Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip
Age: Toddlers

 

  
2014 Awards
Early Years Stack N Nest Cups
(International Playthings $7.99 Score:)

Looking for a toy that will go the distance? A classic set of nesting cups may look old fashioned, but to your baby they are new and loaded with fascination! With their wide easy to grasp rims, these cups are fun for floor play as well as the tub. They have safety holes in the bottom, so they cannot form a vacuum on baby's face. These are what must-have basic gear for sitting up babies. No bells, whistles or lightsójust solid hands-on play with seven bright cups that stack into a 12-inch tower or nest neatly inside of each other.

note: the link online calls this a toddler toy, but the box is marked as it should be : 6 months and up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Guidecraft One to Four Sorter
(Guidecraft $25 Score:)

Hands-on learning is built-in to this classic math for beginners puzzle. There are 16 wooden pieces that fit on the rounded pegs. They have 1-2-3 or 4 holes that fit on the 1-2-3 or 4 pegs. The smooth wooden pieces are colored with aniline dyes and made of eco-friendly rubberwood. Everything fits on the smooth natural finished base. Use these for color sorting as well as matching numbers. This comes with a small activity booklet with good ideas for introducing the toy and math and color concepts. This also develops fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. 2 & up.

SNAP: A good choice for beginning counting skills and developing visual discrimination.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
North American Bear Flatopig
(North American Bear Co. $36 Score:)

Welcome back Flatopig! A few years ago we gave the original version of Flatopig a Platinum Award. That one was retired for a while but the review vanished from our site. Like the original Flatopig this big 25" huggable is understuffed and like all the other Flatso farm critters, it is totally pleasing for toddlers who like big dolls to lug about, but cannot handle anything too heavy. The company tells us the new version is softer and has denser plush, and black stitched eyes instead of blue. In the new line there is also a much smaller 15" version ($17); a much smaller $10 rattle or an all new Flatopig cozie($10) But, keep in mind, the giant 25" version is the 'Wo-wee!' choice.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Ambi Ted & Tess Carousel
(Schylling $19.99 Score:)

Welcome back, Ted and Tess! A classic toy that has been missing in action for a few seasons. These spinning bears go round and round when baby pushes the knob on top. The brightly colored spinning top is made of sturdy plastic and has a flat bottom that sits flat on the floor. A fun toy for learning about cause and effect and for making things happen. Babaies will need adults to sctivate the bears, but in time they will be able to make it happen. Such a feeling of power! 6 months & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: It's not always easy finding toys that respond to a swipe of the whole hand. This classic spinning toy is sturdy and easy to activate.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Geometric Puzzle Board
(Guidecraft $22 Score:)

Five big geometric shapes are easy for toddlers to grasp with the big wooden handles. In addition to knowing and naming these basic shapes the puzzle pieces are color coded as a clue for beginners.   Use the color words to reinforce color concepts and matching skills. 

 SNAP: These geometric shapes are especially easy to grasp with their oversized handles. In addition to learning the names of these basic shapes and colors, use them for tracing or stamping into play dough. 

Play an I SPY game: Pick up the circle shape and say I see more circles in the room. Let's see how many we can find. Now hunt for other circular shapes such as a dish, a clock, a wheel on a toy. Expanding what we mean by circles helps to build the concept. Work on just one concept for a few days before moving on to the squares or triangles. You can even bake cookies in the shape-of-the-day...use different size drinking glasses to cut out big and little circles.  

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

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2009 Awards
Sassy Fascination Station
(Sassy $10 Score:)

An update of an old favorite, this high chair toy has a big suction cup to fasten on the high chair or it can be detached from its stand and used for two handed play. The bold contrast spinners are sure to attract visual attention and delight babies who love the power of toys that they activate with ease. There are two see-through balls with spinners inside and bright colored clackers that invite exploration by little fingers. 6 months & up.

 The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

SNAP INFO: Finding toys that respond with a swipe of the hand is not always easy. This clever spinning high chair toy can be used as a hand held tether and rattle. Suction held toys often do not hold well. This one is better than most, thus freeing you from holding the toy and empowering a child to make it work. There is plenty to see, hear, and feel as balls and clackers with bold graphics and textures turn. Best of all, it detaches to become a two-handed toy to explore.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Jumbo Bunnies
(International Playthings $12.99 Score:)

These colorful bunnies have been hard to find for a while. This is an old favorite toy for filling and dumping, banging together and eventually connecting in long rows or other funny stacks. They are easy to grab hold of and put together or pull apart. The nine-piece set has six bunnies in six colors and three connectors. 1 & up.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.  This product has been discontinued.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Quercetti Interlocking Star Shapes
(International Playthings $12 Score:)

Toddlers like toys with multiple pieces and these six colorful star shapes are challenging for little hands to put together and pull apart. There may be a short learning curve for the putting together action, but these big plastic pieces they have no right and wrong order. These not only help build motor skills, they can help knowing and naming color words and simple counting. 1 & up.
        The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
 

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

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2001 Awards
Color Wonder Paper and Markers
(Crayola $7.99 Score:)

This innovative art material is great for travel as well as home because the chunky markers are colorless and won't stain anything. Best of all, they have a magic quality-they turn color as kids draw on the special paper. This comes with coloring books that keep color inside the lines, but we prefer the open-ended paper that kids can use any way they like. 2 & up.

SNAP INFO: There's something magical about these markers with colorless tips that turn to true colors when used on special paper. A great choice for encouraging kids to develop the eye hand skills they need for writing. Activity: Use a crayon or regular marker to make dots kids can connect with the special markers. Draw dots to form letters, numbers, or pictures.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2000 Awards
Music Blocks
(Small world toys $69.95 Score:)

A new addition to our Blue Chip Award list. Remains one of our favorite toys, ever.  Here's what we wrote in 2000: One of the most innovative toys of the year! We were skeptical about such an expensive musical toy for kids-that was, until we played it! Imagine five colored plastic blocks each side with a geometric shape and representing a different sound. Match the shapes or play them in random order -there's no right or wrong way. Push on the blocks to play musical phrases! What sets this toy apart is the quality of the sound: woodwinds, trumpets, percussion. Comes with "Mozart's Night Music" cartridge. Bring home the "Rhythms of the World" cartridge right away. The new Disney music cartridges are not recommended since they produce a disconcerting disconnected effect so that songs do not make sense. We also found that the new Discovery Block, a big fabric block with peek-a-boo surprises was overly loud, frenetic, and too didactic. Teaching concepts such as "hexagon" to toddlers who are just learning to speak seems out of sync and not especially playful! 2 & up.

snap info: Want a rewarding tool for developing matching skills? Color concepts? Cause and effect? It's all here, plus great sound quality! Players touch blocks to activate a musical phrase or rhythm. Shapes on the blocks determine what instrument you'll hear. It's fun to mix up the shapes on the blocks for a variety of sounds. Kids with visual disabilities can "read" raised symbols on the blocks. Pricey but one of the most innovative toys we've found for kids with or without disabilities. New for 2000, update with extra cartridges ($19.99 each) of Bach, Jazz or Rhythms; a Cyber Cartridge ($49.99) downloads music from the internet.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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