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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2009 Award
Simms Taback Jumbo Animals Floor Puzzle
(Briarpatch $18.99 Score:)

34 big pieces fit together to form a jolly 20 X 30 inch floor puzzle featuring two stacks of animals saying what each of them say…as in 'Woof!' 'Oink!' 'Moo!' and so on. All the pieces fit into a sturdy box with magnetic closure buried inside. Taback's amusing critters add special delight to this colorful choice for young puzzle players. They say 3-6. We're sure 3's will need help. So will most 4's. Also fun, Simms Taback Animal Parade. 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 Award
Simms Taback Safari Animals 4 in 1 Puzzle
(Briarpatch $16.99 Score:)

There are 4 different animal puzzles in this set and they come in varying degrees of difficulty. Each finished puzzle is 8X 10 inches when complete. There’s a 6, 8, 12, and 14 piece puzzle. They come packed in separate baggies. Typical of Taback, the illustrations are delightfully colorful and jaunty. The set comes packed in a sturdy box with handle and magnetic closure buried inside. They say 3+. We’d say this one is more difficult and will be a challenge to kids from 4-7. 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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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 Award
Zoo Animals Block Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14.95 Score:)

Nine cubes can be arranged to form six different puzzles. This classic cube puzzle is a fine choice for travel or quiet time entertainment. It challenges visual as well as eye hand skills. Making whole images from so many parts is not all that easy. It requires some trial and error as well as patience and stick-to-it-ability. Colorful images of pandas, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, tigers and polar bears. Makes a good birthday gift choice for under $15. 5& up.

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

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2009 Award
I Spy Flip 5 Game
(Briarpatch $12.95 Score:)

Here's a quick matching game that is a step above the usual kind of one-for-one identical matching kids do with Lotto games. On the playing chips there are images of two horses, but one is may be a silhouette and others maybe yellowish or white with black markings. Matching has to do with the basic attribute of finding two horses. Game play goes on for five rounds. First to win the most matches in five games is the winner. Other versions of play are included for younger players. Also interesting, but even more challenging, Dino Flip 5 ($12.95 4.5) Sure to make a hit with dino-haulics who will know the names of the various dinosaurs pictured on the playing pieces. Making the pairs is more challenging since the shapes of some are similar and the proof is in noticing the details. That said, this is a fun game with a touch of science added to the mix. They say 4 & up, we'd say 5-8 is more like it. These are good games for developing an eye for detail, a skill needed for noticing the differences between words that look alike - as in through and thought or sight and slight. 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 Award
Big Trucks and Diggers Matching Game
(Chronicle $14.95 Score:)

A classic concentration matching game with cards that feature all sorts of diggers, grapplers, shovels, excavators and other big construction trucks. This is a companion game to a book by the same name. Comes in a sturdy magnetized storage box. Develops memory and matching skills. Bring the book home as another way to satisfy preschooler's interest in things that go.. Sure to please the truck lover in your midst. 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Life on Earth Lacing Cards
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

Five colorful cards with bright laces that children can “sew” around the big and baby bear, peacock, fish in coral, turtle, and elephant and baby. This kind of toy is ideal for honing fine motor skills needed for writing without the drill of shaping letters. Learning to use the small muscles in fingers to accomplish this task takes staying power and patience. This looks simpler than it is and is best used with school aged kids 5 & up.

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

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2009 Award
eeBoo Fairytale Game
(eeBoo $16.95 Score:)

Players take turns spinning the dial and collecting one of each item for their place ard…a hero, magical helper, magical object, transportation, and treasure. The first player who manages to collect one of each item is the winner who must now tell a story using the items collected. Although the playing pieces remain the same the items collected will rarely if ever be the same—nor will the story that the winner tells. A fun game of chance, with a creative ending. 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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2009 Award
eeBoo Prechool Picture Dominoes
(eeBoo $13 Score:)

Familiar bugs, birds and animals are pictured on these chunky cardboard dominoes. No reading or counting required. This is a simple matching game to develop visual matching and turn taking. There are opportunities to count, for those who are moving in that direction, as well as building color concepts and language. 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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