GOLD SEAL AWARD: PRESCHOOLERS

July 1, 2020

Preschoolers begin by counting by rote, usually without any real understanding of the meaning of the words they chant. Putting out napkins on the table for each person, counting how many cookies are needed for each teddy bear at the tea party, counting the steps as you climb the stairs...all give meaning to what we mean by two, three, four, and more.

Games also bring understanding, as they spin a number or roll a die and make t...

April 7, 2020

(Mindware $39.95 )

Newest of the Playful Chef line, this is a cake decorating kit that really works! Face it, what kids often like best is icing on the cake and this kit gives them the tools to make their own fancy toppings. The kit includes: 2 springform pans, 2 reusable pastry bags, 4 decorating tips, 3 cake stencils, cooking instruments needed to bake and frost cakes, 6 recipe cards and instructions with pictorial images to...

April 7, 2020

(Mindware $25.95)

Kids with a fascination for space will have fun digging into the 12 asteroids, each of which holds a space object—Alien, UFO, Astronauts, Rocket, and others. It’s like a box of Cracker Jacks with a surprise inside. This kit can be doled out on rainy days or use the individually wrapped asteroids for a space themed birthday party. Each comes with its own chisel and instructions. There’s also a guide with fun fa...

April 7, 2020

(Mindware $17.99)

Designed for toddlers, Duck, Duck, Dance is an active cooperative game for parents and child. There are no winners or losers, only lots of shared giggles, wiggles, and turn taking. There are several ways to play the game, all involving gross motor activities—and each slightly more complex than the last. In the simplest game, player have a turn to roll the pictorial dice and then do the dance move shown by the...

April 7, 2020

(Mindware $19.95)

Put four or more of the 50 Garden tokens into the giant spy glass. Players try to memorize the items. Now, the leader turns the spy glass over and removes one item. Who can name the missing item? This is a memory game that kids are often better at than older players. You can play in teams or cooperatively as a whole group. Marked for 3 and up, but we’d say, more like older preschoolers and early school.

Ages:...

March 30, 2020

(Peaceable Kingdom $13.95)

DA giant 44 piece floor puzzle with a colorful unicorn shape that will be 2' X 3' when it's put together. The pieces have a shimmery foil finish and sone of the pieces are die cut in familiar shapes such as a star and butterfly. Comes in a sturdy storage box with a cord handle.Marked 3 and up, but we think 44 pieces are a lot for preschoolers to handle independently. 

Ages: Older preschoolers, early sc...

March 30, 2020

(Peaceable Kingdom $17.95)

Who doesn't love a picnic? Here's a perfect picnic basket loaded with plates, a cloth to spread on the ground, and an assortment of foods in three different shapes and colors. Each player gets a plate and takes turns digging into the basket to find one of the three shapes to fill his dish. OR turn the plates over and players take turns pulling out a food of three different colors. There's no race to b...

March 24, 2020

(Creativity for Kids $9.99)

For travel or quiet time activity, sticker sets with pre-made scenes are often good for pretend play, storytelling and using fine motor skills. These new sets from Creativity for Kids feature three play scenes with fifty sensory stickers. Some stickers are shimmery, sparkly, smooth, puffy, and some even rattle. Unlike the usual play scenes and stickers, only the puffy ones are reusable. So, as they d...

March 24, 2020

(Mudpuppy $14.99)

You’ll find six thick and sturdy puzzle boards with one shaped puzzle piece—the baby animal—that must be fitted into the big scene. Kids match the babies to the parent on each board. Introduce one board at a time and talk about the scene. A good chance to introduce the names of baby animals and their parents. Add some sounds and maybe a story. These are marked 1-3 although we think discovering how to turn the...

March 24, 2020

(Mudpuppy $9.99)

First games for preschoolers are often about matching and these dominoes that feature colorful dinosaurs are sure to please. Young dino lovers will like matching the colors, shapes and images of these teethy meat and plant eaters. The set of 28 sturdy dominoes are fun for solo matching games as well as turn taking. These are a little more challenging than most pictorial dominoes since the dinos that match do no...

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