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Product Type: Toys

 


2009 Award
Kinder-Ready Colors & Numbers Clue Cards
(Elmer's $10 Score:)

Two piece puzzles fit together when kids match the color of an animal with the color card or the numeral shown with the same number of objects. We suggest you separate the two sets of cards for beginners. Just matching the color set or number set will be challenge enough at first. These are handsome cards done with the illustrator, Eric Carle’s playful art work. These are sound concepts to work on with preschoolers. Unfortunately, their String Along Skill Building Kit(3.5) has a string without a hard end, so it is going to be hard for little hands to string the plastic shaped beads. The best parts of the kit were the playing cards with ideas for sorting, patterns and matching games. These cards and the playing pieces work. It’s just the string that does not. You could bring it home and substitute a lacing string from another toy. We just cannot give it an award because of the lace that comes with the kit. 3 & up.

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

This toy is only available at Barnes & Noble until 2010.

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

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2009 Award
Kinder-Ready Go Wild! Game
(Elmer's $19.99 Score:)

Eric Carle’s wonderful animal art is used for the 16 large circular playing disks of these active games that can be played by one, two or more players. Adult help will be needed to get these games going. First, you’ll need to inflate the playing dice with action words on one and dots for counting on the other. After that the variations of the game will need some explaining. Most of the games involve the action die that says “Dance, Crawl, Walk, Jump, Run or Sing like…” Player turns over a picture disk and must move like the animal pictured. There’s a ‘duck, duck, goose’ kind of variation only this one is called ‘hop, hop, holler!” when a child in the circle is told to holler he gets up and turns over a picture card and hollers like the animal he found. Now it’s that child’s turn to go round the circle and pick the next person who will be “it” and holler. These simple games are on the mark for 3’s and up.

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

This game is only available at Barnes & Noble until 2010.

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

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2009 Award
Charlie & Lola Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $10 Score:)

Favorite storybook characters, Charlie and Lola are featured on this puzzle with the two of them drinking pink milk…which is best, of course! This is a 36 piece puzzle marked for 3 & up. We think it may be a challenge for most 3’s and many 4’s. Give them help with the strategy of putting the frame of the puzzle together. 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.

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2009 Award
Collectible Tin Puzzles Pirates
(Mudpuppy Press $14 Score:)

This 100-piece puzzle creates a handsome three mast pirate ship with challenging sails to un-jumble. Like all 100 piece puzzles, this is for older and more experienced puzzle builders. Marked 5 & up, we think this will require help if a 5 tries this solo. More like a 7 & up choice. 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, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Pirates
(Mudpuppy Press $10 Score:)

36 big pieces combine to make a 16 X 16 inch puzzle with a cast of animal pirates. This is not really as easy at it may appear. 36 pieces are a serious challenge for beginners. Give them some help in seeing the edges and making a frame. Says 3 & up. We think it may be hard for most 3’s and even some 4’s. For older pirate lovers there is a 63 piece Pirate’s Cove ($14 4.5) with smaller pieces. It comes stored in a round container that adds to the challenge of following the image. This is not an easy puzzle. Finishes as an 18 X 14pieces. 5 & 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Jungle Friends, First Puzzles
(Mudpuppy Press $10 Score:)

Newest of the First Puzzle sets with four little puzzles in one box. This is a little more challenging since the colors of the four puzzles have some overlap. Sorting the playing pieces by color may need adult assistance. That said the four animals pictured are playful images and go together with ease, once they are sorted. In fat the sorting is part of the fun. 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Dinosaur Park Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $17 Score:)

Twenty-four great big pieces fit together to make a colorful scene with all the familiar dinosaurs young children love naming and knowing. There’s stegosaurus, T-Rex, Triceratops, and good old Brontosaurus. Give beginners clues about putting the frame together first and then when the deed is done use it to talk about the colorful creatures. 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, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Freeze Pop Factory
(Little Kids $19.99 Score:)

Kids can use regular fruit juices to make these frozen treats. The kit comes with a stand and 36 self sealing freeze pop bags. It also includes a 4 pop stick holders for making ice pops. Unlike a lot of food machines for kids, this one comes apart easily for cleaning. A fun toy for cool summertime snacks that are healthy with a little in the way of science experiments built into the liquid to solid transformations. A nice big box for a birthday gift that’s under $20. 5 & 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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2009 Award
Mary Meyer Charley Choo Choo Wooby Chew
(Mary Meyer $11 Score:)

A soft 8” bear with a blue body decorated with a choo choo train. It’s understuffed like a flat bear, with easy to grasp body with crinkle sounds. For little teethers the best part will be the chewy paws with bumpy texture. A cute new look for first huggables.

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

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Mary Meyer Charlie Choo Choo Squeezy Toy
(Mary Meyer $6 Score:)

A jolly little Bear sits on top of this squeezy that squeaks when squeezed. Good for tracking games with new babies. It will take time before they can make it squeak on their own. This company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009.

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