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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2001 Awards
Razor Scooter
(Razor Scooter $99 Score:)

Since we first reviewed the Razor Scooter in 2001, it has become the granddaddy of them all. When they first arrived on the scene, it was hard to walk around the streets of our Greenwich Village office without seeing dozens of kids on them (or parents carrying them to their kids for pick up!)  They have maintained their apply with kids as one the experiences of childhood. Here in New York City--they have replaced the "first bike" as the main mode of childhood transportation. We are always amazed by the really little kids that have mastered the scooter! 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Lynn Kleiner Rhythm Sets
(Remo $24.95 Score:) Many instruments for young kids make noise instead of music and are basically unsafe. Strike up the rhythm band with these kits that are well crafted with sound and safety in mind. Babies Make Music includes jingle shaker, wrist jingle, and a small drum and scarf (safe enough for toddlers who still mouth their toys). 2 & up. Kids Make Music includes a 7" tambourine, triangle, wrist bell (with big jingles), rhythm sticks, and one maraca; Kids Make Music, Too has an 8" drum, scarf, finger cymbals, woodblock with mallet, and one egg shaker. 3 & up. SNAP Activity: Use drum or rhythm sticks for a math game. Make a stack of cards labeled with numbers 1-10. Put them face down. Player draws a card and taps that number. Other player must guess the number on your card. If she gets it, give her the card. At the end of the game switch parts. Now the other player does the reading and tapping. (800) 397-9378.

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

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Award
Jamtown
(Jamtown $8 Score:) We loved the sound quality and authentic folk beauty of a carved Peruvian shaker ($8), Gourd Scraper ($16), and rosewood Clave Sticks from Mexico ($12). You can buy a small drum, claves, and shaker in a Jamtown Jr. kit with a cassette tape ($35). These and other folk instruments from places like Africa and Indonesia make unusual gifts for the family.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2000 Awards
Oogly Googly
(Learning Resources $20 Score:) Our PLATINUM AWARD winner in 2000 is a motorized Gears! creation that can be built in three or more ways. Based on the original and still wonderfully open-ended Gears! Gears! Gears! this kit comes with giant Oogly Googlie Eyes that jiggle and wiggle as the creature rolls along. These are still great toys that develop problem-solving skills as well as dexterity. They don't come out of the box ready made, but once they are built kids can take extra pleasure in playing with what they have created. .

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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1995 Awards
Windows & Doors
(Haba $25 Score:)

We're always on the look out for props to add to building blocks and these are good fun. Add these working doors and windows that are scaled to unit blocks. Fitting them in place takes some problem solving.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1997 Awards
Tinkle, Crinkle, Rattle, & Squeak
(Gund $10 Score:) A classic velour caterpillar-shaped toy with multiple sounds in each section of the bug's body and bright primary colors for eye-grabbing attention. For the youngest, you'll need to squeeze the toy to get baby's attention. In time baby will be finding ways to activate and investigate this toy. Available in black, red and white as well as in primary colors. SNAP INFO: Each section of the brightly colored worm has a different sound. An ideal toy that matches your infant's sensory learning style.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 1997.

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2000 Awards
Familiar Things
(Lauri $18.95 Score:)

Twelve two-piece rubbery puzzles of familiar objects makes this a good place to begin with older toddlers. Start with a few sets at a time. Talk about the objects, what they are called, and what they do. 2 & up.

SNAP INFO: These whole piece puzzles are relatively easier to rotate and discover where and how they fit. They are also handsome for language games and dramatic play. ACTIVITY: Play an I Spy game with some of the pieces. Say," I'm thinking of something that flies-what is it?" Can the child find the butterfly?..."I spy something that has wheels." Can the child find the car.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Ring'n Rattle Phone
(Fisher-Price $12.99 Score:) This phone not only rings but rattles and shakes when tots hit the big red button. Takes 2 AA batteries. This will either delight your tot or send him in the other direction. Try before you buy! SNAP INFO: Imagine a phone that shakes and rattles when kids hit the big red button. For some kids the action will be amusing and for others alarming. Try before you buy!

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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1995 Awards
Lego Duplo
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

You can't go wrong with chunky plastic Lego Duplo building blocks to fill and dump, snap together, and take apart are basic gear for older toddlers and preschoolers. Small sets are good for add-ons, but be sure to start with a large enough set. 1 & up. There are also themed licensed sets that can be fun additions-but are not as open ended as a basic bucket.

SNAP INFO: Open ended Duplo blocks are ideal for stacking and building, but they are also fun for classifying games. ACTIVITY: Play a sorting game by putting all the red pieces together, then the yellow pieces and so on. These are ideal for developing fine motor skills as well as language, counting and color concepts.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1995 Awards
Littlel Tikes Shopping Cart
(Little Tikes $30 Score:)

This bright yellow cart with baby seat is more gender free than most doll carriers. Lends itself to more open-ended pretend shopping and simply carting treasures about games. Room for a doll or teddy bear simply makes it more like the real thing.

SNAP INFO: Solidly built for lots of pretend, this shopping cart has a seat for doll or teddy when kids need a shopping spree play time.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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