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Product Type: Toys
Age: Infants

 

 
2002 Awards
Baby's Wind Chimes
(Tiny Love $11 Score:)

Sadly, this product has been discontinued. Here's one of the best new add-ons for the Gymini Play mat. It's a kicking toy with pleasing chimes. Baby activates the sounds by kicking or hitting the three colorful dangling chimes that are suspended on a small arch. This can also be attached to stroller for melodic walking tours. Has an old fashioned and refreshing sound quality in a world full of electronic noises.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Awards
Earlyears Soft Busy Blocks
(International Playthings $15 Score:) Four soft stackable blocks have soft sides and corded piping that makes them easy for baby to grasp. Colorful graphics and patterns and quiet sounds make these good floor toys for beginners. Also, Earlyears Sweet Baby Blocks ($13 ). Six soft, squeezable vinyl blocks, easy to grasp, with a colorful single image on each face of the cubes. Fun for stacking, knocking down, and tossing. SNAP:These have been scaled down in size and are easier to grab than the originals. The set of four fabric blocks has interesting texture and patterns and a quiet sound in each block. Activity: Sit on the floor and put one or more blocks on your head or shoulder and encourage your tot to knock 'em off! (800) 445-8347. 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: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Earlyears Sweet Baby Blocks
(International Playthings $13 Score:) Six soft, squeezable vinyl blocks, easy to grasp, with a colorful single image on each face of the cubes. Fun for stacking, knocking down, and tossing. These have been updated with new graphics on every side of the cubes. They have added graphic patterns that can also be matched by older children. These are a bit large for little hands to grasps easily, but the raised edge may help. Fun for stacking and knocking down. Images are a bit cartoonish so may be harder for kids to identify than more realistic images would be. Also, the Earlyears Soft Busy Blocks ($10) are soft stackable blocks which have soft sides and corded piping. Colorful graphics and patterns and quiet sounds make these good floor toys for beginners. 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: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Gymini Super Deluxe Electronic Lights & Music 3-D Activity Gym
(Tiny Love $65 Score:) All new graphics, lights, music, and a mirror have been added to this play mat. We were afraid the sound and lights would be over the top, but they are quiet and soothing with a choice of classical or nursery music. Like the original, this has two arches and dangly toys for gazing at and batting. Also new, Baby's Wind Chimes ($11 ), an add-on for baby to kick. Has a pleasing sound quality. SNAP: This is a good choice because the music and mirror add two more senses to the mix without making the mat overly busy.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Oball
(Rhino Toys $6.95 Score:) Tots will have no trouble picking up this colorful easy-to-grasp ball with finger holes all over it. This is dishwasher safe and fun for rolling back and forth for early social games and ideal for tots who are crawling or developing two handed-ness as they pass it back and forth from one hand to another. It's also lightweight enough to be non-treatening for toddlers and preschoolers kids who are just learning to catch and throw. SNAP Activities: This soft easy to clutch ball needs no adaptation. It is lightweight and its many fingerholds, makes it a good choice for active play. For sitting still time, try pushing a soft scarf or odd socks inside and encourage your child to get them out. This builds dexterity and stick-to-it problem soving. For one on one time, you can also play a game by dangling this on a scarf and encouraging lttile ones to kick or bat at it.

Age: Infants,Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile
(Manhattan Toy $27.99 Score:)

Newborns will be fascinated with the black-and-white, high-contrast patterns of the ten vinyl 3" discs and squares that dance and dangle on this nonmusical mobile for the crib or changing table.  Not as cute looking as other mobiles, but babies do react to the visual stimulation of this crib toy.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2004 Awards
Symphony in Motion Deluxe
(Tiny Love $49.95 Score:)

Sadly, this product has been discontinued. How do you make a good thing better? Add a remote control and new animals to this clever musical mobile with innovative motion. Small shapes slide on the arms of the mobile, making a clicking sound as the mobile turns. The sound quality is better than most and it plays several classical selections. Still top rated, Symphony in Motion with Calder-like shapes or other animals. PLATINUM AWARD '02.

SNAP This award-winning mobile now comes with a remote control so you can turn the music from a distance. Unlike most mobiles, this innovative offering has more visual interest of several kinds: it tips as it spins, causing objects to shift their positions in interesting ways. It also pauses, and the start-and-stop motion adds another kind of interest. Small shapes slide on the arms of the mobile and make small clicking sounds as the musical mobile turns. The sound quality on this mobile is better than most, and it plays several classical music selections. (800) 843-6292.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Tolo First Friends Rocker
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

Just a swipe of the hand makes the beads roll and two little figures spin as it rocks. Interesting for gazing at, but even better for two-handed play. Also top rated: Twist & Turn, Play Triangle Activity Cube, or Gripper Rattle, all beautifully crafted in sturdy primary-colored plastic with interesting action for baby to manipulate.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2004.

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2003 Award
Discover & Play Color Blocks
(Baby Einstein $12.99 Score:)

We like the new Discover & Play Color Blocks that have interesting textures on each side. One block makes a quacking sound that your baby will enjoy hearing long before she'll be able to make it happen. These are fun for stacking and knocking down. Editor's Note: Unfortunately, these blocks are no longer available.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Award
Developlay Activity Center
(Tiny Love $44.95 Score:)

Sadly, this product has been discontinued. A two-sided activity center loaded with interesting challenges for the senses. A polka-dotted spinner reflects in a mirror; music plays with a press of the happy face; pull a ring to make a "hammer" rise and fall. Flip it over for musical buttons, knobs to turn, a gentle pop-up, and gears that spin. 9 mos. & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2004.

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