Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Science Toys, Activities, and Equipment

 

Break Open Real Geodes
(Dr. Cool Science $49.95 Score:)

Here's a chance to break open geodes (that are formed by prehistoric bubbles in lava). The kit comes with 15 geodes from 3 different mines so there will be a difference in the crystals that have formed that can include: quartz, fluorite, calcite and amethyst. The kit includes a pair of safety glasses (a must!). We also like their suggestion that you can put the geode in a sock- a much safer way to go with younger kids.  It does not come with a hammer or chisel (the two recommended tools for breaking them open).

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

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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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2010 Award
Insect Lore Creature Peeper
(Insect Lore $10.75 Score:)

A well-designed bug viewer that allows kids to see bugs from top or side. It can be used for viewing tadpoles or small fish, as well, for a short time, since it is water tight. Designed to be escape proof, it is still suggested that kids keep their creatures just for a short time and then, let them go. 4 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Backyard Safari Cargo Vest
(Summit Inc. $19.99 Score:)

Nothing like going on a backyard safari dressed for the job at hand. Tuck your gear into the many pockets, clip more gear onto the Six-D rings. Kids can zip their binoculars into the big pocket and there's a chest pocket for field guides and maps. The back of the vest has more mesh pockets and adjustable straps that makes this a one size fits all piece of gear.

 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Strobotop Lightphase Animator
(Eye Think $24.95 Score:)

An interesting introduction to the art of 'moving pictures.'  It comes with a hand-powered spinning top with 18 disks that have images on them. Spin the top and then point the LightPhaser (a strob like light) at the images and they become an animated movie. Images of runners, animals leaping, cats , bugs, faces and others come to life. The hand held light only works when it is targeted at the disk, not a child's eyes. There are 18 disks and you can purchase an extra pack of images with another 18 disks. Kids can color in some of the black and white drawings or they might also be inspired to create their own drawings to make original animations. 6 & up.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Creativity for Kids Mini Flower Press and Nature Cards
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

A small 4" by 4" flower press is just the right size for pressing single flowerheads, leaves, and seed pods. The kit includes directions, press, watercolors, glue, mini marker, craft tweezers, and colorful mini cards, envelopes, book marks, and gift tags for making and using these treasures from nature to make small useful creations as gifts or gift enclosures. A project that blends science with an artistic twist. 6 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.   We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Nature Series: Science on a Tracking Expedition
(The Young Scientists Club $32 Score:)

We received several new science kits this year from The Young Scientists Club.  This animal tracking set rated the best with all of our testers. This kit came with enough plaster mix to make all of the animal tracks with the enclosed casts.  It also comes with information about the animals. Our testers also gave high markes to the stickers and poster set included in this kits.  Unfortunately, they did not have the same success with the solar kit. The solar panel/motor did not function--we had the same problem when we first tested this kit in house. We thought perhaps we had gotten a dud--but their review confirms the problem - which is too bad since this kit would otherwise be great fun.  The Back in Time with Dinosaurs Kit was initially received well--but it doesn't come with as much plaster as the animal tracks kit--so repeats of making the dinosaur fossils was not possible.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Discovery Box
(World Discovery Box $$69 Score:)

If you're looking for a special on-going gift to share with a child that is interested in nature and science, take a look at the Discovery Box line from World Discovery Box.  There are three different sets ($69. $129 and $199)-- each comes with a container and an assortment of rocks, fossils, bugs and shells.  The quality of what you're sent is very high--and will get most kids very excited about knowing more.  We'd recommend bringing home some books to go along with the topic.  Of course you could create these boxes on your own--and in fact, we suggest that you add to your child or grandchild's collection of artifacts from walks and trips you take together.  

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2009.

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2005 Award
Soda Pop Science Projects
(Scientific Explorer $27 Score:)

Our testers loved making their own soda pop with fruit and flavors in the kit. True, soda is not high on our list of important drinks, but knowing what goes into it and following the recipes to you’re your own pop fizz, well, that is an active way to involve kids in hands on science.  This is a kit that will involve adult supervision. 9-12

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2005. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Eye Clops Night Vision Binoculars
(Jakks Pacific $80 Score:)

You really can see objects that are up to 50 feet away in the dark with these infrared Stealth binoculars. Designed with a form-fitting visor, you hold these to your forehead and zoom in with the focal adjustor. Of course these are not going to do what you would expect the high end ones to do.   One tester complained that this is not exactly a binocular...but more like a monocular. That said, he really, really  liked it.  As with last year's version, our testers loved the ability to see things in the dark.  Interestingly,  it really highlights color-treated hair--so if you don't want folks to know you color your hair, stay out of the line of vision! 8 & up.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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