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Product Type: Toys

 


2001 Award
Nature House
(TWC of America $11 Score:) This sturdy hut-shaped wooden house with screened sides makes a perfect temporary habitat for captured bugs. Also top rated, Soil Dweller Nature House Kit ($20). Kids can make their own earthworm or ant farm with this kit (approx. 8" x 11") with wooden frame and Plexiglas windows. Captive creatures can be returned to the wild with ease. 8 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Award
Jumbalaya Jeans Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $18 Score:) There is enough great stuff here to decorate the hems and legs of two pair of jeans with a great assortment of beads, fabric trims, and appliqués. Our parent tester noted that once you add appliqués, jeans can't be machine washed. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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Awards
Push/Pull Wagon
(Radio Flyer $60 Score:) Bigger than the classic red wagon, this plastic update has higher sides, a well, and a stout handle for pushing or pulling kids or cargo. This and the BLUE CHIP classic version are ideal for carting plants, tools, imaginary playmates—you name it.

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

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2000 Awards
Little Landscaper Mulching Mower
(Little Tikes $20 Score:) A good pretend prop for taking care of the lawn. Little Tikes also makes good kid's sized garden tools for raking leaves and digging in the garden.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2000.

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2001 Awards
Bibelot Bags Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $14 Score:) Everyone wanted to do this kit! Comes with enough glass beads and other supplies for making two tiny (very tiny) beaded bags. The beads are "stuck" onto the special sticky surface—no sewing involved. They say 8—we'd say more like 10 & up. We also recommend this company's Alphabet Suite ($12) and Wrist Rox ($16) with enough beads for 36 bracelets.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Award
Three Pigs Puzzibilities
(Small World Toys $11 Score:) We liked the innovative raised pieces of this new crop of wooden puzzles. A scene from "The Three Pigs" is fun for retelling the story while matching puzzle pieces to pictures on the frame. Also charming: Noah's Ark, Two of a Kind, Fun Shapes, and mult-piece Word Builders. Testers liked City Life and Our Home with geometric shapes that call for looking at fine details. A clever Alphapatterns puzzle has a pattern on each letter that is an enlarged detail of the animal shown below it. 3–5.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2001.

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1999 Award
Sum Swamp
(Learning Resources $12.95 Score:) Players toss three dice, one with plus or minus signs as they move their critter through the swamp where they sometimes have to deal with odds and evens. Right on the mark for late first, early second grade. Also top rated, Timing it Right (good for reinforcing clock concepts). 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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2001 Awards
Safari Rush Hour
(ThinkFun $20 Score:)

The object of this brainteaser is to get your jeep safely out of the African Savannah by sliding around all the wild animals in your path. Comes with pattern problem moves from beginner to advanced level. Develops visual perception, strategy, and patience! This is a variation of Rush Hour, PLATINUM AWARD '98. 8 & up. Also fun, a Jr. version of Rush Hour. 6 & 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: 2001.

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2001 Award
Pinky
(Ravensburger $18 Score:) A simple turn-taking game with some counting, and rules that call for memory and quick reaction. Two to four players roll die and put coins into the pig until he oinks. At that moment, the player shakes the pig, keeping all the coins that fall out until another player rolls "stop" on die. Also fun, BLUE CHIP Stacrobats ($18), where players stack the plastic figures without making all the others fall down.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Awards
Golden Retriever
(Folkmanis $60 Score:) We fell in love with this 30" stunning dog puppet. If your child can not have a real dog, this oversized puppet may do the trick. Past favorites: full-bodied tiger and irresistibly cuddly black Labrador puppy ($23). 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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