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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2006 Award
Family Fun Game
(Cranium $19.95 Score:) Designed for teams of grown-ups and kids to play together, players use visual memory, creativity, factual information, cooperation, and communication skills to win. For example, with timer going, a player must sculpt a turtle of clay; or recall sequence of a pattern without looking; or name five zoo animals, each new one beginning with letter of last one named. There’s plenty of thinking, doing, and laughing, too! 7 & up. Still top rated and geared for younger kids, PLATINUM AWARD-winner Balloon Lagoon ($19.99 5 & up) and Cranium Cadoo for Kids ($19.99 ) are similar to the new game but this one is played by kids with other kids. 7 & up. (877) 272-6486.

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

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2006 Award
Raceway 57 and Chaturanga
(Front Porch Classics $74.95 Score:) Our older testers loved both of these new games, Chaturanga ($44.95 ), an Indian game, is said to be the earliest form of chess. It’s a strategy game with an element of chance, as players roll wooden dice and play one on one or in teams. Raceway 57 has a handsome track, mini-cars, and metallic playing boards. Players race to be the first to finish three laps without running out of fuel, tires, and suspension. They say 8 & up—we’d say more like 10 & up. (206) 826-3202.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Chaturanga
(Front Porch Classics $44.95 Score:) Our older testers loved this Indian game, said to be the earliest form of chess. It’s a strategy game with an element of chance, as players roll wooden dice and play one-on-one or in teams. They say 8 & up—we’d say more like 10 & up. PLATINUM AWARD ’06. Also noteworthy, a Bookshelf version of Raceway ’57 (PLATINUM AWARD ’06). Our players did not love the design or play pattern of the new Wordspot (3); “there are more exciting word games like this.” (206) 826-3202.

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

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2006 Award
Whoonu
(Cranium $16.95 Score:) It’s all about knowing the people you are playing with; players take turns at being the “whoozit” and others get points by guessing what objects named on the playing cards the “Whoozit” likes best. Even testers who do not like board games love this card game for three or more players. Still top-rated, Zigity ($12.95 ). Visual discrimination and word and number play are all part of the fun. 8 & up. (877) 272-6486.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2008 Award
FLY Fusion Pentop Computer
(LeapFrog $99 Score:)

A sleek update of a truly innovative product with the computer is built into the pen that works with special paper to create a variety of options: a working calculator, a translator, and our favorite, a musical keyboard you can draw and then play on your paper. But our testers LOVED that they could take notes on the special paper and that they were converted to a document on their computer. "So cool!" It might make you want to do seventh grade again...ok, not really, but you will want your own pen!

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

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2006 Award
EZ 2 Quikrochet
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $15.99 Score:) Remember as a kid making yarn snakes with a wooden spool knitter? This kit updates that craft by including beads to work into your creations. Comes with four pastel sets of elastic and a plentiful supply of glass beads. Our more experienced beaders (10 & up) thought it was fun but told us that younger kids may find it difficult on their own. The kit is marked 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Watch It!
(Alex $24.95 Score:) Technically not much of a craft kit, but this watch kit was a HUGE hit with our testers. The kit comes with a watch and seven different colorful ribbon bands (very J Crew). Would make a great birthday/holiday present. Surprisingly our teen testers really wanted their own set.

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

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2006 Award
Harry Potter LUMOS Book Light
(Lightwedge $34.95 Score:) Better than a flashlight under the covers, the Harry Potter LUMOS Book Light PLATINUM AWARD (Lightwedge $34.95 ) comes with an acrylic lens that you place over the book page and it lights the page evenly. Truly amazing! Also comes sans Harry Potter motif and in smaller versions. You’ll want your own. (877) 777-9334.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Harry Potter Deluxe Edition Scene It?
(Screenlife $49.95 Score:) Chances are you’ve seen and even played Scene It? before. Players race to identify and answer questions from old films or TV shows. This one is especially for Harry Potter film aficionados, with images and questions from all the Harry Potter films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (866) 383-4263.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2006.

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2006 Award
Big Brain Book Interactive Dictionary
(Oregon Scientific $34.99 Score:) We don’t love the cartoonish illustrations in this big book of words, but that said, it has a stylus that reads the definitions on the oversized pages. Children will need to learn how to click the stylus each time they change pages, but once learned they can enjoy this independently. This is a better choice than the Encyclopedia from the same maker, with information that seems more appropriate for middle school. 5–8. (949) 608-2848.

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

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