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

 


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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2006 Award
Only Hearts Club Ballet Studio & Stable
(OHC Group $50 Score:) Settings for these 9" dolls with bendable bodies, delicately etched faces, and charming accessories, as well as small books that relate to typical problems of girlhood. The two sided Ballet Studio Theatre ($50) has a mirror and bar for doll to go through her paces. On the other side is a theatre with curtain where she can perform for an audience of other dolls. Very cute. For young horse lovers, this is a beautifully crafted Stable($75) With stables and tools for grooming horses( included) As for the dolls, girls need considerable dexterity to get the little shoes and clothing on and off. Unlike most fashion dolls today, these have outfits that would be acceptable to well-heeled parents and grandparents. They are dressed like girls—not funky streetwalkers in training. Our testers were thrilled with the Ballet Studio Theater, Stable ($75 ) and dolls. All are PLATINUM AWARD winners. (805) 456-0241.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Woody Click Firehouse
(HaPe $99 Score:) This firehouse with mini firetrucks, firefighters and other pretend props is part of a new line of wooden pretend settings that are ideal as props for block building and pretend play. Also notable in the line is a police station and hospital, the latter with heliports and their own vehicles and figures. They can be taken apart and rebuilt, but this takes some dexterity and adult help. That said, these are handsome. Look for the construction trucks, too in bright yellow. All of these came too late for separate review in the annual book, but they are all Platinum winners. Choosing the right one will be your pleasure.

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

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2006 Award
Swan Lake Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this pink dream dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays as she dances!Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Swan Lake Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2006 Award
Tchaikovsky Musical Dress
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

Push the button in this red tulle and satin dress and your little ballerina has her own orchestra that plays Nutcracker music as she dances! Musical chip is hidden in a pocket inside the dress. Once she starts dancing, the music is magically motion activated. One size fits most 3-6 year olds. Or if you prefer, just a multilayered Nutcracker Musical Skirt($24) with elastic waist and sparkle dots. Great for active dramatic play!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2006. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
Get Real Gear
(Aeromaxtoys $49.95 Score:) We were impressed with this company’s themed jumpsuits: new for 2007, an astronaut’s white suit and an amazing helmet ($43.95 5) that comes with audio commands for a “lift off”—really for 4s and up. Past favorites: Jr. Air Force Pilot and Jr. Championship Racer. Come in sizes for kids 3–12. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. They have new gender-specific doctor outfits (not our speed). (877) 776-2291.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Awards
Hokey Pokey Musical Skirt
(Acting Out $32 Score:)

Following the success of last year’s Platinum winning Swan Lake Musical Dress ($32 5) and Nutcracker Sugar Plum Musical Skirt ($26 5) that gave little ballerinas an orchestra they could activate as they danced, this season dancers can turn themselves around as they do the Hokey Pokey in a polka-dotted skirt with motion-activated music. All make magical gifts to stir active imaginative performances. 3 & up. (877) 727-0222.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Award
My Picnic Basket
(Alex $20 Score:)

We liked the sturdiness of this 18-piece set that comes with blue enamelware including plates, cups, spoons, forks, and tablecloth. Great for real picnics or pretend tea parties.   All stored in a lovely wicker basket that closes- just like the real thing.  5 & up.


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Smoby Star Party Duo Mix Set
(International Playthings $59.99 Score:)

A set of mikes perfect for American Idol wannabes and host. Unfortunately, very gender specific in pink and lavender. For a solo mike there's Star Party Micro Star ($39.99 4). Both have applause sound effects. 5 & up. For the full disco effect, check out Smoby Star Party Disco Bubble and Light ($64.99). You might just need this faceted-mirrored disco ball that turns on a platform with an automatic bubble maker and spotlight. Not exactly a toy, this is more like a piece of equipment to add a twinkle to parties. 5 & up. (800) 445-8347. These products have been DISCONTINUED.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Tin Tea Set
(Alex $24.99 Score:)

The problem with so many tea sets is that they are too delicate for preschoolers. In fact by law those beautiful porcelain sets must be marked 8 & up. Yet it's really the preschool crowd that loves a tea party! So here's a great (and safe) alternative. Done in pinks and greens with a splash of yellow, this set is all tin. Comes with 16 pieces including the tea pot, four cups, plates and a tray (for proper serving!). Better yet, the whole set comes in an attractive case (with a sturdy handle) for on the go tea parties.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2007. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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