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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


Award
Mountain Action Figure 8 Set
(Brio $39.95 Score:) This is your basic 25-piece figure eight set with extra mountain twist thrown in for over-and-under action. Comes with a battery-powered engine, two cars, and one play figure. A good beginning for 3 and up. For a more advanced and pricier set consider Country Crossing Play set($100/35 pieces) with raised girder, animals, train and engineer. Track and Stack City Set($130/38 pieces) is still more complex. It includes an elevator, stacking supports, signs and figures. Looks more complex to assemble, but our 4 and 5 year olds testers had no problem with getting this assembled independently. They combined it with other sets they own. Parents were pleased with this innovative design and its sturdiness. New Curious George and Builder Bob sets were not available for tasting at press time.

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

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2002 Award
Colossal Barrel of Crafts
(Chenille Kraft Co. $39.99 Score:) Like a giant jar of treats in an old fashioned candy store, this huge plastic jar has mammoth supply of pom-poms, craft sticks, beads and string, foam shapes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glitter, metallic spangles, cutters, and plasticine. Add glue, scissors and imagination for many crafty seeeions. 4-8. Similar but with less “stuff” (and also less expensive) is the Giant Art Jar (Alex $ 24 41⁄2). 3 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
American Girl Lindsey
(American Girl $84 Score:) Lindsey is first in a line of annual featured dolls that will only be available for the year. Lindsey has curly auburn hair and sporty clothes. Her interests are in finding her lost dog. Her book (which was not available at press time) and accessories are extra. Pleasant Company continues to make exquisite multiethnic dolls from different periods in American history with books and period clothes and furnishings for each doll. A wonderful way to introduce history to kids. If you are looking for a patriotic theme this year, consider Molly a girl of the 40's and WWII. 7 and up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Lincoln Logs Commemorative Edition
(K'NEX Industries $29.99 Score:) Good news! Last year's splintery Lincoln Logs are gone! These are smooth and ouch-free. Keep in mind that building log houses requires visual discrimination and dexterity. Testers loved that big Commemorative Edition with 115 pieces in a giant tin. Most fours can't do these- save them for 5s. 6s and 7s.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Knex Missions in Space Sets
(KNEX $29.99 Score:) Builders continue to report that they need more finger strength for K'nex than for Legos. Fans of K'nex gave high scores to the new Apollo 15 Lunar Lander($2999/501 pieces) that comes with an astronaut and neat sound effects. The Jack Knife Big Rig Race Transport($16.99/296 pieces) Also scored a solid four.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Countdown
(Cadaco $15.99 Score:) Hands down, one of the best math games ever! A quick two player game that can be played by kids of mixed ages and math ability. It's played with dice on an uncomplicated wooden board. Each player has 10 wooden pegs that flip. The object is to be the first player to turn over all your pegs by rolling dice. Players may add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers they roll in order to get the number the combination that makes the number they need. 6 and up. (800) 621-5426. SNAP INFO: No special adaptation is needed for this excellent math game that can be used for beginners and beyond.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Lace and Link Numbers
(Lauri $14.99 Score:) Kids practice sequencing with these classic rubber numerals that fit into puzzle frames that link together. Lacing and handling the 4" numerals helps reinforce their shapes in a tactile way. For many children, before they can write or recall them with ease, "feeling" the numerals helps them remember the direction, shape and name of these sometimes confusing symbols. 4-7

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Operation Space Chase
(Learning Resources $13.95 Score:) Here's a fun way to reinforce place-value skills with hundreds, tens and ones. The object is to get your spaceship to the space station first by rolling the number and operational dice to advance on the board. 6-8. If you are looking for a fractions game, consider Pie in the Sky ($12.95)which rated a four. 7's and up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2013 Award
Hedbanz
(Spinmaster $15.99 Score:)

Each player takes a turn putting in their headband without looking at the object printed on the card. The player with the card now has to guess what his card says by the clues the other players give. A great family game for mixed ages. Comes with six headbands, a timer, scoring chips, and 74 cartoon cards. 

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

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2002 Award
Blink
(Out of the Box Publishing $8.95 Score:) "Again, let's play again!" was the shout of our testers to this cross between Go Fish and War. The object is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards by matching the top card on the two discard piles. You can match by color, shape, or number Calls for fast visual discrimination. Quick rounds and lads of fun.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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