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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2007 Awards
Dive, Dodge 'n Slide Bouncer
(Little Tikes $299 Score:) The neighborhood that tested this 16' x 7' x 7' bouncer raved. It requires lots of space but delivers a great deal of play value. “Larger kids were able to enjoy it too,” “easy to blow up with built in pump.” Kids have to make their way through the obstacle course and then down one of two red slides. As with any inflatable toy, lots of parental supervision is a must. There are larger inflatables in this line (notably a rock wall that looks like fun, but we are concerned about smaller children climbing and potentially falling awkwardly). Still top rated, last year’s Jump ’n Slide ($200 41⁄2). 3 & up. (800) 321-0183.

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

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2007 Award
Jungle Toss Bean Bag Game
(Alex $23.99 Score:) Our three- and five-year-old testers like this so much their mom had to put it against a wall so they wouldn’t break anything. It’s great for getting little ones up and moving. Throw the five bean bags to get them into the lion’s, hippo’s, or gator’s mouth and score your shots. A little math, a lot of motion! (800) 666-2539.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
100 Hoops
(LeapFrog $29.99 Score:) Hang this electronic counting hoop on a doorknob, drawer, or chair. Set the counter to count by ones. For older kids, set it to count by 2s, 5s, 10s, or backwards and they are ready to start shooting baskets. Kids can set a goal and the payoff comes with special music. Counts in English or Spanish and, even better, it also has a volume control. 3 & up, up, up. (800) 701-5327.

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

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2007 Award
ESPN Grow to Pro Baseball
(Fisher-Price $29.99 Score:) Our baseball players-in-training can work on their swing with the new for 2007, ESPN Grow to Pro Baseball. Starts as T-ball, converts to pop-up pitch, and converts again to pitch three balls up to 10 feet away. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Where's My Tail
(Infantino $12.99 Score:) Twenty-two-piece puzzles that develop matching skills as well as language. Front and back ends of 20 animals to fit together. 3 & up. Still top rated, Alphabet Boat Puzzle ($12.99 4): each boat has a letter in upper- and lowercase painted on the side and an object that starts with the sound of the letter; and I Spy My House Puzzle ($12.99 4), with objects in the frame to “spy” in the puzzle. This is more challenging. (800) 840-4916.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
eeBoo Rhyming Words
(eeBoo $14 Score:)

Twenty-five puzzle sets of rhyming pairs such as cake and rake, house and mouse. Each pair is color coded and illustrations are easily recognizable objects to know and name. Rhyming games are useful for prereaders. 4 & up. Still top rated, Baby Animals ($14 4), pairs of mother and baby animals. We recommend starting out with five pairs at a time rather than the whole set. 3 & up. (212) 222-0823.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
The Very Books Block Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $13 Score:) Nine cubes can be turned to create six different images from several beloved Eric Carle books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, and others. These images are painterly. Also noteworthy and PLATINUM AWARD-winning in Carle’s exuberant style, 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo Great Big Puzzle ($15 5). A 24" x 36" floor puzzle with 24 big pieces. Carle’s picture book animals are on their way to the zoo by train. Count the creatures from 1 to 10 and don’t forget to find the mouse that is hiding on every train car. 3 & up. Still top rated in this line, Our World ($15 4), an oversized 24-piece floor puzzle (24" x 36") with each of the continents, is illustrated with animals, people, and landmarks. Mudpuppy’s storybook puzzles are objects of beauty, celebrating the best in picture book art! They say 3; we’d say more like 4 & up. (800) 670-7441.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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2009 Awards
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Set
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score:)

For the 21st-century child, magnetic letters that talk! Put the "magnetic phonics reader" onto the fridge and it will play one capital letter at a time. The toy will say and sing each letters name and sing the sound they say. Letters are raised to give kids the feel for their shapes. Use these for letter name and sound recognition.  Look for the Fridge Words Magnetic Word Builder version for simple three letter word games. This is labeled 2 & up, but is more appropriate for preschoolers and early school kids. We're heard that the toy will scratch stainless steel fridge doors...so find another home for this if that is what you have. 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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200 Award
Counting Bugs Dominoes
(Mudpuppy Press $14 Score:) 28 jumbo reversible dominoes with bug pictures on one side and dots on the back

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 200.

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2007 Award
eeBoo Tea Party Game
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

Our three-and-a-half-year-old tester loved the big playing pieces and the tablecloth that add to the pretend part of this simple game. Players use a spinner to collect the pieces of the tea set needed for their party. There are no skills involved in this luck-of-the-draw game.  Graphics are beautiful and the game is on target for the preschool set. Picnic Game ($15 ) uses the same idea with a few ants thrown into the mix! Both are winners! 3 & 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. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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