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

 


2008 Award
Plan Toys Parking Garage
(Plan Toys $65.99 Score:)

If you are looking for a non-electronic, old-fashioned garage, look no further. Here's a handsome three-level parking garage with working elevator, ramps, heliport and space for many small cars. Comes with figure, gas station and car washing machine and one car.  It will work with your child's other Matchbox or Hotwheel cars.  3 and up.

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: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Awards
Plan Toys Fruit Play Set
(Brio $15 Score:) Like a real knife, there's a right and wrong side of the wooden "knife" that kids use to cut apart Velcroed halves of three wooden fruits. Veggies set also available. SNAP: Wooden fruits and veggies can be “cut” apart with wooden knife that seems to cut the Velcro-ed segments. Comes with lemon, orange, pear, mushroom, carrot, and tomato, plus board and wooden knife. Activity: Use fraction words when you ask child to cut you a half of one fruit or a quarter of something else. (888) 274-6869.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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FurReal Friends Kitten
(Hasbro $35 Score:) If you have a child who is allergic to cats but wants one madly, this might do the trick! Our tester loved the way this big white furry angora type cat responded with motion and sounds to the touch. Looks a lot like Snowbell in the Stuart Little movie. With sensors in its cheeks, head, back, shoulder and tail this is the most life-like cat we've ever tested. But it doesn't always do what's expected. It purrs, meows, moves its head and tail. The problem is it also seems to roar with some very un-cat like sounds! Comes with a brush for grooming and an adoption certificate. 6 & up. (800) 752-9755.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Awards
Playmobil Airport
(Playmobil $99 Score:) Build the Boarding Gate and Tower with working elevator and baggage carousel. Other accessories: Jet Liner with 20" wingspan ($44.99 ) with pilot and flight attendant, folding steps, and removable roof. These are good parent/child building projects, but make no mistake, an adult must do most of the building. Once it's built, it will be a wonderful mini-play setting for dramatic play. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2003 Award
Deluxe Home Is Where the Heart Is Dollhouse
(Small World Toys $130 Score:)

This is a three stories high dollhouse with lots of rooms to fill with scaled wooden furnishings. It comes unfurnished and it is open front, back and roof, so it is easily accessible for many children to play with together. This is not furnished so you need to factor that into the cost.  Or consider their smaller Home Again, Home Again A-Frame ($130) that can be enlarged with an add-on basement and stairs($70). Multi-cultural families and furnishings are sold separately and run between $15-20 per room. We thought Ryan's Room Making Muscles exercise equipmet set was a sign of the times.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2003. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Plan Toys My First Dollhouse Without Furniture
(Plan Toys $99 Score:)

Choose this modern A-frame house with open roof for easy access that allows for playing from the front of the house or back in the traditional manner. This is a smaller house than their Green model or the CHalet, but a good choice for beginning pretend. Multicultural families and furnishings are available and run between $15-20 a set.

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

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2004 Award
Let's Pretend Careers
(Small Miracles $29.99 Score:) Handsome enough to wear as real clothes, the newest items in the career line are an Astronaut (4 1⁄2), and an ER Worker (4 1⁄2) with green scrubs, stethoscope, and other tools. Forget the stereotypical Teacher (2) costume with black glasses and old-fashioned red smock with white lace. Still top rated, Chef (with coat, hat, and tools); in the fantasy line, a Pirate (outfit comes with a felt hat). Past winners include: Doctor, Pilot, Equestrian, Firefighter, Construction Worker, and Police. PLATINUM AWARDS ’02 & ’04. 3–8. (888) 281-1798.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Ryans Room Majestic Castle
(Small World Toys $100 Score:) A truly majestic wooden castle, 20" X 20", with working drawbridge, movable staircases, four towers, and walls that can be arranged in different configurations. Comes with four knights and a horse. Additional figures such as king, queen, jester, wizard, jousting knights, and dragon are available. Easy to assemble, this play setting might become an heirloom. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2011 Award
Playmobil Big City Zoo
(Playmobil $104 Score:)

Playmobil's ZOO (we first game it a Platinum Award in 2005) is back. The structures are great parent/child projects with plenty of pretend play down the road, but make no mistake: an adult must do a great deal of the building.  We particularly like the open design of the zoo--so kids can easily access the play pieces and move them about. The set comes with a satisfying number of animals (including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, caretakers, zoo visitors, etc.).  There is an entrance point (tickets!) and a gift shop (of course)...lots of opportunity to replay (or preview)  a visit to your local zoo.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Grande Mansion
(Playmobil $170 Score:) Part construction set/mostly pretend setting, Grande Mansion has two stories and a usable attic; this yellow house has an old world charm that will be a memorable gift. Younger kids will need help with assembly. This is a fun parent child project if you're so inclined!

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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