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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Activity and Craft Kits

 

 
2004 Awards
Make-Your-Own Frames
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) Here's a kit with 10 cardboard frames, pop-out shapes in colors and shining holographic card stock. plus one glue stick. There's no cutting but the shapes are interesting and easy to handle. All the materials fit back into the sturdy box foler with a velcro closer for safe keeping. Enough materials for play date fun or even a sleep-over gang. Load 'em up with kids artwork or recent photos for grandparents. SNAP: Materials lend themselves to success and open-ened exploration and they don't look babyish. There's no right or wrong way to use this material. Precut materials add to the ease of use and glus stick really holds!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Make-Your-Own Cards I & II
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) There's no need to cut and pasting is a snap with the glue stick and precut shapes. There are several sheets of "pop-out" shpaes that can be used to decorate prefolded cards. Kit includes 20 envelopes for mailing finished art work. Store all the goodies in this kit in a neat box with velcro closure. This comes two ways, with pastel colors that are no dobt designed to appeal to girls and a primary color kit, that is likely to appeal to both boys and girls. We go for the latter! SNAP: Making their own cards will be fun and easy as well as motivating kids to use fine motor skills and create "mail" they can send to family and friends. No right or wrong way to do this open-ended craft kit.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2005 Award
Make Your Own Puppets
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) Kids will enjoy making their own original stick puppets with this refreshingingly open-ended kit that comes with 12 unique puppets, 12 puppetsticks, 12 stands, and over 600 precut paper shapes (the company calls them Pop-Outs™). While this looks like a preschool kit, it will also be enjoyed by the next age group (5-7) as well. Great kit for playdates and rainy days. The well designed box also makes this a good take along craft. This new company also makes wonderful card, frame and make your own game kits.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Paint Ceramic Beads
(Alex $16.95 Score:) Here’s a really juicy bead kit that our testers wanted to start on right away. Comes with two large heart ceramic pendants, 16 square ceramic beads, 10 other shaped ceramic beads, seed beads, paints, brushes and cord. Because there are two heart pendants, this would make a good project for two friends to work on together. You can choose to paint and bake them –in which case adult supervision is a must. Our 9 and 11 year old testers thought they were grown up enough for kids their age, but though younger kids would enjoy them as well.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Doodle Pro
(Fisher-Price $8 Score:) A no-mess magnetic drawing tool that works just like the Magna Doodle. Tied-on “pen” and shapes are perfect for drawing, tic-tac-toe, and even writing letters and numbers. Also available in smaller travel model ($8). 3 & up. (800) 432-5437. (Works much better than the new Etch A Sketch Draw ’n’ Go (Ohio Art). Stick with the original Etch A Sketch for the next age group.) ACTIVITY:Put dots on the board that will form a word, number or letter when the dots are connected. Can child guess what it will be? Or play I'm thinking of a number(write one on the board and keep it hidden..CHild must guess..is it more than...less than...etc. Give child a chance to write the number and answer the questions.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Scrapbook and Memory Box Gift Set
(Creativity for Kids $28.99 Score:) Scrapbook fans are going to love this commodious box with picture-frame cover, which holds a spiral-bound scrapbook plus 16 sheets of patterned paper, stickers, stencil, scalloped scissors, paper punch, stamper, pens, glue stick and great ideas. This will appeal to older girls ready to memorialize a school year, a trip or a big event. Marked 7 & up, but was coved by our 10 and 11 year old testers. The Groovy Girls Perfectly Picturific Scrapbook Kit will appeal to younger girls who play with Groovy Girl dolls. The hardcover scrapbooks made these two Creativity for Kids kits preferable to the Alex My Scrapbook, that comes with a soft-covered spiral. For less experienced and younger scrapbookers, see the review of the new for 2007, My Scrapbook Case (Alex).

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Ceramic Allowance Bank
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:) A chubby white ceramic pig ready to paint and hold spare change or allowance. It has an easy-to-pull-out rubber stopper, so they don’t need to break the bank when they want to spend some of their savings! Includes a “chores” booklet with star stickers… the idea being that they earn their allowance. We have mixed feelings about paying kids for chores… but we do like the idea of encouraging them to save their pennies, nickels, and dimes! Also new from the ceramic line, Le Most Petite Purses ($15.99 ) comes with three different small ceramic purses, paint, and rhinestones. Our testers thought these would make great gifts for mom or a decoration for their own vanity. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2006 Award
Nature Barrel of Beads
(Bead Bazaar $19.99 Score:) A huge bucket of wooden beads that are big enough for small hands to string. Includes natural and colored strings, ten wooden charms, and rings for keychains. There are enough packets of colored beads for ten or more kids to use as an activity for a party. They say 3 & up; we’d say more like 4–7. (800) 838-1769.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Fast Car Race Cars
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Comes with three wooden cars with pull-back mechanisms that kids can paint (our kids used markers so that they use the cars sooner). Some of the included stickers did not stay put, but our testers still found these satisfying to use. Set up a roadway with some empty small boxes for simulated crashes and road races. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Watch It!
(Alex $24.95 Score:) Technically not much of a craft kit, but this watch kit was a HUGE hit with our testers. The kit comes with a watch and seven different colorful ribbon bands (very J Crew). Would make a great birthday/holiday present. Surprisingly our teen testers really wanted their own set.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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