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Product Type: Toys
Award: SNAP
Review Year: 2013

 

 
2013 Awards
Play-Doh Plus
(Hasbro $8.99 Score:)

Play-doh has been updated to make it softer and smoother than ever. It has an almost silky feel and will stay that way if stored in air-tight containers. This set has eight different vibrant colors that can also be used with special tools that are sold separately. The package indicates that it is non-toxic, but does contain wheat. 2 & up.

SNAP : A classic model material that is even more pliable now. Excellent for developing hand and fingers. Also good for shaping snakes to form letters, giving children a sensory feel of forming letters.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Magnetos Better Builders
(Guidecraft $49.95 Score:)

A 30-piece building set of rods and balls shapes that looks like an earlier construction set from Guidecraft, but turns out to be even better than the original award winner. The round pieces are updated in steel and give a stronger connection, allowing kids to make more complex structures. Colorful and chunky, the pieces are right for small hands and safe enough to allow young layers to investigate the power of magnets. It comes with a 24-page guide for parents that will help you expand the possibilities as you introduce kids to the magical science of magnets. The new set also includes a storage bin- a welcome addition for clean-up time. 2 & up

SNAP: With magnets safely out of reach, this is ideal for open-ended connections. You can also use it for building counting skill, color concepts or making simple patterns.

Age: . Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Winkel
(Manhattan Toy $14.95 Score:)

Easy for little hands to grasp, this colorful toy can be used for tracking games with newborns and will be perfect as baby begins to reach out and take hold of things. It is easy to clean, light-weight and fun for passing back and forth and teething when baby gets to that stage, as well.  It contains no water, but if you refrigerate it, it may be soothing for teething babies. The company says that the "Winkel is made of PU tubing (polyurethane) and as such does not contain BPA or PVC and meets the SPSIA and European requirements for phthalates." Newborn and up

SNAP: An uncomplicated but lightweight toy with endless ways to play. No lights or whistles, but it will be used it for tracking, grasping, rolling, tossing, tasting and teething.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Mod Baby Shake-a-Shape Set
(Manhattan Toy $22 Score:)

A three-piece fabric play set with lots of textures, patterns and colors to explore. Squeeze the ball and it squeaks, shake the triangle and it jingles, press the a cube and it crinkles. Light enough for baby to hold and pass from one hand to another as he explores the fussy, silky, and bumpy sides of these first soft toys with bits of ribbons and colorful bumps. Use them for little hide and seek games to engage baby's growing awareness of object permanence. Roll the ball for a little game of roly-poly.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Hape Galloping Zebra Cart
(Hape $69.99 Score:)

Perfectly balanced for beginning walkers to pull up and walk around with. Toddlers will love making the two black and white zebras go back and forth as they push this smoothly finished cart about. Designed for that still not all-together steady stage when wobbly tots are getting their balance. It allows them to hold on while they take those first independent steps to becoming true walkers. Though this is a short-term use toy, it is one that has a real function and is sturdy enough to pass along to cousins, new siblings, or good friends. 12 months & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Sassy Non-sters La-lee Discovery Spots
(Sassy $19.98 Score:)

One of the larger non-sters, from a new collection of huggables. This one has a yellow knit body with long patterned arms. There are four colorful dots on the body of the doll but only one makes a noise, a quick but funny sort of sound, like water gurgling. This is really a little lesson in cause and effect, remembering which dot to press to get the sound. Like all the dolls in the line, this has stitched features. Newborns and up.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Manhattan Toy Finger Paint Fun
(Manhattan Toy $20 Score:)

Designed for little hands, this fingerpaint kit comes in a cute tin carrying case loaded with four colors of washable finger paint, three plastic scrapers with different edges and three stampers. Ideal for exploring textures, colors, and open-ended hands-on painting. You will need to provide the paper, apron or smock and drop cloth to protect the work surfaces. 3 & up.

SNAP: Chubby handles on the painting tools are easier to grasp and ready for exploring.  Some children are reluctant to put their hands directly into the paint, while others will see no reason to use the tools. Either way, with tools or hands-on painting offers opportunities for them to see how paints blend to form new colors as well as giving concrete meaning to words like wavy, straight, jagged, wiggly, etc. It also encourages whole hand, arm and finger motions that provide a sense of control and sensory feedback. Messy? Sure. But play and learning go hand in hand with some messiness. Cover up their clothes and the work surface and be prepared for serious clean-up. Keep it playful.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
eeBoo Animal Face Tot Tower
(eeBoo $20 Score:)

A fresh look to a classic set of nesting and stacking cardboard blocks. With art from illustrator, Stephanie Graegin, there is a lot to look at here and talk about with tots. Each block has a jaunty colorful animal face, a rhyme, a numeral, and objects to count from 1-10. For starters you will do the stacking, but in time toddlers will be doing the action. Use them for where did it go games, put a small toy under one back and mix up a few...where is the hiding toy? There are so many ways to incorporate a classic like this into meaningful interactions that expand your toddler's language and size order concepts. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Corolle Babe Elf Grenadine Heart Doll
(Corolle $21.99 Score:)

A super pink and lavender update of the 2011 Platinum Award Winner, this new take on the Babicorolle Elf doll now has a super vivid pink hat (rather than the original orange).  She still comes with a quiet little jingle inside. Elf Grenadine is just nine and half inches and dressed in non-removable velour-like and knit fabrics. Her face is vinyl with painted on features.   If you prefer more pastel tones, look for Elf Apricot with a light pink body, hot pink hat and apricot arms and trim. Either of these makes a cozy choice for baby to explore and for you to use for lap time games. 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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