Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Activity and Craft Kits

 


2007 Award
Cast and Paint: Krazy Kars
(Skullduggery $16 Score:)

“Let’s do another,” and “so neat”—our testers really liked these fun model kits that are easy to do and produce Hot Wheels/Matchbox-scaled cars. Sets come with enough modeling material for four cars (but enough decorations for two). The cars take 30 minutes to set. New kits feature NASCAR winners like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Kits come with NASCAR decals, paint, and blo-pens (not our favorites), but our testers really were less concerned with the decorating and more intent on making a toy they could really use!

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: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Monster Trucks Custom Shop
(Creativity for Kids $24.99 Score:)

Customize the four monster trucks with paint and stickers, then let ’em rip! With pull-back mechanisms, these are ready for racing. The stickers go on well. The paint isn’t great, but really is beside the point. These four monster trucks are just FUN! For smaller vehicles, check out Fast Car Race Cars ($14.99 4). Set of three wooden cars with pull-back mechanisms to paint (our kids used markers to play with the cars sooner). With either the trucks or the cars, set up a roadway with some empty small boxes for simulated crashes and road races. (800) 311-8684. Let’s go to the races! We often complain that there are not a lot of great craft kits for boys. Here are three sets that will be a hit.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Scratch Art Light Catcher Fun Kits
(Scratch-Art Co. $2.99 Score:)

Kids scratch away the black paint to give the open spaces a stained glass look when the finished product is hung on a window (themes include birds, flowers, and a sailboat). Quick, pleasing projects that are a good party favor/activity. Also new, Scratch Magic Stickers ($5.99 ) comes in 20 animal shapes. For a bigger kit, Draw & Learn Deluxe Kit ($16.99 ) has over 50 stencil shapes of dinosaurs, underwater, jungle, and outer space themes. This just might attract boys in particular who often need to develop the fine motor skills of holding a pencil—without the challenge of writing letters.


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Works of Ahhh Animals
(Balitono $7.99 Score:) Kit comes with a single wooden animal (triceratops, dolphin, horse, penguin), paints and a brush. These are charming kits that will be enjoyed in different ways depending on the age of the artist. Younger painters will paint quickly and then have a great animal to add to their block play. Older painters will take pleasure in taking their time and then having something to display. One tester also thought the penguin was great for a school project.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Sticky Foam Garden
(Alex $8.99 Score:)

Some of our readers may be surprised that we really liked this product that comes with outlined artwork (butterflies and flowers). It's not particularly open-ended since the idea is to follow the instructions and add the appropriate layers of brightly colored foam pieces. The pieces come with self-adhesive backing. Here's the appeal from our point of view--it's really much more like a puzzle in terms of putting the pieces together in an ordered fashion. Kids can certainly ignore the instructions and flow their own sense of color, but many will find this a satisfying project. We'd recommend this kit for quiet time on an airplane or for an office visit (when you still need to get some work done!). A Dinosaur themed set is also available.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Pirate Ship Kit
(Creativity for Kids $5.99 Score:) This is just the right activity for a party full of crafty pirates. The kits require gluing the wooden parts together (always fun, but will need some adult supervision) and then they are ready to be painted. A nice take away craft for a pirate themed party.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2008 Award
Me By Me
(Alex $29.99 Score:)

A really wonderful parent-child activity kit that will result in a memory box you will all enjoy now and even more down the road. The colorful memory box comes with an attractive 15-page book that you fill with photos, drawings, and information about your child’s favorite things. There is also air-hardening clay for making a hand cast, a growth chart, stickers, markers, and glue. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Awards
Crayola Color Surge
(Crayola $7.99 Score:)

Magical drawing experiences when these color surge markers touch down on the brilliantly colored double-sided paper. The colors brighten up as you draw and turn colors as one marker glides over an earlier line. Sets come with 8 or more markers and 20 or more sheets. This makes a great open-ended travel toy or a good choice for some non-messy creative time for a play date. Take it to Grams--chances are she will want to try it! 5 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY: Use these magical markers and paper to encourage kids to practice writing their names and turn the finished work into signs for the door to her room or cover of his notebook. First you write a letter...then have the child trace your letter. This follow the leader game is a great way to make work into play with a happy payoff!

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
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
Money Monster Banks
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

Two ceramic monster banks come with acrylic and puff paint, paint and sponge brushes, adhesive dots, wiggly eyes, fun fur hair and ideas for decorating. The big bank has a big enough mouth to "eat" bills while the smaller one has an opening for coins. Both have removable plugs that allow kids to get to their savings without breaking the bank. You'll find the acrylic paint needs two coats for good coverage. 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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