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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Art Supplies

 

 
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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2000 Awards
Double Easel
(Little Tikes $50 Score:)

This bright red easel has a chalkboard on one side and a large clip that holds a pad of 17" x 20" paper.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Award
Colossal Barrel of Crafts
(Chenille Kraft Co. $39.99 Score:) Like a giant jar of treats in an old fashioned candy store, this huge plastic jar has mammoth supply of pom-poms, craft sticks, beads and string, foam shapes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, glitter, metallic spangles, cutters, and plasticine. Add glue, scissors and imagination for many crafty seeeions. 4-8. Similar but with less “stuff” (and also less expensive) is the Giant Art Jar (Alex $ 24 41⁄2). 3 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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Dot to Dot Markers To Go
(Alex $19 Score:) An updated version of Markers to Go with a new see through red polka dotted vinyl finish. Both boys and girls will enjoy using this container with 50 assorted colorful markers that unfolds like a make-up case with a velcro closure. (Don't let the make-up case reference throw you off- this will appeal to boys as well. It has blue trim and a green handle). There are four zippered compartments that hold 28 fine tip markers, 14 brush tip markers and 8 broad markers. Great for homework assignments and traveling with an young artist. Makes a terrific birthday present.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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