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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Age: Preschoolers
Review Year: 2012

 

 
2012 Awards
Hape Ring-Around-A-Rosy
(HaPe $45 Score:)

A classic toy for developing dexterity as well as imagination. Toddlers love sliding the colorful beads over the maze of wires. Safely tethered, the colored beads and rings are fun to move up, up, up and see them slip and slide down. This is a good manipulative plaything. Children often turn the beads into cars, people, animals or whatever they choose to imagine as they move them up and over. It's also a great plaything that opens the way to color names, sizes (the beads are of differing sizes) and even simple counting. There are ten beads on each of the maze wires. 24 months & up.

SNAP: Use this for developing fine motor skills as well as counting and color concepts.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Seedling Color the Earth Ball
(Kid O $30 Score:)

A globe/ball for all ages. How kids use it will depend on their age. Some will like boucing it and simply playing with it. Others will love the fun of labeling the countires or color coding them. Inflate this jumbo 16-inch ball that comes with a set of permanent fabric markers. A word of warning, this has a strong odor when it comes out of the box that disappears in time. It's the size of a big beachball, though not intended for the water. It does bounce well. This ball is marked 3 & up, but will be of more interest to school aged kids.

 

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
eeBoo 18 Crayons
(eeBoo $5.99 Score:)

These are bigger than the usual crayons and better suited for small hands. The plaid box has 18 colors inside and some have a neon look as well as pastels and your basic primary colors. A good choice for 5 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Loppy Puppy
(North American Bear Co. $30 Score:)

Choose a huggable tan 16-inch puppy with floppy ears and under-stuffed body. It has a velvety black snout and velvety underside to its long floppy ears. Or choose the smaller Loppy Puppy, 10-inch version ($12) that is filled like a bean bag. Both sport pale green velour like bows. Baby safe and machine washable.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Loppy Bear
(North American Bear Co. $30 Score:)

Choose a honey colored 16-inch bear with under-stuffed body. It has a velvety brown snout. Or choose the smaller Loppy Bear, 10-inch version ($12) that is filled like a bean bag. Both sport pale yellow velour like bows. Baby safe and machine washable.

Loppy Bear

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Blabla Giant Charles Lion
(blabla kids $180 Score:)

Three feet tall, Charles is truly a giant in Toyland. Knitted of cotton yarn he is soft and huggable and will make a decorative centerpiece of any child's room. But more than that, he is apt to play a big role in a child's pretend play. With his orange whiskers, happy grin, long green tail with orange tufts, and brown shaggy yarn mane, Charles is a friendly sort of lion with big blue eyes and striped trousers. This is the kind of memorable plaything that listens well and says only what a child imagines it can say. The smaller doll pictured does not come with Charles. Blabla makes many smaller and less pricey dolls that are equally charming. Handmade in Peru, these dolls capture the affection and imagination at first glance. All ages.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Willow Doll Tan
(North American Bear Co. $50 Score:)

An adorable 18-inch fabric doll with big yarn pigtails. This one is African American with a tan fabric body. She is also available in peach fabric. She has small stitched features. Her linen jumper has a pocket and two working buttons that require some dexterity. She has a removable striped shirt. Her shoes and underwear are sewn on. Due to the buttons, this is recommended for 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Rosy Cheeks Big Sister Doll Tan
(North American Bear Co. $32 Score:)

This has to be one of the most adorable dolls of the year! Rosy Cheeks Big Sister Doll is done in an African American version with very contemporary hair-style and removable clothing. She is an armful, an 18-inch rag doll with a soft huggable body covered in a knit fabric. She has stitched features. Her body is of a knit fabric, her jumper with Velcro closing is corduroy. Designed for preschoolers and up. She is available with the same outfit as a Caucasian girl with red yard hair.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Primary Science Mix and Measure Set
(Learning Resources $29.99 Score:)

Learning about measurement equivalencies comes built into this clever set of measuring tools. For starters you want to give kids a chance to explore how many cups it takes to fill the bigger containers and to discover that the tall and short two-cup containers are the same. The 12-piece set includes measuring spoons and 1/4, 1/2, and 1 cup measures, 2-cup and 4 cup beakers. A small scale is included along with some clever activity cards to use with your child. These science activities are recipes for creating bubble solution, puffy paint, clay, trail mix, slime stencils, mystery goo and other more basic measuring experiments. The well made materials and activity cards add up to a wealth of entertaining parent and child explorations that make early connections to science. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
3D Cityscape Puzzle
(Alex $21 Score:)

A colorful map-like cityscape floor puzzle. The 3-D part comes in with three tall buildings that can be assembled and attached to the giant 20 by 30 puzzle. Kids can use their toy cars to travel over the roadways and use this as a mat for dramatic play after they assemble all the pieces. Marked 3 & up. We think 3 year olds are going to need help the first few times they do this.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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