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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2009 Award
Too Many Monkeys
(Gamewright $11 Score:)

Our testers loved that they were playing this game within minutes of reading the directions! Primo the Monkey would like to sleep but there are other monkeys, elephants and giraffes that are keeping him awake. The winner is the one that gets Primo sleeping all by himself. That's the storyline...the game play is a series of fast-paced rounds where you are trying to get your monkey cards in order (from one to six)...if you win the round, you get to have fewer cards...until you have only one monkey. But if you get a giraffe or elephant--you skip your turn--there are also wild cards that our players loved getting! You can play this game with 2-6 players--more fun with at least three players. 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Elia Mini Chair
(Elia Fun $29.99 Score:)

We've seen a lot of cardboard furniture in the past, but we were attracted to this chair (designed by an architect). They have a very modern clean look and our testers loved that they can hold up to 200 pounds! Our testers had their older siblings take a seat - putting the chair through its paces. This completely recyclable project also got high marks for being reversible so that there were two decorating opportunities. You can use the included big stickers (think Marimekko inspired)...or you can use your own materials to decorate. Lots of fun...a table is in the works.

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

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Award
Yamslam
(Blue Orange Games $19.99 Score:)

If you love dice games and math games, Yamslam will be right up your alley. You're rolling the dice in order to collect the corresponding chips before your oppponents do. You roll in the tin container...that looks like it's a travel game for the Ocean Eleven crowd. The Vegas/poker style look of this one attracted some of our older testers. A good game for building math skills.

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

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Gobblet Gobblers
(Blue Orange Games $19.99 Score:)

The game play is the same as the original Gobblet and Gobblet Junior (both past Platinum Award winners). The object is to get three in a row like tic tac toe, but with the additional wrinkle of different sized pieces - so you can gobble up your opponent's piece and win! Now comes with a wooden grid instead of a game board. Still the same fun strategy game.

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

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Shrinky Dinks Deluxe
(Creativity for Kids $24.95 Score:)

Here is a super size set of 60 genuine Shrinky Dinks with to turn into all kinds of accessories. The kit comes with 10 sheets of Shrinky Dinks to make charm bracelets, gift tags, jewelry, hair clips and keys chains. Crafters will find cord, gift cards, 8 color pencils, sharpener, and hole punch to make their designs. These are fun to color. Then an adult bakes them and abracadabra...they shrink! A plentiful supply for parties, play dates or solo quiet times. We gave this a scientific lead. Talk about how they change and what makes them shrink. Can they think of other things that change when heat is added? What happens to food such as cakes or cookies? How about a sweater that goes into the hot dryer by mistake? Adult supervision is a must when the oven is in use. We'll say it again...ADULT SUPERVISION NEEDED!. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.  7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Eye Can Art: Sumi-e Painting Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

Here's a kit that introduces kids to the quiet delights of Japanese Sumi-e art. It comes with a special Sumi-e brush, watercolor black ink, rd paint and a block and foam for making a "chop" to sign one's art with in traditional style. There is a small supply of paper and just a small sample of ways to paint. Of course, sum-e art is often about copying and you might want to go online to find more samples, so kids get the idea of what artists have done with just one color of ink and a variety of brush strokes. Too bad there are not more examples in the idea brochure. But that said this is a good way for kids and adults to try an ancient art form. 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: 2009.

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Eye Can Art: Wax Drawing Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

This is strictly a kit for parent and child together! There is wax that needs to be melted in the oven and this step must be done entirely by adults. The box says adult supervision in small print. We are telling you this in LARGE PRINT—ADULT SUPERVISION IS A MUST! That said, this is an interesting ancient art form. It comes with two wooden frames that you draw on with oil pastels supplies in the kit. Then you press a sheet of beeswax over the art and you bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. When it comes out it needs to cool before anyone touches it. An interesting kit but not for young kids or impatient adults, for that matter! The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2009 Award
Eye Can Art: Printmaking Kit
(Eye Can Art $28 Score:)

An interesting introduction to printmaking that comes complete with brayer, printing ink, tagboard, glue, papers and instructions. This is a kit for parent child projects. The supplies are fine and the directions are clear. A good choice for outdoors where the newspapers under the art work can be tossed. 8 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Creativity for Kids Butterfly Paper Mobile
(Creativity for Kids $18 Score:)

This is a challenging kit that will take patience and fine motor skills. The pre-cut butterflies need to be assembled after they are colored and then hung so that they balance and move on the metal mobile frame. This is no simple task from assembly to completion. That said, it does end up as an attractive decoration for kids to hang in their rooms with a sense of pride and accomplishment. We usually steer away from coloring projects, but this is a lot more. In fact the coloring part is the smallest part of this activity that may require some adult assistance. 7 & 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2003 Awards
Monopoly: The American Edition
(Parker Brothers $29.99 Score:) Our Monopoly fans were delighted with additions to the traditional game, which include trivia questions in order to get out of jail! Play pieces include slices of Americana, including apple pie and the Liberty Bell. You're playing for the Grand Canyon, the Declaration of Independence, and the Phonograph.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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