Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Science Toys, Activities, and Equipment


2004 Awards
Insect Lore Butterfly Pavilion
(Insect Lore $29.99 Score:)

A large 2-foot tall updated version of a habitat for hatching painted ladies butterflies. The pop-up mesh tent can be hung or put on a tabletop. This is a three-week long project with all the magic of watching caterpillars transform themselves into chrysalis and then into beautiful butterflies that can be released into your garden. When you bring home the Pavilion you send your certificate for the caterpillars. A good project to capture with camera as it moves along and keep a log of the dates and changes. This size comes with 10 caterpillars; a smaller Live Butterfly Garden($19.99) one foot comes with certificate for five caterpillars. 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: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on

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2009 Award
eeBoo Wildlife Matching Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Knowing and naming the animals in this set goes a bit further than your average three year old! Reindeer (sans Santa), opossum, hedgehog, snail, and a hippo. Matching is matching, but knowing the names of these critters will take some doing. For extra fun, try a riddle game…put out three cards and say “I’m thinking of an animal its name rhymes with pail (snail) or I’m thinking of an animal its name rhymes with Zippo. Or play another game asking your child to find an animal with feathers, scales, fur, etc. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on

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(Alex $19.99 Score:) Preschoolers love the magic of seeing things grow. Apartment dwellers can garden on a windowsill. For the backyard set, more elaborate child-sized tools are available. New for 2004, Garden-to-Go (Alex $19.99 ) is an organizer for the young gardener. Bucket has a plastic container inside for wet "stuff," plus outside pockets for the small trowel, rake, and shovel that come with the set. Also comes with a pack of seeds and gardening glove. Our tester, thrilled with the results brought her plants in for show and tell. (888) 666-2539. Plastic Garden Tools (Little Tikes $2 each for small tools/$13 for a set of three larger tools ) are safer for preschoolers than metal. An accidental swing in the wrong direction will not mean a trip to the ER. They also don’t have splintery handles as some metal tools do, and won’t rust when they are inevitably left outside. Also recommended, Little Tikes’ Little Landscaper Lawn & Garden Cart ($17 ). Unlike a tippy wheelbarrow, it has two front wheels for stable pushing action. (800) 321-0183.

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

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2004 Awards
Color Lab Mixer
(DaMert $10 Score:) Designed as a bath toy, the small plastic pitcher has three separate chambers and comes with special tablets that color the water. Put a blue tablet in one chamber and a yellow tablet in the other and, voilà, you will have green water in the third chamber. The tablets aren’t as clear in color as they should be, but this is a fun way to introduce color mixing and get clean at the same time! 3 & up. (800) 356-0474.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2007 Awards
Crank 'N Glow Flashlight
(Playskool $9.99 Score:) Kiss the batteries goodbye! Here’s a “magic” flashlight that you wind, and the faster you crank it, the brighter it glows. This is a novelty item that kids may enjoy for a few minutes and then it will turn into a piece of equipment. 3 & up. (800) 327-8267.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Superstructs Big Builder
(Waba Fun $35.95 Score:) Looks a lot like your old Tinkertoys, but brighter. Made of bright-colored plastic rods and connectors, this is an open-ended building set. Comes with directions for making many kinds of vehicles, but allows for kids’ original creations, as well. The Big Builder set has 126 pieces; or consider the 230-piece set. (303) 926-0848.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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