Loving Science...
Make it Hands On
Tags: Science toys
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:42:29 By:

 

Making science fun can be as easy as taking a nature walk--collecting leaves, taking note of changes in the light at the end of the day, watching the birds flying over head. My favorite game - guessing how long it will take for the ice cream to get soft is really an in-house science experiment. 

Here are some new and classic science toys and puzzles.

 

 


2009 Award
Crayola Crayon Maker
(Crayola $29.99 Score: )

The Crayon Maker is a past Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner that is making a come back this year. As with the original, kids can take their old crayons and make their own "colors" by combining pieces in the mold. From our point of view, the machine has been improved--you can now see through the dome as the crayons melt. (The process was hidden in the previous design.) The machine will not open until the tray is cool--we put the tray into the freezer to speed up the process. Takes a 60-watt candelabra light bulb--not included but well marked as such on the box. Still lots of fun!

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. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2009 Award
eeBoo Once Upon a Time and Life on Earth Puzzles
(eeBoo $15 Score: )

In this new puzzle collection there are two very attractive sets of 9-piece puzzles called Once Upon a Time by Lizzie Rockwell and Life on Earth by Melissa Sweet.  Each set contains six different puzzles. We think you will need to show kids how to sort the six puzzles by the patterns on the back and then give them some strategies for doing one puzzle at a time and putting each puzzle together by making the borders first. These will be challenging since the pieces are small and may need to be rotated to find the fit. These are a good choice for 4ís and 5ís.
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.

 

 

 


2009 Award
Busy Bugs Floor Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $16 Score: )

Twenty-four big pieces fit together to make a wonderful 24" x 36" floor puzzle featuring a host of summery flowers and bugs. Use the finished puzzle for naming and knowing the bugs and counting them, too. What kind are there the most of? How many are green? Make up riddles about the bug you are thinking of and change roles by having your child make up the riddles. Be sure to give the puzzle builder some cues about putting the frame together first. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

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

 

 

 


2009 Award
Kinder-Ready Art of Science Color Kit
(Elmer's $14.95 Score: )

Designed for the youngest scientists in the making, this is an experiment kit that is ideal for introducing kids to the magic of colors and how they mix to make other colors. Three plastic oversized test tubes with stand and screw on caps come with a supply of 12 fizzy color tablets that are used to explore color changing. This is a kit for parent and child to share. It is not for kids to use independently. It comes with a color mixing tray, two long plastic pipettes (eyedroppers), magnifier, cotton swab, and an excellent manual to walk you through the experiments. There are three outlines of Eric Carle art that kids can color - but that is the least of it. This is science for the beginner that is totally hands on and planned for discoveries. Of course, mixing paints or vegetable coloring will do the same job, but this is a good place to introduce the concepts of observing, making hypotheses, and seeing what happens. The color tablets will run out, but the other materials will be useful for further experiments with paint and veggie coloring. 4 & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

We have just learned that this product is only available at the moment on Barnes & Noble on line.

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

 

 

 

 
1999 Awards
Gears! Gears! Gears!
(Learning Resources $35 Score: )

This is a more open-ended set than the motorized models like Oogly Googly. Kids can build horizontally or vertically. There are sets with small gears only- a good place to start. There are also sets with large gears with optical patterns on them and other doo-dads. All in all it's a great building system that allows kids to experiment with making machines. Great for solo play as well as co-operative building.

SNAP INFO: Fitting gears together not only develops dexterity; it's a challenging way to promote problem-solving skills as kids make moving "machines." Motors can be added, but start with hand power. ACTIVITY: Play a game of "Keep It Going!" Players take turns adding one gear at a time but every gear added must connect and keep the motion going.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 1999. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 
2004 Awards
Insect Lore Butterfly Pavilion
(Insect Lore $29.99 Score: )

A large 2-foot tall updated version of a habitat for hatching painted ladies butterflies. The pop-up mesh tent can be hung or put on a tabletop. This is a three-week long project with all the magic of watching caterpillars transform themselves into chrysalis and then into beautiful butterflies that can be released into your garden. When you bring home the Pavilion you send your certificate for the caterpillars. A good project to capture with camera as it moves along and keep a log of the dates and changes. This size comes with 10 caterpillars; a smaller Live Butterfly Garden($19.99) one foot comes with certificate for five caterpillars. 4 & 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, Later School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


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