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Product Type: Toys

 


2003 Award
Leap Frog!
(International Playthings $19.95 Score:) The object here is to throw your bean bags against the frog (with a trampoline-like body). The lily pads that they land on have different point values. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Good for developing eye-hand coordination, but may be too intense for younger preschoolers. They say 3 & up; we'd say... it depends on your child. Still top rated, Egg'n'Spoon Race ($19.99 ). 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
It Takes All Sorts
(Small World Toys $14 Score:) A classic counting/sorting toy. Each shape has one, two, three, or four holes to fit on the wooden dowels of the puzzle board. This looks simpler than it is for beginners. There are two attributes here: shape and number. This calls for dexterity and counting. They say 2, we'd say late 2s and 3s.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Make-A-Shape Puzzle Board
(Small World Toys $14 Score:) Introduces fractions with a circle cut in thirds, a square in quarters, a triangle in halves, and a whole rectangle. Obviously, using these terms with sandwiches, fruit, and other everyday objects will teach the same concepts. 21⁄2 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Lily's Purple Plastic Purse
(Mudpuppy Press $7.95 Score:) This company continues to make marvelous puzzles from picture-book art. Select 20 pieces in a frame or 24- and 36-piece puzzles in handsome, sturdy storage boxes. Favorites: Katy Cat and Beaky Boo, Martha Speaks, and Where the Wild Things Are. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Nobbly Wobbly Beach Ball
( $12.95 Score:) (Hands On Toys) Here's a pretzel of a beachball with several interlaced plastic tubes that you blow up individually to make a 19" beach ball. Because it's not a solid ball, it is easier to catch. We didn't find the enclosed pump very useful—we blew it up the old fashioned way!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Fire & Rescue Activity Pack
(Lauri $14.99 Score:) Loaded for dramatic play with lacing and tracing figures of firefighters and trucks; has 20 stringing pieces with firehouse theme and a small setting with firehouse, trees, and animals. Plenty of activity here for developing fine motor skills along with pretend play. Also top rated, Space Odyssey Pack. 4–7.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Search & Rescue GI Joe
(Hasbro $24.99 Score:) A departure from GI Joe's regular tour of duty, here he is a hero in the community. Comes in firefighter's uniform, with thermal imaging camera, air tank, and other rescue gear. This is a multicultural collection. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
If You Dare!
(International Playthings $20 Score:) The directions are clear and straightforward for this action game that requires kids to follow the directions on the cards to do things such as, "pretend to make pancakes," "imitate an opera singer," or "try to make another player laugh." A good party game for 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Monopoly: The American Edition
(Parker Brothers $29.99 Score:) Our Monopoly fans were delighted with additions to the traditional game, which include trivia questions in order to get out of jail! Play pieces include slices of Americana, including apple pie and the Liberty Bell. You're playing for the Grand Canyon, the Declaration of Independence, and the Phonograph.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Crayola Window FX
(Crayola $3.99 Score:) Remember using glass wax with stencils for holiday decorations? Here's a much more colorful and easy-to-use update! These window paint markers allow kids to draw directly on windows and glass doors, AND it comes right off with water. An open-ended product for all seasons. 4 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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