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

 


2012 Award
Honeycomb
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

A honeycomb shaped playing board mimics nature but gives strategy gaming a new look. A spinner tells what color comb you must push out of the honeycomb - but watch out! Be careful not to let the bee on top fall! It's a game that requires dexterity as well as strategy. Loading the honeycomb also calls for patience and thinking. Marked for 4 & up, this is more like a 5-6 & up game. A good one for family fun.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Willy's Wiggly Web
(Peaceable Kingdom $19.99 Score:)

Unlike the usual game of adding items without making everything fall, this is a cooperative game where you want bugs to fall out of the web, one at a time, without letting Willy the Spider fall out of the web! This is a fun game for 2-5 players to help kids learn to use a scissors and learn to the concept of left and right. Set up will need help by an adult, as the paper web is stretched across the cardboard twigs. Now the cardboard bugs are poked into the web and Willy is added, too. Play begins as each player takes three snips with the safety scissors trying to make a bug fall. There are three levels of play. Game One is just about the cutting and having some strategies to avoid Willy from falling. In Game Two players pass the scissors to the person on their left. In Game Three you draw a card that says if you pass the scissors left or right and how many cuts you can make. Each game takes about 15 minutes. This comes with 50 stretchy paper nets but you can order more for free by contacting the company at info@peaceablekingdom.com. It's marked 3-6. We think older 4's and up will do best

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Snug as a Bug in a Rug
(Peaceable Kingdom $20 Score:)

A clever, fast, and easy-to-learn game that is played cooperatively. Put all the bug playing pieces on top of the rug. Players take turns spinning the spinner to find out what color bug they should remove and put under the rug. Once there is a color that cannot be found (this happens about half way through) you have to put a big grey stinkbug on the rug. Now the attribute that players have to find and remove changes from colors to big or little eyes. Watch out! You want to get rid of all the bugs before a second stink bug has to be added to the rug. The object is to get rid of all the bugs before all three stinkbugs are on the rug! Changing attributes calls for some flexible thinking.  A fun game for developing color, shape, and simple counting skills.  3-6

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Feed the Woozle
(Peaceable Kingdom $20 Score:)

Designed for beginning game players, this is a cooperative game that involves some fine and gross motor skills, simple counting, and turn taking. Set the Woozle playing board with its big mouth on a table that kids can easily reach. Players take turns tossing the die and putting that number of snacks in a big plastic spoon. Now the trick is to carry the snacks on the spoon to the Woozle without spilling them. For every piece that gets in the Woozles big mouth you get a yummy card. There are thee levels of play. Level one involves simple walking to the Woozle and feeding it. Level Two involves following the directions on the spinner. Players may have to walk backwards, hop or wiggle and still not spill the pieces. The third version calls for a blindfold! This will make a fun party game. Level Two sounds like the most fun. Blindfolds are sometimes a little scary for threes...but try it once they have the hang of this game.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Chronicle Sports! Matching Game
(Chronicle $14.99 Score:)

A set of 72 colorful matching cards for the classic game of concentration with unusual illustrations featuring kids playing all sorts of sports. A good opportunity for developing knowing and naming language to match the images as well as visual perception is seeing matches. This is one of a series of matching games with different themes. Kids who are crazy about dinosaurs will like this Dinosaurs! Matching Game and for expanding language skills look for their Animals! Matching Game. The sets come packaged in sturdy boxes that have magnetic closures. All three sets are handsomely illustrated by artist Micah Player. These are marked 3 & up, though we think slightly older kids will enjoy them more.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Chuggington Let's Ride the Rails Game
(Wonder Forge $19.99 Score:)

Fans of Chuggington will enjoy playing with the small train playing pieces on the long game board that is set up with three color coded tracks. Without looking at the picture, one mystery animal card is put into the safari park at the far end of the track. Each player is also given a "guessing" disk that will be used at the end of the line. Now, players take turns hitting the spinner and moving whatever train the spinner is pointing at. If the train lands in a station along the way the player gets to pick up an animal to put into their freight car. There is no race between the trains and no one moves just one train. When all the trains reach the safari park players put their special guessing disks on the animal that they think is the mystery animal. Now the mystery animal is revealed. If you guess the animal you win the round. There's a good chance that no one will guess. But this is not a game so much about winning as it is about playing. They say 3 and up, we think 3's will need a partner to handle the tiny playing pieces. It's a good cooperative kind of game that we think kids of 4 and 5 will like best.

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

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2011 Award
Mega Bloks Bingo Builder Game
(Mega Bloks $12.99 Score:)

This is a matching game with jumbo dice and reversible playing boards, so you can play two different games. There's a shape matching game on one side and building matching game on the reverse. First person to win four in a row gets to take a piece of an four-part intergalactic figure to match his space card. Winner is the player who collects all four pieces. Or, play the harder game. Flip the cards and the die with playing pieces that look like part of the intergalactic building pieces. This second game is harder, calls for looking closer at the shapes and details. But we think kids will like the novelty of building these little figures as they play a game of chance. There is no strategy or reading required.  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.

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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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