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Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip

 

  
1995 Awards
Littlel Tikes Shopping Cart
(Little Tikes $30 Score:)

This bright yellow cart with baby seat is more gender free than most doll carriers. Lends itself to more open-ended pretend shopping and simply carting treasures about games. Room for a doll or teddy bear simply makes it more like the real thing.

SNAP INFO: Solidly built for lots of pretend, this shopping cart has a seat for doll or teddy when kids need a shopping spree play time.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1995 Awards
Lego Duplo
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

You can't go wrong with chunky plastic Lego Duplo building blocks to fill and dump, snap together, and take apart are basic gear for older toddlers and preschoolers. Small sets are good for add-ons, but be sure to start with a large enough set. 1 & up. There are also themed licensed sets that can be fun additions-but are not as open ended as a basic bucket.

SNAP INFO: Open ended Duplo blocks are ideal for stacking and building, but they are also fun for classifying games. ACTIVITY: Play a sorting game by putting all the red pieces together, then the yellow pieces and so on. These are ideal for developing fine motor skills as well as language, counting and color concepts.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1997 Awards
Tinkle, Crinkle, Rattle, & Squeak
(Gund $10 Score:) A classic velour caterpillar-shaped toy with multiple sounds in each section of the bug's body and bright primary colors for eye-grabbing attention. For the youngest, you'll need to squeeze the toy to get baby's attention. In time baby will be finding ways to activate and investigate this toy. Available in black, red and white as well as in primary colors. SNAP INFO: Each section of the brightly colored worm has a different sound. An ideal toy that matches your infant's sensory learning style.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 1997.

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1995 Awards
Windows & Doors
(Haba $25 Score:)

We're always on the look out for props to add to building blocks and these are good fun. Add these working doors and windows that are scaled to unit blocks. Fitting them in place takes some problem solving.

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

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2001 Awards
Razor Scooter
(Razor Scooter $99 Score:)

Since we first reviewed the Razor Scooter in 2001, it has become the granddaddy of them all. When they first arrived on the scene, it was hard to walk around the streets of our Greenwich Village office without seeing dozens of kids on them (or parents carrying them to their kids for pick up!)  They have maintained their apply with kids as one the experiences of childhood. Here in New York City--they have replaced the "first bike" as the main mode of childhood transportation. We are always amazed by the really little kids that have mastered the scooter! 

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

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Awards
Corn Popper
(Fisher-Price $20 Score:)

Push comes before pull. Instead of holding someone's hand, young toddlers often find sheer joy in the independence of walking while holding on to a push toy. You probably started walking with Fisher-Price's Corn Popper or Melody Push Chime ($8). They are still great choices! We don't especially like the new electronic versions that have added sounds and lights. One recites the alphabet and the other counts-nothing in particular. We think walking is a big enough deal for tots who are not even talking yet!

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

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Awards
Melody Push Chime
(Fisher-Price $12 Score:)

Push comes before pull. Instead of holding someone's hand, young toddlers often find sheer joy in the independence of walking while holding on to a push toy. You probably started walking with Fisher-Price's Corn Popper or Melody Push Chime. They are still great choices! We don't especially like the new electronic versions that have added sounds and lights. One recites the alphabet and the other counts-nothing in particular. We think walking is a big enough deal for tots who are not even talking yet!

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

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2001 Awards
Green Turtle Sandbox
(Little Tikes $49.95 Score:)

This has become a classic. A small beginners sandbox for tight spaces. This won't accommodate lots of tots and is apt to be outgrown quickly. But if it is all the space you have-go with it. For bigger spaces consider the Dinosaur Sandbox.

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

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Awards
Beads on Wire Toys
(Educo $16 Score:) This company makes beads on wire toys in many sizes and shapes. You have probably seen them in your pediatrician's office and toy shops. Children of mixed ages enjoy them simply as a manipulative or for open-ended pretend games. If the beads were loose, of course they would be a choking hazard. Yet toddlers love to handle the little beads and sliding them up and over. You'll find some platforms with suction cups that fit on a high chair- that will buy you some time. Or some that are lightweight enough for baby to pass from hand to hand. Big and pricey are the floor or table models with lots of beads and pathways. These abstract toys develop pretending, eye-hand, language, and counting skills.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2013 Awards
Bitty Baby Doll and book
(Pleasant Company $ 80 Score:)

15" soft-bodied Bitty Baby dolls with vinyl heads, arms and legs have been updated to allow for more options to customize. You have a choice of 11 dolls with differnt hair, skin and eye color combintions. Each doll arrives in a signature sleeper and a Bitty Baby & Me picture book. The updated doll now has a hairline brought forward and eyebrows for a more realistic look. The upper body was also redesigned with arms brought forward -- for better huggability. Beautiful clothes and furniture accessories available.  We also recommend the Bitty Baby Twins (boy and girl toddler dolls $115). As always there are extra outfits for the baby and matching clothes for the child. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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