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Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers

 

Bathketball
(Little Tikes $18 Score:) Suction cups hold the hoop securely to the side of the tub. This comes with three squirty balls. The bottom of the net cinches shut for storage. If you are worried about squirty toys in the tub harboring bacteria, pass on this one. We passed on the Little Tikes Bathtime Band ($14.99 ) This requires 3 AA batteries. Add water to each of the instruments and they play Calypso music. We do not like the idea of battery-operated toys for the tub. Their new Bathtime Toy Waterfall () also did not work well. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Magnatudes
(Gund $7.5 Score:) Put a few of these soft critters onto the car seat. Attach them by their embedded-magnet hands or feet; your toddler will have fun getting them off and then discovering how their hands and feet attract and repel. Soft, small, and totally ready for imaginative play. These will be enjoyed by preschoolers as well as toddlers who love this small size monkey, bear, or pig that will fit so well in little hands. (800) 448-4863.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2007 Award
Let's Play Puppets
(Gund $12.99 Score:) Choose a blue elephant, Tootie, lavender hippo, Tibs, or mint green frog, Pippy, for early tracking games and heart-to-heart talks. These soft hand puppets come with a baby puppet for parent and child to use together later. For now, these are fun to share with an older sibling as you play with baby together. Also a good take-along toy for distractions on small trips.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Amazing Baby Sound Balls
(Kids Preferred $17 Score:) Three baseball-sized, brightly patterned fabric balls come packaged together in a see-through tote. A black-and-white ball with colorful swirls crinkles, an orange velour ball with stitched stars jingles, and a multicolored ball with bold patterns chimes. A classic toy for sensory exploration and active play. (866) 763 8869. 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: 2007.

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2009 Awards
Taggies Colours Toss
(Taggies $19.95 Score:)

This 2007 Platinum Award winner has been updated with brighter colors that we absolutely love. The design remains the same - a big fabric ball with multiple patterns, ribbon taggies to grab, and a wonderful jingle inside is one of the best toys for babies. It’s covered with soft velour but slightly understuffed to make it easier to grasp. 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Bounce and Spin Zebra
(Fisher-Price $45 Score:)

Forget rocking horses, the 21st-century child rides a zebra that turns when the rider bounces on it. A spinner in the handle sets off random arcade sounds that (fortunately) can be turned off. Our 20-month-old triplets loved this toy, but some parents will find the sound over the top.  Note: Low-to-the-ground rockers for toddlers are used for a short time, but match the young toddler's love of motion and repetitive action. These are low enough to the ground so that the older toddler can get on and off with independence, and they're slow enough to be soothing. Often promoted for older infants and young toddlers, these are a better choice for toddlers who are steady on their feet. (This was especially true this year where several of our contenders made the rounds with our testers - much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears ... some testers found the rockers too small [and boring] and others found them too high. So our recommendation is to try before you buy).

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Danny Dinosaur and Elijah Elephant
(Rockabye $109 Score:) These fabric animal rockers arrived right after the book went to press. They are as good as expected! Choose either the low-to-the-ground soft musical Danny Dinosaur with squeaks, rattles and crinkles, or Elijah Elephant with crinkly ears and multipatterned seat. Designed for 9 months to 3 years, up to 50 pounds. (310) 631-2222. Note: Low-to-the-ground rockers for toddlers are used for a short time, but match the young toddler’s love of motion and repetitive action. These are low enough to the ground so that the older toddler can get on and off with independence, and they’re slow enough to be soothing. Often promoted for older infants and young toddlers, these are a better choice for toddlers who are steady on their feet. (This was especially true this year where several of our contenders made the rounds with our testers—much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears . . . some testers found the rockers too small [and boring] and others found them too high. So our recommendation is to try before you buy).

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Earlyears Baby Dino Rocker
(International Playthings $99.99 Score:) This very low-to-the-ground rocker has little action. Designed for short toddlers and/or those who are not ready for wild action rides. Solidly built, this green dino has a satiny, colorful mane. No sound effects except for some crinkly sounds in the satin mane. They say 12 months; we’d say 18–20 months, and then adult help will still be needed. (800) 445-8347. Note: Low-to-the-ground rockers for toddlers are used for a short time, but match the young toddler’s love of motion and repetitive action. These are low enough to the ground so that the older toddler can get on and off with independence, and they’re slow enough to be soothing. Often promoted for older infants and young toddlers, these are a better choice for toddlers who are steady on their feet. (This was especially true this year where several of our contenders made the rounds with our testers—much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears . . . some testers found the rockers too small [and boring] and others found them too high. So our recommendation is to try before you buy).

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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Surfin' Elmo Rocker
(Little Tikes $29.99 Score:) Fans of Elmo may enjoy taking a ride on Elmo’s back. Elmo also giggles and talks, but you can turn that feature off (thankfully). Some testers had trouble getting on and off by themselves. Difficult to put together. 1 & up. (800) 321-0183. Note: Low-to-the-ground rockers for toddlers are used for a short time, but match the young toddler’s love of motion and repetitive action. These are low enough to the ground so that the older toddler can get on and off with independence, and they’re slow enough to be soothing. Often promoted for older infants and young toddlers, these are a better choice for toddlers who are steady on their feet. (This was especially true this year where several of our contenders made the rounds with our testers—much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears . . . some testers found the rockers too small [and boring] and others found them too high. So our recommendation is to try before you buy).

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
My Giant Floor Puzzle
(Alex $25 Score:)

You will need to put this big 17-piece/36"-round puzzle mat together. Toddlers will have fun knowing and naming and helping you put the whole-piece puzzle parts into place. It has a cow, chick, flower, butterfly, tree, and other big pieces. For playtime together fun, roll a little car around and stop at the tree or the sheep or the bee. Use this colorful playmat for talking about colors and familiar objects. Also available with Three Bears House theme. Marked 0 & up, meaning it can be used as a playmat, but we think the pieces will be lost by the time an older toddler is ready for puzzle and play. We’d say more like 18 mos. & up. (800) 666-2539.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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