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

 


2013 Award
Tinker Toy Pink Building Set
(KNEX $49.99 Score:)

If you have a girl who's not interested in building, this all pink 150 piece set may do the trick. We know that building helps develop important math, visual discrimination,  and problem solving skills - so it's very important that girls have this type of play experience.  Today's Tinker Toys are somewhat different from what you may remember. These new sets from KNEX are all plastic. They have the same rods and spools like the old sets, but now they have really neat bendy rods and faces that make them even more fun.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO City Grand Prix Truck
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

While Star Wars often gets the lionshare of requests from our LEGO builders, some of their more traditional trucks got rave reviews from our testers. This Grand Prix Truck received high marks because it was an interesting build. The truck opens in different ways to make room for the Gran Prix car (which "you also get!!").  With 315 pieces this is a satisfying challenge for a beginning builder. The box says 5 & up -- most fives will need assistance, which is fine.  In addition to the truck and the racing car, the set comes with three minifigures so there's lots of room here for pretend play after the building is complete.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Tinkertoy Super Building Set
(KNEX $44.99 Score:)

We love this new, satisfying set of Tinkertoys with 150 pieces.  These plastic Tinkertoys are better than the old school versions because the set includes bendable pieces in addition to the more traditional spools and straight rods that allow for more interesting builds. There are suggested 15 builds, but the big appeal of Tinkertoys from our point of view is that they can be used as an open-ended building set. Our testing parents loved the sturdy box with lid that can be used for storage. The set also includes panels and faces for added fun. Tinkertoys are also available in pink - which we recommend if it's the only way the girls in your life will build.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO Kings Castle
(Lego Systems, Inc. $99.99 Score:)

We love that in the land of licensed lines, LEGO still makes an old-fashion Castle complete with draw bridge, towers, king's throne, collapsing wall, and most appealing to our testers a hidden escape door. Comes with seven mini figures including the King and the White Knight. The game play focuses on keeping the castle safe from the evil Dragon warriors. The build is done in sections -making the castle more manageable for younger builders. The castle is a great parent-child opportunity.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO Creator Thunder Wings
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

Our LEGO testers consistently love builds from the Creator series since they include three builds from the same set. With this set you can make a jet, a robot, or a futuristic car. With only 235 pieces this is a very good place to start with beginner builders.  

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO STAR WARS Mandalorian Speeder
(Lego Systems, Inc. $24.99 Score:)

With 211 pieces, this is a great place to start for fans of Star Wars and LEGO. The small blue and grey vehicle comes with Darth Maul and two Mandalorian Super Commandos. Be forewarned there are projectiles on this build. Also smaller, the Corporate Alliance Tank Droid comes with 271 pieces. The circular middle portion of this build is unusual in that it has a moving track like a tank. Comes with Jango
Fett, Clone Trooper, and Battle Droid. Also top-rated, the Homing Spider Droid (295 pieces):  this spider- inspired droid,  comeswith Stass Allie, Clone Trooper, and two Super Battle Droids. For beginning builders - these two sets are just right.  While the bigger kits look appealing, start small so that your child has a positive experience to "build" on.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Playmobil City Action Cargo Boat with Loading Crane
(Playmobil $79 Score:)

An 80-piece cargo boat with working crane that pivots 360 degrees. Ideal for loading important products from the cargo boat to crane and onto the plane. This comes with a two containers, three action mini-figures, and a ship's galley complete with coffeemaker for the crew's long nights at sea.  4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
LEGO Friends Heartlake High
(Lego Systems, Inc. $49.99 Score:)

Our testers loved the attention to detail on this two-level yellow and blue high school. We wish our high school had window boxes! The lab in tricked out with everything for science experiments including a microscope and there's even a telescope.  The school also includes a music and arts room, lockers and for your outdoor dining pleasure, there's a picnic table for lunch. Comes with Stephanie, Matthew and Ms. Stevens. With 487 pieces this is satisfying build for intermediate builders.  LEGO Friends remains a consistent hit with our girl testers who both enjoy the building experience and then use the settings for pretend play.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Hearthsong Connectagons Glow-in-the-Dark Celestial
(Hearthsong $29.99 Score:)

ongKids use their creativity, eye-hand skills and problem solving to build a stabile construction with the 157-piece set of glow-in-the-dark connectogons. Put the pieces in sunny place all day and they will glow well into the night. There is no right or wrong way to build with this set of different sized disks that can be redone again and again with ease. Begin with the10-inch base with a glow-in-the-dark full moon. An open-ended construction set that also doubles as a pleasing night light. 5 & up

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Playmobil PopStars Stage
(Playmobil $40 Score:)

Hook up an MP3-compatable player with the cable that comes with the setting and kids can play their favorite music through this mini setting. The set includes four figures, a stage with flashing lights, drums, guitars, microphones, built-in speakers and other goodies.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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