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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2009 Award
Mini Automoblox Three Pack Sets
(Manhattan Toy $25 Score:)

For parents looking for "cool design" for the playroom, look no further. A set of three smaller versions of the PLATINUM AWARD-winning sleekly designed wooden cars. Part puzzle, part vehicle, these also got high marks from our testers who enjoyed taking the cars apart and putting them back together. The vehicles fronts and backs are interchangabel so kids can create original vehicles. 4 & 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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2008 Award
Ryan's Room Home Sweet Home Dollhouse
(Small World Toys $139 Score:)

Painted pink with yellow trim, this three-stories-high house has two staircases and lots of room for pretend play. It has a more traditional look of a colonial house with shutters and front door. Access is only from the rear. It comes furnished with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom furniture. For a less expensive house on a smaller scale, testers liked the A-frame Ryan's Room Home Again, Home Again that comes without furniture.  Also special, a three story unfurnished dollhouse Home Is Where the Heart Is ($130) that is opened front, back and from the top for easy side by side play by several children.  This company makes multicultural families and interesting furniture collections, including Livin'It Up ($15), a 9-piece set with chairs, lamp, and a flatscreen TV, of course. Also an unusual, the Fluff'n'Fold Laundry Room.

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

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2008 Award
Toss Your Cookies
(Gamewright $11.99 Score:)

Players must gather five of the same cookie card and the only glass of milk pictured on the circular cards. Players get the right combination (or not) by following the actions on the dice and passing cards left or right. This is a good game for matching skills, directionality, and turn taking. Aside from all that, each round is quick and fun. 3–8 players; 15 mins. 8 & up.

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

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

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2008 Award
Cat In the Hat I Can Do That Game
(I Can Do That Games $19.99 Score:)

The Cat in the Hat wants to see what players can do. Players flip three cards over and then try to do what the cards say, using the playing pieces provided? For example, can you jump up and down while holding a fish under your chin? There's reading, memory, action, and lots of fun built into this entertaining game for kids 4–8. Also fun, You to the Rescue! Game ($19.99). As in a scavenger hunt, you hide tiny Who cards around the house. Players race against a timer, wearing a Horton hat with Velcro trunk, to find missing Whos. The one who rescues the most Whos wins. 4–8.

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

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2008 Award
Arena
(Playmobil $89.99 Score:) Playmobil meets the Gladiator, with this ancient arena that includes audience seating, trap doors to the lion cages, a wide gate, and a large battle area. Comes with eight figures, two lions, a double harness chariot, and more. One of the most unusual pretend settings we've seen in a long time! They say 5 & up, but will be of more interest to older kids.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Crayola Telescoping Crayon Tower
(Crayola $14.99 Score:)

We think everyone needs this tower. It makes everyone smile. Remember the really big box of crayons that smelled just like the beginning of the school year? This is better, but you don't have to do third grade again. Comes with 150 crayons in a round plastic tray; pull up the center, and now you have a tower of colors and a sharpener. Also special, Telescoping Mini Marker Tower with 50 washable mini-markers stored in a holder that lifts into a tower. 5 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Me By Me
(Alex $29.99 Score:)

A really wonderful parent-child activity kit that will result in a memory box you will all enjoy now and even more down the road. The colorful memory box comes with an attractive 15-page book that you fill with photos, drawings, and information about your child’s favorite things. There is also air-hardening clay for making a hand cast, a growth chart, stickers, markers, and glue. 5 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Kidizoom Camera
(V-Tech $59.99 Score:) We were really impressed with the many features on this new digital and movie camera with dual eye viewing, an 1.8 LCD screen with 16 MB of memory, and auto flash. It stores 200 photos or 5 minutes of video. It has wacky effects such as hats, photo frames, and more that can be added on the camera screen or when you put it on the computer or TV. It also has games and photo puzzles. You can add a memory card and connect to TV or PC. A lot for the money!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Awards
Crayola Color Surge
(Crayola $7.99 Score:)

Magical drawing experiences when these color surge markers touch down on the brilliantly colored double-sided paper. The colors brighten up as you draw and turn colors as one marker glides over an earlier line. Sets come with 8 or more markers and 20 or more sheets. This makes a great open-ended travel toy or a good choice for some non-messy creative time for a play date. Take it to Grams--chances are she will want to try it! 5 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY: Use these magical markers and paper to encourage kids to practice writing their names and turn the finished work into signs for the door to her room or cover of his notebook. First you write a letter...then have the child trace your letter. This follow the leader game is a great way to make work into play with a happy payoff!

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

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2008 Award
Horton Hears a Who You to the Rescue Game
(I Can Do That Games $19.99 Score:)

With the recent release of the movie, this game based on Horton Hears a Who! is sure to be a hit. As in a scavenger hunt, you hide tiny Who cards around the house. Players race against a timer, wearing a Horton hat with Velcro trunk, to find missing Whos. The one who rescue the most Whos wins. Great fun!

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

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