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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers

 

 
2014 Awards
Eric Carle Wood Rhythm Bells
(Kids Preferred $8 Score:)

We love the design of this colorful wooden shaker with big jingle bells attached.A charming rhythm instrument with a quiet but pleasing sound. Makes a nice gift to go along with some music to march or dance to. Also a perfect fit for a holiday stocking gift or one of many nights of Hanukkah or Kwanza.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Eric Carle Wood Tambourine
(Kids Preferred $12 Score:)

Great for keeping a beat and dancing to music you play. This is a sturdy little tambourine that is attractive with Eric Carle colors and design motifs. On the plus side, it is not overly noisy. Makes a nice gift to go along with some music to march or dance to. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Eric Carle Recorder
(Kids Preferred $10 Score:)

A gaily painted wooden recorder that can be used to play real music, though most preschoolers will simply use it to explore the highs and lows they can play and perhaps pick out a simple tune. This is probably a better choice for slightly older kids, though it is marked like all the instruments in the collection for 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Lincoln Logs Redfield Ranch
(KNEX $50 Score:)

A barrel of building fun comes in this giant size container with 109 wooden logs, plastic door, windows, roof plus a cowboy, horse, corral gates and corral, flag, feeding trough, hay and other small accessories. An instruction booklet will help beginners, but once they get the feel for this classic building set, kids come up with their own structures. Fun to use for dramatic play once the buildings are made.They are marked 3 & up. No doubt preschoolers will play with the forts and log cabins after an adult builds them, but as a construction toy, this is a much better choice for early school years from 5-8.   

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

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2014 Award
Playmobil Summer Fun Camping Site
(Playmobil $69.99 Score:)

Kids can replay or pre-play the excitement of camping with this elaborate group of settings that reflect the real experience. There is a camp store with lots of small accessories for sale; a sanitary station with toilet, shower, sinks, washer and swinging doors; an orange pop-up tent, trees and flagpole; and several Playmobil figures. A 262-piece set with plenty of pretend play power once the toy assembled. 4-10

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

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2014 Award
Janod Pirate Ship Floor Puzzle
(Janod $14.99 Score:)

Ahoy, Matey! For pirate lovers, here a 39-piece floor puzzle with giant pieces. Kids will be putting together a pirate ship and its cartoonish looking crew. Though this has many pieces, the water, sky and ship provide cues that are strong and easily recognizable. Children like to redo their puzzles multiple times, so look for those that can stand up to the wear and tear and remain interesting, too. Like other Janod puzzles, this one is sturdy, attractive, and comes in a suitcase for storage. 4-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Swimways Light-up Beach Ball
(Hearthsong $12.98 Score:)

This is not your mother's beach ball--not yours either. I's a big 20" red, white and blue ball that glows from a strong LED, flashes streaks of red, blue, and green whenever it is tossed, caught or bounced. Fun for swim parties after sunset or a game of catch or beach ball volleyball. You get two balls with batteries and impact-activated LEDs inside. Marked 3 & up, but really this is a ball that will be enjoyed by older kids, teens and even adults. You'll find this on hearthsong.com.

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

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2014 Awards
Ragtales Primrose Pig
(Ragtails $19.95 Score:)

Primrose Pig is just the right size to fit in the hand of toddlers and your preschoolers, who like their huggables either oversized or small enough to carry in one hand. Primrose Pig is the latter. She is a charmer with a knitted shawl and gentle look who will no doubt listen well and play whatever games your tot has in mind. Easy to take along as a comfort toy wherever.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Ragtales Parker Bear
(Ragtails $19.95 Score:)

Parker bear is just the right size to fit in the hand of toddlers, who like their huggables either oversized or small enough to carry in one hand. Parker is the latter. He is a charmer with a knit hat and kind face who will no doubt listen well and play whatever games your tot has in mind. Easy to take along as a comfort toy.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Awards
Shake n Go Dune Racer
(Fisher-Price $14 Score:)

Shake the four-wheel drive vehicle to make the engine roar and let it go! It not only rolls, it climbs over obstacles and up small hills. There is a yellow mudder truck, and a red hot rod racer truck. They all take two AA batteries. For the money, this is a showy little vehicle that could also knock down some blocks as it runs obstacle courses that kids love to create. Bring home two and they can have a race. These come with a warning to keep the spinning wheels away from hair. 3-7

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

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