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Product Type: Toys

 


2014 Award
I Sea 10! Math Game
(Learning Resources $9.99 Score:)

For summer fun -- keep math skills alive with this lively game. Place fish cards on tabletop with numbers face down. Players take turns turning two cards over at a time. When they see numerals that add up to ten they call out "I see 10!" and take the cards. But watch out for sharks! If you turn up a shark instead of a numeral you have to turn back any sets of tens you have collected. The winner is the one with the greatest number of tens at the end of the game. The cards are small but sturdy, about the size of a quarter and easy to flip. This is a great game for 6-8s.

Age: . Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Primary Science Color Mixing Set
(Learning Resources $29.99 Score:)

Young children are scientists by nature. They love to experiment, to discover how things work and this kit gives them tools for exploring the nature of color-mixing in multiple ways. No doubt your kids have done some color-mixing with paints, but this kit uses colored disks that are supplied as well as food coloring (which is not.) We like the eye-glasses frame with color disks that you can slide in to see the world through rose colored lenses, among other colors. This updated kit is different from the original Primary Science Kit, giving special emphasis on color mixing.There are also disks that fit on a top that spins and blends colors in motion. They have also included chunky plastic test tubes for mixing up colored ice pops, ice cubes, and other treats. There are 10 easy-to-follow activities on big cards that require little reading. Of course, this is a parent and child kit with activities you can return to from time to time. For getting kids started with STEM activities, this is a terrific introductory kit. If you want one more piece to add to the kit consider the Color Mixer Beaker ($9.95) with a dividing wall that allows you to mix equal parts of two primary colors to get a secondary one. It has a squiggly top that slips on the beaker and when you turn the beaker over, out comes a new color! There is no food coloring in either package, so you will need to supply that. You might want to use this beaker for mixing up other color combos with fruit juices, as well.
3-6

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Diggity Dogs Game
(Educational Insights $14.95 Score:)

For five-year old dog lovers, Diggity Dogs is an ideal way to sharpen visual and social skills. Players each get a dog card at the start of the game that indicates three things this dog needs. Each player then takes two "go fish" style cards that show objects the various dogs need, such as a bone, ball, bed, a dish, etc. Players take turns collecting cards from the slush pile or barking and asking one of the other players if he has a needed card. When a player get all three objects pictured on her dog card she gets to adopt the dog and collect another dog. The player with the most dogs at the end of the game is the winner. A fun matching game for 2-4 players. For cat lovers, take a look at Kitten Caboodle, same idea but with kittens.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Surfside Scramble
(Educational Insights $12.99 Score:)

A summery look to a word game played with mini-flip-flop cards. Each card is printed with two different letters on each side. Players take 15 flip-flops, turn the timer over and proceed to use all their flip flops before the timer runs out! Part of the challenge is in linking the words since you must use the last letter of one word to start the first letter of the next word, for example...if cat is your first word the linking word will start with "t" as in top...and the next word must start "p." Players receive points for building the longest series of words, the longest word, and the greatest number of words. It's a fast paced twist on scrabble that can be enjoyed by mixed age groups.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
North American Bear Sophie and Lili Dolls
(North American Bear Co. $25 Score:)

Sophie & Lili Flip Dolls give an up-to-date-twist on the topsy turvy doll classics. They have a two dimensional look since their clothes and features are screen-printed. Made of cotton, the 13" dolls have skirts that pull up to reveal a contrasting print fabric and a snoozing friend in sleep masks and pajamas. Choose a princess, a mermaid or a fairy. Be forewarned: these are fairly stiff dolls and not the cuddly type. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
North American Bear Company Cutie Tattootie Shark
(North American Bear Co. $24.99 Score:)

One of a new line of woven cotton dolls, it comes with six vegetable-based tattoos that wash off the doll or child. This less than sinister looking shark is likely to appeal to those who prefer less cutsie soft doll types, despite its name. There is also a Bunny with orange ears, hot pink arms and pale pink face and body. Either of these are more like activity dolls with a limited agenda. Once the tattoos are used, the doll remains ready for imaginative play. It's a look. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Girls On the Move Ballerina
(North American Bear Co. $29.99 Score:)

14-inches tall and totally poseable, you can bring this home in peachy flesh tones with blonde or brunette hair made of felt. Best of all the doll's arms and legs can be bent into all formal ballet positions and then some, so young dancers can play at being the ballet teacher and put their doll through her paces. Make her do plies, pirouettes and grand jetes! The Velcro waisted tutu comes off, but her leotard and slippers do not. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
New Sprouts Shop It!
(Learning Resources $24.95 Score:)

For little pretenders, shopping is good fun and this hand held market basket comes with fruits, veggies, two plastic cans and two boxes and a scanner that beeps. Fun for playing store. Add some real food packages or light boxes. Since the scanner will beep on anything you can expand the props with ease.


Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Janod Story Safari Train
(Janod $14.99 Score:)


A great little train with wooden animals to add to their train collection. Adding props from time to time and new trains makes using the original train set new again. This one has four cars and two animals. A charming little addition. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Story Time Safari Train Set
(Janod $70 Score:)


After spending part of April on Safari, it's no surprise that this little painted train set with ranger, tourist, lion, zebra, elephant, rhino, crocodile, monkey, swinging bridge, and other accessories are most appealing to your reviewer! The train cars and tracks are compatible with other wooden train sets. There are sixteen pieces of track that can be assembled in multiple ways. Our three year old tester agrees. His mom reports:

"He is still playing with it for extended periods of time (over one hour) and finding new ways to interest him.  He likes to assemble the track in different ways and then the train and animals in different ways.  We are amazed at how long this toy held his attention.  He has played solidly with it for 4 days for several 1+ hour sessions each day.  I would say the is longer than any other toy we have seen him play with."

She added that "At first he liked playing with individual figures and then assembling the track in many different ways.  He liked that he could do it himself with the easy to put together tracks.  After a couple of times playing with it, he liked to stack the animals into the train cars in different ways and even balance them on top of each other.  This toy also had him using his imagination with the people looking at Safari animals."

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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