Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Puzzles

 


2010 Award
Guidecraft Primary Puzzle Board
(Guidecraft $19 Score:)

Finding puzzles for beginners is not easy. Many have too many pieces and tiny knobs or no knobs at all for lifting the pieces. This is the exception. Beautifully crafted in wood with stout handles, the five geometric puzzle pieces fit into a slanting board that lifts it off the table top or floor. Each shape is painted to match the place on the board where it fits. You can talk about the colors and shapes as they use this toy to reinforce shape and color concepts. Marked 1 and up, we think this is a better choice for 18 months and up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP IDEAS: For children with difficulty grasping objects, adapt this by slipping a large foam curler over the handle. Children can also use these shapes for tracing or making patterns by pressing them into play doh. For all the reasons listed above this is a solid choice for developing language and math concepts as well as dexterity and matching skills. ACTIVITIES: Play a shape finding game. Play a circle game by looking for all the things in the room you are in that are shaped like a circle. Another time make a riddle of it. I Spy something in this room or on the table that is the same shape as the circle. Declare today Circle day and eat a lot of foods that are circular..i.e. cherrios, doughnut, crackers, burgers, berries. Cut up a banana into disks and count how many sweet circles there are to eat.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Forest Friends Block Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14 Score:)

Nine blocks have six different scenes that can be turned to show animal baby and parent images. These are stylized scenes with big and little bears, owls, foxes, deer and squirrel. Also fun, Playful Pets ($14 4.5)with even more decorative images, a dog, cat, turtle, fish, mouse, and cat. These are marked 3 & up. We think 3s and 4s will need help to do these block puzzles that help kids learn about assembling parts into a whole image. 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: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Awards
Lauri Alphabet Puzzle Boards
(Patch $29.99 Score:)

Crepe rubber puzzle boards.  There is one 5 piece puzzle for each letter of the alphabet. Each board has an upper and lower case letter and an object that starts with that sound. There are a lot of Alphabet puzzles around, but these have cut out letters that give kids a 'feel' for the shape and direction of the letters.

SNAP IDEAS: Kids can trace the letters or use them for spelling out their names. When kids are learning letters it's fun to put three in a bag and have child feel inside without looking. Can she pull out the letter "T" or one that says "M-m-m-m."

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

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2009 Award
Simms Taback Animal Parade Floor Puzzle
(Briarpatch $18.99 Score:)

You are going to love the look of this handsome 48 piece floor puzzle. Each animal pictured comes in four pieces with the background color serving as a clue. You do need plenty of room for this loooong puzzle and younger kids may need help to get started. But not to worry, the big pieces make this ideal for younger kids. After it is complete, be sure to play a riddle game by taking turns telling a few sentences about the animal you are thinking of and see if your child can find it. For example: Say 'I am thinking of an animal that goes hippity-hop and has a bushy tail.'  Add a color clue, if needed, or a rhyming clue. Encourage kids to take turns in making up the riddles. Also special, the Simms Taback Jumbo Floor Puzzle ($18.99) with farm animals.  They say 3-6. We're sure 3's will need help. So will most 4's. 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Busy Bugs Floor Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $16 Score:)

Twenty-four big pieces fit together to make a wonderful 24" x 36" floor puzzle featuring a host of summery flowers and bugs. Use the finished puzzle for naming and knowing the bugs and counting them, too. What kind are there the most of? How many are green? Make up riddles about the bug you are thinking of and change roles by having your child make up the riddles. Be sure to give the puzzle builder some cues about putting the frame together first. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

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

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2009 Award
Creature Floor Puzzles
(Chronicle $24.95 Score:)

Striking oversized animal portraits of a Chimpanzee, Asian Elephant, African Lion and two Tigers are featured on four 16 piece puzzles. Each of Andrew Zuckerman's close-up images is a memorable photograph, full of detail. All four puzzles come in one set. Since these are 2 double sided puzzles, children may need some help using problem solving strategies to keep the puzzles from getting totally mixed up. Each puzzle when assembled is 2 feet square. This is fairly challenging, despite the oversized pieces. Cutout fit in places they do not belong and turning the pieces to find the correct place it will fit, is far from simple. That's why we do not think that the age designation of 3 & up on the box is fair. We'd say 3's and 4's with a parent helping would be hard pressed to put this together. At the earliest, we'd say 5 & up.  Normally this would knock the product off the Platinum List, but it's such an amazing puzzle we want to be sure it doesn't get missed.  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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
eeBoo Once Upon a Time and Life on Earth Puzzles
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

In this new puzzle collection there are two very attractive sets of 9-piece puzzles called Once Upon a Time by Lizzie Rockwell and Life on Earth by Melissa Sweet.  Each set contains six different puzzles. We think you will need to show kids how to sort the six puzzles by the patterns on the back and then give them some strategies for doing one puzzle at a time and putting each puzzle together by making the borders first. These will be challenging since the pieces are small and may need to be rotated to find the fit. These are a good choice for 4s and 5s.
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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Awards
Katy Cat & Beaky Boo
(Mudpuppy Press $14.95 Score:) This company continues to make marvelous puzzles from picture book art. There are 20-, 24-, and 36-piece floor puzzles in handsome, sturdy storage boxes. Also new, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Martha Speaks, Where the Wild Things Are. Past favorites: Go, Dog, Go!, Today I Feel Silly, & Bunny My Honey. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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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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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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