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Product Type: Toys

 


2005 Award
9 x 12 Jump n Slide
(Little Tikes $200 Score:) The neighborhood of kids that tested this for us gave this jumping toy high marks. The 3-5 year old crowd found the toy sufficiently bouncy! Note: Our older testers (7 and up) felt the toy did not give them enough bounce. We liked the protective walls on the sides and the kids loved the wide slide. Great fun for a birthday party and everyday play but does require parental supervision. We also recommend placing the toy a soft surface. Parents liked the fact that it inflated easily and quickly with the included pump. Grass stakes help keep the playset from moving around.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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Flutterbye Dreams
(Fisher-Price $24.95 Score:) The concept of this toy is well intentioned: the tweet-tweet of birdies—think the opening of a Bugs Bunny nature scene and you get the picture. Our problem is that the tweet-tweet is very high pitched, making us wince instead of relax. So we’d pass on this one. The Ocean Wonders () mobile has three fish that spin around (not particularly eye-catching), but we didn’t like the gel-like “fishbowl” intended for baby to push on. There’s a disconnect with the packaging since no mobile should be left in a crib when a baby is sitting up. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Infants. Award Year: .

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2006 Award
Taf Toys Smart Mat
(Edushape $59.95 Score:) Our family with triplets raved about this amazing oversized playmat (39" x 59"). “There’s enough room for all our girls.” Another family wrote: “it was perfect for our den that has bare floors. It’s very cushy and I find it attractive to have out in the room.” It has bright graphics and interesting textures and sounds. Comes with several attached toys as well as three separate toys that have interesting textures to explore. This is an unusually attractive and versatile mat that will get miles of use until baby takes off as a crawler. (800) 404-4744.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Razzy Rattles
(Mary Meyer $4.5 Score:) Choose a very quiet floppy little red pig, green turtle, blue elephant, or yellow lion in washable terry with gingham trim and stitched features. Also, See Me? Rattles ($4.50 ) are all-fabric, easy-to-hold shakers with happy faces and a quiet jingle. A nice toy for older sibs to use with baby. A “mirror” on the back of the rattle face is distorted, but not to worry, baby is going to be attracted to the patterns and stitched face and big brother’s antics. (800) 451-4387.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Let's Play Puppets
(Gund $12.99 Score:) Choose a blue elephant, Tootie, lavender hippo, Tibs, or mint green frog, Pippy, for early tracking games and heart-to-heart talks. These soft hand puppets come with a baby puppet so parent and child can sing and talk together. These are fun to share with an older sibling as you play with baby together. Also a good take-along toy for distractions on small trips. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Earlyears Click N Spin Highchair Flower
(International Playthings $15.99 Score:) This colorful flower suctions to the high chair tray. Petals have spinners, a mirror, textures, patterns, and sounds for sitting-up baby to activate. (800) 445-8347.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2006.

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Learning Pots & Pans
(Fisher-Price $17.97 Score:) On the plus side, these pots have encased beads that are fun to move about, but the toy requires the pots to be stacked in one correct order (way too hard for babies and young toddlers). There’s a shape sorter in the lid and music in the base. This is one of those toys with the alphabet song and counting that’s marked for 6–36 months. In the end, this set tries to do too much and fails. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Angel Fish Rocker
(Step 2 $40 Score:) Reintroduced, this all-plastic fish has been an old favorite for toddlers. The seat is narrow and pretty easy to mount. Can be used indoors or out. But a warning: supervision is needed as rapid rocking can lead to spills. This is bigger than your average rocker and has been known to tip. (800) 347-8372.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Little Champs Sports Center
(Little Tikes $29.95 Score:) Toddlers like to imitate older siblings and this little sports set allows them to shoot baskets, hit a baseball, and spin a football. The basketball has a sound chip scoreboard that cheers them on and the baseball clicks as it turns on the post. 9 mos. & up. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Triple Play Tunnel
(Step 2 $39.99 Score:) Knowing how toddlers love going in and out of their own spaces, this is great fun—especially for tight spaces. Our toddler tester liked using it for cruising around as well as crawling through (800) 347-8372.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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