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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2014 Award
Ravensburger Disney Planes Puzzles
(Ravensburger $14.99 Score:)

Kids can put together images of four different planes with these four shaped puzzles. They range from simple 10-pieces to a 16-piece one. Introduce them one puzzle at a time so all the pieces do not get mixed together. These are real jigsaw puzzle pieces that call for more dexterity and visual discrimination than typical preschool puzzles, though the pieces are larger than they are pictured on the box graphic. That said, this is a challenging set. You'll want to show them how to sort the colors into four different piles and then work on one puzzle at a time when they first start. Like all puzzles for younger kids, this will be probably be put together a number of times, since kids like to redo their puzzles, getting confidence as they do them with greater ease and mastery. This set comes in a sturdy storage box for safe keeping between uses. Marked for 3 & up, we think this may be a better choice for experienced puzzle builders of four and five.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Wonder Forge Dr. Seuss Charades
(Wonder Forge $10 Score:)

Charades for the preschool set. Players select the Dr. Seuss Character they want to be. One player draws a card and picks one of three actions to act out. Other players guess what the action is. The player who guesses first and the actor-outer both get to move on the playing board. First to cross the finish line wins. There is no reading in this game so it is designed for preschoolers. However the playing board has some twists along the way that can send players backwards (like Candlyland) and may be upsetting to younger players. They say 3 and up, we think doing charades may be tough for most threes and some fours. You may want to save this for older 4-5 year olds.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
LEGO Creator Yellow Racers
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

A versatile 3-in-1 set with 328-pieces for building a helicopter with chunky main rotor, sleek cockpit, retractable front landing gear, and multi-directional rear wheel. Had enough of the helicopter? Turn the same parts into a speedboat or a high-speed racing car. This is a fairly complex set meant for experienced builders 7-12.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Rand McNally World Wall Map
(Rand McNally $13.95 Score:)

A giant 50"X 32" wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar U.S.A. map for their room. Kids will like marking the places they have been or following sports or world news by seeing where in the world things are happening.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
The Amazing Wubble Bubble Ball
(wubble-ball.com $19.99 Score:)

Our testers were thrilled with the soft, light-weight Wubble Bubble ball that inflates to an amazing 3-foot size and still has some give. Fun to bounce, catch, toss and and kick. You inflate it with a pump that comes with the ball, but you will need 4 D size batteries to make it work. It does come with warnings about keeping it away from pets and branches. It comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, but we didn’t read the fine print on that. If you have a crowd and a big enough yard, we’d say this will be a star attraction for getting the gang up and moving. You can deflate it when you are finished playing and use it on another day. Comes in multiple see-thru colors.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Rand McNally U.S. Wall Map
(Rand McNally $14.95 Score:)

A giant 50” X 32” wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar World Map ($8.99) for their room. Kids will like putting stickers on their personal map--marking the places they have been (or want to see) and following sports or world news; locating where in the world things are happening. An interest in mapping begins early if encouraged by making maps relate to their interests and experiences.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
The Amazing Wubble Bubble Ball
(Wubbleball.com $19.99 Score:)

Our testers were thrilled with the soft, light-weight, Wubble Bubble ball that inflates to an amazing 3-foot size and still has some give. Fun to bounce, catch, toss, and and kick. You inflate it with a pump that comes with the ball, but you will need 4 D size batteries to make the pump work. It also comes with warnings about keeping it away from pets and branches. It claims to have a lifetime replacement guarantee, but we didn't read the fine print on that. If you have a crowd and a big enough yard and not a lot of very little kids, we'd say this will be a star attraction for getting the gang up and moving. You can deflate it when you are finished playing and use it on another day. Comes in multiple see-thru colors.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Faber-Castell Connector Pens
(Faber-Castell $19.99 Score:)

A set of fifty colorful fiber-tip pens that can be used solo or clipped together for multi-colored effects. In vibrant colors, these pens can be used to draw fine lines, dots, and sideways for broader lines. This bucket includes extra connectors so kids can make a variety of playful constructions. There are smaller sets of these, but fifty is nifty. 6 & up

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Rand McNally World Map
(Rand McNally $11 Score:)

Having a big 50” x 32” map of places you've been or those you long to visit, offers a good way to spark their interest in maps and geography. Give them a set of stickers to label the places they've been or hope to get to.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Creativity for Kids Duct Tape Water Bottle
(Creativity for Kids $13 Score:)

Customize a personal plastic water bottle with six colorful rolls (30 feet) of duct tape and foil stickers. A great take along for the beach or bike ride. The bottle is BPA Free and comes with a carabiner clip to fasten to backpack or belt buckle. A creative way to stay hydrated. The price of this product varies on various sites

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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