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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Age: Preschoolers
Review Year: 2013

 


2013 Award
Groovy Girls Wheelin in Style
(Manhattan Toy $40 Score:)

Two Groovy Girls can get about in this cool coupe. It comes with Velcro seatbelts for safety and plastic wheels that really roll. FYI, this season there is also a Victorian shaped bathtub with towel and bathbrush that may appeal to some, though it does not hold water. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
eeBoo 100 Popsicle Sticks
(eeBoo $10 Score:)

Add glue, paper, felt and imagination and this pack of 100 sticks in 10 colors provide the raw material for creative thinking. Kids will surprise you with what they design or the skill they have in following the ideas on the back of the package. Marked with caution that the colors may run if wet. Mix with pompoms, markers, and glue for developing manual dexterity as well as flexible thinking skills and artistic expression. Marked 3 & up, we'd say even more fun for early school aged kids.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Dino Construction Spike, Ankylosaurus Steam Roller
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:)

Construction trucks and dinosaurs--what a winning combination! This is one of a collection of dino trucks, made without metal or electronic parts so it will work in the sandbox, at the beach, in snow, or indoors with blocks. Spike, Ankylosaurus the Steam Roller, moves on big tough rollers, has a moving studded tail that is segmented, a body that pivots, a swiveling head, and jaws that snap! It needs no batteries. Also fun, T-Top the Bulldozer, Boom Brachiosaurus Backhoe, and Wrecker the T-Rex Skid Loader. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Dino Construction Boom Brachiosaurus Backhoe
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:)

Construction trucks and dinosaurs--what a winning combination! This is one of a collection of dino trucks, made without metal parts so it will work in the sandbox, at the beach or indoors with blocks. Boom Brachiosaurus Backhoe has a telescoping neck and scooping tail. It has a cab that rotates 360 degrees. A long neck and movable jaw are ready to scoop up sand, snow, Lego bricks, or whatever gets in its path. With read rollers, it leaves dino footprints in the sand and needs no batteries. Also fun, T-Top the Bulldozer, Spike the Ankylosaurus Steam Roller, and Wrecker the T-Rex Skid Loader. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Crayola Dual-Sided DryErase Board Set
(Crayola $10.99 Score:)

Eight vibrant colored crayons come with a built-in sharpener on the package and a reversible black or white board and cloth that erases crayon markings with ease. These special crayons are sturdier and slightly thicker than most, so they are easier to grasp. They also wash from hands and clothing, though not if they met in if they end up in a pocket in the clothes dryer. These are less smelly than markers for the erase board and no worry over lost caps, markers drying out, or the sometimes unpleasant odor of marker ink. They are also easier to handle than chalk that snaps under pressure. Kids are often more willing to work on writing and math when the writing surface allows for playfulness. It is less confining than paper and mistakes are easier to wipe away and start again. Marked for 3 & up, but we believe this is not babyish looking and will appeal to much older kids as well.

SNAP: Finding playful materials that build writing skills can be challenging. These wipe off crayons with the wipe off board are not babyish and allow for games as well as tracing. Activity: Print the child's name with one color and have child trace with another color. Once they have the hang of it print the letters with dots or dashes and have child connect to make the letters whole. For beginners you may want to start with shapes to trace rather than letters.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Dino Construction T-Top Bulldozer
(Educational Insights $39.99 Score:)

Construction trucks and dinosaurs--what a winning combination! This is one of a collection of dino trucks, made without metal parts, so it will work in the sandbox, at the beach, in snow drifts, or indoors with blocks. T-Top is a triceratops bulldozer with a segmented tail with posable joints; a steering wheel in in the cab; a push-blade head and movable jaw. It leaves dino footprints in the sand and needs no batteries. Also fun, Boom, Brachiosaurus Backhoe, Spike, the Ankylosaurus Steam Roller, and Wrecker, the T-Rex Skid Loader. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Fresh Artists Memory Games
(Fresh Artists $24 Score:)

We have reviewed lots of memory or concentration games over the years, but here is a notable new direction that will challenge players while supporting children's art education in underfunded public schools. Created by a not- for-profit-organization, the art on the handsome cards has been donated by young artists grades K-12 from New York City, Philadelphia, and Norristown, PA. Choose from several sets, each with a different theme: Fresh Faces, Mini-Masters-Barnes Edition, Fresh Food Edition, Fresh Art, and Fresh Architecture. There are 27 pairs in each set and though they are marked 3-103, we'd say these are a lot more challenging than most; a better choice for 6 and up. www.freshartists.org .

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Crayola My First Touch-Lights Pad
(Crayola $21.99 Score:)

One of Crayola's mess-free toys. The screen changes colors and sings 6 songs as toddlers use their fingers or the stylus to make things happen. This does not replace the squishy joy of finger paints, but it does allow less clean-up time. The free form drawings are not permanent. Use the stylus sideways to clear the screen and start again. This takes 3 AA's and happyily--the sound can be turned off. Designed for tots of 24 months & up.

 SNAP:Finger paint it is not..that said, this does provide another way to get children to build finger and hand muscles without the demands of gripping a pencil, marker, or crayon.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Disney Eye Found It!
(Wonder Forge $19.99 Score:)

Visit 12 Disney Realms on the giant playing board. The object is to beat the clock and arrive at Cinderella's castle before the clock gets to midnight. Designed for four players or four teams, this is a cooperative game, making it ideal for mixed ages or family fun. There is counting, looking for objects to match playing cards, and taking turns. The game board itself comes in four big sections that have to be put together like puzzle. They say 4 & up, we'd say 4's will need support. A good game for developing language, turn taking and cooperative play.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Eric Carle Wooden Magnetic Letters Uppercase
(Mudpuppy Press $17.99 Score:)

A handsome set of forty wooden letters with Eric Carle's colorful patterns on one side and magnetic backing on the reverse. Stored in a snap-shut container that is shaped like a milk carton, this can be used for knowing and naming the letters games as well as sound games and spelling. There is also a lower case set

Learning letter names and sounds just got to be more playful with these magnetic letters. Introduce the letters of their name first.Declare today with a single letter and feature things to eat that day that start with that sound. Go on a hunt for other things in the house that start with that sound. Bake cookies in that shape.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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