Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 


2003 Award
Sunshine Circus
(Reprint Mint $58 Score:) Ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages! Welcome to the Big Top Striped Tent! Has painted chipboard panels and towers. Will inspire lots of pretend with trapeze and ring. Clowns ($8 each) and other props are sold separately.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Thomas the Tank Engine Mountain Overpass
(RC2 Learning Curve $40 Score:) When the trains pass over, the magnetic sensors activate the sounds (you can also push the button). A good centerpiece to refresh an existing set. Their Stacking Risers ($20/set of 3) are ideal for getting more height for your trains.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Remote Control Action Train
(Brio $50 Score:) If you're into wooden trains, here's a truly neat train that can go forwards and backwards with a push of a button. It is a sleek white train—very European looking, with lights at the front. Also fun, Remote Control Switching Track ($40).

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Leap Frog!
(International Playthings $19.95 Score:) The object here is to throw your bean bags against the frog (with a trampoline-like body). The lily pads that they land on have different point values. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Good for developing eye-hand coordination, but may be too intense for younger preschoolers. They say 3 & up; we'd say... it depends on your child. Still top rated, Egg'n'Spoon Race ($19.99 ). 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
It Takes All Sorts
(Small World Toys $14 Score:) A classic counting/sorting toy. Each shape has one, two, three, or four holes to fit on the wooden dowels of the puzzle board. This looks simpler than it is for beginners. There are two attributes here: shape and number. This calls for dexterity and counting. They say 2, we'd say late 2s and 3s.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Make-A-Shape Puzzle Board
(Small World Toys $14 Score:) Introduces fractions with a circle cut in thirds, a square in quarters, a triangle in halves, and a whole rectangle. Obviously, using these terms with sandwiches, fruit, and other everyday objects will teach the same concepts. 21⁄2 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Lily's Purple Plastic Purse
(Mudpuppy Press $7.95 Score:) This company continues to make marvelous puzzles from picture-book art. Select 20 pieces in a frame or 24- and 36-piece puzzles in handsome, sturdy storage boxes. Favorites: Katy Cat and Beaky Boo, Martha Speaks, and Where the Wild Things Are. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Nobbly Wobbly Beach Ball
( $12.95 Score:) (Hands On Toys) Here's a pretzel of a beachball with several interlaced plastic tubes that you blow up individually to make a 19" beach ball. Because it's not a solid ball, it is easier to catch. We didn't find the enclosed pump very useful—we blew it up the old fashioned way!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Fire & Rescue Activity Pack
(Lauri $14.99 Score:) Loaded for dramatic play with lacing and tracing figures of firefighters and trucks; has 20 stringing pieces with firehouse theme and a small setting with firehouse, trees, and animals. Plenty of activity here for developing fine motor skills along with pretend play. Also top rated, Space Odyssey Pack. 4–7.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Down by the Docks Train Set
(RC2 Learning Curve $150 Score:) This "wow-ee" of a 45 piece gift set includes the Sodor Bay Bridge, a Lighthouse, and a Crane (with working magnet). Don't get caught up with the playmat, which is limiting—train layouts should be open-ended. Or, for a good, but less expensive layout ,consider the Conductor's Figure 8 Set (Learning Curve $44 ), a good starter set with 25 pieces, including a conductor's shed, tree, stop sign, signal, Sir Topham Hatt, and ramp. Comes with three train pieces. You can gradually add on bridges and other props for birthdays and other gift events. Still top rated, Around the Barrel Loader Set ($100/50 pieces ).

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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