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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2008 Award
Create Your Own Pop Up Books Kit
(Creativity for Kids $17.95 Score:)

We are huge fans of pop up books! So we were particularly excited when this kit came in for review. Complete with two blank hard cover books that have some built in pop ups already loaded and then a collection of fun to add "do your own" pop up features--including pull tabs for revealing your own surprises! Fans of pop ups will enjoy giving this one a try.  Comes with 8 markers, stickers, wiggly eyes and die-cut pieces.

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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2009 Award
Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit
(Green Toys $29.99 Score:)

We always like gardening kits and this one has a nice twist. The three pots are made from recycled plastic milk containers. Set also comes with a trowel, three packages of organic seeds (sunflower, basil and zinnia soil disks.) We had great success with our plants!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Wild Planet Hyper Jump
(Wild Planet Toys $29.99 Score:)

This is a lot like the game of Simon, only instead of touching the right color you jump on or bend and tag the targets. Set it at level 1-2-or 3 and the game gets tougher at each level. Can be played solo or teams. Level one calls for color or number recognition. Level two adds trickier calls such as reverse and doubles. Level three and four calls for double digit numbers, reverse and faster harder calls. A challenging active game that develops listening skills as well as the need for quick responses. Can be played indoors and out. A good choice for play dates, party or sleepovers. 3 triple A batteries required. 6 & 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Go Nuts!
(Gamewright $6.99 Score:)

Our testers laughed out loud as they played this fast paced and easy to learn dice game. Hold on to one dog die as you roll the others. You get points for every acorn you roll while you avoid rolling a car. Two cars and no score! Roll all squirrels and you get to call “Go nuts!” That signals you opponent to start rolling his dog die that has dog houses and dog heads on its many sides. You keep rolling for points until your opponent rolls a dog die and barks to end your score!  Takes about 12 minutes a round. 2-4 players. Take this out when you need some silly time. 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. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Goofball Rally
(Educational Insights $28.99 Score:)

Set up the colored marbles in their track and turn up one of many colored pattern cards. Players race to be the first to hit all of their marbles into the track before their opponent. A game with quick rounds and plenty of opportunities to win some and lose some. You need to put this out of reach of younger siblings who may mouth the marbles. No magnets, but marbles are a choking hazard for younger kids. 5 & 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Royal Rescue Logic Game
(Educational Insights $25 Score:) A booklet of challenges ( and solutions) comes with this set of 8 “castle blocks, a base and a roal couple. At the start of each challenge you can use the pieces shown in the base. Using only the added pieces shown in the puzzle, you must make it possible for the royals to get to each other. The puzzles get increasingly more challenging. Introduce this to you 506 year old and before long they will be solving the puzzles on their own. A good choice for developing spatial reasoning and problem solving skills that require some trial and error along with stick-to-it patience. It’s designed for single players but who says you can’t take turns? Nicely packaged and the wooden playing pieces are finished smoothly. Also see Castle Logix. 5 & 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. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Castle Logix
(Smart Games $26.99 Score:)

With a set of four castle style blocks and three posts, and puzzle book players must solve a series of progressively challenging puzzles. Using the pictorial images a player must use the playing pieces to construct the towers as shown. The solution takes, time and problem solving skills or a turn of the page to see the answer to the puzzle. Designed for 5 & up, this is a game that may take some handholding to start. Once they get the hang of it, this is likely to be a fun solo game, playing cooperatively or taking turns. Also see the Royal Rescue Logic game from the same maker. 5 & 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. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Sorry Sliders
(Hasbro $19.99 Score:)

Most slider games require big tables and big bucks. This mini-slider game is perfectly scaled for the kitchen table doesn’t cost a bundle for a variety of satisfying games. Players set up their small token size sliders and take turns sending them toward the target. Add the score and move small “markers” on individual playing boards. There are a variety of target boards that change the game and become more challenging. There’s some skill involved in sending the sliders to the target, but this is really a game kids and adults of mixed ages can enjoy together. No reading and only simple adding involved with score keeping. Plenty of opportunities to win and lose, an important learning ingredient for young players. 6 & 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
Scrabble Me
(Winning Moves Games $19.99 Score:) Two to four players, each with a small individual Scrabble board is the way you play this new and faster paced version of a classic. Players put their words down at the same time on their own little boards and score each round. Game play goes on until all 100 tiles are gone. But watch out! When you play a wild tile (a blank tile) you swap boards with another player. High scorer is the winner. 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.

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2008 Award
Pottery Barn Kids Jumbo Inflatable Bowling Ball and Pins
(Pottery Barn Kids $89 Score:) When we first heard about these super-sized bowling pins we wondered if they would really go over when hit with the really large bowling ball - oddly enough a common problem with toy bowling sets. You probably don't worry about that as an issue--but it is one of our pet peeves--along with boats that don't float. The good news here is that they do go over when hit. The pins are 42" high and the ball is 25" in diameter. Note: each set comes only with three pins. The "big" size is really fun for preschoolers who will enjoy moving them about!

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

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