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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Active Physical Play

 


2008 Award
ESPN Better Batter Baseball
(Fisher-Price $69.95 Score:) We had mixed reviews about this batting toy. All of our testers loved that the each time the ball is loaded, it plays music from ESPN and says encouraging baseball phrases. We agree, that part is really fun. In order to start the ball loading, you push (with your bat) or step on the red target on the "plate". That was also fun and easy to do. Here's where there was a source of disagreement. The ball is suspended (in the zone) by an arm that has Velcro on it. The ball sticks to the Velcro. For some of our testers hitting it off the Velcro was not a problem. Even some of our hard swinging 3 year olds could do. Others (including some grown ups) had great difficulty getting the ball off the Velcro. For this group, it was necessary to pull the ball of and then re-attach it. Once reattached (but not on as tightly) this group could now also hit the ball. We also found that if you hit out and down, it is easier to get the ball off the suspended arm. For some, a simple t-ball will do the trick. If your child is not a slugger, this may be the way to go. Our best advice, try your neighbor's before you invest in this one. It is much more expensive than a simple t-ball.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Pottery Barn Kids Water Balloon Toss
(Pottery Barn Kids $29 Score:) You're either a water balloon family or you're not. If water balloons are your thing, check out this new Water Balloon Toss game from Pottery Barn Kids. The banner comes with four different holes (of varying sizes) for kids (and adults) to try their hand at. The concept here is to throw the water balloons at the canvas, not at each other-- no guarantees! The banner comes with some rope for hanging purposes.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
HearthSong Great Big Outdoor Playball
(HearthSong $59.98 Score:) When they say BIG, they really mean it. This ball is 52" in diameter! We highly recommend that you buy the electric pump they sell ($29.98) if you don't already have a pump. Each chamber of the blue and green ball must be inflated separately. The ball will be enjoyed by early school aged kids. EDITORS NOTE: Because the ball has two openings that a child can climb into (it was the first thing everyone wanted to do)--this toy requires complete supervision. The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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