Chances are you had a set that looked a lot like this old favorite play-doh hair styling kit. But, wait! We bet your set did not have the option for a Mohawk haircut. For the 21st century child, this updated classic comes with a three thimble heads, six cans of play-doh, a scissors for trimming and a tall barber chair with a crank that turns and makes the clients hair grow. It's a fun toy that many children will enjoy returning to often. Turning the crank calls for some muscle power and choice making, too. 3 & up
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A giant size tin container holds a 111-piece set of Lincoln Logs; truly a collector's item with all wooden pieces. This is you dad's all wooden Lincoln Log set...if he is old enough. In any case, it is just the way today's grandparents remember their Lincoln Logs days before premade plastic eaves and roof pieces came along. A great set for multiple kids to enjoy together. Pull this out if you have frequent visiting grandkids. It will keep them busy or get down on the floor and build a village of log structures with them. Labels on Lincoln Logs are often marked for 3 and up. Forget that! All a three year old can do is watch you build, knock them down or be frustrated trying to build them up. Save this for your older 5, 6 and 7 year olds and be prepared to work with them until they get the hang of how the logs fit together and how to stack the roof pieces so they don’t all clatter down. Kids get a real sense of accomplishment from learning how to do this and trying to assemble different structures. It calls for visual discrimination as well as dexterity and problem solving. This is no instantaneous toy. It takes patience and thinking.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Welcome back, Humpty Dumpty! Your sitting up baby will enjoy batting at this rolling toy that never goes too far. In fact, it rolls away and then comes right back, so even before baby can crawl, this is a fun toy for active play and making things happen.
Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Need a gift for Grandma or Grandpa for a family celebration? This version of the original game comes with retro cards and money, wooden hotels and houses, and tokens that were used when the grandparents, parents and kids from the 30's to the Millennium played with. A perfect choice for keeping some of the crowd quiet and engrossed at your next family reunion. there is a fancier version of this with golden playing pieces. Game play and playing pieces are otherwise the same. 8 & up.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Looking for a toy that will go the distance? A classic set of nesting cups may look old fashioned, but to your baby they are new and loaded with fascination! With their wide easy to grasp rims, these cups are fun for floor play as well as the tub. They have safety holes in the bottom, so they cannot form a vacuum on baby's face. These are what must-have basic gear for sitting up babies. No bells, whistles or lights—just solid hands-on play with seven bright cups that stack into a 12-inch tower or nest neatly inside of each other.
note: the link online calls this a toddler toy, but the box is marked as it should be : 6 months and up.
Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
This is where we started when Magformers were first introduced. It has all the basic pieces for making a dome, a square, a star and so many other geometric forms. We have to confess, we loved the dome that goes together like magic and remains a favorite at the toyportfolio. Like all of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. 6 & up.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A set of 40 upper case magnetic letters with patterns selected from the Cooper Hewitt Museum collection. These have full magnetic coverage on the back instead of the old fashioned little magnets that were typical of letters you may have played with on the fridge. 3 & up
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.
A giant 50"X 32" wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar U.S.A. map for their room. Kids will like marking the places they have been or following sports or world news by seeing where in the world things are happening.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A giant 50” X 32” wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar World Map ($8.99) for their room. Kids will like putting stickers on their personal map--marking the places they have been (or want to see) and following sports or world news; locating where in the world things are happening. An interest in mapping begins early if encouraged by making maps relate to their interests and experiences.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A barrel of building fun comes in this giant size container with 109 wooden logs, plastic door, windows, roof plus a cowboy, horse, corral gates and corral, flag, feeding trough, hay and other small accessories. An instruction booklet will help beginners, but once they get the feel for this classic building set, kids come up with their own structures. Fun to use for dramatic play once the buildings are made.They are marked 3 & up. No doubt preschoolers will play with the forts and log cabins after an adult builds them, but as a construction toy, this is a much better choice for early school years from 5-8.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
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