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Product Type: Toys

 


2006 Award
Whoonu
(Cranium $16.95 Score:) It’s all about knowing the people you are playing with; players take turns at being the “whoozit” and others get points by guessing what objects named on the playing cards the “Whoozit” likes best. Even testers who do not like board games love this card game for three or more players. Still top-rated, Zigity ($12.95 ). Visual discrimination and word and number play are all part of the fun. 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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The Scrambled States 2
(Gamewright $6 Score:)

There are 50 state cards, each with four different attributes for that card (region, population, land mass, and color). Fifteen cards are placed face up, one card from the draw pile is turned over. The first player to “slap” one of the 15 cards that has a shared attribute with the face card, wins that round. A fun way to introduce kids to geography. Some parents may find it light on content, but it’s a good way to get the subject introduced in a nonthreatening manner. 6 & up. Still recommended, the board edition. 


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

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2008 Award
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
(LeapFrog $99 Score:)

A sleek update of a truly innovative product with the computer is built into the pen that works with special paper to create a variety of options: a working calculator, a translator, and our favorite, a musical keyboard you can draw and then play on your paper. But our testers LOVED that they could take notes on the special paper and that they were converted to a document on their computer. "So cool!" It might make you want to do seventh grade again...ok, not really, but you will want your own pen!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Alphabet & Number Puzzle Pairs
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

A handsome set of two-piece puzzles with easy-to-recognize objects to pair with upper- and lower-case letters or objects and numerals. The letter/number sides are color-coded along the edges to help make the matches. Illustrated by Saxton Freymann, well-known artist of How are You Peeling? and Food for Thought. These can be used for simple games or solo puzzle play. (212) 222-0823.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Bug Tumble
(The Orb Factory $14.99 Score:) The graphics of this box don’t do justice to the stunning puzzle inside. Much like a DK book, the collage of bugs, worms, and other creepy things will appeal to bug-fascinated kids. While there are 48 pieces, it is still a very challenging puzzle with a pleasing oversized 2' x 3' size. Puzzle comes with a big poster chockful of info on the creepy crawlies in the puzzle. Marked 4 & up, but we’d say most 6s will find it challenging. Really depends on the child. (800) 741-0089.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Jumpers & Crawlers
(Ravensburger $10 Score:)

Look carefully at this 60-piece puzzle and you'll see all kinds of creatures sitting in and slithering along the branches and leaves of the jungle. Also special, Wildlife in Africa. And for a challenge, 3x49 Puzzles ($8.50 ), three 49-piece puzzles (which you sort out first by using the different patterns on the puzzle backs). Our testers liked the dinosaur and jungle motifs. (800) 886-1236.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Fast Car Race Cars
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Comes with three wooden cars with pull-back mechanisms that kids can paint (our kids used markers so that they use the cars sooner). Some of the included stickers did not stay put, but our testers still found these satisfying to use. Set up a roadway with some empty small boxes for simulated crashes and road races. (800) 311-8684.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
EZ 2 Quikrochet
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $15.99 Score:) Remember as a kid making yarn snakes with a wooden spool knitter? This kit updates that craft by including beads to work into your creations. Comes with four pastel sets of elastic and a plentiful supply of glass beads. Our more experienced beaders (10 & up) thought it was fun but told us that younger kids may find it difficult on their own. The kit is marked 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Watch It!
(Alex $24.95 Score:) Technically not much of a craft kit, but this watch kit was a HUGE hit with our testers. The kit comes with a watch and seven different colorful ribbon bands (very J Crew). Would make a great birthday/holiday present. Surprisingly our teen testers really wanted their own set.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
ETX 105PE Telescope
(Meade $699 Score:) Our reviewers gave high marks to this model because it comes with the Autostar computer controller (usually found only on much more expensive models). The Autostar allows the viewer to find celestial objects by using the handheld automated controller. The model also comes with a tripod. We would recommend this model for tweens and up. A worthy investment for a family of stargazers! Still top rated, ETX 90AT ($595). 10 & up.

Age: . Award Year: 2006.

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