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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2009 Award
Big Trucks and Diggers Matching Game
(Chronicle $14.95 Score:)

A classic concentration matching game with cards that feature all sorts of diggers, grapplers, shovels, excavators and other big construction trucks. This is a companion game to a book by the same name. Comes in a sturdy magnetized storage box. Develops memory and matching skills. Bring the book home as another way to satisfy preschooler's interest in things that go.. Sure to please the truck lover in your midst. 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.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Life on Earth Lacing Cards
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

Five colorful cards with bright laces that children can “sew” around the big and baby bear, peacock, fish in coral, turtle, and elephant and baby. This kind of toy is ideal for honing fine motor skills needed for writing without the drill of shaping letters. Learning to use the small muscles in fingers to accomplish this task takes staying power and patience. This looks simpler than it is and is best used with school aged kids 5 & up.

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

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

Picture book artist, Kevin Hawkes, created a menagerie of animals to use in a concentration matching game. These are familiar creatures that children need to learn to name and know. You can also use them as a riddle game. Lay out four cards and say I’m thinking of an animal that goes “oink!” ; I’m thinking of an animal with feathers that sleeps in the daytime. It says “Whooo!” In time you can encourage your players to make up their riddles and try to stump you.  3 & up.

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

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2009 Award
eeBoo Prechool Picture Dominoes
(eeBoo $13 Score:)

Familiar bugs, birds and animals are pictured on these chunky cardboard dominoes. No reading or counting required. This is a simple matching game to develop visual matching and turn taking. There are opportunities to count, for those who are moving in that direction, as well as building color concepts and language. 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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2009 Award
eeBoo Preschool Nature Memory Game
(eeBoo $13 Score:)

Big picture cards with scalloped edges are easy enough for little hands to lift and turn over to make matches. Use these for a classic concentration game or with slightly older children play a rhyming game. Put four card out and say I’m thinking of something that rhymes with junk, trunk, monk….to go with the picture of the skunk. Or, use the same cards for finding something that grows, is alive, but cannot speak…the child must find the apple tree. 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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2009 Awards
Wash & String Beads
(Alex $16 Score:)

Twelve colorful wooden beads in the shape of clothing that preschoolers can string on a line. The string comes with a wooden dowel that makes it easier to thread through the beads. This kind of action develops fine motor skills of little hands as well as eye hand coordination. The various clothes also can expand vocabulary as kids identify pants, shirts, blouses, bathing suit. Playing pieces are good for pretend as well as counting. 3& up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP IDEA:  Stringing threads through these wooden clothing shapes helps children develop fine motor skills as well as eye hand coordination. As they handle these wooden shapes you might want to use them to play a riddle game of “I’m thinking of something…” for example “I’m thinking of something that goes inside of shoes, they come in twos…they rhyme with rocks.” Yes, you found the socks. Or how about I’m thinking of something that has lots of dots, it is worn by girls, it rhymes with yes.” You found the dress! Or simply play a game of matching colors…”I spy two things that are yellow and pink…can you find them?” Knowing and naming the clothes is another way to reinforce vocabulary.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Kids Preferred Peter Rabbit Hand Puppet
(Kids Preferred $15 Score:)

A silky plush Peter Rabbit with velour blue jacket with stitched gold buttons and safe stitched features. Soft enough to be a huggable, this has the added value of being a hand puppet that older sibs and parents can use for peek-a-boo games with baby or telling a story. From tracking to story telling, this is a great toy for interacting, language development and pretend play. All ages.

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

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2009 Award
Les Deglingos
(All New Materials $40 Score:)

An all new look in huggables, the Deglingos are made of patterned cotton knits, wide ribbed corduroy, fuzzy plush, and felt trims. The collection includes a rabbit, hound dog, cat, hedgehog, rat, cow, and sheep. They have a zany look that is likely to appeal to 'tweens as much as younger kids. 3 & up.

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

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2009 Award
Kid Galaxy Movin' Motors
(Kid Galaxy $35 Score:)

Our testers love the clever motorized “robot” that you plug into the body of these construction trucks to make them go forward. Turn the motor around and it powers the dump bed of the Dump ‘N’ Drive Dump Truck or the Pick ‘N’ Plow Backhoe with a digger and claw on the back. These two work better than the Lift ‘N’ Load Bulldozer. These have a whimsical look as the motors have see-through sides that allow you to see the working fans and pistons. Easy enough for pre-schoolers to operate. One tester needed some help learning to load the motor into the right slots. These take 4 AA 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Playskool Wheel Pals Train Station
(Hasbro $24.95 Score:)

Like a ball roll, this uncomplicated purple and blue upright “railway” has a twisting orange track that is similar to the ramp on a toy garage. Put the red and blue train engines on top, push the engine or the red railroad crossing sign blinks its light as down, down, down, the little engines roll with a “toot toot!” There’s a “chugga chugga” sound of a train-on-tracks as it comes through the green gate. Repetitive action will appeal to toddlers. Preschoolers may use this setting with their building blocks. Takes 2 “AA” batteries. 18 months & up.

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

SNAP IDEAS: Although this is labeled for toddlers, there is nothing babyish looking about this toy. It lends itself to lots of cause and effect action as well as repetition. Watching the little vehicles race down the track also involves visual tracking.

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

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