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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Adrienne and Volcano Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a science experiment of her own— one that really works! Fashionably dressed in a pink ruffled dress with a shrug sweater, a statement necklace and long glorious blonde hair, Adrienne is a beauty who also likes cooking and doing science. She has a matching pair of pink framed glasses that she uses to read the directions directions for her experiment. Her kit comes with parts for assembling a working lava lamp that really bubbles! Her kit does not include the food coloring, veggie oil or effervescent tablet ( as in polident or alka-selter) she needs. That said, the little lamp is very cool! Like the other dolls in this line she’s more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up 

 

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
eeBoo Back to School Magnetic Playboard
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

A new version of the 'make me a story' collection that may be very helpful for kids with back to school jitters. It's metal playboard with a school setting provides the background for a classroom full of playful creatures and their wise old owl teacher. The magnetic backing on the playing pieces can be moved about as kids make up their own stories using the characters created by illustrator, Kevin Hawkes. A good prop for dramatic play or talking through typical angst over the opening of school and new situations. This is not for kids who still mouth their toys. The playing pieces are large and reasonably easy to move about. Good for story telling, listening, and pretend play.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Mckeyla and Lava Lamp Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned knee highs and boots, jean shorts and jacket and a stylish black fedora and long glorious brunette hair. Mckeyla is a beauty who also likes reading detective stories and doing science. She comes with directions and parts for assembling a a working lava lamp that really bubbles. Her kit does not include the food coloring, veggie oil or effervescent tablet (as in Polident or Alka-selter) she needs. That said, the little lamp is very cool! Like the other dolls in this line she's more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Camryn and Skateboard Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned stretch tights, glitzy patterned shorts, a chartreuse knit top, and patterned headband on her long glorious red hair. Camryn, is a beauty who also likes science and the thrill of skateboarding. She comes with blueprint paper that magically reveals the directions for assembling a skateboard she will be able to use. Like the other dolls in this line she’s more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Project Mc2 Doll Bryden and Glow Stick Experiment
(MGA Entertainment $24.99 Score:)

One of a new collection of Mc2 dolls that comes with a different science experiment for each doll--experiments that really work! Fashionably dressed in patterned stretch tights, glitzy turquoise shorts and orange starred cut off top, Bryden, a girl of color is a beauty who also likes science. She comes with directions and the parts for making a working glow stick. The kit, does not include food coloring or tonic water that will be needed for following the step by step directions. Like the other dolls in this line she's more than just a pretty face. A playful way into STEM learning. 6 & up.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Max Traxx Infinity Loop Set
(Skullduggery $119.99 Score:)

Here's the ultimate Max Traxxx Tracer Racers RC Set with a glow-in-the-dark dual loop, 6 dual glow-in-the-dark corners, over 46-feet of glow-in-the-dark track plus 2 remote control Tracer Racers. Kids can set up a variety of own customized racing circuits and then—let the races begin! Like previous Platinum Award winners, these Tracer Racers utilize Light Trail Technology as streak along leaving a trail of lights on the showy Glow-in-the-Dark track. Each Tracer Racer beams down purple light rays from its undercarriage onto the specially engineered track and leaves a glow long after the racer has passed. This is fun to use in light or dark, but they are the most fun when you turn the lights down and the racers and tracks light give off their drama! There are less costly and less complex sets worth considering. Check earlier listings for award winning Max Traxxx sets. The good news is the tracks are interchangeable, so you can combine old sets with new. This big set has a more complex track layout and may need adult assistance to get it set up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Skyrocket Chocolate Pen Kit
(Skyrocket Toys $29.99 Score:)

First we ned to confess; we are chocolahaulics. In spite of that, we usually avoid activity kits that are loaded with sugar. That said, we thought a few holiday sweets would be acceptable and besides--this is such an exceptional idea! Skyrocket's Chocolate pen kit lets you write in liquid confectioners chocolate. Kids can draw one-of-a-kind delicious shapes, letters, or use the molds to make designs. The chocolate melts simply by putting the pen kits in warm water; that's another feature we like a lot. No need to put things in the microwave oven with all the worry of someone getting burned from the hot liquid. The chocolate hardens at room temperature. You might even call this a STEM project, seeing how soldis turn to liquids and then back to solids again. Yes, it is educational and neat, too. The chocolate is self-contained and the melted candy never actually touches the pen; so clean up is pretty simple, too. The kit includes a half pound of premium confectioners chocolate in multiple colors, 50 candy molds, multiple pen tips, and gift bags specially made to share your custom candy creations. What a sweet way to learn your letters or make yummy chocolate gifts for friends and family. A fun family do-it-together project. Candy Craft refills and themed molds are sold separately. www.skyrockettoys.com

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Goldie Blox Craftstruction Box
(Goldie Blox $39.99 Score:)

With this 275-piece construction set, kids can use the goodies in this box for all kinds of building possibilities; kids can build a Spring Car that really zooms, a flower with a stem that expands, a Leap Bot that actually leaps, a flyer that flings through the air and several other devices. They have a sense of humor as well as a basis in science, helping kids discover how many basic machines actually work. We like the poster that shows various models to build as well as proper names for many of the building parts. GoldieBlox pieces are compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys, as well as special craft items like pipe cleaners, string, and pretty papers. Add other items from around the house to extend the play and recycle materials. A great STEM toy that will enhance understanding and play. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Guidecraft Power Clix Solids
(Guidecraft $99 Score:)

A 70-piece set of translucent magnified pieces in geometric shapes. These handsome pieces are an invitation for kids to explore creating new shapes and forms. It's a more open-ended kind of building material that can be used to make abstract designs rather than heavily representational art. Kids are likely to reproduce what they see on the back of the box or in the creativity guide, but hopefully, before long they will try inventions of their own and learn about symmetry and balance in a hands-on unique way. This set, unlike others in the collection is designed for the younger players and all magnets are embedded inside the plastic for safety. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
LEGO Juniors Supermarket Suitcase
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

For your older preschooler and early school age child who has outgrown Duplos and is ready for a little more complex building, this 134-piece Lego Juniors Supermarket Suitcase is a great transition set. It includes a easy to build supermarket with an ice cream bar, vegetable stand plus a bright red scooter and two minifigures and a cat. It becomes a mini-setting for dramatic play as they sort the fruit and other accessories, such as flowers, bread, bottles, and veggies. Testers liked all the small details, including a cash register, money and ice cream. We think it's unfortunate that this one is packed in pink. Supermarkets are fun for boys and girls and this one could have been gender neutral. That said, it is a fun set. 4-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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