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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2007 Awards
Hokey Pokey Musical Skirt
(Acting Out $32 Score:)

Following the success of last year’s Platinum winning Swan Lake Musical Dress ($32 5) and Nutcracker Sugar Plum Musical Skirt ($26 5) that gave little ballerinas an orchestra they could activate as they danced, this season dancers can turn themselves around as they do the Hokey Pokey in a polka-dotted skirt with motion-activated music. All make magical gifts to stir active imaginative performances. 3 & up. (877) 727-0222.

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

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SparkArt Creativity System
(Fisher-Price $99.99 Score:) Imagine an easel that tells you what to do! Its so-called “magical technology” “gets kids’ creative juices going with audio prompts, inspiring them to use colors, sounds, objects, and the alphabet.” In other words, it tells your child what to draw. Where’s the creativity in following audio prompts? While the technology may be amazing (it has over 600 word combinations and sound effects), we don’t believe that kids should be standing at an easel waiting for instructions. From a developmental point of view, we want kids to be able to explore their own imagination and make their own sounds. Was not ready for testing, but the concept is misguided. 3 & up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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Magna Doodle Color Plus
(Ohio Art $17.99 Score:) There’s a new twist to your old Magna Doodle. Use one side of the stylus and you get a bluish line; use the other side and you get a reddish line. It says red or blue on the package, but it’s neither. Unlike previous color versions, this does erase with three or more swipes of the “eraser” and there is a wide blade tool that can turn the red to blue. But in all honesty, the original Magna Doodle ($14.99 5) is a BLUE CHIP that works better and remains a classic. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2007.

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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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