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

 


2010 Award
I Spy Little Wheels and Little Animal Puzzles
(Briarpatch $10.95 Score:)

There are four different puzzles inside each of these sets. All are based on I Spy riddles from the books of the same name. Using the artwork from the books, these are graduated in difficulty. Each set includes a 6-piece, 8-piece, 12-piece and 14-piece puzzle. First things first, turn them all over and have your little puzzler sort them by the color on back. Now you are ready to begin. Put all the others away and start with the 6-piece puzzle. Once the puzzle is together, you will probably need to read the riddle for your child and maybe give some hints so he can find the images that answer the riddle. These are a good parent/child toy that involves problem solving as well as language and visual discrimination.   The box says 3 & up. We'd say more like older fours and fives and sixes.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
United States Sticker Fun!
(Peaceable Kingdom $10 Score:)

If you have seen news stories that show how many young adults cannot name common geographic facts, you know that maps skills are not a high priority in too many schools. Happily, learning the names of the states, their locations on the map and their capitals just got easier with this map/puzzle. A colorful map with the shapes and capitals printed on it has a slick finish. It comes with reusable stickers that are labeled with the state name, a small icon of a landmark or product, and the state capital. So, its a self-correcting puzzle that reinforces all the elements. In an age when geography often gets little attention, this is a small investment for some basic information kids should know.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
Classic Cars 100 Piece Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14 Score:)

This will take some doing since the pieces are small and there are lots of vehicles of the 50's pictured here. For many boys who don't love puzzles, but do love vehicles, this will be motivation enough to hold their interest. Encourage kids to use the image of the car lot shown on the lid of the storage tin to help them figure it out. They say 6 plus, but we think this will be better for 8 & 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: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Forest Friends Block Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14 Score:)

Nine blocks have six different scenes that can be turned to show animal baby and parent images. These are stylized scenes with big and little bears, owls, foxes, deer and squirrel. Also fun, Playful Pets ($14 4.5)with even more decorative images, a dog, cat, turtle, fish, mouse, and cat. These are marked 3 & up. We think 3s and 4s will need help to do these block puzzles that help kids learn about assembling parts into a whole image. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Awards
Lauri Alphabet Puzzle Boards
(Patch $29.99 Score:)

Crepe rubber puzzle boards.  There is one 5 piece puzzle for each letter of the alphabet. Each board has an upper and lower case letter and an object that starts with that sound. There are a lot of Alphabet puzzles around, but these have cut out letters that give kids a 'feel' for the shape and direction of the letters.

SNAP IDEAS: Kids can trace the letters or use them for spelling out their names. When kids are learning letters it's fun to put three in a bag and have child feel inside without looking. Can she pull out the letter "T" or one that says "M-m-m-m."

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Simms Taback Animal Parade Floor Puzzle
(Briarpatch $18.99 Score:)

You are going to love the look of this handsome 48 piece floor puzzle. Each animal pictured comes in four pieces with the background color serving as a clue. You do need plenty of room for this loooong puzzle and younger kids may need help to get started. But not to worry, the big pieces make this ideal for younger kids. After it is complete, be sure to play a riddle game by taking turns telling a few sentences about the animal you are thinking of and see if your child can find it. For example: Say 'I am thinking of an animal that goes hippity-hop and has a bushy tail.'  Add a color clue, if needed, or a rhyming clue. Encourage kids to take turns in making up the riddles. Also special, the Simms Taback Jumbo Floor Puzzle ($18.99) with farm animals.  They say 3-6. We're sure 3's will need help. So will most 4's. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

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

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2009 Award
Creature Floor Puzzles
(Chronicle $24.95 Score:)

Striking oversized animal portraits of a Chimpanzee, Asian Elephant, African Lion and two Tigers are featured on four 16 piece puzzles. Each of Andrew Zuckerman's close-up images is a memorable photograph, full of detail. All four puzzles come in one set. Since these are 2 double sided puzzles, children may need some help using problem solving strategies to keep the puzzles from getting totally mixed up. Each puzzle when assembled is 2 feet square. This is fairly challenging, despite the oversized pieces. Cutout fit in places they do not belong and turning the pieces to find the correct place it will fit, is far from simple. That's why we do not think that the age designation of 3 & up on the box is fair. We'd say 3's and 4's with a parent helping would be hard pressed to put this together. At the earliest, we'd say 5 & up.  Normally this would knock the product off the Platinum List, but it's such an amazing puzzle we want to be sure it doesn't get missed.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

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

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2009 Award
eeBoo Once Upon a Time and Life on Earth Puzzles
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

In this new puzzle collection there are two very attractive sets of 9-piece puzzles called Once Upon a Time by Lizzie Rockwell and Life on Earth by Melissa Sweet.  Each set contains six different puzzles. We think you will need to show kids how to sort the six puzzles by the patterns on the back and then give them some strategies for doing one puzzle at a time and putting each puzzle together by making the borders first. These will be challenging since the pieces are small and may need to be rotated to find the fit. These are a good choice for 4s and 5s.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

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

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2001 Awards
Katy Cat & Beaky Boo
(Mudpuppy Press $14.95 Score:) This company continues to make marvelous puzzles from picture book art. There are 20-, 24-, and 36-piece floor puzzles in handsome, sturdy storage boxes. Also new, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Martha Speaks, Where the Wild Things Are. Past favorites: Go, Dog, Go!, Today I Feel Silly, & Bunny My Honey. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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1995 Awards
AZ Panels
(Lauri $8.95 Score:) Not only does fitting the rubbery letters in and out of the puzzle frame help kids learn to know and name the letters, but handling the 3-D letters also gives kids a feel for their shapes. Also, Kids Perception Puzzle ($7.50), figures in slightly different poses that help kids look at small differences, just as they must when reading words that look almost alike, such as "cap" and "cup." Also recommended: Number Play ($14.95) with 10 puzzle boards each with a numeral and matching number of objects. 47. SNAP INFO: Getting a feel for the shape of letters is easier with the rubbery letters in this A-Z puzzle. Kids can use the empty puzzle board as a stencil to trace the letters, too. ACTIVITY: Use the letters to play a find my sound game. Put three letters on the table and say several words that stat with one of the letters. For example, if you say "sun, sit, smile" the child will pick up the S.- If the child picks up the right letter he keeps it.

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

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