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Product Type: Toys
Age: Infants

 


2009 Award
Calico Collection Chime Ball
(North American Bear Co. $20 Score:)

We loved this fabric ball as soon as it came out of the box. It has a folk art feel to it that makes you feel like someone you know when to the quilt store--and made your baby something special!  Covered in a patchwork of calico fabrics with bright colored patterns, this ball is squishy enough for little hands to grab with ease. It has a quiet chime sound inside and is perfect for first social games between parent and baby.        
    The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Calico Cottontail 7"
(North American Bear Co. $15 Score:)

Adorable Calico Cottontail bunnies that fit in little hands and come in a variety of colorful patterns…a blue polka dot, a pink floral, and a green floral. Each has a big satin bow to compliment the colorful print, a silky ribbon that baby will love to finger. The features are stitched for safety. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab
 

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Yookidoo Stack, Flap and Tumble
(International Playthings $24.99 Score:)

Talk about making things happen, this is a stacking toy that looks like a bug with lots of legs that wiggle when you drop a ball into its head and activate the music. Little ones will need help learning that the stacking pies can go in any order, but they have a top and bottom. There are three colorful balls that fit into the top of the Yoolidoo and two holes at the bottom that they balls pop out of. Little ones will love the repetitive action of this amusing toy. 9 months & up.
         The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Calico Collection Jungle Animals
(North American Bear Co. $12 Score:)

A sweet a collection of calico critters, a red and white checked elephant, a blue floral hippo and a giraffe in a bold black, red and red calico pattern. No sounds inside, but his is a good choice for tracking and the collection will be fun for dramatic play along with big plastic blocks later on.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Early Years Zippy Zoomer
(International Playthings $10.99 Score:)

Chunky soft vinyl trucks have a pull back and go action. Done in bright colors, the trucks scoot forward with a clicking sound.  We love the fire truck. We're often asked for vehicles that are safe for the 3 & under set...these are really great choice.
    The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

SNAP IDEAS: Set up some destination for the little firetruck. Kids like to use their crayons or paint to make a garage out of a small box with cut out doorways. This can become the firehouse.  Use another box and put openings in two sides of a box to make a tunnel. Try to make the truck zoom in one side and out the other. Can you make the little truck run between the legs of a small table? Use lids of small shoe boxes to make a ramp for the truck to go up and down. These little games reinforce the meaning of such concepts as up, down, in and out, in between, etc. Playing together and using language in such informal ways builds concrete understanding of such language and concepts. 

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Corolle Doudou Puppet Grenadine
(Corolle $24.95 Score:)

Bold red and hot pink velour is sure to attract the attention of baby as you use this adorable puppet for tracking and singing games. Soft to the touch, with vibrant colors and patterns that have visual appeal, and stitched features this is safe enough for older babies to handle as a huggable; though this is a toy that is really meant for grownups to activate for lap games. Machine washable. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Awards
Beanstix
(Gund $9 Score:)

A good tracking toy that baby will eventually grasp and explore. A bead-filled plastic cylinder between soft velour ends, they provide interesting texture and sound. For "strong" babies, choose the 50 lb. Weights or look for Pupps, Fwoggy, and Flappy. These are 8". For older babies, see the Jumbo 12" version that makes a nice rhythm instrument. Always recommended, BLUE CHIP Tinkle, Crinkle, Rattle, & Squeak ($10), a velour caterpillar-shaped toy with multiple sounds and bright primary colors for eye-grabbing attention.

 

SNAP INFO: Good tracking toys that baby will eventually grasp and explore. Bead-filled plastic cylinders between soft velour ends, they provide interesting texture and sound. These are soft enough so that a child won't bop an eye with random hand movements. ACTIVITY TIP: Where Is It? Shake the Beanstix to get baby's attention. Move it slowing from one side to another to develop visual and auditory tracking skills. 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Award
Tolo Activity Play Triangle
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

Happy to see this Platinum Award winner back in the market! Little hands can easily activate the spinners on this rattling activity toy that's ideal for two-handed investigations. There's a ratchet dial on one side, a reflection bead chamber on the other side, and in the center there's a small spinning mirror, big egg-shaped beads, and a barrel for developing the use of individual fingers and as a colorful rolling toy for small social games. We have not received safety verification for this product and we have not tested it in an independent lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2001.

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2000 Award
Tolo Musical Activity T.V.
(Reeves International $20 Score:)

You can attach this musical toy to crib rails and use it later on as a take along musical. Totally low tech, this music box with a handle plays "It's a Small, Small World" as bunnies and bear pictures scroll slowly on the "TV" screen. Tots can wind the knob, spin a roller or beep a button.  We have not received safety verification for this product and we have not had it tested in an independent lab.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1998 Awards
Deluxe Gymini 3-D Activity Gym
(Tiny Love $50 Score:) Sadly, this product has been discontinued.

This play mat remains our favorite with two arches and dangly toys baby can gaze and eventually bat at. It gets high marks for keeping baby entertained. We prefer this design to the classic plastic activity gyms. Available in high-contrast black, white, and red version. Not for babies who are beginning to pull themselves up. Deluxe version is slightly larger.

SNAP INFO: This soft fabric playmat with dangly toys on soft arches comes in a variety of choices. For bold visual graphics select the black. white and red version. Easy to fold and carry along, the deluxe version is larger than most, a plus for bigger babies who may not be on the move, but ready to reach out and activate things. Like all playmats, this is to be used only with supervision and is not intended for babies who are pulling themselves up. Adaptation: Babies stop noticing toys that are always in their sight- just as you stop noticing a vase that's always in the same place. Change the soft danglies positions or substitute others to add visual interest.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 1998.

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