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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Games

 

 
2013 Awards
Plan Toys Fruit and Veggie Domino
(Plan Toys $29 Score:)

28 playing pieces with 7 different fruits and veggies to match up in a traditional domino game. The pressed planwood is smooth and splinter free, though it feels different from old wooden dominos. Use this for reinforcing language and color concepts as well as matching skills and turn taking. They say 2 & up, we think 3's will be better able to do the matching.  Twos may like sorting and stacking them or knocking them down if you line them up and make them go kaboom!

SNAP: Use these for color matching sorting and knowing and naming, before playing a traditional matching game of dominoes. Fun for counting, too. Make stacks of two kinds of fruit. Are there more grapes or more apples.

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

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2013 Award
Educational Insights Raccoon Rumpus
(Educational Insights $14.99 Score:)

A card game with a clever new look. Each player has a raccoon card with a raised raccoon head and costume cards that fit over the head. Players take turns rolling the jumbo color die and costume die and then search for costume cards to match, i.e. a shirt of blue or pants in red. If you can find it, place the matching card on your raccoon card. First player to collect five costume cards wins. But watch out! If you roll an underwear image--oh, oh! You have to put all your cards back on the table. Marked for 3 and up, but most 3-year olds will need an older player and some learning time to master this. A clever game that develops an eye for spotting attributes and matching skills. 3 & up

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

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2013 Award
eeBoo Volcano Island Tell Me a Story
(eeBoo $9.99 Score:)

Take turns drawing a card and telling a new part of the story. These tropical creatures and their setting are an open invitation to flex your storytelling muscles. This is the kind of game that has no right or wrong answers and best of all it allows kids and their grownups to think on their feet. The stories our testers told about an alligator who climbed a tree and went missing were pretty funny. It's different than a blank piece of paper that may inhibit young storytellers. This sort of game provides the action needed to make a story that can be funny or sad, long or short, silly of scary, etc.   They say 3 & up, we'd say older preschool and primary grades are better.

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

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2013 Award
Shipwreck Beach Treasure Hunt
(Wonder Forge $24.99 Score:)

Our testers thought this was really fun since it's not just a board game for sitting, but involved an actual treasure hunt. To start the game the players take each of the five treasures and hide them around the house. Next, players take turns trying to match two doubloons a la the memory game. Our testers liked the special spyglass that is used to "decode" the image of the treasure featured on the doubloons. When a player has a match, that player uses the pirate sword to carry back the treasure from around the house. So, memory involved in finding the hidden treasure, as well. Their mom wrote, "I like that it gets everyone moving and I think it a bonus that the treasure map doubles as a bag to hold all of the game materials so that you don't need a box to keep it in. This feature lends itself well to taking this game
on a family trip, eg to the beach?"  They say 3 & up. We think 3s will enjoy playing this with older siblings. Our testers were 6 & 8 and really got into the game.

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

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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 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 Award
Gamewright Skunk Bingo
(Gamewright $15.99 Score:)

A matching game with a twist, or should we say with a log where skunks may hide! Players try to be the first to fill a bingo card. On your turn you spin and take as many playing cards as the spinner says. You put each card into the plastic log, through a narrow slot. As cards are added, cards come out the other end of the log. Player can place the expelled cards on their playing board. If the space with the matching animal is filled, the card can be taken by another player. But watch out! If a skunk card  is pushed out of the log all the other cards go back into the playing pile. This is a matching game for preschoolers although playing each round can take quite a long time. 3 & up.

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

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2013 Awards
Janod Barnyard Dominoes
(Janod $24.99 Score:)

Cows, ducks, hens, tractors and farmer's hat and boots are easy to match on these wooden dominos. Turn them over and play a traditional match the dots domino game. Finished in smooth natural wood these are basic gear that will be used for naming and knowing as well as for matching, stacking, or collapsing games. 28 pieces. 

SNAP: Introduce the playing pieces by finding all the cows as a first game, finding all the sheep as another game...etc. Playing a traditional game of dominoes can wait. Knowing and naming and matching builds the readiness for the old-fashioined game. These are nice for stacking and lining up, too.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Janod Bingo Tourismo
(Janod $19 Score:)

Just in time for the travel season, this 14 piece bingo set has four sturdy playing boards with eight double sided playing cards that slide in and out of the frames and wipe off markers for keeping track of items that players must spot as you travel along. Check off the bridge, train, gas pump, bus, etc. Play a quick game to find four items in a row or play to find everything on your board. There are two levels of play; one side has 16 smaller images the reverse has 12.  All the pieces are stored in a sturdy box with magnetic closure and fabric handle. A good time chaser for the back seat and the eternal question--are we there yet.4-8

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

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2013 Award
Peaceable Kingdom Stack Up!
(Peaceable Kingdom $29.99 Score:)

Designed for preschoolers, this really is a cooperative game that can only be played by working together to lift the blocks in a stack. The players are trying to beat the Stack Smasher ( a cardboard playing piece shaped like a hand) as it moves around the board. In one game there are challenge cards that require kids to bark or sing or do other actions on their turn. Again, they do this together. There are three games for preschoolers to play with two lifting rods. In one game they use the skinny end of the rod; in the other game they use a sponged tip to lift the blocks and add to the stack. The maker has also included directions for a two-year old color sorting game that little siblings can play. So many games for preschoolers are hard for beginners deal with, especially the winning and losing part. Here the game is played against the board instead of each other as they learn about taking turns and working together to beat the silly old stack smasher. It can also be fun for multi-generational family fun that can include preschoolers with ease. 3-5

 

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

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