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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2004 Award
Bird Diner Kit
(Balitono $17 Score:) This diner attracts smaller birds such as finches, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches. We'd pair it with a set of binoculars, a bird book, and a log. Also for the outdoors, Spiral Windchime Kit ($17). 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Build a Bird Bath
(Creativity for Kids $24.95 Score:) A parent/child project for the garden. Three pieces need to be put together and painted. Part of the National Keep America's Birds Clean Campaign.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Deluxe Clear-View Nature House
(TWC of America $15.99 Score:) The Deluxe Clear-View Nature House ($15.99) is a sturdy hut-shaped wooden house half see-thru, half screened with sliding door; a perfect temporary habitat for observing bugs and small critters. 6 & up. Also, Soil Dweller Nature House Kit ($20) for making a wooden-framed house for earthworms. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Crunch Art Travel Set
(Hands on Toys $11.95 Score:) A travel version of this innovative, open-ended art project (see page 138) comes with sectioned holders loaded with tools and supplies-great busy work for car or plane.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Gameboy Advance SP
(Nintendo of America, Inc. $99.99 Score:) Our Gameboy experts gave high marks to the improved screen that has more light and bolder graphics. These games can become all-consuming, so be sure to set some ground rules. That said, they are great for road trips for older kids. You can also add a Game Link so that kids can play against each other.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Deluxe Boggle & Yahtzee
(Hasbro $19.99 Score:) These classic games have been updated in travel zip-up cases, and have quiet rolling cups so they won't disturb fellow travelers. Boggle has an electronic timer, too.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Totable Journals
(Mudpuppy Press $10 Score:) These 144-page journals come with a handle, stickers, and an assortment of lined, graph, and blank pages for kids to keep track of their adventures. Themes: Nature Quilt, Funky Girl, and Scary Stories. Company also makes locked diaries that will appeal to older girls. Also recommended, the Kids Travel Journal ($9.95). 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Awards
Crayon Sticks
(Elmer's $2.99 Score:) These oversized crayons are softer than most and will be easier to grasp. These are fine for encouraging big sweeping arm motion and tracing or free-form drawing. (888) 435-6377. SNAP AWARD: ACTIVITY: Use these on big shhets of paper on the floor, a table or easel. For developing eye hand these give juicy results- something like thick colored markers, but greasy. They may smudge some so, a shirt to cover up clothes may save some trouble.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2003 Award
Timely Reader Booklights
(Capstone Industries $14.95 Score:) Better than the old flashlight under the covers trick for avid readers! The light plastic booklight attaches easily to your book and even comes with a timer. A great choice for inspiring reluctant readers and true readers will appreciate the added light! You can set the timer for up to 90 minutes. Comes in red, neon colors, and animal prints.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2003.

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2004 Award
ETX 90AT Telescope
(Meade $595 Score:) Our reviewers gave high marks to the ETX-90AT because it comes with the Autostar computer controller (usually only found on much more expensive models). The Autostar computer allows the viewer to find celestial objects by using the hand-held automated controller. (This technology was recently featured on the West Wing.) The AT model also comes with a tripod. We would recommend this model for tweens and up. A worthy investment for a family of star gazers!

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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