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2008 Awards
Parquetry Blocks and Cards
(Learning Resources $28.95 Score:)

Thirty-two geometric-shaped tiles are arranged on top of 20 colorful patterns. Advanced players can use tiles without the patterns. Develops skills in matching and sequencing patterns - skills that are also needed in putting letters together to make words. 5-8.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1999 Awards
My Size Puzzles
(Mattel $6.95 Score:) Imagine a 3'-wide Hot Wheels racer with 46 big pieces. These shaped puzzles are challenging because they have no flat edges. They say 4 & up, we say more like 5 & up with help.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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199 Awards
I Spy 1, 2, 3... Floor Puzzle
(Briarpatch $14.95 Score:) Our testers loved working on this oversized 35-piece floor puzzle taken from the pages of I Spy School Days. After kids put together the puzzle, they have to locate the objects in the riddle. A good parent-and-child activity. Also top rated, 63-, 100-, and 500-piece I Spy puzzles in this series.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 199.

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2001 Awards
Backyard Bugs
(Frank Schaffer $14.95 Score:) Forty-eight big pieces and an identification key for learning the names of the bigger-than-life-sized bugs are found in this 5'-long beautiful garden scene. Also, Endangered Animals (48 pieces become a 5'-long mural). 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2001 Awards
Number Play Puzzle
(Lauri $14.95 Score:)

10 puzzle boards each with a numeral and matching number of objects. 47.

SNAP INFO: Concrete objects to count give true meaning to numerals. These puzzle boards do exactly that. They give kids matching number of objects with the numeral. ACTIVITY: Use the numerals to trace or press into clay.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1995 Awards
Kids Perception Puzzle
(Lauri $7.95 Score:)

This is a classic puzzle that looks easier than it really is. Figures that look quite similar are in slightly different poses. Kids must look at small differences, just as they must when reading words that look almost alike, such as "cap" and "cup." A good choice for refining visual perception. 5-7.

 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1995 Awards
AZ Panels
(Lauri $8.95 Score:) Not only does fitting the rubbery letters in and out of the puzzle frame help kids learn to know and name the letters, but handling the 3-D letters also gives kids a feel for their shapes. Also, Kids Perception Puzzle ($7.50), figures in slightly different poses that help kids look at small differences, just as they must when reading words that look almost alike, such as "cap" and "cup." Also recommended: Number Play ($14.95) with 10 puzzle boards each with a numeral and matching number of objects. 47. SNAP INFO: Getting a feel for the shape of letters is easier with the rubbery letters in this A-Z puzzle. Kids can use the empty puzzle board as a stencil to trace the letters, too. ACTIVITY: Use the letters to play a find my sound game. Put three letters on the table and say several words that stat with one of the letters. For example, if you say "sun, sit, smile" the child will pick up the S.- If the child picks up the right letter he keeps it.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 1995.

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Award
Money Bags
(Learning Resources $12.95 Score:) Players move along the game board by earning money for different activities. Provides lots of opportunity for making change and exchanging values! 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: .

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1999 Award
Mad Math Dice Game
(Patrix Communications $23.99 Score:)

If math facts are a source of tension in your house here are two games for working on those skills. Mad Math is a board game that has addition facts on one side and multiplication on the other. The goal is to get three pawns in a row on the board. You collect spaces by rolling the dice and finding the corresponding math fact on the playing board. The board is self-correcting which is a plus. It's not like some dreaded "game" that's good for youit's actually "edutaining." (This game has been modified this year by the addition of the "addition" side of the playboard). 9 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999.

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2003 Awards
Borderline (USA) or (European Edition)or (Africa Edition)
(Borderline Games $9.95 Score:) Whether you play the USA or European edition, here's a playful, painless way to make maps fun! This self correcting card game for 2-4 players is not just for folks who already know their way around maps. The object is to get rid of all your cards, but you can only put cards down on a card that "borders" the state, body of water or country in your hand. If you don't know, flip your card for a map that shows the borderlines. A no-tears-or-fears, entertaining geography game! Too late for the 2003 Edition, the new Africa Editon of the game works like the others and will doubtless fill a void for kids who are learning their way around a map of that part of the world. New this year is a combination pack with all three decks. 8 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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