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Product Type: Toys

 

It's All About Me
(Klutz $14.95 Score:) Our testers loved filling in the answers to this personality quiz. This book allows kids to share their thoughts and write down feelings about themselves, their parents and friends. 8 & up. If you have a detail-oriented child, Paper Stained Glass ($19.95 4) will make the time fly. It is really an advanced form of color-by-number. Working on sheer vellum with felt markers, this craft takes up a lot of “are we there yet?” restlessness. For fun once you arrive, bring along The Foam Airplane Book ($14.95 4). 8 & up. (800) 737-4123.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Play Scenes
(Mudpuppy Press $11 Score:) These are sturdy play boards that open up like a portfolio and come with cling play pieces. We highly recommend the charming Fairytale Theater, which has lots of storytelling play power with characters, props, and a wonderful stage for acting out original stories! There is also an attractive Map of the U.S.A. (3), with all the states noted (except poor New England, where the states are delineated on the map but collectively labeled “New England”). 5 & up. (800) 670-7441.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Super Story Recorder
(Cranium $19.99 Score:) ) Much like a Mad Lib, Super Story Recorder prompts players to answer certain questions that are then incorporated into a themed story (which you pick with a spin of the dial). Once we got the hang of waiting for beeps to record our answers, it was fun to play. 6 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Furreal Friends Butterscotch Pony
(Hasbro $299.99 Score:) Your child is either going to love Butterscotch or want to run in the opposite direction. Butterscotch is voice activated and will move her head in your direction when you speak to her. She whinnes and snorts and while she doesn't actually move forward, she does make walking sounds when you sit on her (there is an 80 lb. limit). Comes with a carrot and brush. It's fun to feed her as she makes chomping sounds and moves her mouth. She has almost too much hair on her mane but certainly does fill the bill on "hairplay". We usually don't love dolls that do a lot of things--but for kids that love horses, Butterscotch is truly magical.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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Award
Speed Stacks
(Play Along $39.99 Score:) This is a game that has caught on in gym classes in middle schools and high schools across the country. It's a great way to build eye-hand coordination as well as concentration. The idea is to stack and unstack the cups in the shortest amount of time. Fun and active - and great for the age that usually just wants to plug into their video games.

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

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2007 Award
Leg Warminators
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $17.99 Score:) Feel like having a "Flashdance" flashback? Try this fun kit that uses a really oversized plastic spool knitter to make retro leg warmers. New for a whole new generation of tweens, this is a good project to try together. One tester made this her "gift" to make and give to her friends. Younger crafters will need help getting started.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Radio Flyer Little Wooden Car
(Radio Flyer $150 Score:) Our testers enjoyed giving this sturdy, foot-powered red car a ride. Comes with a steering wheel that turns (and there's a working horn). The only drawback is that the steering wheel does not function. There is no connection to the front wheels. There is a set of smaller caster wheels at the front end which make it easier for kids to move around. The "no-steering" is part of larger and unfortunate trend in the ride-in category. That said, this is still a beautiful ride-in for steady on their feet toddlers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
ProBuilder PredorX Turbo SRA
(Mega Bloks $14.99 Score:) Our testers were really happy with the directions that came with this challenging kit that builds a blue/green/silver racing car with racing deco and rubber wheels. It has a bonnet hood that opens and alternative suspension adjustment. Also available, Pursuit Mk7 SRA in white with black and red trim. Best of all, unlike many other kits from this company--it stayed together! 8 & up

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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Sweet Satin Music Box
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:) We usually love wind up music jewelry boxes. Kids love winding the key to activate the music -- this is usually a memorable first jewelry box. This kit is marked 6 and up but we found the craft steps too difficult for this age range. While the kit is marked no sewing, kids are required to thread the tulle to make a skirt with the included pink thread. Kids are then instructed to add sequin flowers which are very pretty. The problem for our testers is that they had problems separating the two parts of the brad that secure the flowers on the tulle. One parent tester also thought that the directions were not clear enough. The steps for making the skirt should be marked "do this first" since it is really the first step. There was also no picture for adding the second piece of sequined ribbon. Bottom line: you will end up doing a good portion of this kit with a younger child.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Racer Bikes Design Shop
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:) The reality is your five year old probably won't even care about the craft aspect of this kit because the two included racer bikes are so neat to play with all by themselves. Both bikes are easy to activate (they have pull back action) and move forward once you push down on the helmet of the racer. The kit comes with acrylic paint and stickers. The stickers give a more finished look although most kids will need help getting the stickers off the sheet. The paint doesn't give the same finished look but most kids won't care...it' all about the bikes.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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