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Product Type: Toys

 

 
1998 Awards
Rainbow Play Systems
(Rainbow Play Systems $1100 Score:) Steel parts are vinyl dipped, the wood is chemical free, built of redwood and cedar. This is the Cadillac of gym sets. You'll need to buy a toddler swing for the under three set. Also, avoid tall climber attachments with toddlers and young preschoolers who may climb higher without understanding how to get down. Also, avoid frames with climbers that run across the top of the swings.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1998.

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1999 Award
Create Your Own Scrapbook
(Creativity for Kids $20 Score:) Kids are great collectors, and having a scrapbook is one way to get their collectibles organized. Kit includes a notebook, markers, stickers, paper, glue, color foam pieces, plastic sleeves, and ideas. 6 and up.

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

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1995 Award
Silk Painting Art Kit
(Alex $25 Score:) Kids can transform two 9" x 45" pure silk scarves with special dyes, bamboo brush and salts for sealing in truly delicate designs. This makes a nice gift for a friend or relative with all the fun of making it by the giver. Adult supervision required for this somewhat messy project. We suggest doing it outdoors.

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

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2001 Awards
Fruit, Farm & Pet Puzzibilities
(Small World Toys $8 Score:)

Toddlers can fit together these splinter-free, giant, peg-handled whole piece puzzles together. Lift the fish and there's a matching fish below. Each puzzle has three distinctive pieces to know, name, and match. Learning to rotate the whole piece into the slot is no small task.

SNAP INFO: Developing the dexterity to fit these whole piece puzzles into the slots takes practice. The big knob handles are certainly a help! Toys like these also help kids develop language if you ham it up a bit! Knowing and naming the familiar objects in these puzzles gives you plenty of opportunities to talk about the animals or food pictured. ACTIVITY: Use sound or color cues for an animal as your tot tries to figure out which one you are thinking of.

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

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2011 Awards
Tolo Gripper Rattle
(Reeves International $10 Score:)

We're delighted that this previous Platinum Award winning toy is back in the market. What we wrote in 2000: This rollable rattle has four easy to grip handles and an hour glass shape inside with tiny balls that roll from side to side with a sound that is interesting without a jarring startle. This is a good one for two handed play as well as crawling go get it games.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2011.

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2009 Awards
Ring Rattle
(Sassy $7.95 Score:)

Refreshed in new colors, this remains a good choice for sitting up babies. They will be able to pass this from hand to hand and investigate the colors, sounds and textures of the rattle rings on the bigger ring. Texture on the big ring and beads that roll in the see through plastic add visual interest as well as interesting feel and sound. 


SNAP INFO: There's so much to interest the senses in this colorful rattle/teether. Talk about the colors and sounds and feel as you use the rattle and baby examines it. Clip this to car seat with a few links so tots can pull it to them.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2009.

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1997 Awards
Hot Potato Game
(Parker Brothers $14.99 Score:) Squeeze this soft electronic musical talking spud to turn on his sound. Pass him around fast! If you are holding him when he yells "Yahoo!" you take a hot card. Three cards and you're out. A fast, fun game for two or more players. May be hard for preschoolers to deal with-especially the hot cards. SNAP INFO: Squeeze this soft electronic musical talking spud to turn on his sound. Pass him around fast! If you're holding him when he yells "Yahoo!" you take a hot card. Three cards and you're out. A fast, fun game for two or more players. May be hard for preschoolers to deal with-especially the hot cards.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1997.

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1999 Awards
Goodnight Moon Game
(Briarpatch $19.95 Score:) This utterly simple, but right on the mark, game features illustrations from M.W. Brown's classic GOODNIGHT MOON. Children take turns picking and matching cards with pictures on their lotto-style playing boards. There's no reading or counting, but this is good for developing language and recalling the story many kids can recite. 1-4 players. 2 and a half and up. SNAP INFO: A charming matching game that features illustrations from M.W. Brown's classic GOODNIGHT MOON. Children take turns picking and matching cards with pictures on their lotto-style playing boards. There's no reading or counting, but this is good for talking about what's happening in the pictures. 1-4 players.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 1999.

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2011 Awards
Maisy Game
(Briarpatch $20 Score:)

Happily this former Platinum and SNAP Award (1995) winning game has been brought back this year!  It now has the designation of Blue Chip Award winner.  One of the most beautifully designed color concept games we've ever reviewed. Players spin and pick up sturdy cardboard cutouts to match color, pattern and objects on their picture board of Maisy. Develops language and matching skills with a favorite character. 

SNAP INFO: Use this matching game to reinforce color words, patterns and knowing and naming the objects on the "lotto" style playing boards. ACTIVITY: Give each player a card and give riddles for finding the object that is the answer, for example, "I'm thinking of something that is round that you can bounce." The child who picks up ball gets to put it on her card.

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

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2006 Awards
Gertie Balls
(Small World Toys $8 Score:)

Preschoolers need soft, lightweight, easy-to-catch balls that will not bend back a finger or hurt when they hit. Gertie Balls are gummy and soft enough for kids who may be scared of big heavy balls coming toward them. Also fun, Supersized Gertie Balls ($13), really oversized and great fun for this age group and next.  There's also a super cool Magic Gertie Ball that changes color with hot and cold water. 3 & up. 

SNAP INFO: These colorful balls are soft and slightly sticky to the touch, making them easier to catch and hold onto. They come in a variety of sizes and with different textures. Testers especially liked the knobby one which gave kids an extra way to grip and hold. These are not for toddlers because the air tube can come out and could pose a choking hazard. ACTIVITY: Getting control takes practice. Hang a big hoopla hoop from a tree branch and try to get the ball through the hoop.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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