Preschoolers need soft, lightweight, easy-to-catch balls that will not bend back a finger or hurt when they hit. Gertie Balls are gummy and soft enough for kids who may be scared of big heavy balls coming toward them. Also fun, Supersized Gertie Balls ($13), really oversized and great fun for this age group and next. There's also a super cool Magic Gertie Ball that changes color with hot and cold water. 3 & up.
SNAP INFO: These colorful balls are soft and slightly sticky to the touch, making them easier to catch and hold onto. They come in a variety of sizes and with different textures. Testers especially liked the knobby one which gave kids an extra way to grip and hold. These are not for toddlers because the air tube can come out and could pose a choking hazard. ACTIVITY: Getting control takes practice. Hang a big hoopla hoop from a tree branch and try to get the ball through the hoop.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2000.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2001.
Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 1999.
Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 1998.
Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.
Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.
Age: Toddlers,Preschool. Award Year: 2000.
This is a more open-ended set than the motorized models like Oogly Googly. Kids can build horizontally or vertically. There are sets with small gears only- a good place to start. There are also sets with large gears with optical patterns on them and other doo-dads. All in all it's a great building system that allows kids to experiment with making machines. Great for solo play as well as co-operative building.
SNAP INFO: Fitting gears together not only develops dexterity; it's a challenging way to promote problem-solving skills as kids make moving "machines." Motors can be added, but start with hand power. ACTIVITY: Play a game of "Keep It Going!" Players take turns adding one gear at a time but every gear added must connect and keep the motion going.
Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.
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