Part Science/part art this is a kit with everything needed to turn old paper into new. Kids can make their own paper and decorate it for cards. Comes with shredded paper, but you can recycle the many kinds of paper that come into your home. The kit includes a basin, paper making tray, screens, sponge, paper punch, scissors, stencil and many more goodies. This is a kit that introduces how to create your own tags, cards and even jewelry.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Picking up on this year's political banter, the folks at Etch-A-Sketch have provided both blue and red versions of their classic product.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
What could be better than bringing home one of your childhood favorite toys and sharing it with your children or grandchildren? That's what you can do with this replica of the original Colorforms Set that has 350 geometric pieces in a spiral book and playboards to put them on. Unlike all the licensed images that followed since 1951, this is a more open ended set that allows kids to create their own themes. There is a small insert with images that can be copied, but best of all, this is an invitation to explore and discover how shapes can be transformed into designs and less literal images from one's own imagination. It's also an art form with no messy residue and no right or wrong rules. Getting the pages started may call for some adult help, but playing with the shapes develops fine motor skills, dexterity, and creative thinking.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
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.
Boy dolls are still not too abundant, yet boys and girls both like having boy dolls. This classic Cabbage Patch doll has a soft huggable body and is dressed with khaki chinos a striped buttoned shirt. He has big blue eyes and a pair of dark framed glasses. The glasses, a small extra, just might be a great hit for kids who are also wearing glasses. This is one of a collection of 14" newly refreshed Cabbage Patch dolls.
3 & up.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.
Take your pick of these 12 charming Cabbage Patch dolls. This newly reintroduced line includes both boys and girls, fair and dark haired, in many skin tones and cute easy on and off clothes. Many come with glasses that are especially pleasing for kids who also wear them. These are 14" soft fabric dolls with their typically silly faces and huggable bodies. 3 & up.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.
For Boggle aficionados this is the ultimate Boggle game with a bigger grid and nine more letters than the standard game. With this new edition you can make longer words or just more words than the original game. Shake the cubes, turn the 3 minute sand timer and start writing! When time is up players read their list and cross out any words the other player also saw. Your score is then based on the words left on your list. They have added a double letter cube that adds Qu, An, He, Er, Th, and In to your word building choices. We have to admit to being addicted to the Boggle App on the iPad, but this one allows more people to play at one time--a great family game. 8 & up.
Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
We gave the original Lucky Ducks game an award years ago when it first arrived on the scene. In this new edition, the game play has not changed but Ernie has been added to the motorized game board. Players stand in front of one of four color symbols- their home base. When the game begins players take turns picking up a duckie hoping to be the first to collect three ducks with their home symbol on the bottom. It's a fun matching game that reinforces color and shape concepts as well as turn taking and learning about the gamesmanship reality--you win some and lose some. There is no reading involved in this preschool matching game. 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: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
You may have played this game as a kid. This is the 25th Anniversary Edition of a challenging game that is never the same twice. The playing board keeps changing so there are always new mazes to travel. This anniversary edition is packaged in a tin box for safe-keeping and includes 12 extra maze cards with encrypted messages. You move your character through the maze seeking treasures hidden in the sliding tiles of the labyrinth. After 25 years and millions of players, this qualifies as a classic for 10's & up.
Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
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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