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Product Type: Toys
Award: Gold
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2012

 

 
2012 Awards
eeBoo About Face
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

Assemble the strips to create an endless cast of zany faces. Created by artist Saxton Freeman uses his photos of found objects to create images that can represent eyes, noses, mouths and other features from leaves, ribbons, coins and such. There is no right or wrong. Good fun. 4 & up.

SNAP: A good talking game with objects to know and name and extend vocabulary. Use this game for solo play or taking turns adding the top, middle and bottom of faces.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Creativity for Kids Monster Trucks
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:) Two sturdy little monster trucks with metallic bodies come out of the box ready to roll, flip, race with pull-back motor action. What makes these special are the crafty add-ons. Kids can customize their trucks with stickers and acrylic paints. A rare find in the craft department that will interest boys as well as girls. This calls for some fine motor skills in getting the stickers off the sticker sheet, so some adult help may be needed, especially with the younger age group. Marked 5 & up.

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

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2012 Award
Faber-Castell Black Paper Sketch Pad
(Creativity for Kids $4.99 Score:)

A pad of 40 sheets of black paper that is thinner than construction paper and designed for metallic pencil and gel sticks. It would probably work well with glittery glue sticks ot colored chalks. A good choice for making Halloween decorations, too.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Awards
Creativity for Kids Stuck on Fashion Tote Bags
(Creativity for Kids $15 Score:)

There is no right or wrong way to add the decorations to this big 15 inch by 9 inch bag. It comes with 200 peel and stick hearts, flowers and dots in multiple colors. The kit also includes a hang tag for the designer's name and s small change purse that goes inside. Speaking of the inside, there is a flat insert that goes in the base and helps the bag to stand up on a flat bottom. We think kids as young as 5 will enjoy this kit. It would also be a great kit to use with kids with special needs who will not need to cut or use glue to add the decorations. Use this to reinforce color names, sizes, and shape names. 5 & up.

SNAP: Success is built into this kit that allows kids to decorate the bag with no right or wrong moves. Yet, when they are done, they have a usable end product they can carry with pride. 

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

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2012 Award
Creativity for Kids Rhinestone Rings
(Creativity for Kids $18.99 Score:)

Our tester liked everything about this kit with 12 adjustable rings and tons of flowers and butterflies that easily stick to them. The precut forms are attached with layers of foam squares and topped with a glue on the "gemstone" that is like icing on the cake. With a dozen rings, this makes a good kit for a play date. This kit calls for fine motor skills to handle the tiny foam adhesive squares. Of course, there are enough rings for every finger on both hands with two left over for toes! Marked 7 & up, but 7's will likely need help with the first few.

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

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2012 Award
K'nex Maxi Building Set
(K'NEX $12 Score:)

This is one of three building sets designed for beginning builders in the Kid K'nex line. Maxi, a yellow racing car has just 18 pieces and assembles pretty easily - with a little adult help, of course. The directions are pretty clear. You could call this Model Building 101. Best of all when the pieces are put together there's a vehicle that can be played with. It even has an extra set of wheels to roll on toy railroad tracks, a probable option for preschoolers. These are not Disney characters from Cars, but will please kids who are seriously into racing car mania. There is also a Tin Top Building set, 16 pieces and blue or the Roary Building Set with a red racer. All three come in canisters with a model on top and the canister will be fun in the tub for sprinkling since it has holes in the bottom for safety. Though kids may like to build and rebuild, be forewarned, getting the pieces back into the cannister is not easy. It is marked 3 & up, though we think threes are going to need a lot of help with this. This will make a good birthday party gift for fours and fives, especially if you are doing a lot of party going and need multiple gifts.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Charley Harper's Sticky Critters
(Pomegranate Kids $19.99 Score:)

A collection of more than 170, durable, reusable, vinyl stickers of various sizes and colors come with a booklet that shows how to make a variety of animal critters. The geometric stickers are in solid and patterned pieces. The box has a two sided playing board for arranging the stickers. Copying the models in the booklet calls for visual discrimination and dexterity. Once kids have experience with this they will probably try their own designs. A good choice for quiet time. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Flingin' Frogs
(Patch Products $12.60 Score:)

Set up the five tier lily pads and get ready to flip your frogs. This is a tiddely winks game for a rainy summer day. Kids can play solo or with friends. All 12 frogs (in three colors) fit into the case for easy storage. This might be a good take along for the summer cottage or sleep away camp. 5-8

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Robbin' Eggs
(Haywire Group $20.99 Score:)

Our tester, who loves math, naturally liked this game. There are blue and greenish robin eggs in the nest. Each has a negative or positive number that is hidden under them. On your turn you roll the die and then you need to turn as many eggs over to try to get as close to the number on the die. But, keep in mind, your opponent may be able to rob the egg you need. In a way, this is concentration meets math for kids 7 & up.

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

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2012 Award
Quercetti Georello Basic
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

The newest in a Quercetti gear construction set with 80 pieces. Use the patterns shown to create a gear board "machine" with connecting gears or a standing animal form. Once kids get the hang of it, they will be exploring ways to fit the gears together in their own designs. There are lots of little pieces here, so this is one of those terrific toys for building dexterity for school age kids. It should not be anywhere around younger sibs or those who still mouth their toys.They say 4-8, we'd say this will be a stretch for 4's and some 5's.

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

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