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Product Type: Toys
Award: SNAP
Review Year: 2013

 

 
2013 Awards
Earlyears Hooty Toot Owl
(International Playthings $12 Score:)

Hang this in the stroller, car carrier or pull it out of your bag of tricks. The fabric owl has multiple textures, patterns, and s little mirror for baby sightings. The legs have textured teethers for chomping on, too. With stitched features and crinkle in the wings, this is a multi-sensory toy for early play.

  

 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Earlyears 'Lil Spinner Activity Roller
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

Ideal for sitting-up babies and to motivate crawling action. There a screen with a hologram that changes as it moves, a sliding bar with peek-a-boo faces. The wheels have their own activities; black and white patterns swirl and twirl on one wheel as it makes a ratchety sound; the other wheel has egg-shaped spinners. All in all, there are multiple activities for fine motor play as well as big motor action.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
ELC Singing Animal Keyboard
(International Playthings $34.99 Score:)

We like the new look to a classic first keyboard that helps tots learn about cause and effect. The big keys work one at a time to activate the animals that open their mouths and make sounds. The sound is not over-the-top loud. It has three play modes: animal sounds, animals singing, and animals singing along to a tune. The music is just so-so, but the action will please tots who love the sense power and repetition of making things happen. A good first birthday gift. 12 months & up.

SNAP: Unlike a lot of toys where so many things happen, this works in a very one to one cause and effect way.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Calico Critters Border Collie Family
(International Playthings $22.99 Score:)

Mama, Papa, brother and sister Border Coolies are done up with faces in crisp black and white markings. Also new this season, an Outback Koala Family. Mama is carrying the newest little one in a soft fabric backpack while their toddler size child is able to walk along with Papa. These are charming posable figures to use as props for the Calico Critter settings or for pretend play with blocks and other mini-settings.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Faber-Castell Connector Paint Box
(Creativity for Kids $14 Score:)

A cleverly designed paint box with 12 bright opaque watercolors (gouaches)and a tube of Chinese white paint. A larger set of 24 colors is also available. The paint tablets can be lifted out of the pan and arranged as one wishes. The lid of the pan becomes a palette for mixing colors and is easy to rinse off. Brushes store in the bux, though they do not come with this set. A step above the usual watercolor sets for children.

SNAP You don't need to introduce all the colors at once with this clever pan of paints. Gradually add other colors once your child gets the idea of how to use a few colors without getting them saturated. using the brush offers more freedom than a pencil and the colors are pleasing. This is a pleasing way to develop eye hand control and to explore the magic of mixing colors.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Quercetti Daisy Box Castle
(International Playthings $37 Score:)

For starters tots will love the classic action of filling and dumping all the pieces that come in the Daisy Box Castle. The rounded edges of the container and the blocks make them kid-friendly and easy for little hands to grasp. Once they get the idea, they can make the colorful rounded blocks fit into one another in towers or side-by-side on the white peg-board lid of the red container. The various shapes are designed to be used in an open-ended fashion with no right or wrong ways. A lovely toy for building eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, the language of color concepts and imaginative play.

SNAP: Give kids plenty of time to explore the various pieces of this building set. After plenty of time for free play, use the pieces to sort by color or size. Use them for reinforcing simple counting and even to make patterns. This does not have a babyish look yet the size of the playing pieces will make it easier for many children to manipulate.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Sassy Activity Pig
(Sassy $11.99 Score:)

An eye catching pink piggie with hot pink satin ears lined with black and white stripes. Its legs are hot pink and yellow striped. Dangle this in the stroller or use it for early tracking and lap games. It makes a soft rattle sound as it bounces and the legs have crinkle sound when squeezed. Piggie comes with a black and white ring on top for hanging it in plain sight and has two rings attached to a leg that baby will eventually like grasping. With stitched features and short ribbon tabbies to finger, this is a perfect choice for shower gift or visiting the new baby.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Sassy Spin and Spill Bath Toy
(Sassy $7 Score:)

This looks like a high chair spinning toy and could be used that way. But, it is designed to be a bath toy. Use the suction cap base to position it in a not too full tub and make it spin by pouring water over the tops. Oddly the packaging shows it attached to the side of the tub,  but this would not work since the spinner will not hold water that way.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Sassy Rings Around Rattle
(Sassy $6.99 Score:)

An easy-to-grasp kidney-shaped ring rattle. There are beads that roll around inside a see-through part of the ring and textured black and white bands on another part. Three little colored rings clack between a black and white ball and an orange textured ball. Well designed for sensory learning. Bring this home when baby is able to reach out to take hold of things to explore. 4 months & up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Mamas and Papas Jangly Lion
(Mamas & Papas $12.99 Score:)

A multi-colored fabric chime toy that will make a quiet sound as it is handled or hung in the stroller. It has lots of sensory explorations built-in: long velour knotties to finger, plastic pieces with textures to chomp on teething gums, a tiny mirror dangling from one arm and interesting patterns that dress up this orange faced critter with stitched features.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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