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

 


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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2006 Award
Knights' Empire Castle
(Playmobil $179 Score:) Playmobil’s Knights’ Empire Castle uses the company’s new SystemX, which is designed for shorter assembly time and durability. Comes with a working gate and dungeon and looks like the classic friendly Playmobil settings of years past. By comparison, Rock Castle ($79.99 ) has a more sinister feel to it. Suggested add-on, the Red Dragon (because you always need a dragon), is sold separately. Projectile cannons sold separately. Also darker in feel than their previous castles is Lego’s new Vladek’s Dark Fortress ($99 ), which comes with catapults. Most kids love the action of projectiles until one hits them. 8–12. (800) 233-8756.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Rock Castle
(Playmobil $79.99 Score:) Playmobil’s Knights’ Empire Castle uses the company’s new SystemX, which is designed for shorter assembly time and durability. Comes with a working gate and dungeon and looks like the classic friendly Playmobil settings of years past. By comparison, Rock Castle ($79.99 ) has a more sinister feel to it. Suggested add-on, the Red Dragon (because you always need a dragon), is sold separately. Projectile cannons sold separately. Also darker in feel than their previous castles is Lego’s new Vladek’s Dark Fortress ($99 ), which comes with catapults. Most kids love the action of projectiles until one hits them. 8–12. (800) 233-8756.

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

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2006 Award
Hairstyling & Make-Up Head
(Corolle $29.95 Score:) If your child is into serious hair play, here’s a dream gift (although it might creep other family members). Corolle’s Hairstyling & Make-Up Head ($29.95 ) is just the head and shoulders of a beautiful blond doll with plenty of hair to brush and style. Kit also comes with make-up for the doll (of course). (800) 668-4846. If you’re looking for a more grown-up head of hair (with really bad chunky highlights), consider Barbie Fashion Fever Styling Head (Mattel $19.99 ). (800) 524-8697. (Editors’ note: We’re not big on hair play as a pre-occupation, but these styling heads might help encourage good grooming and reduce the common hassles over real hair care.)

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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