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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2014 Award
Seedling Design Your Own Birds House
(Seedlings $29.99 Score:)

A smooth pre-assembled birdhouse comes ready to paint and then put out for your feathered friends. The kit includes three tubes of acrylic paint, a stiff acrylic brush, and instructions.  There is no hanging devise so you may want to tie this in place in a nook of a low tree where kids can keep watch. A great way to introduce kids to birding. Help them start their life list of the birds they have sighted.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Tape-a-Doodle Arts and Crafts
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

You get five different tape-a-doodle dispensers along with markers and a spiral bound journal to decorate. Using the tape is sheer magic. Each tape dispenser has a different color and pattern and there’s no problem with pulling the tape out or cutting it. All you do is roll it and it leaves a colorful trail. This set comes with 98 feet of tape and it will stick to surfaces other than the books provided. If you want to experiment with the tape alone you can bring home a three pack with 55 feet of tape. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Creativity for Kids BFF Stamp Art Scarves
(Creativity for Kids $24.99 Score:)

Two silky-sheer white cotton scarves come in this craft kit along with permanent fabric paint, 2 sponge brushes, a peace sign, heart, flower, and cloud shaped foam stampers, a work tray, plastic sheet and very clear directions. Keep in mind that the fabric paint will stain clothes and counters, so the directions are very explicit with cautions. We also suggest wearing vinyl gloves, although they are not in the kit. Once the design is on the scarf it must dry for 24 hours and then rinsed to set the paint. In short, this is a kit that will need adult supervision and assistance. It's also the kind of kit that kids love since they make an end-product they can actually wear and share. Marked for 7 & up, we think it will be better for slightly older girls 9 & up, and even they will need supervision.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Creativity for Kids Rhinestone Headbands
(Creativity for Kids $20 Score:)

Ten flocked headbands come with stick-on strips of glittery rhinestones as well as sheer ribbons to tie on. A fun kit for solo use...make a wardrobe of headbands to go with all of her outfits or use this for a sleep over craft that the girls can share. To avoid bad feelings over color choices have them draw slips with color names. You may want to add ribbons or cut these in half since there are only five ribbons and ten headbands. This craft calls for some dexterity, but basically it is an easy to do and satisfying craft with wearable end products. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Creativity for Kids Rubber Band Snap Wraps
(Creativity for Kids $17.99 Score:)

A terrific craft kit that can be enjoyed at a party, overnight, playdate or solo.
It comes with five brightly colored silicone snap wrap bracelets and more than 300 thick and thin rubber bands in vivid colors for making patterns that make each a unique creation. The kit also includes 10 metallic charms (peace signs, flowers, keys, hearts, and stars) with easy to use jump rings that attach to the colorful bracelets. Kids can use the ideas in the instructions or design their own. A satisfying craft kit with end products kids will like to wear.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Peaceable Kingdom Say the Word Game
(Peaceable Kingdom $24.99 Score:)


Fun for the whole family, Say the Word is a word game that involves silly story telling and recall. An appointed Story Master picks a character card and deals out three cards and a cue card to each of the other players. Now players take turns adding a word to the story. As words are incorporated into the story the Story Master writes them down on the erasable storyboard. Once 10-12 words are used, the next player does not draw a new card, but begins to retell the story, recalling and incorporating the words that are on the storyboard. Here's where the cooperative but often silly play comes in: if a player can not recall a word you can give up your cue card and the Story Master must try to act it out for you. If you still can't remember another person can give you his cue card and act out the word. The round ends when there are no more cue cards. Great for a small group of mixed ages that involves memory, story telling, and charades. Comes with 200 word cards, cue cards, story board and marker and is best for three to six players. Age 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Peaceable Kingdom Noodle Speedoodle
(Peaceable Kingdom $24.99 Score:)

Players take turns at grabbing one of the squiggly looking plastic noodles and a word card. Player must incorporate the noodle into a doodle drawing that represents the word chosen. If anyone can guess what you have drawn, you get to keep the noodle. At the end of the game the person or team with the most noodles wins. There are several variations of play with a spinner deciding how you play. A fun party game for 3-6 players ages 8 and up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Back 2 Back
(Smart Games $14.99 Score:)

Our testers loved the challenge of this grid puzzle where you are working both sides of the vertical board. You have to completely fill both sides of the board with the 11 colored pieces. There are 60 challenges included. Each of the pieces have different configurations which makes it all that more difficult. The game is small and compact enough to take along as a "real life" game.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Play Like a Pro Basketball Hoop
(Little Tikes $72.99 Score:)

Basic gear for active play! This adjustable hoop (from 4 to 6feet) makes this a great choice for preschoolers and early school aged kids interested in learning how to shoot some hoops!  Light enough to make this a choice for inside or outside play.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Krazy Kars Max Traxxx Tracer Racers
(Skullduggery $29.99 Score:)

Awesome. If you're looking for a car track set, look no further. First, the set comes with two cars that have LED lights on the bottom (you can change the settings to adjust the type of pattern the car will leave on the track). Yes, the cars leave a trace of LIGHT. Did we mention that the tracks will light up in the dark from the LED lights?  Our testers loved  both leaving LED on all the way--this lit up the entire inside of the track or putting the LED lights on pulse...which left a broken pattern on the track. Either way - this is a hit. The tracks go together well and come with suction cups so that you can make two ramps and race the cars.  The company tells us that there is a patent pending, we just know this is sooo much fun.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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