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Product Type: Toys

 

Eye Can Art: Wax Drawing Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

This is strictly a kit for parent and child together! There is wax that needs to be melted in the oven and this step must be done entirely by adults. The box says adult supervision in small print. We are telling you this in LARGE PRINT—ADULT SUPERVISION IS A MUST! That said, this is an interesting ancient art form. It comes with two wooden frames that you draw on with oil pastels supplies in the kit. Then you press a sheet of beeswax over the art and you bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. When it comes out it needs to cool before anyone touches it. An interesting kit but not for young kids or impatient adults, for that matter! 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: .

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2009 Award
Eye Can Art: Printmaking Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

An interesting introduction to printmaking that comes complete with brayer, printing ink, tagboard, glue, papers and instructions. This is a kit for parent child projects. The supplies are fine and the directions are clear. A good choice for outdoors where the newspapers under the art work can be tossed. 8 & up. 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Creativity for Little Kids Finger Prints
(Creativity for Kids $20 Score:)

We really love the way this finger printing kit is set up for less mess and good fun. Of course little children are more involved in the doing than finished painting. It's a chance to explore how colors mix and how spreading the paint results in different effects. This should be the main focus--exploring colors and motion and messing around. For slightly older kids one can preserve a special art work by pressing paper and rolling the breyer over the plastic sheet to make a print that can be saved. It comes with an apron, sponge for cleaning fingers and six pots of paint that sit secure in the painting tray. Last but not least, this all stores well in a good box when the artistic moments are over. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 

SNAP ACTIVITIES: This is more like a print making kit. Kids use the finger paints on the plastic surface in the kit and then use paper and roller to "print" their artwork on paper. This is a step more than regular fingerpaints and becomes involved with a finished product. That may be one step too far for most paintings. Encourage children to experiment and enjoy the process rather than focusing on the final product. Of course, you may want to capture a sample of their artwork. That's fine. Just let the painting be the most important part of the fun.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Tiki Girl Jewelry
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:)

Handsome wooden jewelry comes smooth and ready to decorate in this kit with 3 rings, 2 pendant necklaces plus beads, 2 bracelets, and 1 flower hair clip. It has tiny flower stick-ons and a paint pen with a precision fine point. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 7 and up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Butterfly Paper Mobile
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:)

This is a challenging kit that will take patience and fine motor skills. The pre-cut butterflies need to be assembled after they are colored and then hung so that they balance and move on the metal mobile frame. This is no simple task from assembly to completion. That said, it does end up as an attractive decoration for kids to hang in their rooms with a sense of pride and accomplishment. We usually steer away from coloring projects, but this is a lot more. In fact the coloring part is the smallest part of this activity that may require some adult assistance. 7 & 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, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Show Horse and Stable
(Creativity for Kids $24.95 Score:)

Our tester liked assembling this small stable, painting it and adding stickers for trim. Once it is done there’s a show horse to decorate with spots and bridle, reins, saddle and blanket. For young horse lovers this is an entertaining kit that combines crafts and a finished product for dramatic play. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
LeapFrog Tag Junior
(LeapFrog $35 Score:)

Tag Junior is really a well designed platform for the 2-4 crowd. The books are all printed on sturdy cardboard stock. Pre-readers can use the Tag device to make the books speak more than the apparent text on the page. There are more than 100 interactions in each book that invite children to find objects on the page, as well as simply reading what the page says. Unlike the original Tag toy that reads true storybooks along with interactive touch features, this junior version explores ideas that do not have to be "read" in sequence. For younger children who may dip into a book without regard to its sequence, this makes sense. The toy comes loaded with one book, If I Were, a book full of animal sounds. There are 8 other titles available and a total of 13 that will be released this year. You buy the extra books in the store and then you download the interactions into the Tag Junior device with your computer. There is an ABC Orchestra book, another with action words. One of the best for this age group is a color concept book featuring Curious George. Dora the Explorer is also the star of a bilingual counting book that goes from 1-10 (although for most 2-4's learning to count to five in one language is probably enough.) You'll want to share these books with your child before handing off the device that they can then use independently. A carrying case ($14.99) that holds the Tag Jr. and five books will come in handy for storage as the library grows. 2-4

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

SNAP ADAPTATION: The chunky sensor is easier than most to grasp. If it needs to be futher adapted, a glove with velcro in the mitt and a strip of velcro on the sensor may do the trick. Unlike simply reading along with a recording, this learning tool enables beginning readers to follow along and get the sense of how the text moves from left to right. It encourages readers to learn the "mechanics" of how a book works from front to back, from left page to right. Add to this the fun of exploring the pages and art to make things happen and this goes a few steps beyond any other read aloud story system with real books!

 

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Alex Jr Prickly Play Porcupine
(Alex $29.99 Score:)

A visually stimulating floor toy for sitting up babies. Along its velour striped back there are cone shaped points with interesting patterns and textures for little hands to explore. The porcupine's face with pink nose and stitched features has a squeaker inside...that will need to be activated by an adult. Turn it over and surprise...there’s a peek a boo mirror that baby can see his own image! 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. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Alex Jr Giggle E Giraffe
(Alex $21.99 Score:)

A colorful velour giraffe done in bright yellow with bright orange and hot pink horns, an orange muzzle and stitched features. The body is round with striped patterned legs that slide and have a crinkle sound. A bright purple, yellow and pink dotted tail has a squeaker and knotted trim. This is an interesting toy for new and sitting up babies. 3 months & up. 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. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Big Fun Crafts
(Creativity for Kids $24.95 Score:)

A wonderful compartmentalized craft box with more than 300 pieces! An ideal box of supplies for playdates, rainy days or quiet summer afternoons. Comes with supplies that include 30+ yards of ribbon and yarn, multi-colored pom poms, glitter pom poms, pipe cleaners, rainbow craft sticks, feathers, scissors, and a whole lot more to get the creative juices flowing. They say 3 & up. We’d say many of these items would be slightly better with 4-7’s. 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. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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