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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

 
2015 Awards
Vtech Baby Lil' Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo
(V-Tech $24 Score:)

Our tester loved the multiple ways this baby toy works. It can light up the nursery ceiling with tiny stars and rocket ships. It has soothing nature sounds, a voice sensor that will play when baby cries, and dozens of songs and nursery rhymes. There is a timer and volume control. This does require 2AA batteries. It's not really designed for baby to handle, but it has fabric head, legs and tail with a hard plastic body where all the controls are for you to set. Older kids are going to want to make things happen themselves. For starters, it's a good diversion that just might sooth your wide awake baby and lull him to sleep. Newborns & up

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
North American Bear Little Princess, 14-inch Doll
(North American Bear Co. $25 Score:)

A charming Little Princess Ballerina with a hot pink torso and lighter pink satin tutu. Her clothes do not come off, so she is right for toddlers who will appreciate the feel of the fabric and the bows on her pink slippers. Her brownish velour hair is not comb-able but is sewn in place in the shape of an up-sweep. With her long legs and arms, stitched-on features and lack of complications, she makes an easy to take along huggable for all ages.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Playskool Play All Day Elmo
(Hasbro $59.99 Score:)

This season's interactive Elmo is larger and softer than usual, which makes him cuddlier than Elmos of the past. There are two modes of play: a setting for toddlers with simplest games and another for preschoolers, a nice feature, although his speech tends to be less clear than previous Elmo dolls. There are no accessories to put on and take off. All the action is built into the doll. To activate, just squeeze Elmo's big soft orange nose and he plays eight games. Of course, Elmo is "the boss" of all, telling kids let's play pat-a-cake, hop and count, freeze dance, guess colors, red light/green light, and animal sounds.  Elmo also takes naps and sings a lullaby before he goes quiet until someone is ready to wake him up and play some more. Marked for 18 months to 4 years. The swet spot ages are probably just between those-- as in 2's to late 3's.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag
(Fisher-Price $24.99 Score:)

A giant zip up bag full of 80 Mega bloks in bright primary colors and a variety of shapes that fit together in endless ways. This giant set comes with a platform with wheels to attach to make a small push around vehicle. The storage bag will be fun for filling and dumping, a favorite game of toddlers who love toys with lots of pieces. Putting the pieces together and taking them apart calls for dexterity and leads to discoveries about making two pieces together as big as one. Use these for stacking into towers to knock down with a ball. Sort them by color or shape. PVC Free and BPA fee bag. A basic gear toy for toddlers. Marked 1-5, we'd say more like 18 months-4 years. 

SNAP: Sorting these bloks by color or another time by shape, will give your child some concept building as you play together. Try another game of turn taking: you put one on, I put one, you put one, etc. until the tower falls over. Or use the blocks to make a pattern, yellow, red,yellow, red, yellow...what comes next?

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Janod Construction Site Truck
(Janod $39.99 Score:)

Beautifully crafted in wood with bright yellow/orange truck comes with a detachable flatbed with a ramp and carries a bulldozer and excavator, both with moving arms to add to the dramatic play. A good choice for block building toddlers and preschoolers. 2-6.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Hape Knob Puzzles
(HaPe $14 Score:)

With easy-to-grab wooden knobs and there are lots of familiar animal puzzles  from Hape that feature zoo and farm animals. These are great choices for beginning puzzlers. Bright graphics and smooth pieces make this a good choice for older 2's and 3's. Challenges their visual skills as well as dexterity and the ability to turn the objects to fit into the wooden board. Also a good choice, for older 3's and 4's, the Geometric Shapes Knob Puzzle, with 11 colorful shapes; circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, diamond, and more. 

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Hape Vehicles Knob Puzzle
(Hape $14 Score:)

With easy to grab wooden knobs and lots of vehicles to talk about, this is a great choice for beginning puzzlers. Bright graphics and smooth pieces make this a god choice for older 2 year olds. Challenges their visual skills as well as dexterity and the ability to turn the objects to fit into the wooden board. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Kaloo Petite Rose Bear Doll
(Janod $29.9 Score:)

An11-inch huggable that is just the right size for a first doll. Not too big, not too small, but just right with easy to grab legs and arms, a non-removable pink print dress, stitched features, and a bean-bag bottom so it can sit. She comes with her own tote bag for going out and about. 10 months and up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Kaloo Petite Rose Maxi Doll
(Janod $60 Score:)

A very huggable 21 inch big bunny. In spite of her name, Rose is not so petite! She comes dressed in a stitched on pink print dress with removable navy blue bloomers. With her long legs arms and floopy ears she is one big huggable, but lightweight enough to give toddlers the armful they love without too much heft. She's pricey, but beautifully soft and finished in velvety velour like plush and comes with her own toteable canvas bag for trips away from home.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
ELC Frankie Frog and his Flying Machine
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:)

Twist the propeller and this jolly plane will roll along with Frankie Frog at the controls. Unlike a plane for older children, this one goes slowly enough for toddlers to play with safely. The propeller makes a nice ratchety sound when it is wound up. Freddy has movable clickable head, arms and legs; he can stand or sit and wears a sporty pair of yellow goggles. Like other vehicles and figures in this collection, they have a nice feel and heft. Not too big and not too small for beginning pretend play. A special toy for 12-36 months.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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