Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Active Physical Play

 


2008 Award
Pottery Barn Kids Jumbo Inflatable Bowling Ball and Pins
(Pottery Barn Kids $89 Score:) When we first heard about these super-sized bowling pins we wondered if they would really go over when hit with the really large bowling ball - oddly enough a common problem with toy bowling sets. You probably don't worry about that as an issue--but it is one of our pet peeves--along with boats that don't float. The good news here is that they do go over when hit. The pins are 42" high and the ball is 25" in diameter. Note: each set comes only with three pins. The "big" size is really fun for preschoolers who will enjoy moving them about!

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

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2008 Awards
Little Tikes 6 in 1 Town Center Playhouse
(Little Tikes $399.99 Score:)

One of our preschool testers thought this was absolutely perfect-- they had thought of everything but a porta potty! (His dad's an architect). What's really innovative about this playcenter is that it literally opens all the way up to reveal many different pretend settings. There is a cafe (with a chalkboard for specials, a bistro table, two chairs, and a sink), a gas station (here you can make the price as low as you want!), a town center with a retail store, and a sports center (complete with a basketball hoop, soccer net, and a place for toss games. Center is wheelchair accessible. Note: The only negative we heard back on this product is that it took over two hours to put together. If you're not particularly handy- this may be a problem. As with all of these plastic playsets, we pass on the recommendation we received years ago from Little Tikes to use liquid soap. It sometimes makes the pieces go together faster!

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

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

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2009 Award
Playhut Build a Dino Honeycomb Hut
(Playhut $49.99 Score:) You need plenty of room for this playful dino play setting (164"L x 51" H x 82"D). Comes with individual panels that you connect in order to make your own giantic green dino that has lots of different crawl spaces. Great for play dates, rainy days and countless dramatic play scenarios. 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.

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Plan Toys Push-Along Duck
(Plan Toys $35 Score:)

This all rubberwood push toy has a cute little duck that walks along with flip flop orange webbed feet. It makes an amusing quacking sound as it goes along. For a less noisy variation there’s a blue Push-Along Elephant ($35) that is slightly less noisy and a little harder to push. Though this is a pricey toy, it’s a classic toy that will appeal to toddlers. Once they are up on their feet and walking they enjoy anything that moves along with them and their active independent life style. 19 months & up.  The lower score reflects that there was some difficulty for many of testers to push these two with ease.  The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2009.

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Awards
TotSports Bowling Set
(Little Tikes $14.99 Score:) Six see-through plastic pins are loaded with colorful balls that shake rattle and roll when they are knocked over with the big but lightweight bowling ball. A good classic toy with a fresh new look. Fun for active play indoors or out. Says 2 & up, but 2's won't understand this or enjoy it as much as preschoolers and even early school aged kids. See the SNAP suggestions for making a math game for older kids (800) 432-5437. SNAP Activity: This is a good game that develops eye hand coordination and requires repetitive setting up and fetching the ball. Taking turns and following rules are also built into the fun. Young kids love such games for their own sake and especially if the grown-ups in their lives are bowlers, too. If appropriate, you can build some simple counting or adding skills with this,as well. With preschoolers, keep track of how many pins were knocked down. Keep a tally with chalk or pencil and paper. Make bundles of five stick marks. Player who gets two bundles first is the winner of that round. For school aged kids, tape numerals 1-6 to the pins and have your child add up the scores. Set a number for grand slam winner. First player to knock down ten wins the round!

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

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2003 Award
Nobbly Wobbly Beach Ball
( $12.95 Score:) (Hands On Toys) Here's a pretzel of a beachball with several interlaced plastic tubes that you blow up individually to make a 19" beach ball. Because it's not a solid ball, it is easier to catch. We didn't find the enclosed pump very usefulówe blew it up the old fashioned way!

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2003.

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2000 Awards
ChildLIfe Ultimate SuperChief
(Childlife $3600 Score:) This isn't your father's playset! ChildLife's play gyms are made from yellow cedar that is then covered with green enamel- giving it a smooth, splinter free finish. Older climbers will be attracted to the rock wall, the buoy ball swing, and the clubhouse. Starter sets begin at $800 but you can always add more and more features (kind of like designing a kitchen). The company will help design your "dream" system on their website, by phone or with an authorized dealer. With all climbing equipment, adult supervision is a must. The government recommends a minimum of 6 inches of ground covering (wood chips, recycled mulch, pea stones, fine sand) and a minimum perimeter of 6 feet. For more guidelines, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2005 Award
Hook, Line & Sprinkler
(Little Tikes $13 Score:) Nemo-esque fish spin around a little starfish. Can be used in a stationary position for younger children. Turn the starfish, and now the sprinkler will spin and shoot water in different directions. Also new but disappointing, the Ultimate Beach Ball Sprinkler ($13 ). Once you hook the ball up to the hose, you canít really kick it around. Testers gave this a thumbs down. (800) 321-0183.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
2 in 1 Hitting Trainer Hit-a-Way Jr.
(Coop Kids $29.99 Score:) Our baseball players-in-training can work on their swing with the well-designed low-tech hitting machine. The ball is tethered so that you donít have to run after every hit. Be sure to load the base with water for added stability. (760) 931-5733. For a T-ball that also converts into a battery-operated hitting machine, our testers gave high marks to the new Triple Hit Baseball (Fisher-Price $25). (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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2005 Award
Super Sounds Soccer
(Fisher-Price $29.99 Score:) Young soccer players will enjoy hitting the inflatable ball into the goal (approximately 2' tall x 31?2' wide). You can adjust the target that yells "goal" when hit! Our experienced builder parent said this was a little tricky to put together. (800) 432-5437.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2005.

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