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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2008 Awards
eeboo Thoughtful Girl Paper Dolls
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

An old fashioned favorite minus the frustration of having to cut around those tiny tabs or tricky edges! This is not to say old paper cutouts are out. But these paper dolls are for a younger player. The precut clothes and dolls allow girls of 4 and 5 to develop the dexterity of placing the stick-on clothes onto a pair of multicultural paper dolls. Made of sturdy cardboard they are almost 8” tall and come with two sheets of clothes that stick-on like your old Colorforms. To add to their dramatic play value, each set includes a two-sided setting that stands up like a stage set. There’s an inside scene and an outside setting. Sasha, a redhead and “Botanist” and Jasmine, an African American girl, who is an “explorer.” They are just one of several available sets. Others include Elodie and Naomi, a musician and artist or Phoebe and Iris, a poet and astronomer. An ideal choice for quiet time, travel, or waiting room wiggles. 4-7.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. SNAP Award An excellent toy for developing language, naming parts of the body, clothing, colors, as well as story telling skills. Unlike the usual paper doll cut-outs these dolls demand a different kind of dexterity. Children may find lifting the plastic pieces up challenging. One way to make that easier is to place them on a less shiny surface. Put the pieces on construction paper or a wooden table. Game: Play a color game, giving a riddle and asking child to find a piece of clothing that is the color of a green turtle. Or make the riddle about something you can wear on your feet that is the color of a truck tire. With older kids switch roles and have them give you a riddle about something they see.

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

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2008 Awards
Acting Out Jingle Bell Rock Skirt
(Acting Out $40 Score:)

Totally in tune with the holiday season! This red and white net skirt has a peppermint striped bow with a bell and plays Jingle Bell Rock music when your little dancer begins to move. Action activated, this is good fun for getting up off the couch and moving. Also see Acting Out's Musical Waltz Dress. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: Finding ways to encourage kids to play actively comes built into this motion activated skirt. For children who may not be able to dance, this is still a fun skirt to wear and use the music maker for stop and start games. Have child hold the toy and when they shake it you do the dancing...freeze when the music stops. This is an empowering game that puts them in charge of the action.

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

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2009 Award
Acting Out Musical Adventure Cape
(Acting Out $30 Score:)

A reversible cape allows pretenders to switch from pirate with skull and cross bones on a black satin cape to a knight with royal shield on red satin. This has a stand up collar and Velcro closure that kids will be able to do on their own. Better yet, they can add adventure music to the action with a press of a button on the motion activated device that fits into a secret pocket in the cape. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab. 3 & up.

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

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2009 Award
Acting Out Musical Hokey Pokey and Can Can Skirt
(Acting Out $44 Score:)

Here’s a new twist—two different tunes to dance to instead of just the usual one. Music is motion activated with music device that is tucked into a pocket of this pink polka dotted skirt. Made of satin and netting with a fru-fru hem of ruffles, this is a fun way to get kids up and moving. 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. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Plan Toys Eco Town
(Plan Toys $150 Score:)

Let's just say from the start, this is an expensive product--but it is very special and will work well with other settings from this company.  This new miniature setting includes a small house, a little train station, an eco charging station (yes, not necessarily for gas), street accessories, and a play mat. This eco town has solar panels, wind mill, and runs on eco renewable energy. You can add more vehicles and other settings to this basic eco-city. 3 & 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Plan Toys Green Dollhouse with Furniture
(Plan Toys $199 Score:)

A five room eco friendly doll house that is not only made of chemical free rubberwood, it is a model for our homes of the future. It comes with furniture AND a wind turbine and solar panel for generating energy. It has a recycling bins, a rain barrel for collecting rain, an electric inverter, and a blind that adjusts the sun and air. The small bushes are made of green pom-pom and the furniture has small cushions for decorating. Best of all, from a play standpoint, it's easy to get your hands into from many angles. This means that several children can play at one time. This is a pricey toy, but one that will stand up over time. If you are interested in a wooden dollhouse, check out the company's A-Frame doll house, as well. 3 & 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Secret Pocket Capes
(North American Beara $40 Score:)

These satin capes are fun for playing fantasy games such as super hero, princess or magician. They are fitted out with a big pocket on the back for displaying your own special crest. For the aspiring magician, there are pockets inside for setting up amazing tricks—stowing the magic bunny or scarves to abracadabra! These are two-tone capes with colorful contrasting linings. Choose red, hot pink or blue.  3 & 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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2004 Award
Border Collie Puppy
(Folkmanis $36 Score:) Black and white with long silky fur on underside, jowls, and tail, this is a huggable full-body puppet with sweet face and mouth that moves. Still charming, a 30" honey-colored Golden Retriever ($60 ) Also new for , an amazing Great Horned Owl ($50 ) with moving head and eyes that close.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Costumals
(Manhattan Toy $10 Score:) It's hard not to play with these animals dressed up in costumes. There's Beesly Bear, Daisy Dog, and Cleo Cat. Still top rated, Knightingtales Puppets ($10 each). You need all five fingers to make the most of these velour royals-a king, queen, and knight. Perfect for fairy tales.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Olivia Saves the Circus Set
(Madame Alexander $99 Score:) This collection is as scrumptious as Olivia herself. The Circus Set comes in a big hatbox with ringmaster, clown, tight rope-walker, and dog and lion trainer outfits. Lion, dog, and pop-up tent also included. Olivia's Trunk Set ($85) also is very special with Olivia plus ball gown, bathing suit, tutu, two dresses, and lots of jewelry. You can buy Olivia in her red sailor dress with her red purse, striped tights-with articulated ears. 3 & up.

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

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