Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Science Toys, Activities, and Equipment

 


2009 Award
Zebra Mix Cookie Baking Activity Set
(Zebra Mix $22.95 Score:)

Baking with kids is fun and also a solid way to introduce so many math and science concepts. Zebra Mix, the company has created some baking mix packages that make it feel more like a gift. Their Organic Flour Power Cookie Baking Activity Set ($22.99) comes with a small rolling pin, two cookie cutters (a dragonfly and a flower), cookie mix, icing mix, and a big colorful direction sheet. You will need to add your own butter, flour, and vegetable coloring. The company also makes a Zebra Cupcake Kit ($14.95) that comes in a black and white zebra striped metal lunchbox. Our testers sent us rave reviews of the latter, although it comes with none of the utensils needed for making cupcakes except the mix. You'll need to provide many extra ingredients as well as muffin tins, liners, mixer, timer, measuring cup. Spoons and bowls. You could also just buy a cake mix and go at it. We have to say the packaging does have a gifty appeal along with the colorful directions "map." We note that the mixes do come with less packaging for a lower price, though they are packed in sets of six.  While you are using these kits or baking your own from scratch, be sure to talk about how things change as liquid is added to dry ingredients and what happens to liquid batter when heat is added.

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

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2009 Award
Kinder-Ready Art of Science Color Kit
(Elmer's $14.95 Score:)

Designed for the youngest scientists in the making, this is an experiment kit that is ideal for introducing kids to the magic of colors and how they mix to make other colors. Three plastic oversized test tubes with stand and screw on caps come with a supply of 12 fizzy color tablets that are used to explore color changing. This is a kit for parent and child to share. It is not for kids to use independently. It comes with a color mixing tray, two long plastic pipettes (eyedroppers), magnifier, cotton swab, and an excellent manual to walk you through the experiments. There are three outlines of Eric Carle art that kids can color - but that is the least of it. This is science for the beginner that is totally hands on and planned for discoveries. Of course, mixing paints or vegetable coloring will do the same job, but this is a good place to introduce the concepts of observing, making hypotheses, and seeing what happens. The color tablets will run out, but the other materials will be useful for further experiments with paint and veggie coloring. 4 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

We have just learned that this product is only available at the moment on Barnes & Noble on line.

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

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2001 Award
Nature House
(TWC of America $11 Score:) This sturdy hut-shaped wooden house with screened sides makes a perfect temporary habitat for captured bugs. Also top rated, Soil Dweller Nature House Kit ($20). Kids can make their own earthworm or ant farm with this kit (approx. 8" x 11") with wooden frame and Plexiglas windows. Captive creatures can be returned to the wild with ease. 8 & up.

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

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2001 Awards
Mighty Mega Bouncing Zoom Balls
(Action Products $12 Score:) An update of a '98 PLATINUM AWARD winner, this kit has enough material for three 2" super-sized neon balls. A little science here with mixing crystals and water to change them into a solid, bounce-able material in just three minutes. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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1999 Awards
Buried Treasure Kits
(Kidology $17.95 Score:) We originally thought this kind of kit was pretty mindless, but our testers loved playing archeologist, chipping away at hardened sand blocks to unearth hidden treasures. While there used to be several themes- Castle, Egyptian, or Mayan Treasure-- the company has informed us that they are going forward with only the Egyptian set for 2009. 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,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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1995 Awards
Giant Periscope
(Tasco $15 Score:) For exploring around corners, this sturdy, plastic double-handled periscope is just right. Made of sturdy plastic this is a fun toy for dramatic play as well as visual discoveries. This company also makes a full line of microscopes and telescopes.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1995.

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1999 Awards
I Made My Microscope
(Kahoot $13 Score:) This is not a fine tuned microscope. It's a working model that calls for following directions and has an interesting activity book for using the microscope after it's built. Testers have consistently loved this series of hands-on science kits. Great parent/child projects for 5s to 7s or solo for 8 and up. 770-704-6009

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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1999 Awards
Gears! Gears! Gears!
(Learning Resources $35 Score:)

This is a more open-ended set than the motorized models like Oogly Googly. Kids can build horizontally or vertically. There are sets with small gears only- a good place to start. There are also sets with large gears with optical patterns on them and other doo-dads. All in all it's a great building system that allows kids to experiment with making machines. Great for solo play as well as co-operative building.

SNAP INFO: Fitting gears together not only develops dexterity; it's a challenging way to promote problem-solving skills as kids make moving "machines." Motors can be added, but start with hand power. ACTIVITY: Play a game of "Keep It Going!" Players take turns adding one gear at a time but every gear added must connect and keep the motion going.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Award
Mega Sphere
(Hoberman Designs $59.99 Score:) You have probably seen smaller versions of these spheres in Science museums. When this giant Mega Sphere arrived in our office the six and nine year old kids who were testing games that day were totally enthralled with getting inside this space. You can actually lock it in the open position and it becomes a play setting. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2004 Award
Discovery Kids SL70 Telescope
(Discovery Kids $149.95 Score:) With many of the same features usually found on expensive adult models, this is a terrific value. Includes precision ground lenses, an erecting prism, and universal 10mm and 25mm Kellner eyepieces. Comes with a tripod that extends to 55 inch viewing height and a padded shoulder carry bag-the whole kit (tripod, scope, bag) weighs just 16 lbs. Ultra neat are the illuminated night-vision dials.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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