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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2011

 


2011 Award
Creativity for Kids Flip Flop Fashions
(Creativity for Kids $21.99 Score:)

A perfect activity for a Mother's Day present. The set comes with two pairs of flip flops (one for Mom and one for a daughter).  The big pair of zebra printed flip flops are said to be a Big Kid size 4-7 but our mom tester with a woman's size 7 1/2 was able to use these.  SO I guess we should say they will fit mom with average or smaller feet!!  The smaller cheetah pink flip flops are designed to fit a child's 11-2 shoe size. If you're in doubt the back of the box has a shoe print of both flip flops so that you can see if they'll fit. The set also comes with lots of satin ribbon, fabric flowers, craft gule, heart rhinetstones, self-adhesive rhinestone trim (our testers liked this aspect alot!) and a handy scissors.    A fun summer time craft!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Rush Hour App
(ThinkFun $2.99 Score:)

The classic brain teaser is now available as an app. We really loved that you can stay at one level with many, many more puzzles at the same level until you're ready to go on to a more advanced level. Working through frustration and developing strategies translates to a better ability to do the same with your school work.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Playful Pets Nesting Dolls
(Creativity for Kids $17 Score:)

Updated versions of Russian nesting dolls have been big lately in toyland. Last year there were several decidedly ugly versions (pirates, bikers, etc.).  This year Creativity for Kids introduced this lovely new kit- that we love. It comes with 5 nesting dolls (a dog, a cat, a bunny, a mouse and a little piece of cheese).  Each has  a pre-printed design- now some will find this cheating but it does lend a more finished product that kids can bring their own creativity to in terms of color selections. The set comes with eight little tubs of paint, two paint brushes and a black marker.  If you have a child that will be upset if they go outside of the lines, then you may want to give them permanent markers to work with instead. We found that medium Sharpies work well.  For other kids, they will enjoy adding paint without fretting over the lines.  In some cases this will depend on the age of your child or their temperament.   The kit is marked 6 & up, we found that you really need to be more like 8 & up to do the detail work. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Pathwords
(ThinkFun $19.99 Score:)

Pathwords is not for the faint of heart when it comes to word games. Place one of the game cards on the square play grid.  The game also comes with differently colored translucent pieces that will sit on the game surface and allow you to "identify" words on the board.  Each game card tells you which colored pieces you may use.  Our testers tried some of the "easy" cards first - they were pretty challenging...but they then decided to skip on to the more advanced cards and found them super hard to do.  All testers agreed that they loved the feel of the game pieces and that it felt pleasingly unique from many other word games, but everyone agreed that you would need to be a very strong word-y to be successful with Pathwords. Funny, even when we tried to say, ok...let's go on to the next game- our testers wanted more time to try it again! Marked 8 & up, but we'd say this is really for older players or as a parent/child game. Even then, we think parents may end up taking over the game!

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
LEGO Pirate Plank Game
(Lego Systems, Inc. $14.99 Score:)

A brand new game from LEGO that requires kids to follow step-by-step instructions, helps develop their fine motor skills, and then they have a game where there are rules to read and follow. Our testers love these games because there is the double fun of making the game and then playing it. After your child has built the ship, the planks, the players, and the die - the object is to remain the last pirate standing! Fun and fast rounds.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
eeBoo World Map
(eeBoo $19.95 Score:)

With all of the events happening in the world, it's a great idea to keep a map up in your family room or child's bedroom so that they can get a sense of places in the news or in their studies. The company also makes a lovely USA Map as well.  Both maps comes with stickers to highlight locations.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Glow Rocks: Fluorescent Mineral Kit
(Dr. Cool Science $49.95 Score:)

Comes with a black (UV) light that enables you to see the fluorescent quality in the six rocks included in the kit. Also includes a booklet for other experiments to try with the black light.  We recommend then taking your kids outside to see what kind of rocks they can find and then start a journal.  School-aged kids love collecting and it's a great way to encourage your kids to do a little reading and research. This is one of those kits that can inspire a long term hobby.  There are also quarries in parts of the country where you can go "dig" for your own fluorescent rocks!  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Kid Concoctions Bouncy Ball Blast
(Alex $9.95 Score:)

This science kit comes with enough ball powder to make six bouncy balls. There are three different molds. A fast project with a great payoff! It takes approximately 2 minutes to soak the ball in the form, 3 minutes to dry before you can take it out  - and then you're good to go. A fun science lesson of what happens when you combine water and a powder to form a solid --that bounces! Pretty amazing.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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