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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2004 Awards
Make-Your-Own Cards I & II
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) There's no need to cut and pasting is a snap with the glue stick and precut shapes. There are several sheets of "pop-out" shpaes that can be used to decorate prefolded cards. Kit includes 20 envelopes for mailing finished art work. Store all the goodies in this kit in a neat box with velcro closure. This comes two ways, with pastel colors that are no dobt designed to appeal to girls and a primary color kit, that is likely to appeal to both boys and girls. We go for the latter! SNAP: Making their own cards will be fun and easy as well as motivating kids to use fine motor skills and create "mail" they can send to family and friends. No right or wrong way to do this open-ended craft kit.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Make-Your-Own Frames
(Made By Hands, Inc $17.95 Score:) Here's a kit with 10 cardboard frames, pop-out shapes in colors and shining holographic card stock. plus one glue stick. There's no cutting but the shapes are interesting and easy to handle. All the materials fit back into the sturdy box foler with a velcro closer for safe keeping. Enough materials for play date fun or even a sleep-over gang. Load 'em up with kids artwork or recent photos for grandparents. SNAP: Materials lend themselves to success and open-ened exploration and they don't look babyish. There's no right or wrong way to use this material. Precut materials add to the ease of use and glus stick really holds!

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Car Valet
(Alex $25 Score:) A handy zipped small case that you hang off the back of your front seat. Has a hard surface for coloring, two net pockets for supplies and two smaller zipped containers that can be taken out so you can take the crayons into the restaurant! (800) 666-2539.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Musini Preschool
(Small world toys $39.99 Score:) When your kids move, they activate the lights and music on the Musini console. A fun stomping-around lesson in cause and effect. This new smaller version has a clever listening game where kids have to respond when they hear particular instruments. Also new but not ready for testing, Musini Magic Wand. (800) 220-3669.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Crayola Dough
(Crayola $1.99 Score:) A super-soft colorful dough that comes in four-or six-pack sets in vivid colors. Will air-harden. 2 & up SNAP ACTIVITY: Encourage school age kids to shape snakes and then use them for making letters or numbers that will harden. Paste finished dried letters onto wood for name plates. Or make small disks of dough and have kids trace their pictures or names in the douch with a toothpick. Make a hole at the top and when dry this can become a necklace.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Paint-A-Dino
(Pamela Drake $12 Score:) Our testers loved that they could paint this articulated dino and then have a great prop for pretend play and to mix in with their blocks. There are also fish, lizards, crocs, and snakes in this line. (800) 966-3762.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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Kettrike Happy
(Kettler $119.99 Score:) This gender-proof primary-colored line of trikes comes with a push bar you can control the trike like a stroller. This line tends to run small and fit younger, smaller preschoolers. Our recommendation with all bikes is to take your child and try them out first.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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2004 Award
Ladybug Land
(Insect Lore $19.95 Score:) Small half-globe structure is the home for the ladybugs that you hatch. Kit comes with a certificate for mailing in. The larvae will be mailed to you, and then you can watch the process unfold. Eventually, you can release the ladybugs into your garden. 4 & 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: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Color Lab Mixer
(DaMert $10 Score:) Designed as a bath toy, the small plastic pitcher has three separate chambers and comes with special tablets that color the water. Put a blue tablet in one chamber and a yellow tablet in the other and, voilà, you will have green water in the third chamber. The tablets aren’t as clear in color as they should be, but this is a fun way to introduce color mixing and get clean at the same time! 3 & up. (800) 356-0474.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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Remote Control Bridge
(Brio $50 Score:) The 25" bridge is controlled by an infrared light. It also has lights and warning bells when the bridge goes up. Looked promising but wasn’t ready for testing. Still top rated, last year’s Remote Control Action Train (Brio $50 ), a sleek white train—very European looking, with lights at the front. (888) 274-6869.

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

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