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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Review Year: 2013

 


2013 Award
Janod Bingo Tourismo
(Janod $19 Score:)

Just in time for the travel season, this 14 piece bingo set has four sturdy playing boards with eight double sided playing cards that slide in and out of the frames and wipe off markers for keeping track of items that players must spot as you travel along. Check off the bridge, train, gas pump, bus, etc. Play a quick game to find four items in a row or play to find everything on your board. There are two levels of play; one side has 16 smaller images the reverse has 12.  All the pieces are stored in a sturdy box with magnetic closure and fabric handle. A good time chaser for the back seat and the eternal question--are we there yet.4-8

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Brio Adventure Tunnel
(Brio $39.99 Score:)

We're always looking for add-on props to enliven train play. Action figures can climb up the side of this Adventure Tunnel with a lift up walking bridge on top. Figures can slide down one side or use the stone steps on the other side. Meanwhile, the train can go right under them. However, there are no figures in the package. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Ravensburger Augmented Reality Puzzles; Colorful Activity At Times Square
(Ravensburger $20 Score:)

Newest of the innovative augmented reality puzzles, Times Square comes to life with a 360 degree animated scene or for geographers, check out the new amazing World Map Puzzle with a quiz game built into the fun. Like the original 2012 Platinum winners, once again, technology meets the jigsaw puzzle and wow! Put these1,000 piece puzzles together and then use an iPhone or iPad to see your puzzle come to life! You get a free app download to activate the amazing video that asks you to find the image on your puzzle of the active animal or object moving on your screen. Of course, doing a 1,000 piece puzzle makes a great cooperative project for the whole family to do. Activity idea: Put the pieces on a table in a room the family uses and display the box cover as an invitation for 'getting it together' when anyone in the family has some free time. Once these big puzzles are done the whole family can enjoy this new dimension by clicking on an iPhone or iPad. A fun novelty for older kids and their parents. Still great, the original four puzzles: Underwater, Animals in Africa, Paris, and Norway. 

Age: Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Clifford the Big Red Dog Bubble Science Kit
(Scholastic $19.99 Score:)

One of a series of science kits for younger children. This explores making all sorts of bubbles by making wands and using them to make prints, sculptures, colored bubbles, gliding boats, jumping pepper and more. It comes with a supply of pipecleaners, wandsm bubble solution, funnel and best of all, an excellent step-by-step experiment book that will walk you through all these together activities. In the past, most of these experiments were more typically done with kindegarten,1st and 2nd graders. That said, there is nothing in this kit that preschoolers will not enjoy trying. Clearly, this is not a solo toy, but rather a chance to explore together. They have also done a Kitchen Science Kit and Rainbow Science. These are available at PBS Kids site and the Scholastic site. As of this writing they were not elsewhere. Marked for 3+, we think they make more sense with 5+.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Blossom's Cherry Bye Bye Buddy
(Bunnies By the Bay $17 Score:)

Babies love the satin lining of this pink and white 11" buddy blanket. She's a plush floppy-eared bunny attached to a snuggly small pink velour blanket, lined and edged in white silky satin. A good take-along travel toy, she has a strap at the back to attach to stroller so she doesn't get lost along the way. Washes beautifully, machine wash and tumble dry. Available in many other colors. Newborns & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Manhattan Toys Little Racers
(Manhattan Toys $4.99 Score:)

Choose from four distinctive little racers or collect them all in their jolly two tone colors and sleek styles. With pull-back action these little vehicles scoot across the floor. They are made of smooth plastic with chubby wheels and patterned hubcaps. Nothing complicated here. Easy enough for toddlers to use with delight. 1 and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Creativity for Kids Paracord Wristbands
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score:)

Designed to appeal to boys, Paracord Wristbands involve macrame-type weaving with thick parachute cord. It comes with eight colors, buckles, stickers, scissors, glue, and clear instructions. There are enough supplies to make eight wristbands. Marked for 7 & up, but we think most boys of seven will not have the dexterity to do this. We'd say it's a better choice for 8-9's.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk Bright Colors
(Crayola $1.99-8.99 Score:)

Just in time for outdoor fun, bright colors of sidewalk chalk for hopscotch games or sidewalk art shows. Colors include purple mountains majesty, granny smith apple green, orange, violet red, sepia, blue green and more. Really a new way to make their mark and it is labeled as washable. Comes in a big 48-piece pack or 24 or 12 pack.  4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Clifford the Big Red Dog Kitchen Science
(Scholastic $19.99 Score:)

One of a series of science kits for preschoolers. This one uses things found in the kitchen to make a volcano explosion, slime, crystals, fungus and more. The items in the kit include plastic test tubes, mini-volcano form, a small tank for making slime and other props. Best of all there is a wonderful step-by-step experiment book that will walk you through all these together activities. In the past, most of these experiments were more typically done with kindegarten, 1st and 2nd graders. That said, there is nothing in this kit that preschoolers will not enjoy trying. Clearly, this is not a solo toy, but rather a chance to explore together. They have also done a Bubble Science Kit and Rainbow Science. These are available at PBS Kids site and the Scholastic site. As of this writing they were not elsewhere. Marked for 3+, we think they make more sense with 5+.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Lullaby Blossom
(Bunnies By the Bay $35 Score:)

Give the big white pull a tug and Blossom will play Brahm's Lullaby. She's all pink in contrasting textures of silky plush. She has satin lined floppy ears and all stitched features. A good choice for multiple kinds of sensory feedback. The music does not play for an extended period. Spot clean.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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