Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Games

 

 
2011 Awards
PBS Kids Exploration Blocks: Numbers
(PBS Kids $34.99 Score:)

There are countless ways to play with this 34-piece block set. Kids can simply use them for building in an open-ended way or use the numerals to mark other bock structures. Ideally, they will also be used for playful math activities. All of the wooden blocks have numerals, dots, number words and pictures on their various sides. Some are cubes, others rectangles. Use them for simple matching games, dominoes, or number facts. Several of the blocks also have chalkboard finish that kids can draw on with the chalk included in the set. The set comes with a cloth bag for storage. 3 & up.

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

SNAP Activity:

Put 3-4 numeral blocks out. Use a drum or clap your hands. Can the playr find the numeral block that matches the number you clapped. Listening and connecting the beats to the symbol for that number is a concrete way to reinforce number concepts and counting.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Where's that Chipmunk? Game
(Haywire Group $24 Score:)

Our players of mixed ages liked this hide and seek game. It comes with a plush chipmunk and a set of 40 indoor cards, 40 outdoor cards, and create your own cards, 6 score cards and 13 acorn tokens. In each round, one player gets to hide the chipmunk but not just anywhere. The hider picks three cards and then everyone hides their eyes while the hider puts the chipmunk in one of the three places pictured on the cards. The hider then shows the other players the three cards that are printed with clear images and the word(no reading required.) Players then search for the chipmunk. First one to find the toy gets an acorn and becomes the hider in the next round. Winner of the game is the first to get three acorns. This is an active game and the objects on the cards are pretty much objects found in a middle class home. We liked the fact that you can add pictures on the create your own cards.  A good choice for 3-7 year olds for a party or family gathering. It's active play that gets kids moving. Average play is 20 minutes. 2-6 players. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Guidecraft One to Four Sorter
(Guidecraft $25 Score:)

Hands-on learning is built-in to this classic math for beginners puzzle. There are 16 wooden pieces that fit on the rounded pegs. They have 1-2-3 or 4 holes that fit on the 1-2-3 or 4 pegs. The smooth wooden pieces are colored with aniline dyes and made of eco-friendly rubberwood. Everything fits on the smooth natural finished base. Use these for color sorting as well as matching numbers. This comes with a small activity booklet with good ideas for introducing the toy and math and color concepts. This also develops fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. 2 & up.

SNAP: A good choice for beginning counting skills and developing visual discrimination.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Guidecraft 3-D Feel & Find World Icons
(Guidecraft $30 Score:)

Children love multiple piece games and this has 20 playing boards and 20 matching shapes. This will give kids a chance to name and know the shapes they are going to use. Once they can identify the puzzle pieces (a moon, rabbit, fish, leaf, bird, person, etc. you can use this for a more challenging game. Put several tiles on the table. Have children take turns reaching into the bag to find the shape that matches the tiles in front of them. This is a good game for solo play or with friends and family. It comes with a small activity booklet with good ideas for introducing the colors and concepts. The set comes in a drawstring canvas bag for gameplay and storage.

SNAP: This kind of game that gives children a chance to hone their sense of touch. For kids with visual disabilities, this plays on an important skill they need to develop. For starters put most of the playing pieces away. Take time to develop the names of the items and play some initial games with a few puzzles. Gradually add more as they gain mastery of the first ones.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Guidecraft Fraction Cups
(Guidecraft $25 Score:)

A hands-on way to learn about simple fractions. These natural wood cups hold the whole, halves, quarters and thirds. The solid wooden pieces are stained with eco-friendly colors that won't chip off. They come with an activity booklet for ideas to share. For younger players this is about eye hand coordination and developing fine motor skills. The math part is built into the discoveries children make as they manipulate the pieces. Marked 2 & up. We think it's a better bet for 3-4.

SNAP: Introduce one cup at a time. For a while use just two cups and gradually add the other sets. Once you start talking about fractions, reinforce the concepts when you servr a sandwich in halves one day, in quarters another day. Do the same when you are cutting a fruit. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Animals! Matching Game
(Chronicle $14.99 Score:)

There are so many concentration style matching games and many of them have beautiful art work. This game is one of the winning choices. Bob Barber, an illustrator did this handsome set with pen, ink, watercolors, cut and torn paper and his computer. The result is a charming collection and each card is labeled with the names of the 36 animals. Though the animals are not realistically drawn they are easy to identify and good for developing language as well as matching skills.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
Trucky 3
(Smart/Tangoes USA $26.99 Score:)

Three little trucks need to pick up packages, but fitting the packages into the trucks can be tricky. The back end of each truck has a different shape and the challenge is to fit the pieces in so that they fit. There are four levels of play; starter, junior, expert and master. The challenge cards are printed in a little spiral book and tell you which colored pieces to select and fit into the back of the truck. Kids like the sturdy little trucks and using them for a game just makes them better. This is designed as a solo brain-teaser, but for young kids, playing with a partner will be the best way to start. Marked 4 and up. We think 4's will enjoy the playing pieces, but to do the game challenges, they will need a partner for starters.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
HaPe Crazy Tower Game
(HaPe $29.95 Score:)

A new look in balancing games, this handsome wooden set has 19 columns, 2 little figures, 9 platforms and one fancy top. To begin the game you set up one platform and place 7 columns on the painted edge. Now put another platform in place and 7 more columns. Put another platform on top. The object of the game is to take a column from below and place it on the new platform. Players take turns adding columns and platforms. Watch out! You don't want to make the tower tumble! The wood is bamboo and they have used water-based colors with a bees wax coating. It's an eco-friendly toy that the whole family can play. Put it in a basket on a table where the family gathers and have a go at it. They say 3 and up. We think this will be less frustrating and more fun for slightly older kids.


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: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Memory Game Sesame Street Edition
(Hasbro $16.99 Score:)

Our testers really enjoyed this new version of the classic game featuring their favorites: Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, etc. The colorful cards are made of sturdy, easy-to-pick up stock that will hold up to lots of rounds. Comes with 36 picture cards. As you start introducing this game to younger players, use half the pairs to begin. This kind of memory game builds readiness for matching and recall, skills needed when they start learning to read more abstract symbols like letters and words. Better to start with pictures. 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Where's that Chipmunk? Game
(Haywire Group $24 Score:)

Our players of mixed ages liked this hide and seek game. It comes with a plush chipmunk and a set of 40 indoor cards, 40 outdoor cards, and create your own cards, 6 score cards and 13 acorn tokens. In each round, one player gets to hide the chipmunk but not just anywhere. The hider picks three cards and then everyone hides their eyes while the hider puts the chipmunk in one of the three places pictured on the cards. The hider then shows the other players the three cards that are printed with clear images and the word(no reading required.) Players then search for the chipmunk. First one to find the toy gets an acorn and becomes the hider in the next round. Winner of the game is the first to get three acorns. This is an active game and the objects on the cards are pretty much objects found in a middle class home. We liked the fact that you can add pictures on the create your own cards. A good choice for 3-7 year olds for a party or family gathering. It's active play that gets kids moving. Average play is 20 minutes. 2-6 players. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.

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