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Product Type: Toys
Age: Infants

 

 
2013 Awards
Lamaze Franky the Hanky Whale
(Tomy $25 Score:)

A soft textured fabric whale comes with bright colored hankies that can disappear into the whale's ribbon trimmed spout and peek-a-boo--they reappear when pulled out of its wide mouth. It has a bold black and white pattern on its underside and crinkle sounds in its fins. A cute way to play around with object permanence and develop fine motor skills in little hands. 9 months & up

SNAP: Use this toy for reinforcing color concepts as you pull the hankies out. Look for other things in the room that are the color of the hankie you put in the spout. Once children have the hang of this add other peek-a-boo surprises to this clever toy that has no finger catches or hard edges. This plays on an old favorite game of filling and dumping. Putting things into a container and taking them develops manual skills as well as proving repetition and a sense of empowerment. Changing the objects to be filled and dumped--or in this case pushed and pulled, adds variety to a useful play mode.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Very Hungry Caterpllar Twist, Click and Match Animal Blocks
(Kids Preferred $17 Score:)

Three fabric blocks that are permanently attached make a fun ratchety sound when they are turned. Making this happen takes some hand strength and learning time. The blocks are printed with three parts of four different animals from Eric Carle picture books - including the famous caterpillar. Older tots will like the puzzle aspect of making the parts into a whole image.  Hang it in the stroller with the hook that holds the dangly colorful blocks.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Bunnies By the Bay Lily Mae
(Bunnies By the Bay $16 Score:)

Sweet Lily Mae, a soft green froggie wears a petal tutu and purple ballet slippers that do not come off. Lily is a lot cuter in person than her photo shows. She has stitched features and a beanbag bottom that allows her to sit without toppling over. Her skinny legs and arms are easy for tots to grab. She is machine washable and tumbles dry on low heat. Newborns & up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Bunnies By the Bay Peanut Buddy Blanket
(Bunnies By the Bay $30 Score:)

A special lovie for baby to hold. This one has a blue plush elephant head with satin lined ears, and blue satin lined polka-dotted plush blanket instead of a body. Newborn and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Bunnies By the Bay Tadbits Buddy Blanket
(Bunnies By the Bay $30 Score:)

An unusual lovie, Tadbits is a soft shade of green plush with embroidered eyes and smiling mouth. He's a lot cuter in person than his photo...unless you don't like frogs. His head and long arms are attached to a soft blue embroidered blanket that is lined in blue satin. He is sort of the Frog Prince type, ready for hugging. Infants.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Bunnies By the Bay Blooming Blossom Buddy Blanket
(Bunnies By the Bay $30 Score:)

Blooming Blossom is an over the top lovie with her floppy ears and textured plush head and arms. Her head is attached to a grand pink plush embroidered blanket that is lined and ruffled with white satin. The might be a major diva if bunny lovies starred in operas. 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Earlyears Teether Toes Tiger
(International Playthings $11.99 Score:)

A soft plush blankie with satin on one side and plush on the reverse. It has a sweet face with stitched features that will attract visual attention. Chewy feet with interesting textures, each in a different color are nice to explore with little fingers and will no doubt end up soothing sore gums. Newborn and up.

 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Fisher Price Puppy & Friends Learning Table
(Fisher-Price $44.99 Score:)

There are many activities built into this interactive bi-lingual table. Babies can use this on the floor without the legs and it will then grow up for standing up toddlers with the addition of the legs. They can turn the plastic pages of a book, use the buttons on a phone that counts, make music on a small keyboard and hear more than 60 songs and phrases. Babies who are learning to stand and walk will use this to pull up on and to cruise around. Be forewarned, it is not weighted and on some surfaces the table will slide. In fact, some tots may try using it as a push-around toy. Will they learn their numbers or letters with this? Not really. But most babies will start using this before they are really talking and there are more important things to be learned at that stage than letters and numbers. This is one of those toys that plays repeated lessons giving tots hands-on experiences with cause and effect. By using little fingers they gain a sense of power in being able to make so many things happen. Marked 6 months-36 months, we think this will be of most interest to kids a little older than 6 months and younger than 36 months. That said, this is a pretty good activity table.

SNAP: Adaptable for floor or stand up action, this is a versitile toy that invites hands and fingers to make things happen.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car
(Fisher-Price $60 Score:)

You know how car salesmen tell you the car they are selling is fully loaded? That would be a good description of this red activity center that is shaped like a car. It has wheels but does not move around. It's designed for sitting up, crawling, and even toddlers who are cruising. There's a dashboard with steering wheel, lights, and buttons to activate--always a favorite of toddlers. The back wheels spin and one side door opens and closes so tots can go in and out. There is a shape sorter on one side and a ball run on the other, a windshield wiper that talks about the weather. All the pieces are sized up for young players. This toy takes some time to put together with screws and stickers. It says 6 months to 36 but we think this will be used most by babies who are crawling, cruising and beginning walkers. Lots of ways for them to make things happen and for early games of pretending.

SNAP: There's still plenty to do even though the wheels of this sporty red car do not move the vehicle about.  A good choice for a child who is ready for pretend without the need for pedals or foot power. Think of it as a pretend setting with so many ways of making things happen.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Puppies-Go-Round
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:)

Perfect for the high chair table, this spinning toy has a big suction cup that attaches to any table top. Colorful puppies spin with a swipe of the hand. One of those pleasing toys that lets baby make things happen. 6 months & up

SNAP: Encouraging children to reach out and make things happen is fun with this easy to activate toy. Just a swipe of the hand gets the puppies in motion. The suction cup is broad and holds pretty well on most surfaces.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013.

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