Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Manipulatives

 


2010 Award
Tickly Toy Zebra Soft Block Set
(North American Bear Co. $28 Score:)

Three fabric blocks, one with a rattle, another with a crinkle and a 3rd with a squeaker. The faces on each cube have black and white high contrast or bold graphics in cream, red or green and black. There are faces, that always catch babys attention as well as interesting patterns. Each block also has black and white plush textured zebra patterns. There is a see through window for putting a photo inside as well as tabs to grab. Stack 'em, knock 'em down and put them on your head. These are good toys for interacting with sitting up babies. 7 months & up.

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

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Stack 'n Surprise Count 'n Build Snail Pail
(Fisher-Price $22.94 Score:)

Ten colorful Stack 'n Surprise Blocks come in a clever 'pail' the most open-ended playset of this award winning line. Although they call it a count 'n build toy, for starters babies are going to use it for fill and dump games. Babies will like the sound of the plastic blocks thrown into the see through pail. The carry handle and lids of the container are building platforms where blocks can be stacked. Each has a pop up action that reveals a little face and one-with a snail head has a squeaker. Use this toy for building language concepts as well. Talk about the colors, about adding one more, about the making the stack taller, about covering all the pegs on the lid, and you can even count them. There are numerals impressed on the blocks, so older sibs may like putting them in numerical order. In the same line, look for the Peek-a-boo Choo-Choo, Blockity Pop Caterpillar, Dump Truck, and the Stack n Surprise Blocks Songs n Smiles Sillytown. They say 6-36 months. Wed say more like 9 months & up.  

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Playskool Blocksters Block Spot
(Hasbro $22.99 Score:)

We were disappointed with this attractive looking set of nine colorful blocks. Handsomely designed to fit into a big yellow carrying case (that acts like a shape sorter), we found the case way too hard for kids to open or close. The round, square and triangular blocks are, at first glance, colorful and tempting. But they turn out to be far too big for the little hands they are meant for and several have no sound or action at all.  Though all of them have a face, the other features are disconnected graphics. This was a missed opportunity to do some mix and matching with front and back end of creatures that could have been paired. One round block has a dial too stiff to move well for the clicking reward. We liked the one with the mirror and one with a roller.  But the cow block with udders that are supposed to squeak are too hard for little hands to activate.  The other blocks have nothing or just a little rattle sound inside. All in all, this is one of those toys that 'could of-should of' been better executed. 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Playskool Clipo Hippo
(Hasbro $23 Score:)

Newest addition to the award winning Clipo line, this happy looking hippo lends it's broad back as a building platform for the 20 colorful britle like blocks. They can be stacked or attached to the colorful wheels, as well. Best of all, it's a fun fill and dump toy that you can fill be "feeding" the hippo's open mouth. Toddlers will also love wheeling this Clipo critter around from place to place on it's chunky wheels.

Look also at last year's Platinum winning Clipo Creativity Table with a motorized tabletop for building. There are also smaller sets of Clippo that make nice additions: There are two buckets: Figure Set ($19.99) and Vehicle Bucket ($19.99) and still smaller basic sets ($5.99 to 14.99). 18 months & up.

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

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
eeBoo Wildlife Tot Tower
(eeBoo $22 Score:)

Ten handsome nesting blocks are illustrated with classic looking wildlife creatures and numbers by artist Kevin Hawkes. Knowing and naming all these creatures will be beyond most toddlers and preschoolers who are likely to get this set. Yet, there’s something to be said for stretching the vocabulary beyond the usual farm and zoo animals. We might have found something less esoteric than an ibex, but iguana or inchworm might have been as far out as the very handsome ibex. For starters these will be fun to put in size order and knock them down. This is just one of the many handsome Tot Towers from this maker. 2 & up.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Jumbo Bunnies
(International Playthings $12.99 Score:)

These colorful bunnies have been hard to find for a while. This is an old favorite toy for filling and dumping, banging together and eventually connecting in long rows or other funny stacks. They are easy to grab hold of and put together or pull apart. The nine-piece set has six bunnies in six colors and three connectors. 1 & up.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.  This product has been discontinued.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Quercetti Interlocking Star Shapes
(International Playthings $12 Score:)

Toddlers like toys with multiple pieces and these six colorful star shapes are challenging for little hands to put together and pull apart. There may be a short learning curve for the putting together action, but these big plastic pieces they have no right and wrong order. These not only help build motor skills, they can help knowing and naming color words and simple counting. 1 & up.
        The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Beads on Wire Toys
(Educo $16 Score:) This company makes beads on wire toys in many sizes and shapes. You have probably seen them in your pediatrician's office and toy shops. Children of mixed ages enjoy them simply as a manipulative or for open-ended pretend games. If the beads were loose, of course they would be a choking hazard. Yet toddlers love to handle the little beads and sliding them up and over. You'll find some platforms with suction cups that fit on a high chair- that will buy you some time. Or some that are lightweight enough for baby to pass from hand to hand. Big and pricey are the floor or table models with lots of beads and pathways. These abstract toys develop pretending, eye-hand, language, and counting skills.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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Plan Toy's Miracle Pounding
(Brio $26 Score:) An innovative crescent-shaped toy with balls instead of pegs. As one ball is hit another pops up. This is less easy to use than the typical hammer bench. Beautifully crafted of wood.

Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: .

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Awards
Lamaze Stacking Rings
(RC2 Learning Curve $19.99 Score:) Made of colorful patterned fabric these rings stack in any order. Classic stacking toys require the ability to see and arrange objects in size order-a skill that most toddlers do not have. Although such toys are often labeled 6 months & up, there's nothing wrong with your child-the problem is with the label! In fact, many pieces are sure to be lost before tots can put them together. Happily, there are more forgiving choices that introduce stacking without the need for size order. These toys are fun for toddlers to explore- just don't expect them to be expert stackers. As you play with your toddler, use color or size words to describe the pieces. Such concepts are learned with greater ease when they are part of everyday experiences. These are more appropriate for 1 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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