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Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip
Age: Toddlers


Melody Push Chime
(Fisher-Price $12 Score:)

Push comes before pull. Instead of holding someone's hand, young toddlers often find sheer joy in the independence of walking while holding on to a push toy. You probably started walking with Fisher-Price's Corn Popper or Melody Push Chime. They are still great choices! We don't especially like the new electronic versions that have added sounds and lights. One recites the alphabet and the other counts-nothing in particular. We think walking is a big enough deal for tots who are not even talking yet!

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

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2001 Awards
Green Turtle Sandbox
(Little Tikes $49.95 Score:)

This has become a classic. A small beginners sandbox for tight spaces. This won't accommodate lots of tots and is apt to be outgrown quickly. But if it is all the space you have-go with it. For bigger spaces consider the Dinosaur Sandbox.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on

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Beads on Wire Toys
(Educo $16 Score:) This company makes beads on wire toys in many sizes and shapes. You have probably seen them in your pediatrician's office and toy shops. Children of mixed ages enjoy them simply as a manipulative or for open-ended pretend games. If the beads were loose, of course they would be a choking hazard. Yet toddlers love to handle the little beads and sliding them up and over. You'll find some platforms with suction cups that fit on a high chair- that will buy you some time. Or some that are lightweight enough for baby to pass from hand to hand. Big and pricey are the floor or table models with lots of beads and pathways. These abstract toys develop pretending, eye-hand, language, and counting skills.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2000 Awards
Double Easel
(Little Tikes $50 Score:)

This bright red easel has a chalkboard on one side and a large clip that holds a pad of 17" x 20" paper.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on

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(Hasbro $2 Score:) Classic Play-Doh is still a favorite. Doh should be used with supervision in a place established for messy play. We prefer the dough without the doodads, since most of the kits are less open-ended, and tough to do. This self-hardening dough dries out if left uncovered.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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ALEX Funky Brushes
(Alex $8.99 Score:) These extra-large brushes with interesting cloth/rope "brushes" are fun to use and the large bulb handles fit the fist shape grip of young painters. SNAP:These fat handled brushes help kids with fine-motor difficulties to grasp the brush handle and paint. Also, see this company's Sponge Painters that now come with color-changing wands. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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2004 Awards
(Gund $12 Score:)

With his round tummy, this short, lovable armful of a bear is likely to become a constant companion. New for , he has a shinier finish to his furóbut still huggable. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on

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200 Awards
Rollipop Toddler Starter and Advanced Sets
(Edushape $19.95 Score:) These are among our favorite toddler toys. Toddlers love to drop the oversized colorful plastic balls into the starter set (a tower) and track them as they go down. The balls also travel slowly down the advance set (a bridge) making it an ideal toy for developing visual tracking. 18 mos & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 200.

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2000 Awards
Tomy Roll Around Tower
(International Playthings $24.99 Score:) When people ask us for our favorite two year old birthday present, this ball run is high on the list. It's just right for toddlers who love the repetitive action of making something happen. The plastic colorful balls are oversized and fun to drop into the tower. The balls make a pleasing sound as they move down the tower. Unlike many new ball runs, kids can track the balls from beginnning to end- a plus in this category. Also fun and a little more advanced, Ball Party Bounce (here you can position the ball to bounce off one level and into another chute).

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2000.

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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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