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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 

 
Award
No Spill Bubble Tumbler
(Little Kids $2.99 Score:) The No Spill Bubble Tumbler solves that oh so familiar and upsetting moment when the bottle of bubble solution spills all over the ground. Here the wand goes into the container and is loaded with just the right amount of solution to make a bubble. If you turn the container upside down, nothing will spill out, really! The containers come in mini, regular and super sized (with three wands). A great example of a classic toy made even better by an innovative design.

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

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2007 Award
5 in 1 Super Sports Inflatable Bouncer
(Little Tikes $299.99 Score:) The 5 in 1 Super Sports Inflatable Bouncer is the latest from Little Tikes' line of inflatable climber/activity toys. This bouncer measures 10’ x 10’ x 7’. Comes with two hoops but if you have a large group of kids, we’d put the balls away and let them enjoy the bouncing and sliding part of this toy. Comes with a heavy duty blower for quick inflation and a storage bag. The neighborhood of kids that tested this toy loved it and the parents enjoyed that they could put it away at the end of the day without making a permanent commitment of lawn space!

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

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2007 Award
Pirate Treasure
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:) With pirates all the rage, this will be a good choice for a party. It will take some planning ahead, a project to do before the big day. There's a small cardboard treasure chest that needs painting and decorating (supplies are included) along with gems, golden coins, and two sturdy map-making papers. For dramatic play there's an eye patch and head scarf. But this is where the planning comes in- you use the art materials to create a map or puzzle that the players then use in a treasure hunt.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Wobble Deck
(Diggin $39.95 Score:) Great fun for active play with some mental calisthenics built in. This electronic balance board can be played at varying levels of difficulty. It calls out colors or numbers that are marked on the board. Players need to follow the commands that get more complex and faster as the level of play is increased.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Pirate Dig Kit
(GeoCentral $10.99 Score:) One you unearth the skeleton of your pirate from the 7" gypsum block, you can string the pieces together to assembly an 11" pirate. Our testers needed help with the stringing stage. While some may find it kind of creepy, our testers loved that it combined both their love of dig toys and pirates! (We'd suggest adding safety glasses, they are not included in the kit.)

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

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2008 Award
Arnold the Snoring Pig
(Gund $30 Score:) Pure novelty! Arnold is a cuddly pink plush pig that snores and moves its ear, mouth, and body when you press its hoof. It’s hard not to smile. Your preschooler will enjoy Arnold--you will too!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Grover
(Gund $70 Score:) Close to three feet tall, this 30" full body puppet has an easy-to-activate mouth and openings in the hands so Grover can gesture and talk, with a little help from a friend. Big and cuddly, this will do double duty as a huggable and puppet. Elmo, Ernie, and Cookie Monster are also available. Pricey but special for puppet lovers.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Butterfly
(Kids Preferred $15 Score:) Bring the magic of Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar to life with a plush 11" green caterpillar, a multi-colored hand puppet butterfly, or a caterpillar plush puppet. This is a well-executed collection of plush and puppets that are true to the spirit of Carle's work. Makes an ideal present with the book!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Diggity Dog
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:) Players must listen to the number of times the big electronic dog barks and then move their little dog that many spaces. When you land on that space, your magnetized dog picks up a bone. If it matches your dog, you keep the bone in your dog house. Winner is the one with the most bones, of course. A game of chance with listening and simple counting. 3 & up. 2–4 players. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Once Upon a Time Matching Game
(eeBoo $12.95 Score:) The matching cards are all fairy-tale related but not tied to a license (a plus to our testing family). The cards "are substantial" and will hold up to more wear and tear. I Never Forget A Face Memory Game ($12.95)—same idea (less pink). Our almost-five-year-old tester proclaimed, "this is the best memory game ever" (after he repeatedly beat his grandmother). Our testers were split on the new Tea Party Game ($15). One family loved the big playing pieces and the tablecloth that add to the pretend part of this simple luck-of-the draw game. Another family preferred the game play of the Once Upon a Time game above. Graphics are beautiful. For a less pink version, the Picnic Game ($15) uses the same idea with a few ants thrown into the mix!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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