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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play

 


2009 Award
Acting Out Musical Can Can Skirt
(Acting Out $37 Score:)

The latest in the line of play skirts that have motion activated music. The black and white shirt with black and pink ruffles is very grown up. Your child will most likely love the skirt and the can-can music. Be forewarned, if you have a headache, this is not the skirt for small spaces! We can't stop activating the music in our office--and now we keep singing the song too! Just like being at the Folies Bergère! Ooo,la la!

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
Acting Out Musical Waltz Dress
(Acting Out $40 Score:)

Like so many of their wonderful musical costumes, this charming tutu is done in layers of pink and blue tulle with shimmering sequins on the top of the stretchy top and edges of the gossamer skirt. Best of all it is motion activated. It will play the Beautiful Blue Danube waltz when your young ballerina begins to twirl. This company makes simpler tutus--just the skirt loaded with music from the Nutcracker or Swan Lake. They come in many sizes and colors. A dreamy gift for the sugar plum fairy in your life! 3 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Imaginext Spike the Ultra Dinosaur
(Fisher-Price $129.99 Score:)

This is the clearly the year of the dinosaur! Spike, a green remote control dino that really roars, lights up and moves (his neck also moves independently) is a leading part of this trend. Spike's controls are easy to learn. He's marked for kids 3-10. It really depends on your child- we had mixed reactions. He's not nearly as scary as Wowwee's dinos of the past, but not as warm and fuzzy as the larger Kota from Playskool. If you have a five or six year old in the "dino-zone" this will be a hit.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Playmobil Dinosaur Collection
(Playmobil $14.99 Score:)

There's a favorite dino for every one in this wonderful new line of prehistoric creatures. There's the Pteranodon ($14.99), a really impressive Brachiosaurus ($44.99), a fun Triceratops ($39.99) that comes with a baby, a green T-Rex with Velociraptors ($24.99) (that is sufficiently ferocious) and a Spinosaurus that comes with a dino next and two babies ($24.99). Each come with a variety of play pieces (caves/mountains, smaller dinos). We took off points for the people included in the sets. While the people are clearly of the "Jurassic Park" variety, it still seems unnecessarily to confusing to us to include them. Our testers also loved the smaller Dino Transporter Explorer Quad ($9.99).

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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2008 Awards
eeboo Thoughtful Girl Paper Dolls
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

An old fashioned favorite minus the frustration of having to cut around those tiny tabs or tricky edges! This is not to say old paper cutouts are out. But these paper dolls are for a younger player. The precut clothes and dolls allow girls of 4 and 5 to develop the dexterity of placing the stick-on clothes onto a pair of multicultural paper dolls. Made of sturdy cardboard they are almost 8” tall and come with two sheets of clothes that stick-on like your old Colorforms. To add to their dramatic play value, each set includes a two-sided setting that stands up like a stage set. There’s an inside scene and an outside setting. Sasha, a redhead and “Botanist” and Jasmine, an African American girl, who is an “explorer.” They are just one of several available sets. Others include Elodie and Naomi, a musician and artist or Phoebe and Iris, a poet and astronomer. An ideal choice for quiet time, travel, or waiting room wiggles. 4-7.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP Award An excellent toy for developing language, naming parts of the body, clothing, colors, as well as story telling skills. Unlike the usual paper doll cut-outs these dolls demand a different kind of dexterity. Children may find lifting the plastic pieces up challenging. One way to make that easier is to place them on a less shiny surface. Put the pieces on construction paper or a wooden table. Game: Play a color game, giving a riddle and asking child to find a piece of clothing that is the color of a green turtle. Or make the riddle about something you can wear on your feet that is the color of a truck tire. With older kids switch roles and have them give you a riddle about something they see.

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

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2008 Award
2 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner
(International Playthings $39.95 Score:)

It's clean-up time! Ok, so we'll pretend. This dandy little blue and green vacuum cleaner has easy rolling wheels, a removable hand vac, and sounds and lights. This is an old time favorite of boys and girls alike. Comes with "dirt" that you can vacuum up - which is a fun concept but not for kids that you believe will try to taste it! Takes 3 "C" 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. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Awards
Acting Out Jingle Bell Rock Skirt
(Acting Out $40 Score:)

Totally in tune with the holiday season! This red and white net skirt has a peppermint striped bow with a bell and plays Jingle Bell Rock music when your little dancer begins to move. Action activated, this is good fun for getting up off the couch and moving. Also see Acting Out's Musical Waltz Dress. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: Finding ways to encourage kids to play actively comes built into this motion activated skirt. For children who may not be able to dance, this is still a fun skirt to wear and use the music maker for stop and start games. Have child hold the toy and when they shake it you do the dancing...freeze when the music stops. This is an empowering game that puts them in charge of the action.

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

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2009 Award
Acting Out Musical Adventure Cape
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

A reversible cape allows pretenders to switch from pirate with skull and cross bones on a black satin cape to a knight with royal shield on red satin. This has a stand up collar and Velcro closure that kids will be able to do on their own. Better yet, they can add adventure music to the action with a press of a button on the motion activated device that fits into a secret pocket in the cape. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 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
Acting Out Musical Hokey Pokey and Can Can Skirt
(Acting Out $44 Score:)

Here’s a new twist—two different tunes to dance to instead of just the usual one. Music is motion activated with music device that is tucked into a pocket of this pink polka dotted skirt. Made of satin and netting with a fru-fru hem of ruffles, this is a fun way to get kids up and moving. 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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