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Product Type: Toys

 

Dot to Dot Markers To Go
(Alex $19 Score:) An updated version of Markers to Go with a new see through red polka dotted vinyl finish. Both boys and girls will enjoy using this container with 50 assorted colorful markers that unfolds like a make-up case with a velcro closure. (Don't let the make-up case reference throw you off- this will appeal to boys as well. It has blue trim and a green handle). There are four zippered compartments that hold 28 fine tip markers, 14 brush tip markers and 8 broad markers. Great for homework assignments and traveling with an young artist. Makes a terrific birthday present.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Baby's Wind Chimes
(Tiny Love $11 Score:)

Sadly, this product has been discontinued. Here's one of the best new add-ons for the Gymini Play mat. It's a kicking toy with pleasing chimes. Baby activates the sounds by kicking or hitting the three colorful dangling chimes that are suspended on a small arch. This can also be attached to stroller for melodic walking tours. Has an old fashioned and refreshing sound quality in a world full of electronic noises.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Award
Ribbon Raps
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $14.95 Score:) Organdy ribbon necklaces are very trendy and expensive to buy in the store which is why our testers really wanted to get started with this kit. Comes with enough material for five necklaces and five bracelets so this would make a good choice for a rainy day playdate. Kit has five different colors of organdy ribbon, a variety of beads in varying shapes and colors. Kit does not come with the clear nailpolish that's required for making a point on the end of the ribbon for "self-beading". Some of our testers thought it would be better if the kit came with the polish! A good choice for 9s and up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2002 Award
Big Top Flippity Flops
(Alex $40 Score:)

A very special handsome wooden domino-like set (70 pieces) that comes with clowns and fun action pieces that start the tumbling. The dominoes do not have dots on them for traditional domino play but you can play stacking games with them as well as knock'em down games. Our testers enjoyed making up their own color patterns. A classic toy that requires teamwork, patience and it's the type of toy that kids like to try again and again. Once you get them started you can bow out - unlike a lot of preschool games that require a full time adult.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2002. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Awards
Lamaze Puppytunes
(Learning Curve International $19.99 Score:) Companion to the original Octotunes( with eight squeezable legs), this colorful velour puppy has only four squeezable legs and is less expensive. We doubt you'll make real music with this, so, four legs might well be as good as eight. With crinkle ears and polka-dotted and checkerboard patterns for eye-appeal, Puppytunes has stitched features and a cheerful face. Little hands will find the legs on the puppy easier to push and make something happen. No batteries are needed, this works on the old fashioned principle of a squeeze toy that is hand powered. It does have a vanilla scent that you will either love or hate. They say birth and up, but we think older babies and toddlers will enjoy it more. 9 months & up.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Triceratops Puzzle
(Lauri $7.5 Score:) Newest in the Lauri puzzlein a tray collecton is Triceratops, a 12 piece puzzle that will appeal to the dinosaur lover and calls for problem solving and patience. Like all the Lauri tray puzzles this comes with a pattern that can be used for matching for beginners. Put the pattern away when they are ready to do it without help. Also, new this season, a Unicorn puzzle with pastel pieces. 3-6

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Lacing & Tracing Tools
(Lauri $6.99 Score:) Newest addition to Lauri's sturdy lacing shapes. These seven chubby primary colored tools ( hammer, saw, wrenches, drilll, screwdriver) come with colorful laces that will keep little hands busy. This kind of play is good for quiet times and travel and will appeal to boys and girls. Lacing helps develop the same fine motor skills needed for writing. 3-7

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Awards
My Keepsake Clock Kit
(Balitono $17 Score:) Our tester couldn't wait to get started painting this keepsake clock kit that comes with a round quartz clock that sits in the 7" x 4" wooden case. Comes with a small drawer beneath the clock for small treasures. Included in the kit: sandpaper, paint, varnish, two paintbrushes and a painting guide and stencil design. Would make a great present for a child to give (they will probably want one of their own too!). Well made and very special. Also recommended, Best Friends Frame Kit and Keepsake Chest. SNAP AWARD: THis is good looking finished product that needs to be painted in any way your young artist desires. So, it's got a finished look and feel with an open-ended agenda. Makes a great gift for child to give to a teacher or grandparent.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2002 Award
Smart Mouth
(ThinkFun $16.99 Score:) If your family enjoys word games, here's a clever new option for one on one or team play. The game comes with a fun blue letter holder that you load up with the plastic orange and green letter chips. Slid the loader forward and two letters appear. The object of the game is to be the person or team to shout out a five letter word that begins with the first letter and ends with the second letter. The game comes with many alternative ways to play that we found useful. For example, if you're playing with younger children (or just want to make it easier for everyone!) play with three or four letter words. We also enjoyed the version of playing famous people with those two initials. The winning team or player has the most chips at the end of the round. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Mama Do You Love Me? Nesting Blocks
(Chronicle $19.99 Score:) Fans of the book, Mama, Do You Love Me? will love this set of 10 nesting blocks that have the words from the book on one side. Each block calls out the specials words used in Barbara M. Joosse's text. While it's a stretch to say that toddlers need to know that umiak is a type of boat, the blocks each have a numeral on one side. Barbara Lavallee's wonderful illustrations are faithfully reproduced. If you have a toddler, know a toddler this book is a must-read! The blocks would be a fun way of extending the experience.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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