Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2006 Award
Little Pretenders
(Chenille Kraft Co. $24.99 Score:) A new line of costumes made of wipe-able vinyl provides the most affordable choice. Each theme comes with accessories (stethoscopes, extinguishers, etc.) and appropriate headgear. Other costumes include Veterinarian, Hair Dresser (the pretend blow dryer makes a great sound), and Doctor. 3 & up. (800) 621-1261.

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

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2006 Award
Lili
(Corolle $60 Score:) Older preschoolers will love the articulated and fashionable 17" Lili dolls. Choose the blond Rose, auburn Melodie, dark brunette Belle, and strawberry blond Flore. Each is dressed in a très jolie outfit that is totally “now.” These will appeal to slightly older girls as well. Think younger American Girl dolls. 4 & up. Also new, Chouquettes ($39.95 1⁄2)—adorable 14" girl dolls come with blond or brunette hair and hairbrush for age-typical play. (800) 668-4846.

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

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2006 Award
Baby Annabell
(Zapf Creation $39.99 Score:) For the first time, Annabell cries real tears. After her bottle, she randomly yawns and falls asleep, or starts to cry. Our testers liked the novelty and parents liked the “off” switch option. Crying, babbling Love Me Chou Chou ($49.99 ) disappointed our testers, who thought she was “too heavy… it had a seam on her head—looked like she had a brain surgery.” Take heart, there is still a My First Annabell ($19.95 ) a 14" baby doll, Caucasian or African American, who does whatever your child imagines. This doll is mislabeled 1 & up, however; the pacifier is too small to be safe for toddlers. (877) 629-9273.

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

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2006 Award
Frog Hoppers
(International Playthings $5.95 Score:) We’ve seen a number of tiddlywink-style games this season (see Early School Years, p. 132.) This one is easy enough for beginners to play. Four sets of colored frogs are ready to hop back into the container as players spar off. No heavy rules to learn. A good game for learning about turn taking; requires some eye-hand coordination. They say 3 & up—we’d say more like 4–6. (800) 445-8347.

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

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2006 Award
Sleepy Princess and the Pea
(Haba $24 Score:) Kids who know the story of the Princess and the Pea will enjoy taking turns and adding a cushion, pillow, and comforter to the stack before it topples over! Quick to learn and lots of chances to win and lose, this calls for some dexterity. (800) 468-6873.

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

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2006 Award
Zimbbos!
(Blue Orange Games $19.95 Score:) Roll the die and stack the number of elephants shown. Can you do it without having the pyramid fall? Oh, yes, if you roll a star you have to add a clown or a balance beam—not exactly easy. A fun way to work on simple counting skills and dexterity. Takes 5–10 minutes to play a round and plenty of chances to win and lose. 3–6. (800) 819-6264

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

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2006 Award
Spinnerific Bye-Bye Balloons & Animal Pairs Games
(International Playthings $7.99 Score:) Here is a new spin on concentration. Quick and easy to learn, each game comes with a deck of cards and a domed spinner. Push the dome and it tells what color balloon you must find. In Animal Pairs the spinner will tell you to turn 2, 3, or 4 cards over and find matching animals. Our four-year-old tester loved beating us every time, and wanted to play again and again . . . the best sign of success. 3–5. (800) 445-8347.

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

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2006 Award
Jump 'n Slide
(Little Tikes $200 Score:) The neighborhood kids that tested this new inflatable toy had one word: “Great!” Ideal for the 2–5 year old range. (Older testers were disappointed that it didn’t have enough bounce for them.) Parents liked the protective walls on the sides and loved the extra-wide slide. Great fun for a birthday party and just backyard fun, but does require parental supervision. Like an air mattress, it inflates quickly with the built-in pump (also a plus). 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

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

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2006 Awards
Woodstock Band
(Woodstock Percussion $29.99 Score:) Beat out that rhythm with this six-piece set with wooden tambourine, recorder, maraca, egg shaker, castanet, and sleigh bell jingler with big wooden handle. Solid-sounding instruments. (800) 422-4463.

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

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See 'n Write
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:) The good thing about this writing machine is that kids get to see how to shape upper and lower case letters in both script and cursive on a small LCD screen. In game mode player tries to recognize letters as the machine writes. But, unfortunately, there is no direct writing on the screen--no tracing or free form writing. So, this is pretty remote. The only way kids get to try their hand is with paper and pencil. (800) 995-4436.

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

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