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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


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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2008 Award
Sprig Vehicles
(Sprig $24.99 Score:)

A new truly green collection of vehicles that are just right for the preschool set. The line is made of what the company calls "sprigwood" which is a composite of recycled milk jugs, bottles, containers, and reclaimed pine sawdust. There is also no added paint--so the colors are somewhat muted. Another plus-no batteries are required. Kids can get the lights to go on and the sound effects to kick in by friction. Our testers really enjoyed the smaller vehicles (Rally Racer and Baja Scout). The larger Discover Rig ($59.99) has a handle for pushing that is also fun although we had trouble hearing the sound effects--we are told by the company that they will be louder the more the vehicles are pushed. Hats off to this innovative company--we look forward to seeing how they expand their line.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
2 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner
(International Playthings $39.95 Score:)

It's clean-up time! Ok, so we'll pretend. This dandy little blue and green vacuum cleaner has easy rolling wheels, a removable hand vac, and sounds and lights. This is an old time favorite of boys and girls alike. Comes with "dirt" that you can vacuum up - which is a fun concept but not for kids that you believe will try to taste it! Takes 3 "C" batteries. 3 & 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. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Poingo Set
(Publications International $34.95 Score:)

Although the oversized books are all based on licensed characters, this is an entertaining electronic book collection with a sensor that is chunky and easy for beginners to grasp. The two books that come with the set are based on Finding Nemo and The World of Cars. Touch the big sensor to the text and it reads the page or touch the images on the page and it gives you bits of info, sound effects or things to find. Unlike Leap Frog's TAG, this does not include a library of real books by gifted writers and illustrators. It also does offer the option of hearing the words read out loud with the sensor's guidance one word at a time. That means it is not establishing the understanding of how books work from left to right and word to word. If this option and some real books were added to the mix this would also be a Platiunm winner. That said, this is a pretty good choice with more complex text that slightly older kids might find inviting. We think the 3 & up age label is not correct. This is more like a good choice for 5-8.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP: The easy to operate sensor can be fitted with Velcro and placed in a mitt with Velcro so that it can be grasped with greater ease. The subject matter in these two books may appeal to older kids and still give them the independence of "reading" alone!

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

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2008 Awards
Acting Out Jingle Bell Rock Skirt
(Acting Out $40 Score:)

Totally in tune with the holiday season! This red and white net skirt has a peppermint striped bow with a bell and plays Jingle Bell Rock music when your little dancer begins to move. Action activated, this is good fun for getting up off the couch and moving. Also see Acting Out's Musical Waltz Dress. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: Finding ways to encourage kids to play actively comes built into this motion activated skirt. For children who may not be able to dance, this is still a fun skirt to wear and use the music maker for stop and start games. Have child hold the toy and when they shake it you do the dancing...freeze when the music stops. This is an empowering game that puts them in charge of the action.

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

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2008 Award
Shake n Go Flyers
(Fisher-Price $14.95 Score:)

We loved the original Shake n Go Cars and these Flyers are the airborne version for active fun. The hand held launcher does look a little like a gun, but it is really a docking place for the lightweight plane. YOu click it into place and then shake the launcher until the lights and plane sounds begin. Press the trigger and va, va, va, voom! It takes off! They say 3-7. We'd say more like 5-8 would be able to make this happen and enjoy it! Comes in four different designs. Players will love the orange and silver Hawk, the green Show Plane, the silver and blue Ghost Jet and the green Fighter Plane. It is soft enough to use indoors, but not anywhere near your delicate treasures. Has great sound effects! A good buy for the money.

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
Curious George Discovery Beach Game
(I Can Do That Games $16.99 Score:)

This is a memory game with a new format. Small objects are buried in “sand” under the playing board. Shake the box and they move around some. Puzzle like pieces cover over the “windows” to the beach. Players draw a card and put it face up for everyone to see. Spin the spinner and lift the puzzle cover and see if you can find the treasures on the cards. If you spin a “wave” you get to shake the box and move the treasures. Object is to collect the largest number of cards. A fun way to build matching skills, color concepts, as well as memory. 3 & 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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