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

 


2002 Award
Tomy Ball Party Bounce
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:) Newest in what has been, hands down, one of the best toddler toys on the market. This year's entry is a tower with a platform from which balls bounce, land, and spin into another chute. Still wonderful: Roll Around Tower ($24.99) with colorful plastic balls that make a satisfying clacking sound as they roll. Toddlers love the repetitive action of these uncomplicated fill and spill toys. Also new and great fun, an electronic Playhouse & Buggy Ball Party ($29.99), a chunky house with chimney chute for balls, a pop-open door, and a little car that spins one ball. Sound effects are not overly loud and can be turned off entirely. An electronic version from Fisher-Price, Pull-Up Ball Blast ($19.99) does not work as well as Tomy's.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Tolo Shape Sorter Play Bench
(Reeves International $15 Score:)

Each of the pieces in this plastic hammer board is a distinctive shape and loaded with rattle sounds. Unlike pegs, the shapes can only fit in the matching slot, so this is a sort of a shape-sorter and hammer-toy combo. They say 12 months, we'd say more like 18-24 months.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Award
Mother Goose Nesting Blocks
(Chronicle $19.95 Score:) A charming, well-constructed set of cardboard nesting blocks featuring Sylvia Long's award-winning illustrations. At first toddlers will enjoy knocking down your towers but before long they will delight in creating their own and knocking them down again and again! We recommend you bring home Sylvia Long's Mother Goose book as well.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2002 Award
Mama Do You Love Me? Nesting Blocks
(Chronicle $19.99 Score:) Fans of the book, Mama, Do You Love Me? will love this set of 10 nesting blocks that have the words from the book on one side. Each block calls out the specials words used in Barbara M. Joosse's text. While it's a stretch to say that toddlers need to know that umiak is a type of boat, the blocks each have a numeral on one side. Barbara Lavallee's wonderful illustrations are faithfully reproduced. If you have a toddler, know a toddler this book is a must-read! The blocks would be a fun way of extending the experience.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2002.

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2003 Awards
Marble Train
(Kidstation $44 Score:) Testers couldn't keep their fingers off this old-fashioned looking wooden 24" x 11" maze that is loaded with giant marbles that roll, but can't come out. The object is to move them through the gates, curves, and swirls. This calls for individuating the pointer finger from others. Toddlers will return to this one again and again. SNAP Activity: This is safe enough even for tots who are still mouthing their toys. Yet the opportunity to make something happen while using individual fingers was very satisfying. You may want to sing a little tune as you introduce this game. Try "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" or any other tune that suits your fancy. Instead of "Row Row, Row Your Boat" - how about push, push push the marble push it round and round......:

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2003.

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Tomy Ball Party Symphony Tower
(International Playthings $29.99 Score:) Our favorite collection of toddler toys has taken a wrong turn. The newest is a tower with balls rolling down, hitting sound sensors as they go. Unfortunately, the cartoonish sounds are extremely irritating.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2005 Awards
Musical Stack & Play
(Tiny Love $19.95 Score:) This cleverly designed elephant stacking toy has a place for dropping balls in its top. The balls come out at the base with some fanfare (lights/sound) but nothing over the top. Our testers also liked the soft fabric rings for stacking but really spent most of the time playing with the plastic balls. Marked 6 mos. & up, but will be most enjoyed by 1s and up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Awards
Dance Baby Dance Classical Stacker
(Fisher-Price $22.99 Score:) This prior award-winning stacker is reintroduced in new colors. Star rings fit on the post in any order (a plus). Post has magical lights that wink and play music when top is pressed. Sound quality is not excellent, but it is a long-term favorite. The sounds and lights make this a multi-sensory toy with great appeal. Encourages eye hand and dexterity as well as playful problem solving.

Age: Infants,Toddlers. Award Year: 2005.

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2006 Awards
Learn-Around Playground
(LeapFrog $59.99 Score:) This innovative table invites kids to explore and make things happen. A great first birthday gift! Sitting down, tots can play the ball drop and tap the shape tabs and textures. On their feet they can cruise around the sturdy table and test the pop-up and spinning shapes, press the letters that say their names, and activate the keyboard. The ball drop has jazzy percussion sound effects and says the color of each ball as it falls. Has volume control and can be enjoyed with sound off. 9 mos. & up. (800) 701-5327.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Awards
Super Spiral Play Tower
(International Playthings $32 Score:) Toddlers love this marvelous toy that they quickly take charge of. Two weighted balls and a little penguin twist down the spiral and slide into different slots. A green froggy slides down a chute and makes a funny sound that ends with a ping of a bell. Repetitive action provides the kind of predictable cause-and-effect results toddlers love. Develops eye-hand skills as well as visual tracking. 18 mos. & up. Their original PLATINUM AWARD-winning Tomy Ball Party Roll Around Tower and Ball Party Bounce remain top rated (they are very similar to the Edushape toys reviewed above). (800) 445-8347.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2006.

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