Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Art Supplies

 


2010 Award
Mini Play Scene At the Zoo
(Mudpuppy Press $8 Score:)

Open the little book cover shaped playing board and you’ll find more than 40 stickers with people and animals that would be found at the zoo. Kids can pretend to revisit the zoo or make up their own adventures in the zoo with the reusable vinyl stickers. Small enough to take along on trips or to the doctor’s office where waiting is part of the game. Also, Royal Court ($8) another setting for the same kinds of games. These are an excellent choice for developing dexterity, language and story telling. 3 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Under the Sea Play Scene
(Mudpuppy Press $13 Score:)

Open the play board like a book and you will find 50 vinyl stickers that can be used again and again. This scene includes two divers, seaweed, coral, and tons of colorful fish. You can talk about the colors, stripes, and sizes of the fish to build language or listen to the adventures kids dream up as they arrange the stickers. Also, in the same line, Monster Madness ($13 4) a play scene with some decidedly friendly mild mannered monsters. We usually steer clear of monster stories but this allows kids to take control of the monsters and make up their own adventures…so they are in charge of the fantasy. These are a good take along for travel or waiting games in the doctor’s office. They develop dexterity, imagination and language. 3 & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Glodoodle
(Spinmaster $19.99 Score:)

Here's the newest twist on your old Magna Doodle. This see-through drawing board writes in three colors and glows in the dark. Give the magic button a push and the board is clean and ready for the next doodle or spelling word or math fact. This toy works well in the back seat of a car at night or for tic tac toe games. For family fun let one of the kids keep score of your 20 Questions game on the drive to wherever. Earlier models of the toy had some problems with erasing. The newest model fared better with most of our testers with one notable exception.  So we feel somewhat torn about this award--on the one hand, it is a really cool concept, but of course if you get a dud, then it doesn't matter how great the product is supposed to be.   If you have gotten an earlier model or just having a problem with the eraser - return it for a newer model. This takes three AA batteries and has to be turned off manually...no automatic timer, so be forewarned! They say 3 & up. We'd say all ages. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Kids Preferred Color Me Caterpillar
(Kids Preferred $15.99 Score:)

Our three year old tester loved using the washable markers to color this Very Hungry Caterpillar. Of course, the problem is she also tried to color a few more of her soft dolls. This is one of those toys that is hard to explain to kids. Setting limits on where you use those markers. So, we have mixed feelings about this as a great idea.

SNAP IDEAS: Bring home the Very Hungry Caterpillar book to share along with the Color Me Caterpillar. We like this doll since children can color it one way one day and another the next. Holding and contolling markers takes lots of practise and this toy is an open invitation...with no right or wrong way.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Crayola Crayon Maker
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

The Crayon Maker is a past Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner that is making a come back this year. As with the original, kids can take their old crayons and make their own "colors" by combining pieces in the mold. From our point of view, the machine has been improved--you can now see through the dome as the crayons melt. (The process was hidden in the previous design.) The machine will not open until the tray is cool--we put the tray into the freezer to speed up the process. Takes a 60-watt candelabra light bulb--not included but well marked as such on the box. Still lots of fun!

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
Puppet Theatre
(Alex $80 Score:)

Alex's updated big theatre ($80) has a clock for show time and new eye-appealing graphics! This stable floor model is 48" high, with painted trim on one side and a chalk surface for messages. It's big enough to be used for many years to come. Alex's small tabletop model is also available a good choice for smaller spaces.($27).

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2001 Awards
Bibelot Bags Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $14 Score:) Everyone wanted to do this kit! Comes with enough glass beads and other supplies for making two tiny (very tiny) beaded bags. The beads are "stuck" onto the special sticky surface—no sewing involved. They say 8—we'd say more like 10 & up. We also recommend this company's Alphabet Suite ($12) and Wrist Rox ($16) with enough beads for 36 bracelets.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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Awards
Scratch Magic Packs
(Scratch-Art Co. $4.99 Score:) Remember making scratch art with crayon scribbles covered with black paint that you scratch away? Now Scratch & Sparkle has glittering holographic foil effects that appear. The Combo 4-Pack is fun with Holographic, Stained Glass, Rainbow, and Black-and-White sheets. An inexpensive but special treat! Also new, Super Stationery Kit ($15) has 20 sheets and envelopes—great for thank-you notes! 5 & up.

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

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2001 Awards
Creativity Street Colossal Stems
(Chenille Kraft Co. $6.99 Score:) You may have seen pipe cleaners, but none like these fuzzy 19"-long colossal stems—fifty in a package! Use these for developing fine motor skills. Shape them into zigzags, circles, triangles, letters, or free-form designs. Helpful for pre-writers to use in shaping letters and numerals and getting a hands-on feel for the directionlity. 5 & up. Need supervision so that they are not poked in eyes! New for 2002, an amazing pound bag of Colossal Pom-Poms (the size of baseball and golf balls) for making dolls and other projects. Also Wax Works BLUE CHIP($4.95), waxy sticks that can be twisted and shaped into letters, numerals and free-form sculptures. 5 & up. SNAP INFO: Use these giant fuzzy 19"pipe cleaners for developing fine motor skills. Use them to shape flowers, letters, figures, numbers- whatever. There are 50 in a package and few art materials that lend themselves better to imaginative creations. Also see new for 2002 Colossal Pom-poms( the size of baseballs and golf balls.) Activity : These pom-poms can be used for color and size sorting and counting games. Or use them for making patterns with size and color patterns that you create and ask a child to replicate. Once child gets the idea, switch rolls. Pom-poms are also fun for "hot-air" races. Line up two pom-poms and have two players use straw to move their pop-poms to the finish line. Still top-rated Wax Works, BLUE CHIP, waxy sticks that can be twisted and shaped into free-form sculpture.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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1996 Awards
Wax Works
(Chenille Kraft Co. $4.95 Score:) Wax Works waxy sticks (now come in glow-in-the-dark hues) can be coiled, twisted, and shaped into free-form sculptures.Also great for shaping letters to get the feel of the direction letters go without needing pencil and paper. Develops visual and tactile sense. Also recommended Creativity Street, a great box full of supplies including Wax Works($14.95). 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1996.

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