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Product Type: Toys

 


2002 Award
Castle and Bucket Set
(International Playthings $12.99 Score:) A castle-shaped bucket doubles as a mold and comes with watering can, three stout digging tools, and sand/water mill. Everything but the sun block for an afternoon at the beach! (800) 445-8347.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Rescue Squad
(Great American Puzzle Factory $6.5 Score:) When you open the box there are over 60 pieces that make up four different vehicles (police car, helicopter, truck, and fire truck). Each puzzle is over a foot long and has clear graphics. Unfortunately, the 60 pieces are not separated out. Our tip is to presort the otherwise terrific puzzles for your child. They say 3 & up, we'd say more like 4 & up with help. (800) 922-1194.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Bob the Builder Kid Sized Puzzle
(Milton Bradley $6.95 Score:) Thirty giant sized pieces with geometric cutout connections to make a 3'-tall picture of Bob in his hard hat and work tools. There are also simpler/smaller well-done puzzles featuring Bob. (800) 752-9755.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Mega Bloks Wagon
(Mega Bloks $30 Score:) A tot-sized red wagon loaded with 50 pieces of oversized plastic pegged blocks is fun for making big, fast constructions. Pegs on side of wagon can be used for building up and over. (800) 465-6342.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Little 3-in-1 Sports Set
(Little Tikes $24.99 Score:) Toddlers often long to shoot hoops and swing at baseballs like their big siblings. Scaled for little players, this satisfies their love of repetition. Basketballs drop into chutes and there are baseball and golf balls to swing at. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Awards
Magical Color Changing Gertie Balls
(Small World Toys $6 Score:) These gummy inflatable balls are soft enough for kids who may be scared of big heavy balls coming toward them. We particularly like the new-for- magical color-changing Gertie. Put in a cold place, it turns pink; toss it and your handprints show up in blue! SNAP ACTIVITY: Start out with a cold ball and count how many catches back and forth it takes to turn the ball to another color. An active counting game.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
WordXchange
(Prodijeux Inc. $28.95 Score:) Fans of Scrabble, Upwords and other Word games will find this an interesting and challenging variation. It's harder than Upwards and different from Scrabble. Players create words of three letters or more. Opponents can steal words by adding at least one letter to make a new word. Players cannot add S to nouns but they can to verbs. Can be played by 2,3,4 players or by teams. We think some 10's will enjoy this- others may benefit from playing on teams with older players. Game takes about 30 minutes and comes with a timer for rounds. We suggest playing with out the timer for beginners. 866-FUN-WORD.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Dr. Barbie and Kelly Doll
(Mattel $19.99 Score:) Dr. Barbie gives Kelly a checkup with all the props, including a scale! Set is available in Caucasian, African-American, Asian, and Hispanic versions. We also like the idea of active Barbies playing soccer or swimming. For pure silliness and fun, Starlight Fairy Barbie has lights that spin around her waist (a la lights you buy at a circus). Nutcracker Barbie also promises to be at the top of wish lists!

Age: . Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Mini Windowsill Garden
(Creativity for Kids $14 Score:) A ceramic set with two mini flowerpots. watering can, tray, and mini hand tools. Kids paint and then plant with soil and fast-growing wheat seed that are also included. Pots are smaller than they look on the box, but charming. A nice gif t for a child to give to a teacher.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Soda Pop Science
(Scientific Explorer $20 Score:) A hands-on kit for making home-made soda pop! Comes with all the ingredients (except sugar and food coloring) to mix up batches of lime, cherry, cinnamon, and vanilla soda. Recipes call for measuring and keeping records of your own secret recipes! A great science and party activity. Adult help for 6 to 9s. Older kids will be able to handle this on their own.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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