Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Toddlers
Categories: Pretend Play


2014 Awards
Little People City Skyway
(Fisher-Price $39.99 Score:)

It is a race to the surprise finish to discover where the winner is going to exit from this mighty three-foot skyway. Will it come out of the side exits or jump off a ramp. It is different every time. Besides, kids can flip the switches and to change the cars path. No batteries are needed to make the two little vehicles zip and zoom down the ramps. The set up also includes a working crane, gas pump, traffic signals, parking meter, and a gate that opens and closes. All great ingredients for early dramatic play. This is a really big piece of plastic that will be a wow-eee gift for toddlers who love playing the same game again and again. It may be a stretch for small toddlers to reach the top, but most twos will enjoy taking charge of the action. It is definitely big enough for two kids to enjoy together...think twins. Marked 18 months to 5 years. We think twos and threes are the right age for this.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on

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2014 Award
Janod Framboisine Doll's Pram
(Janod $74 Score:)

Scaled for an older toddler and small preschooler, this colorful doll pram is perfect for pushing dolls, teddy bears about for dramatic play. It is not weighted, so it is meant for two's who are steady on their feet. It is not a walker for toddlers who are still holding on for security. Pricey, but one of those lovely toys that can be used and passed along to younger sibs or cousins.  Bright pink with polka-dots, this is a pretty gender specific toy.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on

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2014 Awards
New Sprouts Shop It!
(Learning Resources $24.95 Score:)

For little pretenders, shopping is good fun and this hand held market basket comes with fruits, veggies, two plastic cans and two boxes and a scanner that beeps. Fun for playing store. Add some real food packages or light boxes. Since the scanner will beep on anything you can expand the props with ease.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2014.

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Earlyears Baby Driver
(International Playthings $12.95 Score:)

Of course, every baby likes to be in the driver's seat and run the show. Here is a toy that makes that dream a reality. A small steering wheel makes a rachet sound as it is turned. It has a knob with gearshift that takes on three different position, plus a clicking direction signal, a quiet beep-beep horn, and a view of other cars on the road when the wheel is turned. Best of all, this attaches to a tabletop or high chair tray with a heavy duty suction cup. 6 months & up.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: .

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2013 Awards
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car
(Fisher-Price $60 Score:)

You know how car salesmen tell you the car they are selling is fully loaded? That would be a good description of this red activity center that is shaped like a car. It has wheels but does not move around. It's designed for sitting up, crawling, and even toddlers who are cruising. There's a dashboard with steering wheel, lights, and buttons to activate--always a favorite of toddlers. The back wheels spin and one side door opens and closes so tots can go in and out. There is a shape sorter on one side and a ball run on the other, a windshield wiper that talks about the weather. All the pieces are sized up for young players. This toy takes some time to put together with screws and stickers. It says 6 months to 36 but we think this will be used most by babies who are crawling, cruising and beginning walkers. Lots of ways for them to make things happen and for early games of pretending.

SNAP: There's still plenty to do even though the wheels of this sporty red car do not move the vehicle about.  A good choice for a child who is ready for pretend without the need for pedals or foot power. Think of it as a pretend setting with so many ways of making things happen.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on

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2013 Award
Step 2 Creative Cooks Kitchen
(Step 2 $190 Score:)

Our two-year old tester loves having a kitchen of his own and his mom loves the fact that it is big enough for more than one child. He's also a tall two and this play setting "fits" him with ease. Offering his mom coffee from the coffee pot, talking on the phone, using the condiment bottles and opening and closing the window shutters are some of his favorite features. His mom says she has pushed this away from the wall so that he can get behind the windows and use it for taking orders--although she wished the backside was more finished for two-sided play. That said, she is happy with the many ways it is being used and said she would recommend it to others. Designed in bright gender-free colors, this is currently only available at Toys R us.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Hape High Chair
(Hape $45 Score:)

Easy to assemble, this all-wooden high chair is pink, white and natural wood finish. The feeding table does not lift, so no fear of pinched fingers. It is low enough for older two's to use for feeding dolls and teddy bears. Comes with a pink seat cushion for dolly's comfort. 2 & up

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on

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2013 Award
New Sprouts Cook It! My Very Own Chef Set
(Learning Resources $24.99 Score:)

Just right for twos, this new six piece chef set is ready for some pretend cooking fun!  Comes with a pan, a pot and lid, a slotted spoon, mixing spoon and bright orange colander. We're delighted with the gender-free color choices (purple, orange, green, teal and grey) - making this a set without any built-in agendas. Pieces are plastic and sturdy - and could also be used in the bathtub (especially the colander!).


Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Awards
Farm Activity Mat
(North American Bear Co. $75 Score:)

A scrumptious set of 12 fabric farm animals. Each fits into a pocket inside this zip up mat with a bright red barn and grassy green meadow all around. We could have done without the numerals on the animals. They each fit into a pocket that shows a small graphic of the related number of animals. For example, the cow with a numeral three on its side fits into the pocket with the image of three cows. Similarly, a pig with a  nine on it goes into a pocket with the image of nine pigs. The images are very small and hard to count for the age group this toy is going to reach. That said, this is a fun "knowing and naming" toy and the soft animals will be fun to use for pretend lay on the farm side. As for matching number words and numerals, or sequencing numbers, those are kindergarten and beyond skills that are beyond toddlers. The toy seems much younger than school years, but it is beautifully made and will also be a fun toddler toy for talking, pretending and for un-filling and refilling with help.

SNAP: Lots of knowing and nameing games can be played with this set of animals.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Award
New Sprouts Cure It! My Very Own Doctor Kit
(Learning Resources $24.99 Score:)

The black bag is back! But are there still doctors carrying them? Never mind, it will store all the chunky plastic tools a pretend doctor needs: a stepthoscope, ear scope, thermometer, syringe, and bandage. These upsized pieces are intended for early games of make-believe. Ideal for playing out feelings about those well-baby check-ups. Our tester found that the sticker o the thermometer ripped when the prop was twisted in play. That said, she reports that the kit made an awesome hit! "He loved everything about this set! He loved organizing the tools into the cute doctor bag. He loved using each tool one after the other, and the syringe is especially cool because it has the plastic accordion piece inside to mimic giving a real shot. He loved using the ear scope to check not only ears, but eyes and mouths as well!"

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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