Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Art Supplies

 

 
2006 Awards
Dough Party
(Alex $17 Score:) Comes in a newly designed see-through canister with six bright colors, a roller, cutters, plus a mat to work on. If you prefer clay, consider their Clay & Play Party ($17 ). 47. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2008 Awards
Elmer's 3D Washable Paint Pens
(Elmer's $14.99 Score:)

Imagine getting a set of 31 squeezable "pens" with writing tips for drawing on posters or cards. Paints puff when dry and set includes primary colors plus pastels, glitter, and pearlized pens. This is a wow-wee kind of present that will get lots of use. Editor's note: These pens have been updated this year with gender-specific themes from Disney (fairies, cars, and princesses). While we preferred the gender-free cast of the original sets (Platinum from 2003) --these are still a great choice and the price still makes this a really affordable gift.

SNAP Activity: Motivating kids to practice writing just got easier with this huge set of colorful gluepens. To get the feel for shaping letters or numbers, this is a terrific material. Write letters that he needs to practice on separate index cards. Now have child trace the letters and make them big enough to see with ease. Make one card with the upper case and a matching card with the lower case. When the cards are dry your child will be able to play a mach it up game, matching the upper and lower case letters. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Awards
Alex's Floor Standing Easel
(Alex $95 Score:) Taking the paints out of doors gives young artists a new scene- and if you add a bit of white paint to the colors they have an all new palette that looks like summer. Adding different paints and paper often inspires kids. Alex's wooden easel has a chalk board on one side and a dry-erase board on the other. Comes with a roll of paper, but we find that using clips and a pad of paper is easier for kids to handle with independence.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Awards
Beka Adjustable Drawing Desk with Paper
(Beka, Inc. $25 Score:) This wooden tabletop easle is a handsome, adjustable slantboard for art projects. We think this is an especially good choice for those who don't have the space for a stand-up easel but want a dedicated surface for drawing, painting or other creative ventures. SNAP: This slantboard will be useful on a tabletop for kids who are not able to use the typical standing easel. It has smooth edges, adjusts to various angles and has a wipe off surface.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Awards
Crayola Dough
(Crayola $1.99 Score:) A super-soft colorful dough that comes in four-or six-pack sets in vivid colors. Will air-harden. 2 & up SNAP ACTIVITY: Encourage school age kids to shape snakes and then use them for making letters or numbers that will harden. Paste finished dried letters onto wood for name plates. Or make small disks of dough and have kids trace their pictures or names in the douch with a toothpick. Make a hole at the top and when dry this can become a necklace.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2007 Award
Magnetic Artist Easel
(Alex $79.99 Score:) Having an double sided easel is great for playdates and siblings. Two kids can work at this 48" height-adjustable wooden easel that comes with a chalkboard on one side, a magnetic wipe-off board, an 18" x 75' paper roll, sturdy wooden paper cutter and 2 easel clips. 3 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Crayola Telescoping Crayon Tower
(Crayola $14.99 Score:)

We think everyone needs this tower. It makes everyone smile. Remember the really big box of crayons that smelled just like the beginning of the school year? This is better, but you don't have to do third grade again. Comes with 150 crayons in a round plastic tray; pull up the center, and now you have a tower of colors and a sharpener. Also special, Telescoping Mini Marker Tower with 50 washable mini-markers stored in a holder that lifts into a tower. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2008 Awards
Crayola Glow Station
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

We do have to admit that we have a thing for glow in the dark toys. We pile into the small office bathroom and try things out. Most of them don't work so when we find one that does we do a little dance (we play with toys for a living after all). The new Glow Station from Crayola is really cool. The over-sized (25" x 15") canvas works with a special light wand (that comes with a crystal attachment for really neat effects!). The set comes with stencils that are fun to work with but we really enjoyed the open-endedness of just drawing on the canvas. A great toy for the car at night or right before bed. An entertaining way to encourage kids to use the small muscles needed for writing. Its a lot like your old magic state with sizzle! The glow fades and you start again. Also has a dry erase marker for coloring and tracing on acetate transfer sheet that will put the images onto your glow pad. A novelty that is "light-years" away from your old Magna-doodle. Designed for older kids 6 & up. Smaller travel version is also available and fun for backseat fun.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP ACTIVITY/ADAPTATION:Getting kids to work on fine motor skill needed for writing is often a hard sell. Yet, this chunky drawing tool is an entertaining and playful way to get those little hand muscles tuned up. If you need to adapt the sensor, try a mitt lined with Velcro and Velcro on the pen itself. The stencils may give added encouragement and produce realistic images that kids cannot draw themselves. All of these extras make writing a fun thing to do.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Eye Can Art: Sumi-e Painting Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

Here's a kit that introduces kids to the quiet delights of Japanese Sumi-e art. It comes with a special Sumi-e brush, watercolor black ink, rd paint and a block and foam for making a "chop" to sign one's art with in traditional style. There is a small supply of paper and just a small sample of ways to paint. Of course, sum-e art is often about copying and you might want to go online to find more samples, so kids get the idea of what artists have done with just one color of ink and a variety of brush strokes. Too bad there are not more examples in the idea brochure. But that said this is a good way for kids and adults to try an ancient art form. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Butterfly Paper Mobile
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:)

This is a challenging kit that will take patience and fine motor skills. The pre-cut butterflies need to be assembled after they are colored and then hung so that they balance and move on the metal mobile frame. This is no simple task from assembly to completion. That said, it does end up as an attractive decoration for kids to hang in their rooms with a sense of pride and accomplishment. We usually steer away from coloring projects, but this is a lot more. In fact the coloring part is the smallest part of this activity that may require some adult assistance. 7 & up The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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