Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Manipulatives

 

 
2012 Awards
ELT Whizz Around Mountain
(International Playthings $54 Score:)

Push the light switch on top of the mountain and watch the little cars speed down the spiral runway. Add the plastic boulders and they can chase the two little cars that can stick together or run solo. There's a switch on the runway to release the boulders separately from the cars. Loaded with batteries the lights will flash and sounds will be activated. However, kids will enjoy this with or without the sounds and lights. 18 months & up.

SNAP: A winning choice for learning about cause and effect and a sense of success as they use the two different actions to make thing happen. The cars do go too fast for tracking with ease, but they do invite some pretend play as well as plenty of pleasure from repetition.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Awards
ELT Click-Clack Caterpillar
(International Playthings $59.95 Score:)

A two-sided toy with fast click-clack segmented car that runs down the track on one side and a ball run on the other side. The ball run moved slower for tracking, while the little segmented car whizzes on down. Toddlers love the repetition of this kind of toy. They can play this with sound effects, music, or with the sound switch off. Just the motion of the car or balls produces sounds. There is also a most welcome volume control switch. A great 1st birthday gift! 12 months-2.

SNAP: A good choice for visual tracking, since the ball run moves slower than most. This is one of those toys that develops dexterity as well as hands on experience with cause and effect.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Chronicle Books Baby Face Nesting Blocks
(Chronicle $19.99 Score:)

Ten sturdy cardboard blocks to stack or nest in size order. They are illustrated with baby faces, each with a distinctive expression. There is a space to slip in a photo of your baby, as well. Our eight-month old tester loved examining the babies and their adorable faces. She also liked knocking down the stacks we built for her and peek a boo games we played by nesting one block over another. 8 months & up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
eeBoo Tot Tower: Life On Earth
(eeBoo $20 Score:)

Ten colorful nesting blocks by storybook illustrator, Melissa Sweet, are covered with birds, bugs, and other wildlife. The top of each is emblazoned with a numeral. Knowing and naming all these creatures will be a challenge to most toddlers and preschoolers. Yet, there's something to be said for stretching the vocabulary beyond the usual farm and zoo animals. For starters these will be fun to put in size order and knock them down. This is just one of the many handsome Tot Towers from this maker. Also charming in this nest and stacking format, a set of Alphabet blocks or a Read To Me set with short sentences about each item pictured. 2 & up.   The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Green Start Early Learning 10 Stacking and Nesting Blocks
(Innovative Kids $20 Score:)

Like other products in their line, these "Green Start" blocks are made form 98% recycled materials and have a special brown cardboard look. The graphics are colorful and handsome, giving a new look to a classic set of stacking and nesting blocks. Use these for reinforcing color concepts as well as shapes, letters and numbers. Stack them up or fit them into a nest, it's a hands-on way to learn about size order and problem solving.  As with most classic style toys these will be used by over a long time at varying levels of discovery from toddlers to early school years. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Alex My Busy Town
(Alex $100 Score:)

Little hands will be busy opening the doors for peek-a-boo sightings of firefighter, baker, postal worker and doctor; sliding the beads on a maze on top, moving vehicles up and watching them zoom down, twisting the tops and bottoms of fanciful creatures to match up parts and whole images, and twirling all of the letters of the alphabet. Don't worry about teaching your baby the letters, but looking at the images on the back of each letter will develop some knowing and naming language. This is a fresh take on a classic toy that develops dexterity, eye-hand coordination, language and independent play. The all-wooden cube is scaled perfectly for young toddlers. It is 16" H x 12" W x 12" D and handsomely finished with smooth sides and bright eye-appealing graphics. Here is a perfect choice for that big first birthday present! 1 & up.

SNAP ACTIVITIES: An excellent setting for putting together parts to make whole image. Also fun for developing finger dexterity by stirring the alphabet images and talking about what you see.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Early Years Busy Ball Drop
(International Playthings $15.99 Score:)

Use the big yellow base and then stack these round chute pieces in almost any order. Baby will be ready for making things happen. Put one of the three see-through balls on top and watch it whirl round and round till it reaches the bottom. This ball drop stacks up over 12 " tall and has balls with colorful beads inside.   It is a basic for learning about cause and effect. Babies and toddlers love the repetitive action here and the sounds of the balls dropping. Chances are you will need to do the stacking at first, but you can depend upon their unstacking it.   Most of all tots love the repetition of making that ball roll down every time!   9 months & up.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 

NOTE OF CAUTION: We note that some online stores are shipping a knock-off that looks similar but is not the toy we tested or recommended.

SNAP: Sing a little song as you play with this ball drop classic. Try it to Wheels on the Bus..."See the balls go round and round, round and round, round and round. See the balls go round and round all though the day." Now switch to " See the balls go down, down, down, down, down, down,etc. Make up other verses about the sound of the balls going plunk, plunk, plunk.

To reinforce color concepts sing about the color of the ball that is in action.

These kinds of made-up songs reinforce concepts such as color, action words,and sensory language in meaningful ways that are more memorable. It's not a quiz game, but a playful way to use language and interact together.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Kidoozie Stack 'n Roll Tumbling Tower
(International Playthings $24.95 Score:)

Love, love, love this new ball tower from International Playthings. Our toddler testers enjoyed watching the tower (over 2' tall) being put together and then dropping the ball into the top and watching it make its way down to the bottom. Toddlers love to make things happen over and over again--and this toy fills the bill.  Older toddlers also will enjoy helping with building the tower. It is a size order kind of toy that takes time to figure out. Use color words as you help put the stack up. The box says 12 months and up, but will be most enjoyed by older toddlers that can stand and drop the ball into the tower themselves. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 


Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Sassy Rock and Roll Ring Stacker
(Sassy $9.99 Score:)

This looks like a traditional ring stacker only when you attach the top knob, it becomes a rolling toy. The post allows the rings to go on in any size order, so this is easy enough for babies who are not yet ready for doing size order. One of the rings has beads inside, another has a bumpy texture. Most of all they are simply smooth and colorful.  For the money, this is a good buy for a basic toy that stacks, rocks and rolls.

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

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Green Toys My First Stacker
(Green Toys $13.99 Score:)

A lovely set of stackers that are made from recycled milk jugs, contain no BPA, Phthaltes or pvc...and if you want to feel even better the product is made in the USA. But what we really like about them is that they are a great toy to explore with your older baby or toddler.  While you can stack them in "order", you don't have to- a nice feature.  Each cup has two small holes for safety purposes - so that your child can not create a suction over his face.  Even with the holes this is a fun set to bring into the bathtub.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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