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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 

 
2004 Awards
Insect Lore Butterfly Pavilion
(Insect Lore $29.99 Score:)

A large 2-foot tall updated version of a habitat for hatching painted ladies butterflies. The pop-up mesh tent can be hung or put on a tabletop. This is a three-week long project with all the magic of watching caterpillars transform themselves into chrysalis and then into beautiful butterflies that can be released into your garden. When you bring home the Pavilion you send your certificate for the caterpillars. A good project to capture with camera as it moves along and keep a log of the dates and changes. This size comes with 10 caterpillars; a smaller Live Butterfly Garden($19.99) one foot comes with certificate for five caterpillars. 4 & up.

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, Later School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Award
Discovery Awesome Avalanche Kit
(Discovery Kids $19.95 Score:) At first glance this avalanche kit seems a lot like most of the volcano kits you may have seen - a five-minute wonder. But our 11-year old tester liked painting the model of Mt. Everest. While it was drying he and his mom read through the excellent booklet that explains how real avalanches happen, as well as the nature of the "insta-snow" - grains of white polymer that come with the kit. Add water to a measure of "insta-snow" and "Watch out below!" It cascades from the mountaintop! This kind of polymer is used in indoor snow-boarding parks and is related to the super absorbent polymer in disposable diapers. There are a number of other hands-on experiments and the good news is that if you store the saturated fluffy "insta-snow" in an open container, they shrink and dry and are ready to do their magic again. Our tester now insists on showing all visitors a demonstration. Adult supervision suggested.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
My Birdhouse
(Balitono $19 Score:) One of the best outdoor crafts is to prepare a birdhouse for backyard visitors. Balitono's new kit is already constructed; it's made of solid wood (7 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 6 1/2") and has drainage holes, a removable roof, and a ventilation slot for added comfort! Kids can enjoy painting the house with the included paints and varnish. We'd recommend pairing this kit with a bird guide book, a pair of binoculars and a log (for keeping track of the birds that come to visit).

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Wooden Shoe Wanna Paint These?
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $24 Score:) Hands down one of the favorite kits of the year for our testers. Kids paint their own designs on the wooden base of these Dr. Scholl’s like slides. Comes with paint, brush and design ideas. Our testers liked the "cherry" motif best! Come in five sizes: from a kids 12 1/2 to a ladies 8 1/2.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Paint Ceramic Beads
(Alex $16.95 Score:) Here’s a really juicy bead kit that our testers wanted to start on right away. Comes with two large heart ceramic pendants, 16 square ceramic beads, 10 other shaped ceramic beads, seed beads, paints, brushes and cord. Because there are two heart pendants, this would make a good project for two friends to work on together. You can choose to paint and bake them –in which case adult supervision is a must. Our 9 and 11 year old testers thought they were grown up enough for kids their age, but though younger kids would enjoy them as well.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Tutti Frutti Safety Pin Bracelet
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $5.4 Score:) Our eleven, ten, and nine year old testers were thrilled with the results of this small kit that includes colored safety pins, beads, elastic and clear directions for making a very pleasing bracelet. Given the price, this kit would make a great activity for a craft/slumber party. Younger girls will need adult help.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2004 Award
Moose in the House
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

There's a Moose in the House remains one of our all time favorite card games.  It's unlike most other games you'll play with your kids nad has a sense of humor and great artwork. Calls for visual discrimination skills!  So we have elevated this unique game to BLUE CHIP status!

Here's our original review:

One of the most innovative card games we have played in years. The cards have pictures of empty rooms, doors, and moose in the same rooms. The object is to place as many moose in your opponents’ house of cards as possible. The player with the fewest moose at the end of the game, wins. Easy to learn and a lot of fun to play! 2-5 players.

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

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Award
Wig Out!
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

The object is to match all of your wig cards to those on the table. Be fast…there are no turns here. Everyone is trying to do the same thing whether it’s matching pony tails, beehives, or Mohawks!   First player to get rid of all his cards wins. 6 & up.

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

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2005. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Awards
Color Pixter
(Fisher-Price $84.99 Score:) A hand held no-mess art platform that allows kids to create countless combinations of designs with the easy to use stylus on the touch sensitive back-lit screen. While there are many premade images and backgrounds, kids can also create their own original designs. The Color Pixter is far superior in terms of graphics to its black and white predecessor. Comes with a headphone (if you don’t want to hear the sound effects and a volume control). Additional cards are available: Color Arcade, SpongeBob, Color Recue heroes, and Barbie Fashion Show.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
20Q
(Radica $9.99 Score:) How does it know? Play twenty questions with this handheld machine and it really seems like magic! The programmed answers also have a sense of humor. Updated this year with a larger screen and buttons. PLATINUM AWARD ’05. New for 2007 , themed versions ($14.99 3, sports, music or movies) were too hard for our testers. (800) 803-9611.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2005.

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