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Product Type: Toys

 


2008 Award
Playmobil Recycling Truck
(Playmobil $28.95 Score:)

With energy conservation looming large, Playmobil has brought back their Recycling Truck. A perfect hands on prop for making recycling part of your child's world--both real and pretend! Truck comes with three bins and two play figures.

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: 2008.

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2009 Award
Maru Doll
(Maru and Friends $99 Score:)

Maru is a very beautiful Hispanic doll with dark eyes, dark hair and fine features. She looks like a collector's doll with a face that looks like a bisque doll from another time. Her clothes are colorful, a pleated cordoroy skirt, orange blouse and hat and a cute vest with orange bows. She wears fleece topped boots and tights. She's about the same size as an American Girl doll. But her body is not soft. Her arms and legs move, but she is less flexible than some of the play dolls that look like American Girl wanna-be's. The book that comes with Maru is not really of the same quality as the doll. The book is a totally forgettable. We also question the age on the box. They say 3 & up. This is a doll for 5's and up, up, up. It wold be a total waste for 3's who would not be able to handle her clothes. So this is a mixed bag. Available on their site, maru.com, where you will find two other dolls, a blonde and a doll with wavy hair.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
eeBoo Animal Memory Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Illustrator Brandon Reese designed these charming animal cards on big cracker-like playing pieces. Knowing and naming the animal pairs helps build language skills and turning the matching pairs over requires visual memory.

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

SNAP IDEAS: Use these to talk about sounds the animals make, colors, or if they have feathers or fur; walk on two feet or four, live on water or land. You don't need to turn it into a quiz, but rather to expand on what they know about these familiar creatures. These and a companion Number game are easier to pick up since they are thick and have good edges for picking up. 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
eeBoo Mystery in the Forest Matching Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

This takes concentration card games to a new level. Artist Melissa Sweet has created a set of matching cards with the potential for storytelling on each little card. Use them for a matching/concentration game and then use them for telling stories. Take turns adding to a story based on the card you select. Make this a cooperative venture by putting the cards out in an original sequence as you spin the story together.  3-6.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
eeBoo Tell Me Story Cards
(eeBoo $10.95 Score:)

Use these large cards for playing a story telling game.  These can be used solo, but for starters players can use threes cooperatively to tell a story as suggested by the images on the cards. This kind of game promotes language development, vocabulary, and the ability to make up a story from the liely pictures. There are several other sets of 36 cards with different themes. Newest of the cards ar the Tell Me A Story Animal Village Cards illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. They feature a cast of furry friends romping in their mini village. We also like Lizzy Rockwell's Fairytale Mix-ups with familiar storybook characters such as the Gingerbread Boy, Tinkerbell, and a Wicked Witch among others. For Circus fans, look at Brandon Reese's Circus Animal Adventures, Melissa Sweet's Mystery in the Forest cards are full of action and for the sci-fi minded, look for Saxton Freymann's Little Robot's Mission. 4-8. Also, marvelous, eeBoo's Write Me a Story Pads, as pictured (eeBoo $11.95 each 4.5) The same artists have used the images on the cards to make stick-on seals that can be put on the top of the lined paper. Parents can take dictation of a child's story or older kids can use the stickers and blank pages to write their own tales. Getting kids to tell a story is the first step in getting them to read a story.     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: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
eeBoo I Never Forget a Face Travel Matching Game
(eeBoo $9.95 Score:)

A perfect stocking stuffer or take along on a trip card set. Lizzy Rockwell’s delightful multicultural faces are printed on small cards that can be matched for solo play or in a concentration style game. Also cute, a set of small “Once Upon a Time” cards with Humpty Dumpty, Red Riding Hood and others. For young nature lovers also consider the matching game of “Life on Earth” with kangaroos, peacocks, lemur, and many more plants and animals. For younger players, there is a new travel set of Color Dominoes. Saxton Freymann used bold graphics of stars, hearts, blueberries and a sleepy lamb to make these colorful dominoes a delight to handle. Again, kids are matching familiar shapes and learning to recognize them outside the nursery.

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: 2008.

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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 Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Make a Pie!
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

Here’s a fun way to play around with fractions. Players take turns trying to make a pie with the fraction they spin. There are juicy looking wedges of cherry and berry pies. Object is to collect all the pieces needed to make a whole pie. This is a good starting point for learning about fractions. An attractive concept game—for beginners. 6 & up.

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

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

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2008 Award
Sprig Vehicles
(Sprig $24.99 Score:)

A new truly green collection of vehicles that are just right for the preschool set. The line is made of what the company calls "sprigwood" which is a composite of recycled milk jugs, bottles, containers, and reclaimed pine sawdust. There is also no added paint--so the colors are somewhat muted. Another plus-no batteries are required. Kids can get the lights to go on and the sound effects to kick in by friction. Our testers really enjoyed the smaller vehicles (Rally Racer and Baja Scout). The larger Discover Rig ($59.99) has a handle for pushing that is also fun although we had trouble hearing the sound effects--we are told by the company that they will be louder the more the vehicles are pushed. Hats off to this innovative company--we look forward to seeing how they expand their line.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Award
Lego Racer Red Ace
(Lego Systems, Inc. $9.99 Score:)

A late arrival at a great price. This Red Ace is a small pull back racer that has red detailing. Pull it back and send it flying on the ramp. This is a relatively easy build with only 82 pieces but it has lots of play value. We'd recommend bringing home two so that you can have races.

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

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

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