truck tire. With older kids switch roles and have them give you a riddle about something they see.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Playmobil Recycling Truck
(Playmobil $28.95 Score:)

With energy conservation looming large, Playmobil has brought back their Recycling Truck. A perfect hands on prop for making recycling part of your child's world--both real and pretend! Truck comes with three bins and two play figures.

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: 2008.

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2009 Awards
eeBoo Animal Memory Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Illustrator Brandon Reese designed these charming animal cards on big cracker-like playing pieces. Knowing and naming the animal pairs helps build language skills and turning the matching pairs over requires visual memory.

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

SNAP IDEAS: Use these to talk about sounds the animals make, colors, or if they have feathers or fur; walk on two feet or four, live on water or land. You don't need to turn it into a quiz, but rather to expand on what they know about these familiar creatures. These and a companion Number game are easier to pick up since they are thick and have good edges for picking up. 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
eeBoo Mystery in the Forest Matching Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

This takes concentration card games to a new level. Artist Melissa Sweet has created a set of matching cards with the potential for storytelling on each little card. Use them for a matching/concentration game and then use them for telling stories. Take turns adding to a story based on the card you select. Make this a cooperative venture by putting the cards out in an original sequence as you spin the story together.  3-6.

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

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2011 Award
eeBoo Tell Me Story Cards
(eeBoo $10.95 Score:)

Use these large cards for playing a story telling game.  These can be used solo, but for starters players can use threes cooperatively to tell a story as suggested by the images on the cards. This kind of game promotes language development, vocabulary, and the ability to make up a story from the liely pictures. There are several other sets of 36 cards with different themes. Newest of the cards ar the Tell Me A Story Animal Village Cards illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. They feature a cast of furry friends romping in their mini village. We also like Lizzy Rockwell's Fairytale Mix-ups with familiar storybook characters such as the Gingerbread Boy, Tinkerbell, and a Wicked Witch among others. For Circus fans, look at Brandon Reese's Circus Animal Adventures, Melissa Sweet's Mystery in the Forest cards are full of action and for the sci-fi minded, look for Saxton Freymann's Little Robot's Mission. 4-8. Also, marvelous, eeBoo's Write Me a Story Pads, as pictured (eeBoo $11.95 each 4.5) The same artists have used the images on the cards to make stick-on seals that can be put on the top of the lined paper. Parents can take dictation of a child's story or older kids can use the stickers and blank pages to write their own tales. Getting kids to tell a story is the first step in getting them to read a story.     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: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
eeBoo I Never Forget a Face Travel Matching Game
(eeBoo $9.95 Score:)

A perfect stocking stuffer or take along on a trip card set. Lizzy Rockwell’s delightful multicultural faces are printed on small cards that can be matched for solo play or in a concentration style game. Also cute, a set of small “Once Upon a Time” cards with Humpty Dumpty, Red Riding Hood and others. For young nature lovers also consider the matching game of “Life on Earth” with kangaroos, peacocks, lemur, and many more plants and animals. For younger players, there is a new travel set of Color Dominoes. Saxton Freymann used bold graphics of stars, hearts, blueberries and a sleepy lamb to make these colorful dominoes a delight to handle. Again, kids are matching familiar shapes and learning to recognize them outside the nursery.

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: 2008.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Wildlife Matching Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Knowing and naming the animals in this set goes a bit further than your average three year old! Reindeer (sans Santa), opossum, hedgehog, snail, and a hippo. Matching is matching, but knowing the names of these critters will take some doing. For extra fun, try a riddle game…put out three cards and say “I’m thinking of an animal its name rhymes with pail (snail) or I’m thinking of an animal its name rhymes with Zippo. Or play another game asking your child to find an animal with feathers, scales, fur, etc. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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