Glad to see this line back in the market place. We awarded the collection a Platinum Award in 2000. We're now adding them to our Blue Chip Classics award winners. What we wrote in 2000: We were really impressed with this new but classic-looking line of baby toys, crafted of sturdy primary-colored plastics. An Activity Cube for little fingers to activate has a mirror, squeaker, roller and spinning ball. The Gripper Ball has four easy-to-grab rounded handles and a see-through hourglass in the middle with beads that roll from side to side. Also highly recommended: Triangle Rings, Abacus Rings, Roller Rattle Ball ($5 each) with a jolly sound, and Reflector Rattle ($16) with colorful marbles that look almost liquid as they spin around a mirrored triangular well.
SNAP INFO: To develop two-handed play, kids need a variety of manipulatives with interesting payoffs. Tolo's Activity Cube has a mirror, squeaker, roller, and spinning ball for little fingers to activate. The Gripper Ball has four easy-to-grab rounded handles and a see-through hourglass in the middle with beads that roll from side to side. New for 2000, Play Triangle with spinning mirror and big beads.
Age: Infants. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
This play mat remains our favorite with two arches and dangly toys baby can gaze and eventually bat at. It gets high marks for keeping baby entertained. We prefer this design to the classic plastic activity gyms. Available in high-contrast black, white, and red version. Not for babies who are beginning to pull themselves up. Deluxe version is slightly larger.
SNAP INFO: This soft fabric playmat with dangly toys on soft arches comes in a variety of choices. For bold visual graphics select the black. white and red version. Easy to fold and carry along, the deluxe version is larger than most, a plus for bigger babies who may not be on the move, but ready to reach out and activate things. Like all playmats, this is to be used only with supervision and is not intended for babies who are pulling themselves up. Adaptation: Babies stop noticing toys that are always in their sight- just as you stop noticing a vase that's always in the same place. Change the soft danglies positions or substitute others to add visual interest.
Age: Infants. Award Year: 1998.
You can attach this musical toy to crib rails and use it later on as a take along musical. Totally low tech, this music box with a handle plays "It's a Small, Small World" as bunnies and bear pictures scroll slowly on the "TV" screen. Tots can wind the knob, spin a roller or beep a button. We have not received safety verification for this product and we have not had it tested in an independent lab.
Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
An eye-appealing matching lotto-style game with bright easy to "know-and-name" objects. Builds visual discrimination and language. Players get to take the Cheerios from the playing board when they make a match. This game has been discontinued.
SNAP INFO: This lotto style matching game reinforces language as well as matching skills. Clear illustrations of familiar items make this easy for kids to use with an edible reward for matches. Before you play establish that kids know the names of the playing pieces. Like all games from this maker there are suggestions for great variations you can play.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2001.
Remember making scratch art with crayon scribbles covered with black paint that you scratched away? Now Scratch-Art Dazzle paper is ready made and has glittering foil effects that appear when you scratch the black away. A package with 4 sheets, a stylus, stencil, and instructions makes an inexpensive but special treat. Or look for a Combo pack with Dazzle, Stained Glass and Rainbow, Black & White sheets. 5 & up.
SNAP INFO: Remember making scratch art with crayon scribbles covered with black paint that you scratch away? Now Scratch & Sparkle has glittering holographic foil effects that appear. The Combo 4-Pack is fun with Holographic, Stained Glass, Rainbow, and Black and White sheets. An inexpensive but special treat! A good way to motivate kids to use those fine motor skills needed for writing. ADAPTION: Holding this skinny paper in place can be a problem, especially if kids are using stencils. We suggest taping the paper down so it won't slip.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2001.
This innovative art material is great for travel as well as home because the chunky markers are colorless and won't stain anything. Best of all, they have a magic quality-they turn color as kids draw on the special paper. This comes with coloring books that keep color inside the lines, but we prefer the open-ended paper that kids can use any way they like. 2 & up.
SNAP INFO: There's something magical about these markers with colorless tips that turn to true colors when used on special paper. A great choice for encouraging kids to develop the eye hand skills they need for writing. Activity: Use a crayon or regular marker to make dots kids can connect with the special markers. Draw dots to form letters, numbers, or pictures.
Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Happy to see this Platinum Award winner back in the market! Little hands can easily activate the spinners on this rattling activity toy that's ideal for two-handed investigations. There's a ratchet dial on one side, a reflection bead chamber on the other side, and in the center there's a small spinning mirror, big egg-shaped beads, and a barrel for developing the use of individual fingers and as a colorful rolling toy for small social games. We have not received safety verification for this product and we have not tested it in an independent lab.
Age: Infants. Award Year: 2001.
A collection of seven animated stories about birthdays by well-known writers and illustrators such as Alan Ahlberg, Michael Foreman, Helen Oxenbury, and Shirley Hughes. They have a true storybook quality that is charming, but quieter and slower than most video fare for this age group. Watch this 44-min. video in several sittings rather than one long sit-down. 3 & up.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2001.
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