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Product Type: Toys
Award: SNAP
Review Year: 2013

 

 
2013 Awards
Groovy Girls Princess Ariana
(Manhattan Toy $20 Score:)

One of several new princess dolls in the Groovy Girls collection. We liked them all, but somehow the happy looking dark-haired princess seemed most refreshing.  Like all Groovy Girls she is soft and safe and totally huggable and lovable.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Blabla Bunny Rattle
(blabla kids $20 Score:)

A seven inch crocheted bunny with a jingle rattle locked inside. Fits into little hands and soft enough for baby to use with safety, even little babies who typically have jerky hand movements until they gain greater control. Use this with new babies for tracking games. The sound is not startling. There is also a black and white cow, a pink and white piggy and others that are pretty adorable. This is one of a line of stylish products done in Peru at a workshop for women. They are made of 100% cotton and filled with poly and machine washable.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Blabla Pig Rattle
(blabla kids $20 Score:)

A seven-inch crocheted pig with a jingle rattle locked inside. Fits into little hands and soft enough for baby to use with safety, even little babies who typically have jerky hand movements until they gain greater control. The sound is not startling. Use this with new babies for tracking games. There is also a black and white cow, a blue and white bunny and others that are pretty adorable. This is one of a line of stylish products done in Peru at a workshop for women. They are made of 100% cotton and filled with poly and machine washable.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
BlaBla Pom the Apple Dolls
(blabla kids $44 & up Score:)

Newest of the BlaBla huggables, 12-inch Pom the Apple comes wrapped up in a scarf, big sweater, and leggings for chilly days ahead. Or for a bigger 18-inch version ($55) choose her look-alike big sister. If you prefer green apples, check out their Apple the Apple doll. Totally safe with no hidden snags, this is one of a charming collection of knit dolls that are washable. All ages

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

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2013 Awards
Blabla Mini London Dog
(blabla kids $44 Score:)

We like this black and white pooch with high contrast eye appeal for babies. This will be more of a gazing toy for little ones at the start. Part of the BlaBla collection of handmade toys that are washable and have no hidden chocking hazards. All ages.

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

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2013 Awards
Sparkup, The Magical Book Reader
(Sparkup $59.99 Score:)

Connect this new piece of technology that uses a tiny camera as its "eye", and a tiny computer chip as its "brain" to record the pages of any book you read into it. The little wonder of a machine can memorize lots of books or you can store your recordings on the computer. The magical part begins when your child turn the pages of a real book, looks at the pictures, and listens to the story in any langugae, at her own pace. The electronic book reader knows what page to read. You can send the recording via computer to a grandchild who can download to her own Sparkup reader—of course, for long distance sharing you need two Spark-ups. There are a few books that are prerecorded and come on your reading machine. The company promises more books to come. But the magic of this is that you can record old favorites, even hardcover books that you grew up with or today's newest paperback picture books. You do not need to go buy an all new library. Nor are you stuck with typical non-books made to work only with a manufacturer's newest gismo. This is a clever device for beginning readers to use as they listen and follow along to the words on the page. You can also record your child reading and send it to Grandparents across the miles. Or personalize your reading and leave it for kids to listen to when you are out for the evening or out-of-town on business. A lot of Military families are going to like this as another way of connecting.


SNAP: A sure fire way to enhance the beginning reader experience. As listeners kids develop eye sweep as they follow along with the recording. They learn about the mechanics of a book from front to back, from left to right. THese are skills that all kids need to try on before independent reading develops.

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

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2013 Awards
Kids Preferred The World of Eric Carle Discovery Cube Toy
(Kids Preferred $17 Score:)

 A new and inviting look to a classic toy. This soft fabric cube comes with easy to grasp handles. The cube itself is under-stuffed, making it easier for baby to hold and explore. It has tons of sensory feedback for baby to explore. There are crinkle and rattle sounds, a variety of appliqué textures and moving peek-a-boo flaps for little fingers to lift, plastic rings with bumpy textures to grab and taste, black and white knotties, and the bold animal graphics on each side. A good choice for building knowing and naming language when you talk about the animals and the sounds they make, as well as the featured colors on each side of the cube. A charming toy for introducing the joyful patterns and delicious palette of artist Eric Carle.

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

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2013 Awards
Kids Preferred Playtime Plush Toy, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(Kids Preferred $22 Score:)

There are all kinds of textures and patterns to explore on this huggable fabric caterpillar. Based on the famous Very Hungry Caterpillar, it looks straight out of the pages of the book with its big eyes and multi-colored body. The segments of the soft doll have multi-colored dots on the underside and on top there are other painterly Eric Carle patterns as well as plump parts covered in corduroy, felt, plush, and more cotton. There is a happy looking sun with rays of ribbons as well as iridescent feelers, velour knottie legs, and one segment that plays (hard to activate) electronic music--a small loss since we can do without that kind of high pitched music. Two plastic rings are attached onto the long body with crinkle sounds at both ends. Kids who know the story will enjoy lugging this good sized huggable around with them.

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

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2013 Awards
YBIKE Explorer Go-Kart
(YBIKE $179.00 Score:)

Our test family raved about this low-to the-ground go-kart.  Unlike your plastic Big Wheel, this is made of metal and has tires with rubber treads. It does not go super fast and it can be adjusted to grow with your rider.  We suggest adding a flag since it is so low to the ground.

SNAP: For all the reasons stated above, this is a vehicle that is a good choice for some kids with special needs. For kids who cannot balance on a standard trike or bike, this is a safer alternative. It does not tip.

It is also heavy enough so that it will not take off with just a nudge. This is a kid powered vehicle.

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

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2013 Awards
Chicco Tom Push N Go
(Chicco $14.95 Score:)

An easy-to-activate floor toy to motivate crawling. A child-powered rolling toy with a spinning ball inside the body of Tom, an orange and yellow cat. The ball has a quiet rattling sound and just a small push sets it in motion. For dog lovers, there is an spotted pooch called Toby Push N Go. 6 months & up

SNAP: Just a swipe of the hand powers the action, so this is a good choice for inviting beginning crawlers to go get the rolling cat or puppy.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013.

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