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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Lottie Doll Collection
(Arku $19.99-34.99 Score:)

Lottie arrived a little late this season but better late than never! She's one of those special collectables, only 7.5 inches tall, available with different hair color, styles and interests. Best of all the Lottie collection conveys positive messages about the many roles girls can play. While her clothing choices are vast, she is more than another fashion plate. Like girls today, she has interests as varied as karate, soccer, riding and the solar system. Lottie Stargazer ($24.95) is dressed in a warm jacket, boots and hat to go out on a wintery night and view the sky with her own telescope (included along with solar system cards). Girls are encouraged to visit the European Space Agency website, www.esa.int/kids to find space information, quizzes and games. Pony Club Lottie ($34.95) is the biggie of the season; a blonde Lottie dressed in riding clothes and packaged with her own black beauty pony. There are many other accessories for the young rider and this is sure to make a hit with the young horsie set. Also new and less pricey this season, Lottie Fossil Hunter with her backpack and hiking clothes, or Muddy Puddles in her yellow slicker and Rockabilly, a musician who wears a vintage school jacket and glasses. Each are $19.99. Like a number of other doll collections this year, you can find Lottie dolls with the accent on sports, active life and several with a link to STEM learning. For a small collectable, she has a lot of versatility. Marked for 3 and up, we think these will be easier for slightly older girls, who will be able to get the clothes both on and off. Preschoolers generally do not have the fine motor skills to handle the tiny shoes and clothes; they do well with the undressing part and then will need adult help to get the tiny clothes back on or add this to their collection of naked dolls.

 

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

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2015 Award
HearthSong Monarch Connectagons
(Hearthsong $49.99 Score:)

A beautiful building set with painted wooden pieces that fit together to form a garden of milkweed on which to perch the painted monarchs. There is no right or wrong way to build this, yet it involves dexterity, symmetry, problem solving and creativity. 139 pieces. Marked 4 and up, but a better choice for slightly older children with the eye hand skills needed to make this stand.

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

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2015 Award
Faber-Castell Create With Clay Kit
(Faber-Castell $14.95 Score:)

The perfect kit for beginning artists who are new to the world of clay. It comes in a nice carrying case with 10 colors that do not dry out. Includes a rolling tool, 8 cutters, a texture plate, and push mold. This kind of art material builds not only creativity, it's a good way to develop eye hand control as well as strengthening fime motor skills they need for writing. Comes with a generous supply of clay--enough for a play date without running out of supplies. 

 

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Mon Premier Diaper Backpack
(Corolle $42 Score:)

For girls on the go, this new fabric and color way of the original diaper backpack; perfect for carrying a 12-inch doll and all of baby's accessories. Unzip it and there is a changing pad for diaper changes. This is marked for 18 months and up, but we'd say it's a better bet for 3's and up. A perfect take-along for overnights at Grandma's or longer trips.

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Les Cheries Camille Riviera
(Corolle $54 Score:)

This year's Les Cheries dolls collection offer a tempting variety of choices. They are all 13-inches and can wear any of the many beautifully fashioned clothes in the Les Cheries collection. Camille Riviera is oo-la-la and ready for the South of France. She wears a high-fashion trouser combo, with a big brimmed  hat, scarf and sandals. Her friend, Les Cheries Clara is ready for the holiday party in a festive gold and white dress with a designer purse and gold flats. She has hazel sleeping eyes and long, silky red hair. Les Cheries Chloe Salon de The is all dressed up for teatime in Paris. She wears a tonal pink blouse and pants topped with a fashionable collarless grey jacket and accessorized with a tassel-trimmed bag and matching oxford-style shoes. Or choose Les Cheries Chloe Ballerina, dressed in a sparkly pink tutu set. Chloe's silky hair can be worn down or styled up. Marked 4 & up we think these will be enjoyed by slightly older girls who can better manage their lovely clothes.  

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Les Cheries Cecile a la Tour Eiffel
(Corolle $52 Score:)

This lovely 13-inch African American doll is dressed this season in a fashionable ensemble of a pink top with blue polka dots, cuffed jeans, and gold trimmed blue jacket with a tiny embroidered Eiffel tower. Her sassy pink beret, pink and red cap-toe ballet flats, and blue bag give Cecile a fashion forward look. She has big brown eyes, a friendly smile, and silky, long black hair for brushing and styling. Or consider Les Cheries Cecile Soiree Gala doll; featuring Cecile dressed for an evening outing in a bright pink, bow-accented dress under a purple cropped jacket with sparkling accessories. Either way, like all Corolle dolls she is lightly scented with vanilla. Marked 3 & up, but we think this is more like a 5 & up doll.
 

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Mademoiselle Coquette Brunette
(Corolle $84 Score:)

A fashionable 14-inch doll with big brown eyes, a friendly smile and long brunette hair to brush and style. She wears pink cord shorts with grey sweater trimmed in pink and a white fake fur vest. Her stockings are silvery grey and fit perfectly into her silver two strap slippers. Also charming, Corolle Mademoiselle Coquette Redhead, same size and shape but has red hair and freckles across her nose. She wears a purple velvet skirt and matching headband with a metallic blue sweater with white Peter Pan collar. You'll love her silvery stockings and purple slippers trimmed with blue bows. 3 & up.

 

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

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy Feathery Friends Cardboard Tube Craft Kit
(Mudpuppy Press $19.99 Score:)

An interesting way to introduce kids to the craft of using cardboard tubes and turning them into imaginative peacocks, owls and other feathery friends. The kit comes with material for making cardboard roller bases, though kids will soon see the fun of using tubes found from toilet paper rollers and paper towels. Recycling is a big idea they can take away from this craft kit. But for immediate fun the 80+ pieces includes felt sheets, patterned papers, feathers, goggly eyes and self stick cardboard tubes all ready for designing. The kit does not include glue or scissors, but it's a safe bet you have both and probably better than the kind of scissors and glue that often comes in kits.  Younger crafters will probably need your help with cutting the felt. The company also makes a tubes kit for making monsters (the kind and size kids can handle.) 6 & up.

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Mademoiselle Coquette Redhead
(Corolle $84 Score:)

A fashionable 14-inch doll with big brown eyes, long red hair with bangs, and freckles. She wears a purple velvet skirt and matching headband with a metallic blue sweater with white Peter Pan collar. Her silvery stockings and purple slippers are trimmed with blue bows. 3 & up

 

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

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy On the Road 63 Piece Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $12.99 Score:)

Kids love vehicles and this roadway scene is bound to attract their attention. Fitting the vehicles together will make the 63-piece challenge somewhat easier, as will the skyline pieces that will probably make this easier to build from the top down. Marked for 4 & up and may be better choice for slightly older kids or with lots of help for younger children.

 

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

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